House hunting? What $300,000 will get you in highest, lowest priced states


(NewsNation) —  House hunting? Depending on where you live, your options are going to look very different.

Location is the most significant contributor to housing costs, with a typical home in Hawaii, for example, costing more than six times a typical home in West Virginia.

Median home prices by state:

Say your homebuying budget is $300,000. For the most part, that price point won’t afford much for housing in Hawaii. Oahu’s median price for a single family home as of Aug 2022 is $1,125,500, and the median price for a condo/townhouse is $498,500.

In today’s market, $300,000 can barely buy you a studio, or a one bedroom unit, in Hawaii. An example for a unit in this price point at $297,000 for a one bedroom in Waikiki. The unit is a fully furnished legal short term vacation rental.

“Hawaii is a state where we have many newcomers every year and constant rotation. We have all branches of the military and company relocations. There is always a lot of movement, especially on Oahu. We have also seen a lot of relocation coming from Colorado, California, Washington and Texas,” real estate agent Ayla Toman said.

There’s also limited land available for housing in Hawaii. “There is only 8% of the land on Oahu which is actually available for development. All this is already taken and will be developed in the next 20-25 years. So land in Hawaii is prime,” Toman added.

What $300,000 will buy you in highest median home priced states:

  • Hawaii: $848,926 ; cost per square foot: $649
    • $300,000 buys you 462 square feet
  • California: $848,926 ; cost per square foot: $468
    • $300,000 buys you 641 square feet
  • Washington: $595,732 ; cost per square foot: $313
    • $300,000 buys you 958 square feet
  • Colorado: $559,838 ; cost per square foot: $263
    • $300,000 buys you 1,141 square feet
  • Massachusetts: $559,312 ; cost per square foot: $321
    • $300,000 buys you 935 square feet

Meanwhile, in West Virginia, $300,000 can go a very long way. NewsNation Digital also spoke with real estate agent C’Anna Keffer who says for $300,000 you can buy a minimum three bed, two bath, at least 1,500 sq. ft home. 

An example for a home in this price point at $275,000 is a 6 bedroom house in Morgantown, West Virginia. “You’re not only going to get a detached house, that’s its own unit. But you’re also going to get a yard, if not more, often in nice neighborhoods,” Keffer said.

West Virginia ranks fourth-worst in the U.S. & World News ranking, which it has held since 2018. Kefir says a lot of that has been reflective of the way the states governs itself.

The mountain state launched a program called Ascend, where people could earn tax credits up to $12,000 if they moved to West Virginia. The hope was to encourage people to try out West Virginia. Overall, Keffer says that West Virginians value slightly lower taxes, having a little more space, and the outdoors. 

“I love West Virginia, it is home. The people are incredibly warm and friendly. We’re very welcoming and inviting. We enjoy all four seasons, and that’s something that you can’t get a lot of other places. We have beautiful places to hike and relax and boat and fish and ski. We really take advantage of you know, all year-round activities,” Keffer added.

What $300,000 will buy you in lowest median home priced states:

  • Iowa: price: $183,418 ; cost per square foot: $118
    • $300,000 buys you 2,542 square feet
  • Oklahoma: price: $171,057 ; cost per square foot: $98
    • $300,000 buys you 3,061 square feet
  • Arkansas: price: $169,867 ; cost per square foot: $95
    • $300,000 buys you 3,157 square feet
  • Mississippi: price: $157,828 ; cost per square foot: $84
    • $300,000 buys you 3,571 square feet
  • West Virginia: price: $129,103; cost per square foot: $75
    • $300,000 buys you 4,000 square feet

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