If the American dream is to own your own home, $500,000 can purchase a dreamy model in most cities in the U.S.
Considering that the average sales price for new homes sold in the U.S. in December 2017 was $398,900, a half a mill price tag leaves lots of room for some swanky extras.
Naturally, in some markets there will be more amenities at that price point, maybe even four bedrooms, two baths and four or five extra acres worth.
Here's how listed homes with a $500,000 price tag compare in seven major cities. While each property has its luxuries and regional differences in price, all would make a home, sweet American home.
4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2,996 square feet on 0.36 acres
As of December 2017 Austin continued to have one of the highest demands for housing in the nation, particularly where price points are the lowest, according to Austin Homes Research. There may be a bit more wiggle room at the higher price points, like this sizable house listed at $499,000 that includes three patios, travertine floors and an extra golf cart garage. It's also about 20 miles outside Austin, where house prices decline a wee bit, in a neighborhood where the average listing price is $449,252.
Hoboken, New Jersey
1 bedroom, 1 bath condo
The private outdoor patio complete with hot tub is a huge draw for this property. No. 6 on HomeSnack's list of the 10 most expensive cities in New Jersey, Hoboken market trends identified an increase of $133,000 in median home sales over the past year, according to Trulia. So while this newly renovated condo in a prime downtown location is contemporary and luxurious, it's not very large. Features include hardwood floors throughout, recessed lighting, central heat and air and an updated kitchen with all the desirable elements, from built-in fridge with wine rack to granite counters and stainless appliances.
4 bedroom, 3 baths, 3,343 square feet
Though the New Orleans market is showing signs of cooling down after raucous growth in 2014 and 2015, the average listing price still tops $1 million in some neighborhoods, like the Garden District, according to Trulia. But $500,000 can still buy a substantial and stylish property, like this two-story succession property with a private rear yard, inground pool, attached two-car garage and ample off-street parking. Nestled in West Lakeshore, it's a short walk from the lakefront, NOLA restaurants and shopping.
4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 3,074 square feet
Sure, upstate New York is cold in the winter, with an average low of 16F in January, but fantastic property values can go a long way towards making up for the freezing temperatures. This nearly half-million dollar two-story Colonial, for example, features cathedral ceilings, lavish amounts of room to entertain and more than six acres of land with its very own fruit trees.
4 bedroom, 2 baths, 1,794 square feet
Ranked No. 8 on Realtor.com's list of the "10 best affordable outdoorsy cities," metro Atlanta definitely offers some landscape with the $500,000 price tag. This ranch home includes an oversized dining room, expansive deck, hardwood floors and a two-car garage beside the lawn and mudroom entrance. It's affordable by the standards of this Brookhaven neighborhood inside the Perimeter in a highly desirable school district, where the average listing price is $748,920.
1 bedroom, 1 bath condo
In Seattle's very hot, tech-industry driven housing market, a condo that costs $500,000 is well below the median sale price for the 98112 zip code, which is $1,150,000. This offering is unique for the Emerald City, a 1920s Art Deco building with lobby detailing preserved from the original. The corner view condo features wood trim, leaded glass doors, an office nook. Even more rare for a Capitol Hill vintage building, it has storage and parking.
5 bedrooms, 6 baths, 3,311 square feet
In affordable Kissimmee, Florida, a $500,000 home like this one may include a pool. Other features include a summer kitchen with pool bath and shower, all upgraded pool patio furniture and new paint.