Who doesn't want to live by the water? Most folks do, but it's a bit of a luxury, especially if there isn't much real estate near the water.

A prime example is Lake Michigan. Sure the lake is huge, but for Illinois residents, there's only a tiny bit of waterfront property. Of Lake Michigan's 1,600 miles of shoreline, only 63 are in Illinois, 22 of which are in Chicago.

But Illinois residents don't need to run to Michigan or Wisconsin to live near the water. In fact, they'd be better off staying in Illinois and staying away from Lake Michigan altogether as the Midwest's second-cheapest town with waterfront property is there in the southern portion of the Prairie State.

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According to Rocket Homes, Carbondale, Illinois, is the second-best place to live in the Midwest if you want to live by the water.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Carbondale has several lakes, big and small just within its metro border. In the rural areas lie some of the bigger lakes, particularly Crab Orchard Lake.

Carbondale is a bit of a college town, home to Southern Illinois University. The college houses Campus Lake, while the Carbondale Reservoir is a family-friendly lake. The reservoir is 135 acres where folks can boat and fish.

Roughly 1.13% of properties in Carbondale are waterfront, so it's not as though living there means your house is actually on the water. That said, you are always near the water in Carbondale, and you wouldn't be paying a hefty price to be there. The median home price in Carbondale is just $120,600, which is lower than 98% of the country, according to Rocket Homes.

Carbondale isn't a huge city either, with a population of 123,347, it was the smallest Midwest city listed by Rocket Homes, and one of the smallest overall regardless of region.

The number three spot was in Wisconsin as Oshkosh sits on Wisconsin's largest inland lake, Lake Winnebago. The number one city was Duluth, Minnesota, which has twice the population of Carbondale and a median home price of $200,800.

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