The sales pitch
This 4-year-old contemporary condo is just west of downtown Fort Worth. The living room with hardwood floors, recessed lighting and city views opens to a kitchen with a breakfast bar and pendant lighting. The kitchen features granite counters, hardwood cabinets, undercounter lighting and stainless steel appliances. An archway leads to a formal dining room.
Area median price: $138,300 (down 0.2 percent from one year earlier)
Listed by: Alexander Chandler Realty and Highrises.com
“It’s not your typical modern condo,” says Graham Stiles, senior vice president with Alexander Chandler Realty and Highrises.com. With hand-scraped woods, crown molding and an upgraded kitchen, “it feels more like a home,” he says.
The master bedroom has crown molding, plush carpeting, a ceiling fan and a walk-in closet. Master bath includes spa tub, separate glass shower, double sinks with gooseneck faucets and tile floors. The condo includes a laundry room and an attached one-car garage.
What else you can get for $200,000
For $200,000 this year, buyers will find “a lot of choices,” says Patricia Szot, president of the MetroTex Association of Realtors and owner of Keller Williams Realty, Lake Cities at Firewheel.
In downtown Dallas and Fort Worth, “your $200,000 buying power is more limited the closer you get into the cities,” she says. For the money, “you would be looking at maybe a two-bedroom condo” and not necessarily in pristine condition, she says. Or you could find a newer studio or one-bedroom.
“When you get out of the city just a little bit,” you’ll find some two- and three-bedroom homes from the 1960s and 1970s in good shape, Szot says.
Farther out, in the suburbs of Dallas and Fort Worth, buyers can find new and newer homes “with 2,500 to 3,000 square feet, two living areas and possibly a media room and a two- or three-car garage,” she says. Homes will also have a lot of high-dollar finishes, like hardwoods, marble and granite. In addition, buyers can find lots that are a quarter- to half-acre or larger.
“And a lot of the new homebuilders in the outlying areas are including swimming pools,” she says.
Buyers with $200,000 are getting roughly the same house they would have two or three years ago, says Szot.
“For the most part, our markets have stayed relatively stable,” she says. “What we will be experiencing this year: a lot more foreclosures than we have had in the past.”
“A buyer coming into the foreclosure market with $200,000 might not get a home in great condition but will certainly get a larger home,” Szot says. And the person “willing to do some repairs and cosmetic updates will have sensational buying power.”