What $400,000 buys: Winston-Salem, N.C.

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What $400K will buy: Winston-Salem, N.C.
A Southern take on the traditional Cape Cod bungalow, this 3-year-old home has an open floor plan and hardwood floors throughout the main level. The formal living room has a tiled gas fireplace with mantle, built-in bookshelves, and it opens to a screened porch. An open kitchen features granite counters, stainless steel appliances, blond wood cabinets, pantry, breakfast bar with pendant lighting and an eat-in area overlooking the porch. A master suite with sitting area and hardwood floors features a bathroom with jetted tub, separate shower, Corian counters, blond wood cabinets and tile floors. Two upstairs bedrooms are joined by a Jack and Jill bathroom. Two upstairs bonus rooms could serve as additional bedrooms.
3 bedrooms (plus two bonus rooms)/3½ baths
3,000 square feet
0.74 acre
Features: Screened and unscreened porches; two upstairs bonus rooms; hobby shed with built-in storage off attached two-car garage; and optional swim/tennis membership.
Listed by: MKT Real Estate Group of Coldwell Banker Triady
What you could buy in Winston-Salem for $400,000 a year ago.
Price trend
In Winston-Salem, for $400,000, buyers are “going to see everything from nice, large family homes like this to cluster communities with lots of features in the neighborhood,” says Wendy Taylor, real estate broker with MKT Real Estate Group of Coldwell Banker Triad.

Many times, that can mean a high-end home costing in the range of $125 per square foot with fine furniture-quality pieces in bathrooms, wider 4-inch plank hardwood floors (instead of the more standard 2-inch), tiled showers with multiple heads and lots of stone and brick on the exterior, she says. Lots will often be small, a fifth of an acre or less, she says.

In a larger home for less per square foot, a $400,000 price tag often comes with a slightly larger lot; an open floor plan with easy access between the great room, kitchen and dining area; hardwood floors on the main level; granite or Corian countertops; and a three- or four-car garage, Taylor says.

Home sales fell 26.6 percent across the state in 2008, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The housing inventory is up in Winston-Salem this year, and buyers can get more for their money, says Taylor. “They have a lot more to choose from right now,” she says. Builders are making good deals on houses they’ve got in their inventory, and owners of resale homes are pricing them to move, she says. All in all, Taylor says, sellers “are trying harder than they ever have.”