Below Median Madness
According to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors, in July the median price of a home in the United States was $182,600. With the economy still dragging, foreclosure numbers frighteningly high, and fears of a double-dip recession on everyone’s lips, MainStreet thought it might be interesting to see how much house can be bought around the country for roughly 10% less than the current median home price in the U.S.
Unfortunately, 10% less than the $182,600 median isn’t enough to buy much of anything in major urban markets such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In Manhattan, 1/8 of a small one-bedroom suite in a Midtown tower runs $165,000; in Los Angeles, an über-petite 300-square-foot studio in West Hollywood currently has a price tag of $170,000. And in San Francisco, $169,000 buys a 21-day per year fractional ownership of a two-bedroom suite at the downtown Ritz-Carlton Club, or just a major fixer-upper near India Basin.
The good news is that outside of the big cities, in second-tier and mid-sized cities, an honest to goodness family-sized house can be found for well under the median price of homes in the U.S.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
A Quaint Bungalow
In quaint Clovis, Calif., right next door to Fresno, a 1,500-square-foot bungalow with three bedrooms and two bathrooms is currently listed at $169,900.
Originally built in 1909, the fully renovated home has a front porch, large rear terrace and detached office space.
For more information, contact Douglas Dart (559)960-5915 in Tulare.
Photo Credit: Keller Williams Realty-Tulare
Plenty of Room
Also in Clovis sits a new-ish two-story house built in 2007 on a tiny 2,500-square-foot lot that includes three bedrooms and three full bathrooms. There’s a surprisingly large kitchen with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, an attached two car garage, inside laundry facilities and that itty-bitty low-maintenance lot.
For more information, contact Rick Hauff (559-593-8665) at London Properties in Clovis.
Photo Credit: London Properties
A Vintage Find in Oregon
In rainy, but ultra hip Portland, Ore., a fully updated vintage bungalow from the 1940s squeezes three bedrooms and one bathroom into a bantam 825 square feet. Just minutes from downtown and listed at $165,000, the home offers hardwood floors, a new roof, all new Hardieplank siding, double paned vinyl windows and a private and spacious backyard.
For more information, call Prudential Northewest Properties (800)380-4007 in Portland.
Photo Credit: Prudential Northewest Properties
A Comfy CottageAt $169,900, a cute cottage with 1,221 square feet in Portland has three bedrooms and one remodeled bathroom. Inside, the home boasts hardwood floors, an eat-in kitchen and living and family rooms. Outside, the house has a large front yard, and a gigantic fenced and landscaped backyard.
For more information, contact Louise Criswell (503)548-4848 at Keller Williams-PDX Central in Portland.
Photo Credit: Keller William-PDX Central
A Traditional Look
A solid-looking two-story brick-built house on nearly one-third an acre lot in Greenville, N.C., measures a sizable 2,068 square feet and includes three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The 1970s traditional, which is listed at $167,000, has original hardwood floors under the wall-to-wall carpeting. Out back, a generous flat back yard includes a concrete terrace for barbecues and a large in-ground swimming pool for pool parties.
For more information, contact Kevin O’Sullivan (252-714-8183) at Aldridge & Southerland Realtors in Greenville.
Photo Credit: Aldridge & Southerland Realtors
Farm StyleA pretty, Cape Cod-style farmhouse sits on nearly one-third of an acre in Greenville, North Carolina. It has three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms. The current list price is $165,900, and it was built in 2004. In total, the house provides 1,653 square feet of interior space that includes a living room with a vaulted ceiling and fireplace, a kitchen with a pantry and nearby laundry facilities, plus a first floor master bedroom with a walk-in closet and vaulted ceiling.
Upstairs, there’s a sitting room or computer station and an unfinished bonus room that sits atop the detached, 580-plus square feet garage. In addition to the rocking chair porch that runs the width of the house in front, a deck off the back of house leads to a large and grassy backyard.
For more information, contact Keith Vandiford (252-215-0015) at Century 21 Elite Properties in Greenville.
Photo Credit: Century 21 Elite Properties
Tampa, Florida boomed in the real estate bubble of the early naughts but the downturn has meant there’s plenty of homes priced well under the current U.S. median. A 1,700 square feet house built in 1982 on a shy quarter-acre lot, has a price tag of $166,500. The single story house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room with a fireplace and a vaulted ceiling. Out back, the fence backyard has a swimming pool and lanai covered with a screen enclosure to keep the bugs out.
For more information, contact Kathy Shalosky (813-857-3196) at Keller Williams in Tampa.
Photo Credit: Keller Williams
Ranch StyleA slightly older ranch style house in Tampa, Florida built in 1967 spans a commodious 2,448 square feet sits on an expansive .4 acre lot and includes four bedrooms and two bathrooms. With its $160,000 asking price, the light fixer-upper is a lot of house for the money.
For more information contact Charles Rutenberg Realty in Clearwater.
Photo Credit: Charles Rutenberg Realty
The southern city of Mobile, Alabama drips with history and is filled with homes chock full of charm. A fully redone bungalow built in 1917 has three bedrooms and two bathrooms and an asking price of $167,000. A wide front porch leads to the front door that opens to hardwood floors, a vintage kitchen with lots of storage and a small eating area, and a master bedroom with a large walk-in closet.
For more information, contact Margie Casey (251-660-8400) at Re/Max in Mobile.
Photo Credit: Re/Max Partners
Charming CottageA charming, brick built and vine covered cottage in Mobile, listed at $165,000 measures 1,800 square feet and includes three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The renovated interiors retain original detailing such as the hardwood floors, built in book niches, fireplace and arched doorways. There’s also a detached two-car garage and a large fenced yard.
For more information, contact Chris King (251-344-9220) at Roberts Brothers in Mobile.
Photo Credit: Roberts Brothers Real Estate
Remade and RemodeledA recently fully remodeled residence in Phoenix, originally built in 1978, measures 1,450 square feet. Its three bedrooms and two bathrooms include a newly built master suite with en-suite bathroom and walk-in closet. The brand new kitchen opens through French doors to a covered patio and simply landscaped and well-tended backyard. At $164,900, the current asking price is well below the U.S. median.
For more information, contact Anthony Kurth (480-330-6978) at HomeSmart in Phoenix.
Photo Credit: HomeSmart
In the center of Phoenix, AZ fully customized Spanish style house with 1850 square feet has three bedrooms and two bathrooms is currently listed at $165,000. The giant eat-in kitchen has a huge work island and all stainless steel appliances. Meanwhile, the front has a drought tolerant desert landscape and the back yard is a lush contrast with wide lawn, covered terrace, and a large koi pond.
For more information, contact Jennifer Doyle (623-344-4000) at Coldwell Banker in Metro Phoenix.
Photo Credit: Coldwell Banker
Just southwest of Providence, in West Warwick, $167,900 buys a well-maintained 1,300 square feet 1956 ranch house with three bedrooms and one bathroom. The updated (and upgraded) interiors include hardwood floors, a new central A/C system, a Florida room with a cathedral ceiling, and a lower-level family room with a woodstove. There’s also a fenced backyard, plus a workshop and shed for storing lawn tools.
For more information, contact David Iannuccilli (401-884-6050) at Re/Max in East Greenwich.
Photo Credit: Re/Max Partners
A Providence RanchListed at $167,500, this 1,460 square feet brick front ranch, built in the upscale Elmhurst neighborhood in Providence, was built in 1960 and has three bedrooms, one bathroom, hardwood floors, a new roof and a partially finished lower level for future expansion. The back porch leads out to the landscaped back yard and detached single car garage.
For more information, contact David Splaine (401-885-7900) at Re/Max in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.
Photo Credit: Re/Max Partners