How much house you can get in 30 major US cities for $500K
If you want to buy a home in a major U.S. city this year, expect to spend far more than the $257,700 the National Association of Realtors says is the median for existing homes.
Home prices have risen year-over-year for nearly seven years, but the end result varies greatly by region. In fact, some of the largest cities in the country feature a median home price well beyond $1 million, so it’s difficult to tell how much home buyers can get for their money.
We took a look through Realtor.com’s listings and found what we could get in each market for $500,000 or less.
Unsurprisingly, that amount goes much farther in some cities than others.
The Bankrate Daily
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New York, New York
The National Association of Realtors puts the average cost of a home in the New York metro area at $428,200, but that includes suburban New Jersey and even parts of Pennsylvania.
Within that area are about 31 cities, towns, and neighborhoods where prices exceed $1 million.
That said, it isn’t impossible to get into New York itself for $500,000 or less. While you may not live in a “Friends”-sized apartment in the Village, you can get a two-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op in Queens just off the R train.
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Los Angeles, California
The quintessential L.A. bungalow remains within reach for home buyers at $500,000, although you may have to compromise on neighborhood.
Charlotte has seen more than a 17% population growth over the last decade, which accounts for its $245,000 median home price.
While that influx has meant a lot of new construction, Charlotte’s vastness means you can find yourself in a 5,000-square-foot, six-bedroom country home on three acres at this price, or in a 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom condo with a roof deck closer to downtown.
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Seattle’s $502,800 median cost for a single-family home is high even by West Coast standards.
If you want to live in Seattle proper, your best bet might be a fixer-upper or condo. Although small homes in West Seattle are also a good option for this price range.
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Denver’s median home price of $450,100 falls well above the West Coast median. However, the city’s sprawl means this price won’t necessarily limit your buying ability.
Denverites can still invest in properties with over 1,100 square feet.
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Unsurprisingly, the center of U.S. government isn’t an inexpensive place to live. Yet it has a surprising number of single-family homes available for just above its $426,000 median price.
That includes some of the 1,200-square-foot, two-bedroom row homes in Hill East, a 2,500-square-foot midcentury modern in Fort Dunpont Park and a 1,000-square-foot row home in Mount Vernon.
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At $491,000, Boston’s median housing price is just $9,000 less than our limit. However, if you’re willing to live a bit off of the T (Boston’s subway system), you can still find some great space at this price.
Not far from the Commuter Rail’s Needham line in West Roxbury, for example, a 1,100-square-foot, three-bedroom home sells for this price, as does a 1,900-square-foot four-bedroom with a garage.
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El Paso, Texas
$500,000 can get you quit a bit in El Paso where the median home price falls at approximately $158,000 for a single-family home.
One spacious home currently on the market, for example, has five-beds and costs just $405,000.
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Detroit has a plethora of McMansions within city limits for $500,000 or less.
This 3,500-square-foot colonial, for example, goes for just $409,000 and has 6-bedrooms, and a third floor that can be used as a master suite.
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Not only is Nashville the music capital of the world, it’s real estate market is also red hot.
Despite a recent increase in housing prices, buyers can still get over 2,000-square-feet and three plus bedrooms for $500,000.
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The median home price of $180,600 in Memphis goes a long way.