What $250,000 Can Buy You in America’s 50 Largest Cities

From tiny studio to near-mansion, here’s the range of your real estate options.

What $250,000 Can Buy You in America’s 50 Largest Cities

From tiny studio to near-mansion, here’s the range of your real estate options.

Owning property is one of the great joys, and headaches, in life. It’s an investment, a long-term project, and a place to call your own—and occasionally repair or perhaps completely renovate, if you’re up for that kind of thing. Your home is your castle. But if you’re buying in some of the country’s most saturated real estate markets, you probably aren’t going to be able to afford anything remotely resembling a castle—or even a proper house.

If you’re considering taking a jump and buying yourself a place, deciding in which city to buy is going to make a big impact on your options and the amount of space you’re going to be able to get. To help you decide, we’ve pulled together a representative roundup of what $250,000 can get you in the United States’ 50 largest cities. In some spots, you may be surprised how far your money will stretch, and others might just depress you. All info comes from Trulia—listings are available as of August 29, 2017 (lot sizes are in square feet unless otherwise specified).

And if renting is more your style, here’s what $2,000 can get you in America’s 50 largest cities.

New York, property

1
New York, NY

What You Can Buy: 579 W 215th St #2D
New York, NY 10034

Type of Property: Studio
Year Built: 1966
Square Footage: 550
Lot Size: 550
Number of Bedrooms: 0
Number of Bathrooms: 1

Space costs you in New York and this studio is no exception, it’s in a well-renovated and serviced building on the river with some splendid vistas—but it’s tiny. (If you’re feeling exhausted already, take a well-deserved break from house-hunting with one of the 5 best light-bodied red wines for extending your summer.)

Los Angeles, property

2
Los Angeles, CA

What You Can Buy: 743 E 79th St
Los Angeles, CA 90001

Type of Property: Single Family
Year Built: 1927
Square Footage: 1216
Lot Size: 5,201 sqft
Number of Bedrooms: 3
Number of Bathrooms: 1

In L.A. you can get a house that has admittedly seen better days and, if you’re gonna call it home, needs a serious upgrade.

Chicago, property

3
Chicago, IL

What You Can Buy: 4700 N Campbell Ave #1
Chicago, IL 60625

Type of Property: condo
Year Built: 1917
Square Footage: 4767
Lot Size: 4767
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Number of Bathrooms: 1

This well-preserved first-floor condo is near the up-and-coming Lincoln Square and comes with updated kitchen and amenities. When moving to Chicago, just keep in mind it’s illegal to take a nap on the dance floor—and for more questionably useful information like that, check out The 47 Weirdest Laws from Around the World.

Houston, property

4
Cleveland, OH

What You Can Buy: 2750 Wicklow Rd
Cleveland, OH 44120
Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1939
Square Footage: 2447
Lot Size: 0.39 acres
Number of Bedrooms: 4
Number of Bathrooms: 4

For a quarter-million, you can get this eight-room house in Shaker Heights, complete with a back patio, a front porch, and a garage. Sure, it’s the suburbs, but it’s a lot more space than you’d get in a lot of big cities.

Phoenix, property

5
Phoenix, AZ

What You Can Buy: 2129 E Saltsage Dr
Phoenix, AZ 85048

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1994
Square Footage: 1755
Lot Size: 3049
Number of Bedrooms: 3
Number of Bathrooms: 2 ½

This is a two-story house with, yes, some visible tear and wear, in a suburban neighborhood—but it’s near park and hiking trails and comes with beautiful mountain views. While you’re in the area, why not take a trip Sedona, Arizona, home to one of the 15 most luxurious spas in America?

Philadelphia, property

6
Philadelphia, PA

What You Can Buy: 130-36 N Bread St #411
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Type of Property: condo
Year Built: 1900
Square Footage: 908
Lot Size: 908
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Number of Bathrooms: 1

This is a trendy renovated lofty one-bedroom in Old City, right near Franklin Square, with exposed brick walls and a spiral staircase that’s certain to bring out the artist in anyone.

San Antonio, property

7
San Antonio, TX

What You Can Buy: 12907 Waterlily Way
San Antonio, TX 78254

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 2013
Square Footage: 1795
Lot Size: 6969
Number of Bedrooms: 3
Number of Bathrooms: 2

$250k in San Antonio will net you a spacious house in the far western outskirts of town, near Government Canyon State Park, with a huge back yard and an entertaining deck with jaw-dropping views of the canyon.

San Diego, property

8
San Diego, CA

What You Can Buy: 6955 Alvarado Rd #41
San Diego, CA 92120

Type of Property: condo
Year Built: 1970
Square Footage: 879
Lot Size: 2.91 acres
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Number of Bathrooms: 2

This is a bare essentials two-bedroom condo near Lake Murray—a bit far from downtown, sure, but close to nature.

Dallas, property

9
Dallas, TX

What You Can Buy: 4311 Copeland St
Dallas, TX 75210

Type of Property: multi family
Year Built: 1925
Square Footage: 2640
Lot Size: 7840
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Number of Bathrooms: 1

In East Dallas, you can expect $250,000 to get you little more than four walls and a roof—yet an ideal opportunity for flipping.

San Jose, property

10
San Jose, CA

What You Can Buy: 444 Lily Ann Way
San Jose, CA 95123

Type of Property: mobile/ manufactured
Year Built: 1977
Square Footage: 1584
Lot Size: 1584
Number of Bedrooms: 4
Number of Bathrooms: 2

The southern suburbs of San Jose offer the basic amenities: a tiny back yard with a sunroom and some orchard trees.

Austin, property

11
Austin, TX

What You Can Buy: 4711 Spicewood Springs Rd #9-152
Austin, TX 78759

Type of Property: condo
Year Built: 1985
Square Footage: 979
Lot Size: 5662
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Number of Bathrooms: 1

This 2-bed condo is in on the northern outskirts of Austin, near the Bull Creek Greenbelt, in a gated community with a plush wooded setting that offers plenty of peace and quiet.

Jacksonville, property

12
Jacksonville, FL

What You Can Buy: 6298 Oleta Way
Jacksonville, FL 32258

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 2006
Square Footage: 2049
Lot Size: 0.27 acres
Number of Bedrooms: 4
Number of Bathrooms: 2

On the southern fringes of Jacksonville, in Bartram Springs, $250k will get you a good amount of space and all the works of a family home.

San Francisco, property

13
San Francisco, CA

What You Can Buy: 1450 Post St #502
San Francisco, CA 94109

Type of Property: condo
Year Built: 1992
Square Footage: 540
Lot Size: 540
Number of Bedrooms: 1
Number of Bathrooms: 1

By San Francisco standards, this is a steal: a renovated condo in a building for the elderly that is centrally located near Japan Town, perfect for culture and dining.

Columbus, property

14
Columbus, OH

What You Can Buy: 1299 Franklin Ave
Columbus, OH 43205

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1900
Square Footage: 1667
Lot Size: n/a
Number of Bedrooms: 3
Number of Bathrooms: 3

A quarter million in Columbus will net you a two-bedroom condo near Franklin Park, in Old Town East, complete with a third-floor jacuzzi and skylights.

Indianapolis, property

15
Indianapolis, IN

What You Can Buy: 1325 Central Ave #2
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Type of Property: condo
Year Built: 1910
Square Footage: 1143
Lot Size: n/a
Number of Bedrooms: 1
Number of Bathrooms: 1

This is a centrally located renovated one-bedroom condo in a vintage building with old world finishes and an impressively spacious porch.

Fort Worth, property

16
Fort Worth, TX

What You Can Buy: 6239 Rendon New Hope Rd
Fort Worth, TX 76140

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1980
Square Footage: 2092
Lot Size: 1.54 acres
Number of Bedrooms: 3
Number of Bathrooms: 2

Here, we have a country home in the southern suburbs of Fort Worth that comes with all the basics and enough outdoor space to start a farm, if you so desire.

Charlotte, property

17
Charlotte, NC

What You Can Buy: 606 Regency Dr
Charlotte, NC 28211

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1979
Square Footage: 2007
Lot Size: .28 acres
Number of Bedrooms: 4
Number of Bathrooms: 2 1/2

In Charlotte, you can pick up a spacious home with the sweetest amenity of all: a hot tub! Plus, this place has great outdoor space and some full-grown trees.

Seattle, property

18
Seattle, WA

What You Can Buy: 1525 NW 57th St #312
Seattle, WA 98107

Type of Property: condo
Year Built: 2000
Square Footage: 458
Lot Size: 458
Number of Bedrooms: 0
Number of Bathrooms: 1

Seattle offers a tiny condo with a centralized location in a building with luxury amenities, including a sauna, a gym, a hot tub, a rooftop deck, and two parking spots.

Denver, property

19
Denver, CO

What You Can Buy: 11905 Monroe St
Thornton, CO 80233

Type of Property: townhouse
Year Built: 1978
Square Footage: 1178
Lot Size: 2178
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Number of Bathrooms: 1 1/2

This is a suburban home with some exterior cosmetic renovation and a tiny backyard. Plus, the address is in biking distance to basic shopping.

El Paso, property

20
El Paso, TX

What You Can Buy: 55013 US Highway 62/180
El Paso, TX 79938

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 2008
Square Footage: 2174
Lot Size: 50.05 acres
Number of Bedrooms: 4
Number of Bathrooms: 2

Everything is bigger in Texas, and that especially goes for El Paso; the locale is not short on space. For example, check out this spacious desert hacienda with 50 acres of land attached to it.

Washington, D.C., property

21
Washington, D.C.

What You Can Buy: 3601 Wisconsin Ave NW #708
Washington, DC 20016

Type of Property: condo
Year Built: 1950
Square Footage: 569
Lot Size: 187
Number of Bedrooms: 0
Number of Bathrooms: 1

Space in our capitol is not taken lightly, and this tiny condo, with only the most basic of amenities, all the way in the far corners of the city, is a prime example of that.

Boston, property

22
Boston, MA

What You Can Buy: 379 Meridian St #301
Boston, MA 02128

Type of Property: condo
Year Built: 1920
Square Footage: 536
Lot Size: 536
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Number of Bathrooms: 1

Boston offers a possible business opportunity with a large lot that needs ground-up rebuild, but is located in a pleasant, peaceful, from-from-downtown neighborhood.

Detroit, property

23
Detroit, MI

What You Can Buy: 11817 Kenmoor St
Detroit, MI 48205

Type of Property: multi family
Year Built: 1929
Square Footage: 1998
Lot Size: 4791
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Number of Bathrooms: 1

In the ravaged Detroit real estate market, offerings like this well-located house—that could admittedly use some retouching—are sure to bring people back to town.

Nashville, property

24
Nashville, TN

What You Can Buy: 5025 Hillsboro Pike #23S
Nashville, TN 37215

Type of Property: condo
Year Built: 1969
Square Footage: 1542
Lot Size: 1742
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Number of Bathrooms: 2

This is in the lush Green Hills neighborhood and offers an impressive amount of space for a two-bedroom. Plus, it comes with two balconies and plenty of green areas outside.

Memphis, property

25
Memphis, TN

What You Can Buy: 4493 Glenchase Dr
Bartlett, TN 38135

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1997
Square Footage: 2758
Lot Size: 0.34 acres
Number of Bedrooms: 3
Number of Bathrooms: 2

Memphis offers this neatly remodeled house with a massive yard, a pool, and a backyard deck, as well as plenty of interior space.

Portland, property

26
Portland, OR

What You Can Buy: 12003 SE Schiller St
Portland, OR 97266

Type of Property: townhouse
Year Built: 1999
Square Footage: 1963
Lot Size: 2613
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Number of Bathrooms: 3

In hipster haven Portland, you can pick up this medium-sized townhouse with all basics and some recent cosmetic upgrades.

Oklahoma City, property

27
Oklahoma City, OK

What You Can Buy: 1332 SW 108th Pl
Oklahoma City, OK 73170

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1985
Square Footage: 2587
Lot Size: 9583
Number of Bedrooms: 5
Number of Bathrooms: 3

In Oklahoma City, you get a solid deal with this huge house—plenty of outdoor space and a giant pool.

Las Vegas, property

28
Las Vegas, NV

What You Can Buy: 4551 Carriage Park Dr
Las Vegas, NV 89121

Type of Property: multi family
Year Built: 1984
Square Footage: 3672
Lot Size: 2178
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Number of Bathrooms: 2

This minimalistic remodeled condo in a small building comes with a ton of space and a location not far from The Strip: Perfect for practicing how to double your Vegas winnings.

Louisville, property

29
Louisville, KY

What You Can Buy: 2001 Lancashire Ave #302
Louisville, KY 40205

Type of Property: condo
Year Built: 2006
Square Footage: 1543
Lot Size: 1543
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Number of Bathrooms: 2

Louisville offers a medium-sized condo with a lot of open space, natural light, and a walk-in closet—all not far from the bustling, budding downtown.

Baltimore, property

30
Baltimore, MD

What You Can Buy: 8411 Allison Ln
Baltimore, MD 21237

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1955
Square Footage: 1972
Lot Size: 0.27 acres
Number of Bedrooms: 5
Number of Bathrooms: 3 1/2

Baltimore’s suburbs offer great value with this spacious and completely remodeled house.

Milwaukee, property

31
Milwaukee, WI

What You Can Buy: 2017 N Cambridge Ave #5
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Type of Property: condo
Year Built: n/a
Square Footage: 1473
Lot Size: 1473
Number of Bedrooms: 3
Number of Bathrooms: 2 1/2

This condo on Milwaukee’s Lower East Side is well-maintained and comes with a two-car garage and a decent amount of space for a city dwelling.

Albuquerque, property

32
Albuquerque, NM

What You Can Buy: 8216 Calle Ensueno NW
Albuquerque, NM 87120

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1993
Square Footage: 1818
Lot Size: 0.26 acres
Number of Bedrooms: 4
Number of Bathrooms: 2

This classic desert villa near Petroglyph National Monument offers a well-maintained interior, a huge back yard, and a spacious pool.

Tucson, property

33
Tucson, AZ

What You Can Buy: 3613 E Canter Rd
Tucson, AZ 85739

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 2005
Square Footage: 2082
Lot Size: 7405
Number of Bedrooms: 4
Number of Bathrooms: 2

Tucson suburbs near Catalina State Park offer great values on space and amenity quality. For example, check out this single-level house, which comes with a property nearly four times the size of the building.

Fresno, property

34
Fresno, CA

What You Can Buy: 5608 W Swift Ave
Fresno, CA 93722

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1997
Square Footage: 1859
Lot Size: 6098
Number of Bedrooms: 3
Number of Bathrooms: 2

This Fresno home is, sure, a bit stylistically outdated, but comes with a good amount of outdoor space and is well-located, not too far from shopping and dining options.

Sacramento, property

35
Sacramento, CA

What You Can Buy: 878 Woodside Ln E #4
Sacramento, CA 95825

Type of Property: condo
Year Built: 1970
Square Footage: 1632
Lot Size: 2178
Number of Bedrooms: 3
Number of Bathrooms: 2 1/2

Basic amenities, convenient parking, centralized location, and lush, beautiful grounds—a quarter million in Sacramento gets you all that you need.

Mesa, property

36
Mesa, AZ

What You Can Buy: 3156 E Garnet Ave
Mesa, AZ 85204

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1983
Square Footage: 1800
Lot Size: 9583
Number of Bedrooms: 4
Number of Bathrooms: 2

This is renovated home comes with an enormous backyard, but could use someone with a green thumb to make the grounds more inviting.

Kansas City, MO, property

37
Kansas City, MO

What You Can Buy: 9829 N Montclair Ave
Kansas City, MO 64154

Type of Property: townhouse
Year Built: 2001
Square Footage: 2855
Lot Size: 1306
Number of Bedrooms: 3
Number of Bathrooms: 3 1/2

Kansas City offers a charming townhouse in an upscale area with a great view from a private deck—and a built-in elevator!

Atlanta, property

38
Atlanta, GA

What You Can Buy: 1661 La France St NE #425
Atlanta, GA 30307

Type of Property: condo
Year Built: 2004
Square Footage: 1056
Lot Size: 1056
Number of Bedrooms: 1
Number of Bathrooms: 1 1/2

In Atlanta, you can get a hip loft that would cost you a fortune in New York. It’s a bit out of the way, in a quiet, friendly neighborhood, and—fun fact—was converted from an old lumber mill.

Long Beach, property

39
Long Beach, CA

What You Can Buy: 23 N Alboni Pl
Long Beach, CA 90802

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1920
Square Footage: 798
Lot Size: 8276
Number of Bedrooms: 1
Number of Bathrooms: 1

Long Beach offers value—in terms of nearly oceanfront property—with this very polished one-bedroom that has lots of natural light and a downtown-adjacent location.

Colorado Springs, property

40
Colorado Springs, CO

What You Can Buy: 2670 Charlottesville Dr
Colorado Springs, CO 80922

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1993
Square Footage: 2536
Lot Size: 4791
Number of Bedrooms: 4
Number of Bathrooms: 4

This offers a lot of value in terms of space, but is on the eastern outskirts of the city. (Also, most of the internal fixtures could use an update.)

Raleigh, property

41
Raleigh, NC

What You Can Buy: 9506 Vira Dr
Raleigh, NC 27617

Type of Property: townhouse
Year Built: 2003
Square Footage: 2170
Lot Size: 3049
Number of Bedrooms: 3
Number of Bathrooms: 2 1/2

This sizable home comes with a beautiful, modern kitchen—complete with state-of-the-art fixtures—in an peaceful, quiet neighborhood.

Miami, property

42
Miami, FL

What You Can Buy: 11111 Biscayne Blvd #1815
Miami, FL 33181

Type of Property: condo
Year Built: 1968
Square Footage: 1408
Lot Size: 1408
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Number of Bathrooms: 2

In Miami, you get a two-bedroom condo with breathtaking views of the bay area—and a painfully tacky carpet.

Virginia Beach, property

43
Virginia Beach, VA

What You Can Buy: 4476 Salem Springs Way
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Type of Property: townhouse
Year Built: 2002
Square Footage: 1842
Lot Size: 1842
Number of Bedrooms: 3
Number of Bathrooms: 2 1/2

Virginia Beach offers a ton of value with this well-maintained house that comes with great fixtures and a quality outdoor space.

Omaha, property

44
Omaha, NE

What You Can Buy: 6412 S 91st Avenue Cir
Omaha, NE 68127

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1986
Square Footage: 3625
Lot Size: 0.32 acres
Number of Bedrooms: 4
Number of Bathrooms: 5

This Nebraska home is perfect for a huge family: lots of space, a three-car garage, heated floors—for those cold winter evenings—and a vaunted living room.

Oakland, property

45
Oakland, CA

What You Can Buy: 2531 Wallace St
Oakland, CA 94606

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 2017
Square Footage: 1937
Lot Size: 2613
Number of Bedrooms: 4
Number of Bathrooms: 4

This spacious unit is in the Highland Terrace neighborhood of Oakland and offers a far fairer value compared to prices across the bay.

Minneapolis, property

46
Minneapolis, MN

What You Can Buy: 416 Broadway St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Type of Property: multi family
Year Built: 1900
Square Footage: 2322
Lot Size: 4392
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Number of Bathrooms: 2

This is a very under-maintained property, but primely located in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis. With the right improvements, a new owner could boost its value through the roof.

Tulsa, property

47
Tulsa, OK

What You Can Buy: 4322 E 79th Pl
Tulsa, OK 74136

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1976
Square Footage: 3579
Lot Size: 10454
Number of Bedrooms: 5
Number of Bathrooms: 3 1/2

Tulsa offers a great property in pristine condition with an impressively large yard, located in a quiet suburb offering a very charming interior and great amenities.

Arlington, property

48
Arlington, TX

What You Can Buy: 1307 Crest Glen Dr
Arlington, TX 76002

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 2002
Square Footage: 2813
Lot Size: 8276
Number of Bedrooms: 4
Number of Bathrooms: 3 1/2

You can pick up a 4-bed in sunny Arlington that comes with a huge back yard and plenty of indoor space. But be warned: it comes with some outdated kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

New Orleans, property

49
New Orleans, LA

What You Can Buy: 3511 Rue Michelle
New Orleans, LA 70131

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: n/a
Square Footage: 3138
Lot Size: 8625
Number of Bedrooms: 4
Number of Bathrooms: 3 1/2

This is a well-preserved colonial in a good area on a quiet street in Bocage, with a huge backyard, a covered patio, and plenty of green space.

Wichita, property

50
Wichita, KS

What You Can Buy: 2507 N Cranbrook Ct
Wichita, KS 67226

Type of Property: single family
Year Built: 1994
Square Footage: 3553
Lot Size: 0.28 acres
Number of Bedrooms: 5
Number of Bathrooms: 3

Wichita offers this truly enormous home with beautiful backyard that ends in a private tree line. If you’re looking to expand a little bit more than this, here are The 50 Best Cities in the U.S. for Buying a Mansion.

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