The U.S. experienced a major housing boom in 2020, as record-low mortgage rates and the growing practice of working from home increased demand for housing from millennials and Gen Xers. As of the beginning of 2021, home values had increased more than 9% year over year, the largest increase since 2006, according to real estate data company Zillow.
The median size of a home in the U.S. was 1,482 square feet as of March 2021, and the median value was $240,500. Many homebuyers, of course, are opting for less expensive homes, closer to the $200,000 range. While there are $200,000 homes in almost any part of the country, the median size of such a house can differ from nearly 2,000 square feet in one state to half that size in another.
To determine how much home you can buy for $200,000 in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on median square footage by home value from real estate database company Zillow.
Housing prices in a given state tend to reflect what the residents of that area can afford. In states with relatively low incomes, $200,000 homes are much larger than homes at that price in more affluent states. In each of America’s five wealthiest states, most $200,000 homes are less than 1,300 sq. ft. Yet in the country’s five least wealthy states, the median size of a $200,000 home is well above 1,700 sq. ft. These are America’s richest and poorest states.
Homes generally increase in value over time, and buying a home is a good way to build wealth. Homeowners, however, must keep in mind all the extra costs that come with homeownership — costs like maintenance, utilities and other bills, and property taxes. States tax homeowners anywhere between 0.4% and 2.1% of their home’s value in aggregate property taxes, typically adding up to thousands of dollars per year to household costs. These are the states with the highest and lowest property taxes.
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Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.