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Guess How Much These Houses Cost


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July 05, 2005

Guess How Much These Houses Cost

Peter Coy

How much do these two four-bedroom houses cost?

Clue #1: They're in different cities.

Clue #2: The house in the big picture on top is in Youngstown, Ohio, which is listed by the National Association of Realtors as the cheapest metro area for housing in the U.S.

Clue #3: The house in the little picture on the bottom is in Saratoga, Calif., which is in the San Francisco Bay area, which the NAR says is the metro area with the most expensive housing in the country.

Scroll down for the answers ....

... keep scrolling ...

Youngstown house: $49,900, listed by D'Amico Agency

Saratoga house: $3,999,000, listed by Intero Real Estate Services

Hmmmm. Which to buy? On the one hand, just the 5% commission on the Saratoga house would be enough to buy the Youngstown house four times over. On the other hand, it's a long commute from Youngstown to the Bay Area. On the other other hand, the most you can possibly lose on the Youngstown house is $49,900. Tough call ....

10:52 AM

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A new BusinessWeek real estate blog, Hot Property, shows a mouthwatering deal in Youngstown, Ohio. [Read More]

Tracked on July 7, 2005 07:39 AM

$49,900 for the Youngstown house seems really cheap. There must be something seriously wrong with it.

Posted by: JLP at AllThingsFinancial at July 7, 2005 01:23 PM

The reason the Youngstown house is so cheap is that Youngstown is the former home of the steel mills. There aren't many jobs there, anymore. House prices anywhere are determined by what people living in the area can afford to pay.

Posted by: Audiorich at July 7, 2005 06:56 PM

JLP and Audiorich are both right.

The Youngstown house has just one bathroom, for starters. And incomes in Youngstown are much lower than in the Bay Area.

Still, the idea that you could buy 80 of the Youngstown houses (80 families) for the price of one Saratoga house (1 family) is pretty amazing.

Posted by: Peter Coy at July 8, 2005 12:18 AM

another reason the houses in youngstown is so inexpensive is the high crime rate..and the bleak surroundings.i grew up in a suburb near younsgtown..and it's not a safe place to be after dark.

Posted by: linda at December 3, 2005 10:50 PM

The Youngstown Area may be Dangerous but within the past 2-3 years the area as began to look up, the cities has began to partake in many public works projects and a beautiful house like the one pictured could be a lovely place to call home within the next 5 years considered the continuation of the Government and people to revitilize this once great city

Posted by: Darren at February 15, 2006 09:24 AM

How about a 5 bedroom, 1850 stone-built chateau with two balconies, five bedrooms, limestone trim, fully updated and in perfect shape in the beautiful Lot River Valley, 3 hours from the Pyrenees, Biarritz, and Provence for US $360,000 (marty-serge.idimmo.net)?

Southwest France is as good as life gets, and prices are rising 10% per year while the economy is improving.

Posted by: Gerry at February 17, 2006 11:50 PM

We live in Youngstown and love it. My husband commutes to Cleveland every day (a 1 hour drive) where jobs are plentiful and salaries decent. (Many others commute to Pittsburgh from here, another 1 hour drive to the east).

Our house is in a safe, beautiful neighborhood, and we owe 69,000 on it. Our payments are 500 bucks a month. It is an absolutely gorgeous 2300 square foot tudor style home with an upstairs apartment that we use for a business. Has all the trimmings, multiple bathrooms, sunroom, dining, hardwood, 4 bedrooms, breakfast nook, etc.

My husband lived in the Bay Area for one year in 1998 when he was single, and life was so expensive there that he drove himself into serious debt. Good thing that we can work our way out of it because our expenses in this neck of the woods are manageable. The crime...well, isn't it in every urban setting??

DON"T KNOCK YOUNGSTOWN!!!! There are many wonderful things going on here: CLEAN AIR, a breathtaking, top rated metropark (Mill Creek Park http://www.millcreekmetroparks.com/), a newly thriving downtown district, an excellent university, great medical facilities, and small business opportunities galore because we are growing again finally. (My own business has exploded, and I was able to quit my teaching job to do it full time.) Let's not forget that Youngstown has the best Italian restaurants around.

So go on and pay 4 million bucks for a house in crowded, smoggy, earthquaked California...we are quite content to live in good old Y-town and take full advantage of its low cost of living and new prosperity.

Posted by: ellen at November 20, 2006 08:40 PM

Im also from youngstown and i love it.

I moved to out of state thinking things were better some where else like winston salem nc,virginia beach va,and lexington ky,but found youngstown is really a good place to live.Lots of lakes shopping and pretty much of everything. and I have a good job.Crime not so bad if you stay away from drugs.

Posted by: ed at December 23, 2006 04:01 AM


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