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Looking to buy a home for $500,000? Here’s what you can expect to find.

Posted by adamparkernelson@gmail.com on May 1, 2018
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The spring home-buying season is in full swing, and many potential buyers are discouraged by what’s available within their budget. Low inventory has driven prices higher, making it more challenging to find an affordable home.

“To put it in perspective, the mid-Atlantic region as a whole has 2.5 months of supply,” said Gitika Kaul, a real estate agent with Wydler Brothers. Because a three-month supply is considered a balanced market, favoring neither seller nor buyer, this doesn’t sound too bad.

But when you drill down into the data, the Washington area is struggling. The Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan neighborhoods in Northwest Washington have just a 1.26-month supply of homes for sale on the market, down 2 percent from a year ago, Kaul said. Arlington has a 1.58-month supply, down 22 percent from a year ago. Rockville has a 1.13-month supply, down 44 percent from a year ago.

“No matter where you look around the D.C. metro area, there is a supply issue,” Kaul said. “There simply are not enough homes to put on the market, and this is proving to be a real problem for home buyers who are in constant stand-by mode waiting for something to pop onto the market. When that happens, even if the home is not perfect, or close to it, buyers are often forced to make quick decisions and put forth extra money to make the deal happen.”

As discouraging as that sounds, it is possible to find a home within your budget. It’s a matter of being willing to make concessions.

This month, in our occasional series that looks at what you can buy at a certain price point, we consider what’s on the market for $500,000.

“Location plays a huge role in determining what you can get for your money,” Kaul said. “In some parts of the D.C. metro area, $500,000 can buy you a single-family home. But in the most desirable parts of D.C., $500,000 will buy you a one-bedroom condo. The beauty of our area is that you can likely find a home within your budget, but you will have to be flexible about the location.”

If you want a single-family home, Kaul said, try looking over the river, in Anacostia. Or just over the border, in Silver Spring or Wheaton. Hyattsville also offers homes in this price range. If you are willing to take on a fixer-upper, Hill East has some options, but be prepared to compete with all-cash offers from investors. If you are determined to live downtown and pay no more than $500,000, you should be looking at one- or two-bedrooms condos.

“Be prepared to pay a notable condo fee, if they would like to have any amenities like a swimming pool, gym, concierge, elevator or garage,” Kaul said.

We asked the folks at Realtor.com to help us calculate what the monthly cost would be to own a $500,000 home. Of course, the amount of debt you have will alter these calculations. But, based on a 20 percent down payment and a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4.5 percent, the monthly mortgage payment on a $500,000 home would be about $2.728, including taxes and insurance. (Realtor.com used average national tax and insurance rates in its calculations.) To keep within the general guidelines of spending no more than 30 percent of your gross income on housing, a buyer would need to earn at least $109,125 to afford a home in this price range.

Within the $500,000 price range, the types of homes you can buy vary greatly. With the help of Realtor.com, we found a mix of properties at this price level in and around Washington and across the country that shows how much location affects price.

Wondering what $500,000 buys you? Here’s what we found.

The District

1324 Euclid St. NW, No. 106, Washington, D.C. (Photo by David Pipkin/Redfin)

$499,900

1324 Euclid St. NW, No. 106, Washington, D.C. 20009

2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom.

Square footage: 800.

Price per square foot: $625.

Lot size: N/A.

Features: The condo is in the Majestic, a 1930s art deco building in Columbia Heights that was renovated in 2004. The unit has an open floor plan, hardwood floors, recessed lighting, custom closets, and an in-unit washer and dryer. The kitchen has stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. The bathroom has a marble countertop and tiles. The monthly condo fee is $318.

Listing agent: Marshall Carey, Redfin.


4505 Sixth Pl. NE, Washington, D.C. (Photo by HomeVisit)

$484,999

4505 Sixth Pl. NE, Washington, D.C. 20017

3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms.

Square footage: 1,782.

Price per square foot: $272.

Lot size: 0.07 acre.

Features: Built in 1978, the three-level duplex in Brookland has been recently renovated. The house has an open floor plan with plenty of natural light. The lower level is finished with a rec room and powder room. In addition to a spacious front and back yard, there’s a garage and driveway parking.

Listing agent: Jocelyn Vas, American Realty Group.


418 Woodcrest Dr. SE, Unit B, Washington, D.C. (Photo by HomeVisit)

$479,900

418 Woodcrest Dr. SE, Washington, D.C. 20032

3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms.

Square footage: 2,383.

Price per square foot: $201.

Lot size: N/A.

Features: The newly built townhouse is in the Woodcrest Villas development in Congress Heights. The home has nine-foot ceilings and hardwood floors throughout the main level. The kitchen has granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and 42-inch cabinetry. The master suite has a large walk-in closet and wet bar. The monthly homeowners association dues are $351.

Listing agent: Kirby Mitchell, McEnearney Associates.

Maryland

1314 Wheaton Lane, Silver Spring, Md. (Photo by TruPlace)

$499,900

1314 Wheaton Lane, Silver Spring, Md. 20902

3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms.

Square footage: 2,754.

Price per square foot: $182.

Lot size: 0.14 acre.

Features: Built in 2000, the house in the Chestnut Hills neighborhood has three levels, hardwood floors on the main and top levels, a fireplace, a master suite with a walk-in closet, a finished basement, and a large deck off the kitchen and living room. The kitchen has granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. There’s a fenced back yard and a two-car garage.

Listing agent: Jacqueline Humenik, Re/Max Services.


604 Strawberry Row, Severn, Md. (Photo by Dave Heneberry/Artography.tours)

$500,000

604 Strawberry Row, Severn, Md. 21144

4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms.

Square footage: 2,552.

Price per square foot: $196.

Lot size: 0.13 acre.

Features: Built less than two years ago, the house in the Upton Farm community has hardwood floors, nine-foot ceilings and a gas fireplace. The kitchen has stainless steel appliances and a large island. The home has a security system and is wired for surround sound on the lower level. The monthly homeowners association dues are $55.

Listing agent: Marilyn Hendley, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate.


8509 Doubletree Ct., Frederick, Md. (Courtesy of the Five Doors Network)

$499,000

8509 Doubletree Ct., Frederick, Md. 21704

4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms.

Square footage: 2,826.

Price per square foot: $177.

Lot size: 1.07 acre.

Features: The 2003 center-hall Colonial has a hardwood floor in the foyer and carpeting in the living and dining room, as well as the first-floor office. Columns separate the living and dining areas. The spacious kitchen has a large island with granite countertops and a bight breakfast area. The family room has a fireplace. The expansive back yard has a deck that overlooks the woods. There is a two-car garage.

Listing agent: Chris Mabe, Keller Williams.

Virginia

6903 Columbia Dr., Alexandria, Va. (Photo by Jaren Drew Horsely/Linen & Lens)

$499,900

6903 Columbia Dr., Alexandria, Va. 22307

3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms.

Square footage: 1,080.

Price per square foot: $463.

Lot size: 0.32 acre.

Features: The 1950 Cape Cod in the Bucknell Manor neighborhood of Fairfax County has lots of natural light. The updated kitchen has granite countertops. Two of the three bedrooms are on the top level. The master suite is on the main level. The one-car garage is detached. The property has spacious front and side yards.

Listing agent: Kerry Adams, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.


7761 Asterella Ct., Springfield, Va. (Photo by Navjeet Saggu)

$489,999

7761 Asterella Ct., Springfield, Va. 22152

3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms.

Square footage: 1,566.

Price per square foot: $313.

Lot size: 0.04 acre.

Features: The 1984 townhouse in the Hunter Village community has hardwood floors and crown molding. The updated kitchen has granite countertops and a new backsplash. Outdoor spaces include two decks and a patio. The one-car garage is attached. The monthly homeowners association fee is $103. Amenities include a swimming pool, tennis courts and tot lots.

Listing agent: Irene Curry, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.


903 Young Dairy Ct., Herndon, Va. (Photo by TruPlace)

$499,900

903 Young Dairy Ct., Herndon, Va. 20170

3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms.

Square footage: 1,682.

Price per square foot: $297.

Lot size: 0.35 acre.

Features: The 1987 home has been updated with new exterior siding, roof, light fixtures, carpet and ceramic tile. The kitchen has granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Outdoor spaces include a welcoming front porch and spacious back deck that overlooks the wooded lot. The finished lower level has a wood-burning fireplace and sliding glass doors that open to the back yard. The two-car garage is attached.

Listing agent: Jack Griffin, Re/Max Preferred Properties.

National

11 Island Ave., No. 609, Miami Beach, Fla. (Photo by Nellie Barrios)

$499,000

11 Island Ave., No. 609, Miami Beach, Fla. 33139

1 bedroom, 2 bathrooms.

Square footage: 1,123.

Price per square foot: $444.

Lot size: N/A.

Features: The condo is at Costa Brava, a waterfront building that was built in the 1970s but has recently undergone a significant upgrade. The unit has white porcelain tile floors, a built-in sound system, a wine cooler in the kitchen and a large balcony. Building amenities include 24-hour security, a swimming pool that overlooks Biscayne Bay, tennis courts and a fitness center. The monthly condo fee is $738.

Listing agent: Nellie Barrios, the Keyes Co.


8181 Rosemead Lane, Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo by RC Fine Portraits)

$500,000

8181 Rosemead Lane, Indianapolis, Ind. 46240

4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms.

Square footage: 3,955.

Price per square foot: $126.

Lot size: 0.71 acre.

Features: The 1940 English cottage-style home is on the north side of Indianapolis. The arched front door is original to the house. The home has hardwood floors on the main and second levels, a great room with a vaulted ceiling and a fireplace. The eat-in kitchen has a tile backsplash and stainless steel appliances. The deck has a fire pit.

Listing agents: Mike and Melanie Scheetz, Century 21.


6914 NE Grand Ave., Portland, Ore. (Photo by Kent Skewes/Barefoot Studio)

$499,900

6914 Northeast Grand Ave., Portland, Ore. 97211

4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms.

Square footage: 2,312.

Price per square foot: $216.

Lot size: 0.14 acre.

Features: The 1900 bungalow has arched doorways, hardwood floors, wainscotting and a fireplace. The kitchen has stainless steel appliances. The master suite has a vaulted ceiling. The basement is unfinished. The large, fenced yard has garden beds. A carport is behind the house.

Listing agents: Sharon and Colton Mork, Coldwell Banker Bain.

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