Buying a House: What Can I Get for $228,000?
Many people don't have a choice about where they live, because their hometown is determined by family or work. But if you're looking for somewhere to move, you might want to consider what you'd pay for a house in a new town. According to the National Association of Realtors®, the median home price in August 2015 in the United States was $228,700. What will that get you across the country?
Here's what we found.
$229,900. This sweet town, the location of Chelsea Clinton's wedding to Mark Mezvinsky, is near Bard College in upstate New York. The 1416 square foot house is fairly spacious, with four bedrooms and one and a half baths. (You can always add another bath when the kids get a little older, and you have enough equity to use a HELOC to do it!) It even has a garage, so your car will be safe during the cold winter months.
The deck and big backyard make this a great house for families and people who like to entertain. Rhinebeck is full of history, independent businesses, great restaurants, and plenty of things to do. It's about a two-hour drive to New York City.
$225,000. Plano has been called the wealthiest city in the United States. Which means the schools are pretty great, and there are lots of nice amenities, as long as you don't mind not being the richest person in town. (But maybe they'll invite you over for tennis and swimming!) This 1761 square foot home has three bedrooms and two full baths.
The bathrooms have been remodeled, the kitchen has granite countertops, and there are some other great details throughout. We're partial to the cool tree-lined accent wall in the nursery. Unemployment rates in Plano are usually lower than the national average, so you'll be moving up in no time.
$230,000. Do you like to ski? Have you dreamed of having a place to stay when you want to hit the slopes? This townhouse in the Granlibakken Resort & Conference Center could be it. And if you can't afford it right this second, consider renting it when you aren't using it. (Want to know more? Read our post "Getting Started: Owning a Second Home.")
This one bedroom, two bath place isn't large, it's just under 800 square feet, but it could be the perfect place to relax after a day of skiing and snowboarding. The bedrooms and upgraded baths look as good or better than those in any of the weekend ski places we've rented.
$234,900. You'll get the most bang for your buck in this suburb of South Carolina's capital city. This 3800 square foot house has five bedrooms and three and a half baths. The kitchen's been upgraded with granite countertops, and the screen porch overlooking the backyard will keep you safe from mosquitos.
The area's mild climate will allow you to use that screen porch for more months than you would expect in other areas. The house was built in 1978, and it looks...exactly like a house that was built in the seventies, a little bit Brady Bunch, but stylish by today's retro standards.
Those prices are just the listing prices, of course, which doesn't mean that's what you'll actually pay, but that should give you a ballpark. Most listing prices are based on professional appraisals, including an analysis of comparables in the area. What you can afford in a certain area is also based on your salary, of course, and more affluent areas sometimes, but not always, offer higher salaries.
Relocating to a new town can be mystifying when you don't know the area. That's what makes sites like Realtor.com (where we found all the above listings) so great. You can see what's available, what sold recently, and how much you can expect to pay for the place you want.