You don't need to be a multi-millionaire to buy a bach. If you're willing to think creatively there are ways to buy an affordable slice of paradise.

Type the word "bach" into realestate.co.nz and prices start at $35,000.

On realestate.co.nz the top five searches with the word "bach" were for Thames-Coromandel, the Far North, Whangarei, Marlborough and Rodney.

Of course the term "bach" is a North Island term, and in the South Island the word "crib" is used instead. So realestate.co.nz also provided its top five searches containing the word "holiday". They were Marlborough, Rodney, Taupo, Rotorua, and Tauranga.

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"Popular" can be a double-edged sword. It can also mean prices have already risen and you've missed the boat on capital gain.

But factors such as rentability and capital gain potential should probably rank behind where you want to holiday anddistance from home.

Holiday homes aren't much of an investment thanks to holding costs and the difficulty of renting year-round. There are plenty of other valuable reasons to buy a bach, such as creating family memories.

If capital values play a part in your decision, QV eValuer service allows you to drill down to a particular area such as Mangawhai Heads and find out the median price and how much annual growth there has been.

There is also a search on the QV site that allows you to compare district growth. Unfortunately it's not easy to do detailed suburb price histories or find data for your own comparative analysis.

There is also a mine of information at homes.co.nz that gives you an estimate for individual houses as well as free sales histories.

If you wanted to buy in Hahei, for example, you could see that 110 Pa Rd, sold in October 2016 for $420,000, but the neighbouring properties are estimated at $725,000 and $880,000.

Buyers who are short on dollars can benefit from thinking outside the square.

Buying leasehold is one option, and it's possible to buy a waterfront classic Kiwi bach at Lake Rotoma for $98,000.

Or you could buy a caravan or cabin on a campsite, which is also a cheap option.

It's also an option to buy yourself a piece of land and drop a dunny in and plonk a caravan or shed on the site and have big family camping holidays.

Watch out for covenants or council planning rules that could hamper your dreams.

Timeshares are also an option. New timeshares are sometimes overpriced. There is, however, a thriving secondhand market where you will usually pay considerably less.

Check out the Auckland District Law Society's advice about timeshares here.

Of course not everyone wants to buy a bargain basement bach. If you have the money for a slice of paradise, you can pay up to $28 million for 306 Cowes Bay Rd, Waiheke Island.