Feb. 7, 2017
Say you're looking at house around $300,000. In some cities, that will buy you several thousand square feet, a big lot and some amenities like tile floors, granite countertops and maybe a pool.
In New York City, it might net you a closet.
Point2Point Homes, a real estate market site, looked at how much you home could buy in the 50 largest U.S. cities with a mortgage of $300,000.
In Manhattan, you could wind up in 165 sq. ft. “studio” that could fit either a bed or a desk -- your choice. On the other hand, in Memphis you could buy a 4,478 sq. ft. mansion, with enough space for an exercise room, craft cave or what ever you can come up with.
People say real estate is all about location, location, location. But you can add size into that equation. Elbow room matters as much as the presence of free-trade organic coffee shops, bike sharing and public transportation.
We’ve looked at the US median home size – 1,700 square feet – and the US median listing price – $300,000 – to get an idea of what living space and prices look like around America. Once you factor in the average asking prices for each city, the numbers might shock you. Have a look:
- For $300,000 you won’t be able to afford an average-sized home in any of the first 20 cities in our analysis. Start with Dallas, if you need at least average elbow room.
- You could buy 1,700 square foot homes in all of New York City’s outer boroughs (plus one in Los Angeles) for the price of one home of equal size in Manhattan.
- You could buy 1,700 square foot homes in 5 major cities in neighboring states, for the price of one home of equal size in San Francisco (and still have cash for a sports car left over)
- You can buy 4 median sized houses in Detroit for $300,000. Or just one really huge, 7,000 sq. ft. mansion.
- You can buy two median sized homes and a 1,000 sq. ft. condo in Memphis for $300,000.
In the chart below, hover over the squares to see exactly how many square feet you get for $300,000. The areas dedicated to each city are proportional, so you get an at-a-glance perspective on the size differences.