With the housing market at the lowest point in years, we wanted to find out just what you can get for the median price of $350,000. What we discovered is the low market can give you hundreds of thousands of home sweet home options not available a couple of years ago.
You've heard all the phrases this year - short sale, foreclosure, bank-owned - but now that the dust has settled, the clear sign of a good deal is shining through.
Carri Long is a real estate agent for California Realty. She says homes throughout San Diego County aren't sitting for long.
"The affordability factor is probably the best it's been in the last eleven to twelve years. I think we're seeing the same values we saw a decade ago," Long said.
And that's bringing out first time home buyers like Jennifer Stepp.
"I think I am getting more for my money. At what we're looking at now, especially a couple years ago, these were brand new homes. They were going at 500 thousand," Stepp said.
So with that, our $350,000 challenge begins. We found a four-bedroom, 2.5-bath home with nearly 2,200 square feet in Otay Ranch in Chula Vista.
With a condo in Hillcrest, location is perhaps the key selling point.
"It's center city, it's close to the airport, you can walk to restaurants," Long said.
And you get a view of the bay, however, you give up living space. There are two bedrooms and two baths, but just under 1,000 square feet.
Then there's a duplex for roughly the same price of $350,000 in El Cajon. In all, with the duplex you get five bedrooms and four baths in 2,100 square feet. A duplex unit isn't your typical buyer's idea, but Carri says it can be a great investment.
"Rent the front out for $1,100 to $1,200 a month and you get to supplement that on your mortgage payment. You still have a three-bedroom, two-bath with a two-car garage, a yard and a nice neighborhood," Long said.
In the end, there are options right now in this buyer's market, but you may want to take Jennifer Stepp's advice and act quickly.
"I actually had a list of 12, but because they are going off the market so fast I'm only able to see four," she said.
Homes are flying off the market with multiple offers on each one. Carri Long says that many investors with cash in hand are scooping up what they can. She says buyers currently looking for a home should have their loan amount approved and be ready to sign the papers.
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