Whether you’re a first-time buyer finally making the leap from renting to owning, or perhaps someone with retirement on the horizon, who wants a place to settle down in, knowing what kind of home you should be able to get on your budget is important. Home prices vary greatly depending on where you choose to live. Consider Hawaii, with the average home in Honolulu running an astounding $1,044,462 (according to CNBC), By contrast, in Ohio, the average is only $264,078 (US News). There are all kinds of properties available for a wide variety of budgets. Here’s what you can typically expect to find given your budget.
While the Wall Street Journal warns that starter homes are increasingly becoming scarce due to construction companies focusing their building on bigger, more expensive properties, you can still typically get starter homes for anywhere from 100 to 250k depending on the area. At this price range, you’re looking at smaller, economical houses that may be fixer-uppers, or modest, single-family condos. In a higher volume, metropolitan area, these types of homes might be difficult to come by.
The 250K to 400K bracket
At this point, you’re getting to be above the national median house price, which Zillow puts at $217,300. Let’s say you have around 350K. In this case, what you can get varies widely. A report on the O.C Register notes $350,000 could get you a huge five bedroom, four bathroom home in St. Louis, while in Boston you’d be hard pressed to do much better than a modest condo. In the average city, a $350,000 home means about 2000 to 3000 square feet, although, in red-hot housing markets such as Austin or Phoenix, you’re looking at significantly less.
If you’re able to get into the next bracket and get a $500,000 mortgage, CBS News suggests that in Middle America states, you could get a huge house with amenities like four-car garages and swimming pools. In a busy metro market like San Francisco or New York, you’re looking at possibly as little as a studio apartment.
As you can see, the type of home you can get within your budget greatly depends on where you’ve chosen to live. If you’re looking at settling down into a more reasonable real estate market, Zillow is a great resource. However, even if you live in a more expensive area, there are still deals to be found, as long as expectations are kept in check.