Coral Springs

The sales pitch

This 20-year-old Mediterranean stucco house is located in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Coral Springs. The open floor plan features a carpeted living room with vaulted ceilings and French doors that open to a screened patio.

Price: $199,777
Area median price: $187,300 (down 6 percent from one year earlier)
3 bedrooms/2.5 baths
Approximately 2,105 square feet
Screened patio
Master suite with wet bar and garden tub
Garage converted to bonus room
Listed by: ERA Ace Realty/Team Dino

“It’s bright, open and spacious,” says Dino Paolillo, Realtor and executive with ERA Ace Realty.

The kitchen has white cabinetry and counters with black appliances, and it gives way to an adjacent dining room with a bay window and tile floors.

The master bedroom features vaulted ceilings and an oversize window, built-in wet bar, walk-in closet and a bathroom with a garden tub. The one-car garage has been converted into a bonus room.

A former model home, the house is situated in a town house community that also has a pool.

What else you can get for $200,000

In South Florida, “you can actually get a pretty decent home for $200,000,” says Summer Greene, president-elect of Florida Realtors and regional manager for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Florida 1st.

The money can buy “two to three bedrooms with a garage, west of (Interstate) 95,” she says. In some areas, buyers can score a find east of I-95, but probably not on the water, Greene says.

A typical house: 1,600 to 1,800 square feet with a carport or one-car garage, she says. And if the house is a foreclosure, you might get a two-car garage or a home with some nice upgrades. “There are some good deals to be had in that $200,000 price range.”

A few hot areas for $200,000 buyers: Plantation, Sunrise and Pembroke Pines, Greene says.

In love with the idea of life on the water? For $200,000 you might be able to find a small one-bedroom condo, she says.

In 2011, the homebuying dollar is going further. “Values are off about 30 (percent) to 35 percent in some areas” over a few years ago, Greene says. But inventory is down, too. “It’s pretty skinny,” Greene says.

The market also offers more condos than standalone homes. “With a single-family home you’re somewhat limited in your choices,” she says.

Greene’s advice to prospective buyers: “Don’t even think about looking at a short sale,” she says. “It’s a total waste of time. You languish on the market for six, eight or nine months, and by that time you may have lost your interest rate, your financing and your desire.”

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