What You Get For $200K

By
Real Estate Agent with United Realty Group, Inc. BK641413

 Many of you have probably seen HGTV's show called "What You Get For The Money" at some point.  I watch it whenever I can and always find it interesting to see what you can get in different parts of the U.S. for the same amount of money. 

So I was curious to see how my newest listing stacked up against others around the U.S. priced more-or-less the same.  To quench my curiosity, I went on Realtor.com and searched for 10 condos/townhomes priced in the mid-to-high $190's mostly in cities that are just outside of major cities throughout the country.  To make it more visually appealing and get a true sense of how places compare, I only picked "showcase" listings with several photos.  It's amazing to me that for essentially the same money, what you get can vary from a 1-BR/1-BA 445 sq. ft. condo to a 3-BR/2-BA/1-CG 1918 sq. ft. townhouse!

Here's what I found (note: the first one is my listing):

  • Sunrise, FL (outside Fort Lauderdale) - $197,000
    2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1154 sq. ft. Condo
  • Brookline, MA (outside Boston) - $199,900
    1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, 445 sq. ft. Condo
  • Cary, NC (outside Raleigh) - $195,900
    3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1918 sq. ft. Townhouse
  • Fort Worth, TX (outside Dallas) - $193,900
    3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1939 sq. ft Townhouse
  • St. Paul, MN (next to Minneapolis) - $199,000
    1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, 778 sq. ft. Condo
  • Lakewood, CO (outside Denver) - $195,000
    2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1320 sq. ft. Condo
  • Scottsdale, AZ (outside Phoenix) - $199,900
    1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom Condo
  • Lake Forest Park, WA (outside Seattle) - $199,950
    2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom, 847 sq. ft. Condo
  • Sacramento, CA - $199,000
    1 Bedroom, 1.5 Bathrooms, 1125 sq. ft. Condo
  • Honolulu, Hawaii - $199,900
    1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, 588 sq. ft. Condo

Are you as surprised as I am that you get a slightly bigger place in Honolulu, HI than in Brookline, MA for about the same money?  NC & TX are looking very appealing for anyone considering leaving a high-priced area.  You definitely get more for your money there!  Since I'm not too familiar with most of the areas listed in the examples above, I realize that I may be comparing apples with oranges in some cases, but it was an interesting exercise nonetheless.

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Ambassador
918,182
Kristal Kraft
The Berkshire Group Realtors - Denver, CO
Selling Metro Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022

Leanne ~ To make your exercise really interesting, take the same condos and compare HOA costs and benefits.  I bet that would even make it more out of whack!

Everything is relative.

kk

Nov 19, 2006 10:00 PM #1
Rainmaker
164,437
Home Design
Alpharetta, GA
Home Design and Real Estate
Great Post Leanne, it amazes me about how people from these cities call me an think they can get a 5 bedroom new home in North Atlanta for this price.  Strange!
Nov 19, 2006 11:14 PM #2
Rainer
508,770
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist

Kristal... I had already thought about that -- the fact that I was not including the HOA/condo association fees in the "comparisons" but, unfortunately, Realtor.com does not show what these fees are.  I know my listing has a maintenance fee of $266 and am certain that some of those listed in my post are below and above that amount. 

You could also say that property taxes and insurance would affect the "comparisons" as well, and you'd be right.  Again, Realtor.com does not show that information.  I still think it's interesting to see the differences in what you get for essentially the same amount of money.  The HGTV show illustrates that quite well and you get a good idea of which areas are more affordable than others.

Nov 19, 2006 11:43 PM #3
Anonymous
Brandon
Be even more interesting to compare lot size, which to many is more important than square footage. We are a country obsessed with square footage and being indoors.
Nov 19, 2006 11:51 PM #4
Rainer
508,770
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist
Brandon, most of those listed in my post are condos - a couple are townhomes - so they don't come with a lot (unless the two townhomes somehow include land as well... doubtful).  If my listing were a (single family) home I'd have compared it with others like it and included the lot sq. ft. (not just the home's sq. ft.) on the list.  I hear ya' though... give me land - the more, the better!
Nov 20, 2006 12:00 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,477,228
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Leanne,

You inspired a blog out of me...(I will give you credit as my muse)  we are so reasonable in Central Ohio. Yesterday I wrote an offer for a two year old single family 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home in Central Ohio priced at just under $200,000.  It is on a lot that is approximately 1/2 acre.   It is out in the boonies... and the buyers withdrew it after too much time to think. Boo hoo.  The sellers paid just over $200K for it two years ago. 

Central Ohio Condos?  Anywhere from 800 sq. ft. 1 bedroom, 1 bath just north of downtown or a 1 bedroom, 1 bath with just over 1000 sq. ft  downtown to a  Columbus Ohio (North East)$197,900, 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 2250 sq. ft. (built 2006 ) are available in Central Ohio... just between $197K and $198,000.

Blog about condos in Columbus and Central Ohio

Nov 20, 2006 01:02 AM #6
Rainer
508,770
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist

I look forward to reading your blog post, Maureen.  I know Central Ohio is way more affordable than South Florida - no doubt about it!  The same 4/2.5 2-year-old house down here would cost a minimum of double, if not triple, that amount, depending on the area, square footage, and other factors.

Have property values gone down in recent years in Central Ohio?  You said the sellers paid more than what they're currently asking... or is that because new construction is generally more expensive than resale homes?

Nov 20, 2006 01:24 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,477,228
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Nope property values have not gone down in most areas, but new homes do not appreciate, despite what the onsite sales people for the builders promised the buyers. 

There is often financing built into the pricing, when the buyer becomes a seller two years later that value is not there.   We are overbuilt.  We have aggressive builders in Central Ohio. We are sitting amidst cornfields.... you bought the house in 2004 and in 2006 your builder is building one cornfield over, offering a great rate, no money down, no closing costs on your floor plan AND the buyer can pick the counter, flooring that matches their things.   

That same home I described built in another part of town (less boonie-ish) could be $250,000 too.  Location, location, location. 

Nov 20, 2006 01:39 AM #8
Rainer
508,770
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist
Just out of curiosity... when you say "boonie-ish" - how far away from downtown (minutes/miles) are we talking about?
Nov 20, 2006 01:47 AM #9
Rainer
111,655
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO
This is so much more useful than 'What You Get For Your Money' - sorry HGTV! Brookline is very pricey, and has been for decades; It was a fascinating tour of these places.....great idea, and call me crazy but I'm thinking this could be a great email to a potential buyer for your listing in Sunrise. 
Nov 20, 2006 01:49 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,477,228
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

OK... I think I am probaly 25 minutes from downtown and this house is another 25 minutes away.  So lets guess 50 minutes...from downtown Columbus it is in Delaware County, where the average homeprice is over $300K and it is within the corporation of a city.  The southern end of Delaware County is much higher priced.  There are lots and lots of cornfields between the average priced homes in the county and this house. There are businesses along the main road, but behind the businesses are cornfields...

Columbus is on some list for not having traffic.  Now to most from Ohio we have traffic but it is not NYC traffic, not south Florida traffic, not Cleveland traffic..  When you are going through miles and miles of cornfield, there is not much to generate traffic.   

Nov 20, 2006 01:57 AM #11
Rainer
508,770
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist

Thanks, Carole!  It took quite a while to search Realtor.com for ten properties that fit the criteria and assemble them all here.  I was aware that the entire Boston Metro area is among the highest priced in the nation and am not surprised that you get so little for your money there.

MM - if you're going through miles and miles of cornfields, that means traffic lights are few and far apart.  These $300K+ average-priced homes... how big are the lots?  Around here, you're lucky to get a full 1/4 acre for $300-400K.

Nov 20, 2006 02:49 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,477,228
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

The $300K home  lots are not typically 1/2 acre...probably average 1/3 acre. Southern Delaware County there are lots and lots of traffic lights because this is right where the Polaris Mall is, there are stores, strip malls  along the "highway."  Then you go through miles with a stop light at every intersection of the old country roads... there are more lights than there were 5 years ago. Hit them right and you can sail... keep hitting them red and it can be a  very frustrating drive and lots loinger than the 25 minutes alloted.

Condo blog about my market inspired by Leanne, my muse.

Nov 20, 2006 03:01 AM #13
Rainer
270,151
Teresa Boardman
Boardman Realty - Saint Paul, MN
Our average price is around 230K.  What a person can buy for 200K is very different from one part of St. paul to another.  In highland park a person could get about 800 square feet, in the north end neighborood about 1800, in my neighborhood about 1200.
Nov 20, 2006 08:30 AM #14
Rainer
508,770
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist
Teresa, I imagined that would be the case - that what you can get throughout the many St. Paul neighborhoods could vary quite a bit.  I guess you could say that about most cities.
Nov 20, 2006 10:56 AM #15
Rainmaker
1,765,576
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate
Prices in the Las Vegas valley are similar to Sunrise ... unless you're looking on the Strip or out at Lake Las Vegas. There it's not surprising to find tiny 600 sq ft condos for $400,000 and higher.
Nov 20, 2006 04:20 PM #16
Rainer
508,770
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist
John, that sounds like the difference between buying in Sunrise and buying in Fort Lauderdale.  Condos in Fort Lauderdale are priced higher... a lot higher if they are in the "hot" areas of town.  If I knew 5 years ago what I know now... I'd have made a killing!  Unfortunately, hindsight is 20/20 and there's no going back.
Nov 20, 2006 11:05 PM #17
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Rainer
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S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL

Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist
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