As if I don’t get enough real estate as a full-time broker, I spend what little time I take off from work watching the HDTV show “House Hunters.” Why watch something I see day in and out? For the same reason anyone does — to compare. I sit there, thinking about my own house and wondering how much bigger it could be if it were in another state, or how I’d have no yard if I were somewhere else.
I’m used to San Diego, California; that’s my market. And you’re probably pretty familiar with your market and price ranges in the area where you live, even if you aren’t a broker.
Take a few minutes to play “House Hunters” and compare the differences in real estate throughout the country with a budget of $200,000. You might be surprised what you’ll find.
While it’s rare to find a turnkey single-family house for $200,000 in America’s finest city (OK, I’m biased), this fully upgraded townhome in the neighborhood of Linda Vista is a gem. Close to the University of San Diego, beaches, and downtown, the area offers something for everyone. There are three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a total of 1,200 square feet.
The interior of the townhouse has a washer and dryer, stainless steel appliances, LED lighting in the kitchen and ceiling fans throughout. The quiet backyard area is a perfect place to relax and view the picturesque Tecolote Canyon Natural Park just outside.
The monthly homeowner’s dues are $235. This townhome is listed at $250,000, which means it has a price per square foot of $208.33.
The saying, “location, location, location” holds especially true in a high-priced area like New York City. You certainly aren’t able to get as much space for your money in New York as you are in a more rural or even suburban area, but to some people, the location makes the lack of space worth the price.
One example is this 455 square foot condo in Manhattan, which was listed at $199,000 and recently went under contract. This 2011 build is a two-bedroom, one-bath unit with central air, sustainable bamboo flooring, double glazed thermal windows, an open kitchen and energy-efficient appliances. Monthly fees for maintenance are $450.
Manhattan is a generally crowded area with emphasis on public transportation. An important aspect to remember about New York City is that there are historical buildings found nowhere else in the country. Although the location is perfect for someone working close by in the city, due to the size of the building it would probably best suit a single person or young couple. The price per square foot for this condo is a whopping $437.36.
If a little more land and square footage is important to you, consider Dallas, Texas.
Although you’ll be living in a humid climate, you’ll get a little extra bang for your buck here. Plus, Dallas is home to a variety of beautiful parks and a trendy downtown scene. This single family home listed at $199,950 is a full 2,428 square feet, sitting on third of an acre. It has two stories, four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a two-car garage. Additional features include a bonus room, breakfast nook and covered front porch outside. It even sits on a cul-de-sac, making it perfect for families with kids who like to play outside. The price per square foot for this property is $82.35 — an amazing deal.
Orlando, Florida, isn’t just a tourist attraction anymore. Families are settling in Orlando because of the affordable prices for relatively new builds and the fact that the city has a booming medical industry. This three-bedroom, two-bath townhouse is available for $159,990. Built in 2011 and measuring at 1,834 square feet, the price per square foot is $87.24. There are two stories, a full-size washer and dryer and a one-car garage. Monthly fees are $178 and include a community pool, recreational facility, tennis court and cable.
Finally, in Fridley, Minnesota, you can find a 2,320 square foot single-family home for only $194,900. Fridley is a suburb of the Twin Cities with a population of about 28,000.
This 1970 build comes updated with hardwood floors and newer appliances. The backyard includes a patio and shed. For only $84.01 a square foot you get all this — plus the location is close to schools and Madsen Park. Madsen Park offers skating and hockey in the winter as well as a playground for kids and a basketball hoop.
What do you think? Tell us about the great (or not so great) deal you got on your house and what’s so special about where you live. Would you rather get a lot more house in a less-trodden area or sacrifice size and amenities to live in a pricey city?