Last Updated May 11, 2010 9:58 AM EDT
What can you buy for $35,000? A lot more than you think in some neighborhoods.
When you buy a home for $35,000, all that matters is that you can rent it out to someone stable who will pay the rent on time and take care of the property. You can't even get a mortgage for $35,000, so if you pay cash and rent the property for $500 per month, you're looking at a decent return from the get-go.
Just remember: Some of these neighborhoods may not be as safe as others, or there may be other hidden concerns, which is why the prices are so low. Investors beware.
Take a look at what we found for $35,000:
What Can You Buy For $35,000 in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood?5516 S. Bishop Street, Chicago, IL 60636
Englewood is one of Chicago's roughest neighborhoods. But if you're looking for property on the cheap, there are loads of single-family houses available thanks to an abundance of foreclosures in the neighborhood.
This 1,080 square foot, three-bedroom, one-bath single story home was built in 1966 and last sold in 2006 for $103,000, at the height of the boom. Zillow estimates the property is worth $173,000 - but there's no way this house would sell for anywhere near that amount. (Zestimate's are often wrong, so take it with a grain of salt and perhaps a couple of aspirin.)
In fact, I'd probably suggest bidding even lower than the list price.
Ideally, you'd be able to buy a whole block of homes just like this one and install quality working families to create your own safer neighborhood.
What Can You Buy For $35,000 in Huntsville, AL?2712 6th Avenue SW, Huntsville, AL 35805
If you need a little more space, and enjoy a warmer climate than Chicago, what about a 2,178 square foot two-bedroom, one-bath house in Huntsville, Alabama?
The listing says the property has been newly redone (the kitchen looks clean and nice), with new windows, new appliances, and two new heating/cooling units in the windows. The property sits on what looks like a half acre (the listing sheet says 50 acres, but it also says there are 2 million square feet, so I think someone made a data-entry boo-boo) of poorly-tended land (a nice opportunity for all you aspiring gardeners). There is also a new storage facility on the property and the seller is offering a one-year home warranty.
The property is on a corner lot, and from the Google map aerial view, it looks like a double lot.
What Can You Buy For $35,000 in Sacramento, CA?2950 Routier Road, Sacramento, CA 95827
This 827-square foot mobile/manufactured home was built in 1999 (which means it should have all of the up-to-date requirements) and is nestled in a pretty setting with mature trees.
The home has two-bedrooms, one-bath, laundry facilities, and the owner has added a custom redwood deck and a covered carport. You also get access to a clubhouse.
The Zillow listing is a little confusing. Additional posted photos seem to be of a different property altogether - this one you'll definitely want to see in person. And, check out whether you're going to own the land as well as the mobile home. You don't want to buy if you're only going to be renting the land.
What Can You Buy For $35,000 in Bakersfield, CA?1403 Yosemite Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93308
Continuing with our tour of California, this Bakersfield home clearly need a major amount of renovation. There are two floors, each with a one-bedroom, one-bath rental unit. The listing sheet calls this "Great Investment Property," but as I say in my book, it's all about the numbers.
How much do you have to put in to make the property livable, and how much rent can you get? If you put in another $40,000, so your investment is $75,000 and you can get $800 per month for each one-bedroom unit, or $1,600 monthly income, you'll gross nearly $20,000 or about one-third of your investment. In four years, the property will have paid for itself, and your property taxes will be very low thanks to the purchase price.
Before you buy, be sure to take a look at the neighborhood and whether you're going to be able to find tenants who will be able to pay $800 per month per unit.
Tomorrow, I'll take a look at what else you can buy for $35,000 around the country.
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Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at ThinkGlink.com.