What $400,000 buys: Tucson, Ariz.

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What $400K will buy: Tucson, Ariz.
This 15-year-old Southwestern contemporary has an open floor plan and many windows. A two-story entryway opens to the family room with gas fireplace, faux-painted accent wall and vaulted ceiling. The first floor has ceramic tile floors throughout. An eat-in kitchen sports oak cabinets, island, multiple pass-throughs to dining room and pantry. A formal dining room, with windows on three sides, opens to the deck. The master bedroom on the main floor has a vaulted ceiling, walk-in closet and a bath with garden tub, glass blocks, separate shower, double vanity, recessed lighting and water closet. A study is outfitted with built-in bookcases. Gated courtyard features flagstone patio, oversized, asymmetrical spa tub and rock waterfall. The most outstanding feature: exceptional views of the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Oro Valley from the entire back of the house, says Michelle Niles, Realtor with Re/Max Majestic.
2 bedrooms/3 baths
2,184 square feet
0.17 acre
Features: Wrought iron chandelier in foyer; carpeted bedrooms; ceiling fans; built-in microwave; wrought iron fence; established trees, cacti and flowers; multiple patios; two-car garage; and three-car driveway. Neighborhood fees of $85 per month include security and maintenance of common area.
Listed by: Re/Max Majestic
What you could buy in Tucson for $400,000 a year ago.
Price trend
In Tucson, what you can buy for $400,000 depends on what kind of scenery you want to see out your window, says Niles. “If you’re going to the foothills north of town, $400,000 doesn’t get you very far,” she says. “That’s where the more expensive homes are.”

“Take that $400,000 and bring it to the Oro Valley, and — because it’s a newer area of many planned communities with lots of newer construction as well as being considered on the outskirts of Tucson — you will get more bang for your buck,” she says. Think along the lines of granite counters, maple or hickory cabinets, tile roofs, located in master-planned communities or on golf courses.

The median home cost in the greater Tucson area was $204,300 in 2008, according to the National Association of Realtors. Median home prices fell 16.5 percent last year.

Prices are still going down, says Niles. “You definitely get more” this year than last, she says. “But I think we’re coming to the end of prices dropping,” Niles says. “When something is priced right, we’re starting to come across multiple offers again.”