2011 Homebuying and selling
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What will $200,000 buy: Houston

Real Estate » 2011 Homebuying and selling » What will $200k buy? » Houston

The sales pitch
This contemporary, brick two-story backs up onto the fairway of Houston National Golf Course. The home has golf course views, cathedral windows, gas fireplace and pass-through to eat-in kitchen.

Price: $200,000
Area median price: $154,100 (up 2.7 percent from one year earlier)
Amenities
4 bedrooms/2.5 baths
Approximately 2,903 square feet
.18 acre
Features
Gas fireplace
Backs on golf course
Game room
Listed by: Coldwell Banker United - Cy-Fair

"It looks like new," says Kevin Starr, Realtor with Coldwell Banker United-Cy-Fair. "They've taken great care of it."

The kitchen features a center island, granite counters, stainless steel appliances and a tile floor. Formal dining room has crown molding and chair railing. Master suite has an oversize window, walk-in closet and bathroom with a spa tub, separate glass shower and tile floor. The home also has a game room with a tray ceiling, patio and a two-car garage.

What else you can get for $200,000
"Price-wise, per square foot, I don't know anywhere you can go in the U.S. and get as much as you can in Houston," says Danny Frank, vice chairman with the Houston Association of Realtors and agent with Keller Williams in Pearland, Texas.

The Houston area is "very diverse," he says. "For $200,000 there's a wide variety of properties available. You can pretty much choose the type of home and land that you want. It's a sweet spot in the market."

The Houston market has been flat over the last few years, and houses are staying on the market a little longer than in years past, Frank says.

But Houston's market has been atypical to start with, he says. In 2008, while the rest of the country was experiencing a housing glut and falling prices, Houston was contending with Hurricane Ike and its aftermath.

In the greater metropolitan area, price fluctuations vary widely by neighborhood, he says. Over the last few years, home prices in one neighborhood dropped 40 percent, while "one mile in the other direction in the last two years they've only moved 2.2 percent," he says.

Though there is a little less selection this year than in years past, these days $200,000 buyers will find "a well-amended home," says Frank. "All the amenities of the finest houses out there."

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