Dreaming of sunbathing on a tropical island far from snow and slush? You aren't alone. Across the U.S. and much of Europe, this has been one of the coldest, dreariest winters on record. For many, the economy remains as bleak as the weather. Still, it seems you needn't be a bailed-out banker to afford an island home of your own.

That's because the housing bust hit the Caribbean and Hawaii as hard as it did elsewhere. Prices for homes that had been purchased as retirement or rental properties plummeted when mortgages reset and the global economy froze up. This means that whether you're looking for a second home or a full-time residence, there are plenty of deals out there on such islands as St. Maarten, Eleuthera, and St. Croix.

Businessweek.com spotted 25 affordable island homes, many at waterside or at least with a pool, at prices ranging from $275,000 to $799,000. Sure, that's more than the median vacation home price, which figures from the National Association of Realtors place at $169,000. But it's far less than the average price of a two-bedroom Manhattan apartment: about $1.4 million in 2010, according to data from Miller Samuel. And it provides better views and a laid-back vibe. Don't expect these deals to last long. Even this housing market will warm up at some point.

Click here to see island homes priced below $1 million.
Getty Images
Dreaming of sunbathing on a tropical island far from snow and slush? You aren't alone. Across the U.S. and much of Europe, this has been one of the coldest, dreariest winters on record. For many, the economy remains as bleak as the weather. Still, it seems you needn't be a bailed-out banker to afford an island home of your own.

That's because the housing bust hit the Caribbean and Hawaii as hard as it did elsewhere. Prices for homes that had been purchased as retirement or rental properties plummeted when mortgages reset and the global economy froze up. This means that whether you're looking for a second home or a full-time residence, there are plenty of deals out there on such islands as St. Maarten, Eleuthera, and St. Croix.

Businessweek.com spotted 25 affordable island homes, many at waterside or at least with a pool, at prices ranging from $275,000 to $799,000. Sure, that's more than the median vacation home price, which figures from the National Association of Realtors place at $169,000. But it's far less than the average price of a two-bedroom Manhattan apartment: about $1.4 million in 2010, according to data from Miller Samuel. And it provides better views and a laid-back vibe. Don't expect these deals to last long. Even this housing market will warm up at some point.

Click here to see island homes priced below $1 million.
Getty Images

Affordable Island Homes for Non-Millionaires

Affordable Island Homes: Beach and sun for less than $1 million
Affordable Island Homes: Beach and sun for less than $1 million
Dreaming of sunbathing on a tropical island far from snow and slush? You aren't alone. Across the U.S. and much of Europe, this has been one of the coldest, dreariest winters on record. For many, the economy remains as bleak as the weather. Still, it seems you needn't be a bailed-out banker to afford an island home of your own.

That's because the housing bust hit the Caribbean and Hawaii as hard as it did elsewhere. Prices for homes that had been purchased as retirement or rental properties plummeted when mortgages reset and the global economy froze up. This means that whether you're looking for a second home or a full-time residence, there are plenty of deals out there on such islands as St. Maarten, Eleuthera, and St. Croix.

Businessweek.com spotted 25 affordable island homes, many at waterside or at least with a pool, at prices ranging from $275,000 to $799,000. Sure, that's more than the median vacation home price, which figures from the National Association of Realtors place at $169,000. But it's far less than the average price of a two-bedroom Manhattan apartment: about $1.4 million in 2010, according to data from Miller Samuel. And it provides better views and a laid-back vibe. Don't expect these deals to last long. Even this housing market will warm up at some point.

Click here to see island homes priced below $1 million.
Getty Images
Affordable Island Home: Abaco, Bahamas
Affordable Island Home: Abaco, Bahamas
Price: $275,000

What can you get for less than $300,000? This two-bedroom, 950 sq. ft. condo in the Royal Palm part of Treasure Cay, a resort community, has views of the harbor and marina from living area and deck. Royal Palm has four swimming pools and two tennis courts and is near Treasure Cay Beach, restaurants, shopping area, and a golf course.

Source: Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty
Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty
Affordable Island Home: Oranjestad, Aruba
Affordable Island Home: Oranjestad, Aruba
Price: $280,000

On a dead-end road in a quiet neighborhood, this 2,228 sq. ft., three-bedroom residence is a few minutes from the center of Oranjestad and the beach. The main bedroom suite has a shower and Jacuzzi tub.

Source: Coldwell Banker Aruba Realty
Coldwell Banker Aruba Realty
Affordable Island Home: Rainbow Bay, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Affordable Island Home: Rainbow Bay, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Price: $295,000

This ranch-style home with cathedral ceilings and sea views is set on a 10,880 sq. ft. lot. The 1,100 sq. ft., two-bedroom house has an attached garage, laundry area, and workshop. It is being sold fully furnished.

Source: Damianos Sotheby's International Realty
Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty
Affordable Island Home: Bodden Town/Breakers area, Grand
Affordable Island Home: Bodden Town/Breakers area, Grand
Price: $299,000

Tropical landscaping, fruit trees, and a breakfast deck with sea views give this 1,911 sq. ft. home a Caribbean ambience. The house has three bedrooms, including a master suite with Jacuzzi tub and balcony. It is near Heritage Beach.

Source: Century 21 Cayman Condos
Century 21 Cayman Condos
Affordable Island Home: Rainbow Bay, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Affordable Island Home: Rainbow Bay, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Price: $325,000

On the first floor of this 1,200 sq. ft. home are a large, open kitchen, dining room, and living room. Two bedrooms are on the second level, with a private balcony off the master bedroom. The house has a separate garage.

Source: Damianos Sotheby's International Realty
Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty
Affordable Island Home: Cupecoy, Sint Maarten
Affordable Island Home: Cupecoy, Sint Maarten
Price: $365,000

This fully furnished, two-bedroom condo is in a gated community in Sint Maarten. (The island is split between Dutch Sint Maarten and French Saint Martin, a division that goes back to 1648.) Sint Maarten, which contains both the island's biggest town, Philipsburg, and its international airport, is a popular destination for cruise ships. The condo has lagoon views and a shared pool.

Source: Coldwell Banker Real Estate St. Maarten
Coldwell Banker Real Estate St. Maarten
Affordable Island Home: Jolly Harbour, Antigua
Affordable Island Home: Jolly Harbour, Antigua
Price: $375,000

This two-bedroom waterfront villa has a garage and comes with a home entertainment system. Both bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms and the master suite has a private veranda. The property features a 13,500 lb. boat lift and 45 ft. dock.

Source: Tradewind Realty
Tradewind Realty
Affordable Island Home: The Current, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Affordable Island Home: The Current, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Price: $390,000

This three-bedroom, two-bathroom house sits atop a ridge on 1.454 acres of waterfront property. The 1,071 sq. ft. home is being sold with a 1988 Toyota that is parked in the garage. The Current is a community near Harbour Island, Spanish Wells, and the North Eleuthera Airport.

Source: Damianos Sotheby's International Realty
Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty
Affordable Island Home: Rainbow Bay, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Affordable Island Home: Rainbow Bay, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Price: $395,000

This two-bedroom, two-bath waterfront home has 1,500 square feet of living space, including a covered deck and sun porch. The property also features a separate guest suite that needs renovation.

Source: Damianos Sotheby's International Realty
Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty
Affordable Island Home: Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Affordable Island Home: Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Price: $420,000

The sea can be viewed from this two-bedroom home, which has a swimming pool, covered porch, and outdoor terraces. The property has 1,225 sq. ft. of living space and is a few minutes' walk from the ocean, where there is excellent snorkeling and fishing.

Source: Damianos Sotheby's International Realty
Damianos Sotheby's International Realty
Affordable Island Home: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Affordable Island Home: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Price: $489,000

This three-bedroom home in Candle Reef, a condominium development, has 2,600 square feet of living space, including an outdoor gallery with views of the Caribbean Sea and Buck Island. The complex is by the beach and has a heated pool and tennis court.

Source: Coldwell Banker Land-de Wilde Realty
Coldwell Banker Land-de Wilde Realty
Affordable Island Home: Staniel Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
Affordable Island Home: Staniel Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
Price: $524,000

This property has 200 feet of protected waterfront, a boat dock, and a 3,000 ft. air strip. The Bahamian house has one bedroom and two bathrooms, but can accommodate up to four people. Residents can enjoy water views from the three-sided wraparound deck.

Source: Damianos Sotheby's International Realty
Damianos Sotheby's International Realty
Affordable Island Home: Discovery Bay, Turks and Caicos
Affordable Island Home: Discovery Bay, Turks and Caicos
Price: $549,000

This two-bedroom home in Discovery Bay has a fully screened porch and views of the canal and sea and features wood-beam vaulted ceilings. The property has a large yard with space for an in-ground pool.

Source: Century 21 Erishar Properties
Century 21 Erishar Properties
Affordable Island Home: Little Exuma, Exumas, Bahamas
Affordable Island Home: Little Exuma, Exumas, Bahamas
Price: $550,000

This modern, three-bedroom, two-bathroom house, mere yards from Tropic of Cancer Beach (where scenes for Pirates of the Caribbean were filmed), has a covered porch, large deck, freshwater well, and views of the sea and offshore cays.

Source: Damianos Sotheby's International Realty
Damianos Sotheby's International Realty
Affordable Island Home: Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas
Affordable Island Home: Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas
Price: $582,391*

This furnished, three-bedroom condo in the gated community of Port New Providence has a den and a covered patio that overlooks the canal. The development also has a pool, tennis courts, private beach with cabana, and access to marina and boat slips.

(*Note: Price converted from BSD to USD on oanda.com on Feb. 8.)

Source: ERA Dupuch Real Estate
ERA Dupuch Real Estate
Affordable Island Home: Chalk Sound, Turks and Caicos
Affordable Island Home: Chalk Sound, Turks and Caicos
Price: $590,000

This two-bedroom waterfront home features Chalk Sound views, which can be enjoyed from the large decks or yard. Offered fully furnished, the home has 1,700 square feet of living space and sits on 0.8 acres.

Source: Century 21 Erishar Properties
Century 21 Erishar Properties
Affordable Island Home: Pahoa, Hawaii (Big Island)
Affordable Island Home: Pahoa, Hawaii (Big Island)
Price: $599,000

A hexagonal shape and wraparound porch maximize the views from this oceanfront home. The 1,138 sq. ft. house also has an enclosed two-car garage with laundry and storage, as well as a separate one-bedroom, one-bathroom guest studio. Kehena Beach—a black sand beach popular for dolphin and whale watching (and known as an unofficially nude beach)—and other local attractions are within walking distance.

Source: MacArthur & Company Sotheby's International Realty
MacArthur & Company Sotheby's International Realty
Affordable Island Home: Paradera, Aruba
Affordable Island Home: Paradera, Aruba
Price: $621,470

In a quiet neighborhood near Oranjestad, this five-bedroom, three-bathroom house is not by the sea—it's about 15 minutes' drive from Eagle Beach—but a private pool invites residents to swim and tan at home.

Source: ERA Solito Real Estate
ERA Solito Real Estate
Affordable Island Home: Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas
Affordable Island Home: Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas
Price: $656,061*

This three-bedroom home in The Balmoral—a new, gated community—has a family room or office, two-car garage, and central air-conditioning. The development has an event lawn, children's playground, swimming pool, gazebo, club with a gourmet restaurant, and tennis center. It is near Cable Beach.

(*Note: Price converted from BSD to USD on oanda.com on Feb. 8.)

Source: ERA Dupuch Real Estate
ERA Dupuch Real Estate
Affordable Island Home:  St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Affordable Island Home: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Price: $675,000

This two-bedroom waterfront home on St. Croix's north coast has a private seaside pool. The interior is split-level and the home features 1,964 square feet of living space. A golf course and restaurants are nearby.

Source: Coldwell Banker Land-de Wilde Realty
Coldwell Banker Land-de Wilde Realty
Affordable Island Home: Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas
Affordable Island Home: Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas
Price: $685,000

This 2,000 sq. ft., three-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Fortune Cay Club, a gated community, has a wraparound patio and is being offered fully furnished. The club has a pool, tennis court, ocean views, and access to the beach.

Source: Coldwell Banker James Sarles Realty
Coldwell Banker James Sarles Realty
Affordable Island Home: Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas
Affordable Island Home: Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas
Price: $695,000

In a gated community near downtown Nassau, this three-bedroom home has 3,000 square feet of living space on 17,920 square feet of manicured grounds. The kitchen was recently renovated and there is a secured parking area at the rear of the property.

Source: Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty
MacArthur & Company Sotheby's International Realty
Affordable Island Home: Pahoa, Hawaii (Big Island)
Affordable Island Home: Pahoa, Hawaii (Big Island)
Price: $695,000

Featured on travel shows and winner of the Concrete Home of the Year award, this unusual house made of concrete, stainless steel, and glass is on the farthest point of Kehena Beach Estates, near the black sands of Kehena Beach. It has 939 sq. ft. of living space on three levels, including two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a rooftop sun deck for sunbathing or stargazing.

Source: MacArthur & Company Sotheby's International Realty
Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty
Affordable Island Home: Water Island, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Affordable Island Home: Water Island, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Price: $797,000

Views of St. Thomas Harbor are a highlight of this three-bedroom home, which sits on 1.2 acres. The kitchen overlooks orchid gardens.

Source: John Foster Real Estate
John Foster Real Estate
Affordable Island Home: Berry Islands, Bahamas
Affordable Island Home: Berry Islands, Bahamas
Price: $799,000

This three-bedroom, beachfront home on about 0.5 acres overlooks Great Harbour Cay's five-mile beach. It has 1,800 sq. ft. of living space, a 750 sq. ft. covered, wraparound porch, and an attached carport. It is near the airport, golf course, tennis courts, marina, restaurants, and grocery stores.

Source: Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty
Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty