10 homes you can buy for $5,000

  • Photo courtesy of Zillow

    Believe it or not, there are actual, standing homes available right now for $5,000.

    But buyers can often expect to get what they pay for. Homes at this price point cost almost 98 percent less than the national median home value, which is currently $200,400 according to Zillow. Before taking the leap on a $5,000 fixer-upper, it's critical to do your research and understand the risks.

    These properties are typically sold as-is, and to make them livable, it's likely buyers will need to shell out some serious cash. You may discover that what you thought was a steal doesn't seem so great after factoring in the cost of a new foundation, roof, drywall, windows, flooring or other updates.

    Find a good home inspector who can carefully examine the property from top to bottom, inside and out. Hire a real estate attorney who can confirm that the transaction is above-board.

    Depending on your renovation budget, and the amount of time you're willing to invest, it's not impossible to find a hidden gem. In Cleveland, $5,000 can buy a 2,384-square-foot multifamily home. In Laguna Hills, California, it can buy a 500-square-foot condo with community pool access.

    If you're looking to buy a property in this price range, whether as a full-time residence or investment, research the neighborhood and be on the lookout for red flags. Investigate local school performance, crime rates and home values. If you see too many potential problems, it might be better to look elsewhere.

    Click ahead to see what kind of home can buy for $5,000 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.