Homes: What you can buy for around $500,000

  • Photo courtesy of Zillow

    What can you buy for half a million dollars in today's real estate market? This price point is a unique one, bridging the gap between what's considered average and luxury.

    If "average" is the U.S. median home value, which is currently at $177,500 according to Zillow, and a luxury property is any home priced at $1 million or more, these $500,000 houses fall about the middle. Of course, in some markets, $500,000 will buy a lot of square footage and ample amenities. In others, it'll buy a modest apartment at best.

    For example, in Las Vegas you can buy a four bedroom house with its own gas fire pit and putting green. In New York City, you can buy a two bedroom apartment with a cramped kitchen and the luxury of doing your laundry indoors.

    Here is what around $500,000 will buy in 10 cities across the country.

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    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns ThinkGlink.com, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.