So what home can I buy with half a million dollars around the country? When it comes to home shopping and staying within a budget, what a difference a town makes. We explored a few desirable places to hang our hat and call it home.
The first thing we ask is could I live here, for reals? Of course, everyone has their own version of “home,” some need the walkability and vibe no matter how dense the neighborhood is.
Others need to spread their wings, maybe raise some friendly bees (more on backyard beekeeping later). We’re going to pretend that the 500k is real, fits nicely in our pocket, and see where we land.
Highland Park– Los Angeles, CA US$505,000.
First, let’s be clear. in Los Angeles, the weather is built into the price, and boy does that come at a cost! Hitting Highland Park we find this newly remodeled 2 bed, 1 bath home priced at US$505,000.
Coming in at only 594 square feet, half a million doesn’t get you much house space here, but you’ll be glad to know there are lots to do outside and all around the area. Still, the quaint backyard can be fully realized year-round with such mild LA weather.
Just a short walk away, you’ll hit the vibe of the newly gentrified Figueroa St. with quite possibly the coolest vintage bowling alley in the world, Highland Park Bowl.
With its close proximity to downtown Los Angeles, Dodger Stadium, and Griffith Park, this area has seen a tremendous transformation with some of the best restaurants on the east side, making this a hot spot for buying a home.
Upper West Side– Manhattan, NY US$475,000.
If you’re going to go for it and really want to experience New York City, you can land this 1 bed, 1 bath, 600 square feet co-op for US$475,000.
Just one block from Central Park, this place gets tons of light and great views from the West and South. Hardwood floors throughout provide detail & character living in the vibrant Manhattan Valley neighborhood.
Leawood, Kansas City – Kansas US$499,000
For around half a million dollars here in the Leawood neighborhood, you’re jumping into some serious square footage. At 6,600 square feet with 5 beds, 5.5 baths, and over half an acre of land to frolic, you have a completely different lifestyle in suburbia. We find this lifestyle closer to finding a home and living in Boise, Idaho, now a trendy place to live.
Leawood is a tight-knit community that really makes this a special place to live, and the charming style of houses, along with the pride that people take in their properties all adds to a great neighborhood where you get a lotta house!
All bedrooms have private baths and the hearth & great room has a see-thru fireplace. The library comes with built-ins. In spite of lacking some flooring, this home has spectacular charm just lacking a little elbow grease to bring it back to its stately status.
We see this as the perfect opportunity to add some of these dream furnishings.
Crestview, Austin, TX US$450,000.
LA has the weather, Austin has the vibe, and that means buying a home in Austin comes at a price. Dubbed the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin’s nightlife is vibrant and endless.
Austin’s bars and 200+ live music venues are easy to get to from here, but it’s nice to know you can always escape to your own little paradise here in Texas.
We found this 948 square foot, 3 bed, 1 bath home in one of Austin’s most desirable neighborhoods. Developed in the 1950s and 60s on the location of an old dairy farm, Crestview is a vintage Austin residential neighborhood.
Made up of mostly one or one-and-a-half-story bungalow and ranch-style homes on mature tree-lined streets.
Calhoun-Isles, Minneapolis, MN US$499,900.
Here, you’ll pay half a million dollars to be close to the water. The Calhoun-Isles neighborhood embodies three of the city’s lakes—Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, and Cedar Lake—are all in this community. With this home, you’re just 2 blocks away from Lake Calhoun, also known as Bde Maka Ska.
We found this 2,636 square foot home in a great location in this neighborhood, complete with 5 beds and 2 baths. As the Realtor suggests, you can also park up to 6 cars here.
Other features include stunning woodwork, high ceilings and additional parking in Uptown. This turn of the century home offers grand living and dining rooms, a sunroom, a large front porch, leaded & stained glass windows, gorgeous maple floors with walnut inlay. If Minneapolis is your game, then this is a lot of charm for the money.
So what fun is a home without being chased around by bees? Actually, backyard beekeeping is quite popular, and many cities allow it, including Los Angeles who passed the ordinance in 2015.
And wouldn’t you know it, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers was one of the biggest advocates for this LA ordinance, who now supposedly has 3 hives with 60,000 bees in each one buzzing around his yard. Hey, we need more bees and Flea’s doing his part.
By now you must also be wondering if I can really get US$500,000 inside my pockets like the headline suggests. I’m guessing no, but I did find out you can fit 48 cubic inches of spaghetti in your pockets if you’re looking for something to do. Here’s the math.