WHAT CAN YOU GET for ten grand these days? Well, among your choices are houses - thousands of them.
It seems the bust the real estate market has been struggling to recover from has left behind a host of properties that can be picked up for a fraction of what they would have cost five years ago.
According to an article recently published on MSNBC, there are at least 10 major markets in the United States that each have at least 100 homes for sale for under $10,000. If you can pony up a bit more money, there are 17 cities with more than 100 homes for sale for less than $15,000.
And don't think all those homes are in in Detroit (although the Motor City recently had something more than 2,000 houses for sale for $10,000 or less). Even Los Angeles has $10,000 properties for sale - 18 of them in fact.
Most of those homes are foreclosures so buyers should approach these properties with a bit of patience. Also, it would be fair to call many of these houses "fixer-uppers."
While the number of "ultra low priced" houses is dropping from several years ago, there remain plenty of choices in numerous U.S. cities. Here are some examples of cities with at least 100 houses priced below $10,000:
- Atlanta at 234 houses.
- Baltimore at 207 houses. Here one of every 10 houses sold for under $10,000 during the first half of 2011.
- Chicago at 165 houses.
- Detroit at 2,300 houses.
While most houses are still selling for something more than $10,000, across the country housing prices are at the lowest they have been since the end of 2002. CNNMoney reported last week that overall housing prices dropped again in January and on average were down 34.4 percent from their 2006 peak.
According to CNN, eight cities hit new lows (Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Las Vegas, New York, Portland, Seattle and Tampa). On the upside, three of CNN's index cities showed gains in January - Phoenix, Washington, D.C. and Miami.
While some cities are showing improvement, the massive number of pending foreclosures and underwater homes promise to keep the pressure on housing prices around the country. At this point, it appears that it's anyone's guess as to when prices will stop falling.