San Diego

The sales pitch
This 32-year-old, two-story contemporary condo has two bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths and 866 square feet. The living room features a vaulted ceiling and tile floor. The galley-style kitchen has tile counters, tile floors and a breakfast bar that overlooks the living room.

Price: $199,900
Area median price: $381,400 (up 0.6 percent from one year earlier)
2 bedrooms/1.5 baths
Approximately 866 square feet
Living room with vaulted ceiling
Tile floors
Second bedroom/loft
Listed by: Century 21 All Service

The master bedroom features a tile floor, closet and alcove with a sink. The master bath has a tub/shower combo, a second sink and tile floor.

The second bedroom is a loft area that overlooks the living room and could make an ideal office, says Gary Freiberg, Realtor with Century 21 All Service.

The freshly painted unit also has a private balcony, and covered carport with storage closet.

“This is one of the few pet-friendly complexes in San Diego,” Freiberg says. Not only does the community allow pets, but it also has several exercise areas where people can take their pets.

What else you can get for $200,000
In San Diego, homebuyers with $200,000 to spend “need to shop carefully,” says Bob Kevane, president of the San Diego Association of Realtors.

And at that price, single-family homebuyers are likely putting more than money into the deal. “Anybody buying any house is probably doing some sweat equity,” Kevane says.

In San Diego, $200,000 will buy a single-family home with 1,000 to 1,100 square feet that is anywhere from 20 to 60 years old. “Some of them are not in that bad a condition, if sold by a seller,” Kevane says.

Foreclosures and short sales are currently making up about 35 percent of the market, he estimates. And in some, condition is an issue. It’s not uncommon to see “grass a couple of feet high, a lot of trash in the house, appliances that have been removed,” or toilets or cabinets that have been pulled out, he says.

In the downtown area, $200,000 can get a smaller condo — normally around 750 square feet or less — at least four or five blocks from the water, Kevane says.

In the suburbs, 10 to 20 miles outside of town, you can find a single-family two- or three-bedroom with one bath, that is 40 to 60 years old, he says. Buyers can even find a two-bedroom, two-bath if they are willing to do “a little bit of work,” he says.

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