According to the National Association of Realtors®, in February 2018 the median price for an existing home in the northeastern United States was $258,900. And the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that the median sales price for new houses sold in the U.S. last month was $326,800.
Since it costs that much to buy a fairly average home today, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at some current examples of what you could get in our region if you invested a little more, say, in the $500,000 range.
They say the three most important words in real estate are “location, location, location” (unless you sign a purchase and sales agreement without telling your spouse, in which case the three most important words would be, “You did what?!?” But that’s the subject of another article). As you’ll see, location directly impacts the value of each of the following currently-listed half million dollar homes.
Portsmouth, NH--$517,700 today will buy you in late July (when construction is complete) a two bed, one and three quarter bath garden level condominium with 1,512 square feet of livable space on a single level. This condo will offer an open concept kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and a huge center island. The living area will be adorned with a corner gas fireplace, and the master bedroom will offer a walk-in closet and an adjoining bathroom with a step in shower.
The listing boasts that “the ‘Seavey’ home is everything you've been looking for!” I didn’t know what that meant but the exclamation point implied it was exciting, so I googled the definition. According to the top search result at Urban Dictionary, “Seavey” can be used as a noun, verb and adjective. The adjective form means “super-cool or just plain awesome.” I assume that’s what the listing agent meant, as the verb’s definition would make Stormy Daniels blush and this unit doesn’t even have a chimney.
This property’s development is located in Middle Hill, which, according to the developer’s website, is “only a 1 mile walk or bike ride to the vibrant Portsmouth downtown…” and, I presume, all the specialty salts and pet foods, raw juices and oxygen, cigars, candles, yoga, and psychic readings that a hip urbanite’s heart could desire.
Rye, NH--$525,000 will buy you a one bed, three quarter bath (with radiant floor heat), 600 square foot year-round beach cottage with 0.2 acres, steps away from Wallis Sands Beach.
According to the listing, this 1955 era “property was completely rebuilt in 2016 with finishing touches this year,” and features granite leather finished counter tops, stainless steel appliances, “wood-grain finish on tiled floor throughout,” an outdoor shower with its own hot water tank, and a large patio and yard with privacy fence.
Boston, MA--$539,000 will get you a one bed, one bath, 520 square foot parlor level (a few steps above street level) brownstone condo in the heart of Boston, “just steps to dining and cafes on Tremont and Copley Square.”
Originally built in 1860, “this unit has an open kitchen, hardwood floors, full bathroom and ample sized bedroom.” In addition to the $1,037 per square foot list price, you’d have to pay homeowners association fees of $290 per month ($3,480 per year).
Laconia, NH--$524,900 will buy you my latest listing, an adorable four-season one bed, one bath, waterfront cottage on one of the best lots in quiet, private, no-wake Pickerel Cove, which connects you to over forty-five thousand acres of beautiful Paugus Bay and Lake Winnipesaukee water.
Located on a quiet, dead-end street a quarter mile from the community's shared private sandy beach, this 674 square foot completely updated 1966 era home sits on .61 acres and features a boat slip and 125’ of waterfront, which is literally just steps away.
There are water and Belknap mountain views from the 9’ x 8’ front deck, the large paver patio, the 17’ x 8’ heated lakeside sunroom and the spacious, open concept living room. The adjoining kitchen area is adorned with exotic granite countertops, high end laminate flooring and new cabinets. The bedroom and bathroom are surprisingly roomy and the property includes a storage shed and an external, seasonal multipurpose room that could be used as a bunkhouse for guests or a workshop.
So there you have a few examples of what $500K can buy you in a prime “location, location, location” in today’s market: a “Seavey” new Portsmouth condo or a bit of Boston brownstone within walking distance to shopping, dining and entertainment, a seacoast cottage adjacent to a bustling public beach that you share with throngs of tourists, or your very own personal paradise with interior and exterior views of the Lakes Region’s water and mountains. If you’d like to learn more about the latter please visit www.87HarglenLane.com.