The Kind of House You Can Get for 500K in the USA

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When it comes to buying a home in the United States, your bang for your buck will vary drastically from city to city. Below is a sample of real estate listings from across the US that will show you exactly what $500,000 can get you in the different markets.

1. New York, NY
It is no secret that New York City is the most expensive place to live in the United States. Not only is the cost of living through the roof, but also when it comes to real estate, you won’t get much bang for your buck when it comes to buying a home.  Square Feet: 650 Bedrooms: 1 Bathrooms: 1 Amenities: High ceilings, live-in superintendent, voice intercom to your front gate and your kitchen will have a window.

2. Ogden, UT
Of course, prices drop as you exit the city and enter Middle America. Not only is your day-to-day cost of living much more affordable but houses and land are literally dirt cheap. Amongst the cheapest places to buy a home in the US is Ogden, UT.  Square Feet: 4,897 Bedrooms: 6 Bathrooms: 4 full, 1 half Amenities: 3 car garage, nearly an acre of property, waterfall, fruit trees, garden, stainless steel appliances, 2 large family rooms, 2 non-bedrooms for extra space, multiple fireplace, balcony, bonus room, central A/C and 10ft ceilings.

3. San Francisco, CA
While most of northern California is mostly affordable, the city of San Francisco is top of the list for expensive real estate. Because property is hard to come by, the houses are piled on top of each other and $500K doesn’t go too far.  Square Feet: 975 Bedrooms: 2 Bathrooms: 1 Amenities: 1 car garage, shared landscape garden, hardwood floors, breakfast nook, fireplace and appliances included!

4. Spokane, WA
Tucked in the northern border of the great northwest, Spokane, WA is known as one of the more affordable housing markets in the land. If you don’t mind living near Canada and many many miles from a large city, $500K will go a long way.  Square Feet: Unknown Lot Size: 80 acres Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 3 Amenities: 2 car garage and total privacy.

5. Maui, HI
Ever dreamed of leaving the motherland and buying a quaint little bungalow in Hawaii? Well, although Hawaii is one of the more expensive markets in all of real estate, your exotic dream is not totally unachievable.  Square Feet: 1029 Lot Size: 0.31 acres Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2 Amenities: crown molding, whirlpool style tub, large yard, fruit trees, hot tub and cul-de-sac location.

6. Southern California
Considering northern California (outside of SF) can be moderately affordable, southern California, across the board is filled with America’s most expensive real estate. The average home in La Jolla is $1.842 million, in Beverly Hills it’s $1.777 million, in Palo Alto it’s $1.741 million and in Santa Monica it’s $1.653 million. All that said, $500K doesn’t go quite as far as it does in the rest of the country:  Square Feet: Unknown Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2 Amenities: Not a ton to brag about.

7. Minneapolis, MN
If life on the water is more your speed, the Great Lake territories can offer some pretty affordable homes on the water. With lots of land to go around and a plethora of lakes to chose from, $500K is more than enough to live comfortably on a waterfront property.  Square Feet: Unknown Lot Size: 1.25 acres Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 3 Amenities: Ranch style home in a golf course community, serenity, private day dock and beach.

8. South Beach, FL
If you’re seeking a more tropical environment but don’t want to travel outside of the lower 48 states to get there, southern Florida is your best bet. Although $500K won’t get you very much living space, the view from your window is sure to be worth the cash.  Square Feet: 960 Bedrooms: 2 Bathrooms: 2 Amenities: Condo with view of the ocean, A/C, parking space, balcony, shared pool, children’s play area and all of your standard appliances.

9. Fort Worth, TX
If the mountains are too secluded for your taste and you’ve never fared well in the tropical environments, maybe the great plains of Texas will be more your pace. In the greater Forth Worth area, spacious homes are a decent buy – especially if you’re a golfer.  Square Feet: 4,205 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 5 Amenities: 3 car garage, golf course access, 10×40 covered patio, gourmet kitchen, media room with blackout shades and a hobby room.

10. Palmer, AK
If it’s solitude you’re seeking, try your odds in the great outdoors of Alaska. In no other state will your $500K experience the bang for its buck that this wild frontier can offer:  Square Feet: 5,000 Lot Size: 12.5 acres Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 4 Amenities: 2 kitchens, 2 levels with elevator and stairs, hot tub, large deck surrounding home, view of Matanuska Peak, 2 additional small rental houses, large barn, workshop building, dog kennels, established pasture fenced and cross fenced, 2 wells, 5 septic systems and a pond all surrounded by the beauty of Alaska.

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Rob Jones

Rob served as Editor-In-Chief of BuildDirect Blog: Life At Home from 2007-2016. He is a writer, Dad, content strategist, and music fan.