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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.

Columbus, Ohio

Photo courtesy of Zillow

This four-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom house in the Stonewyck Manor subdivision of Columbus, Ohio, went on the market for $499,900 last month. It was last sold in May 2009 for $475,000. It's significantly pricier than the city's median home value, which is currently $102,600 according to Zillow, but aligns more closely with the approximate $657,000 average price tag for nearby homes that are currently listed -- so this property could be a steal.

The property sits on almost a half-acre of land and features cherry kitchen cabinets, a hot tub, walk-in closet, spa-like master bath and a finished basement with a bar.

San Jose, California

Photo courtesy of Zillow

For $479,980, you can buy this two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in the Central San Jose "Modern Ice" community. Its price point falls below San Jose's $727,300 median home value, but is very close to the average neighboring homes on the market, which cost about $483,000.

The condo has a patio, granite countertops, hardwood flooring, a two-car tandem garage, in-unit washer and dryer hookups and access to a playground.

Chicago, Illinois

Photo courtesy of Zillow

This two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago is currently on the market for $475,000. It's a bit more expensive than Lakeview's median home value of $338,100 and much more expensive than the $186,400 median home value in the city overall. However, its price is similar to nearby listings, which cost an average of about $439,000.

It features hardwood flooring, a walk-in closet, spa-like master bath, dishwasher, breakfast bar, patio, "office nook" and garage parking.

Dallas, Texas

Photo courtesy of Zillow

This two-bedroom, two-bathroom bungalow near Southern Methodist University in Dallas was listed in November for $465,000. It was last sold for around $369,900 last year. The property, which the listing describes as "vintage and yet French Traditional in nature," is considerably more expensive than Dallas' $149,300 median home value and more expensive than the average listing price of nearby properties, which is around $379,000.

It features a large eat-in kitchen, hardwood flooring, river rock granite countertops, industrial light fixtures, a salt water pool, sprinkler system, patio and two-car garage.

Memphis, Tennessee

You can buy this four-bedroom, five-bathroom New England-style house in the Overton Park area of Memphis, Tennessee, for $459,000. It was last sold in August 2012 for $440,000. Median home values are currently at just $66,600 in Memphis.

High crime rates and low wages in the city are the likely culprits. According to AreaVibes, Memphis' violent crime rates are 171 percent higher than the Tennessee average and the median household income is 16 percent lower. However, this home's appears to be in a wealthy pocket, with an average current listing price of around $483,000.

The property features a wrap-around porch, two-car garage, patio, pool, breakfast nook and hardwood and tiled flooring.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Photo courtesy of Zillow

This two-bedroom, three-bathroom, ultra-modern house in northwest Oklahoma City was listed last month for $481,750. It was last sold just a few months ago in July for $415,500. This price stands in contrast to the area's $70,700 median home value, which Zillow says has gone down 4.2 percent in the last year. This is probably due to high violent crime rates, which AreaVibes says are 95 percent higher than the state average. This unique property is much more expensive than its recently-sold direct neighbors, which were purchased for an average of around $93,000.

It has quartz countertops, concrete and tile flooring, a walk-in pantry, two skylights, a walk-in closet, custom barn door, sprinkler system, two-car garage, barbecue and view of the city, according to the listing.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Photo courtesy of Zillow

For $495,000, you can buy this four-bedroom, three-bathroom home in the Allerton Park gated community in Las Vegas. It's more expensive than the median home value in the area, which is currently at $177,400 and rising, according to Zillow. However, its price lines up nicely with neighboring homes in the area, which are listed for an average of around $438,000.

The home features a patio, gas fire pit, fireplace, in-ground trampoline, putting green, granite countertops, eat-in kitchen, marble entryway, hardwood flooring, walk-in closet, sprinkler system and community pool access.

New York, New York

Photo courtesy of Zillow

This two-bedroom, 1.5 bathroom apartment in the Hamilton Park condo building in New York City is currently listed for $500,000. It costs less than the $625,200 median home value in the notoriously pricey area. That number has increased by 12.9 percent over the last year, and Zillow predicts it will go up another 5.4 percent in 2015. Neighboring properties have recently sold for an average of about $449,000.

The residence features in-unit laundry, an in-building elevator, modern light fixtures and a dishwasher.

Raleigh, North Carolina

Photo courtesy of Zillow

This five-bedroom, four-bathroom,arts-and-crafts-style home is on the market in Bedford at Falls River subdivision of Raleigh, North Carolina, for $485,000. The price has decreased slightly since it was listed for $490,000 last month. It's relatively in line with the median home value in the area, which Zillow puts at $356,700, as well as the average listing price of nearby homes, which is around $507,000.

The house includes Energy Star appliances, an attic, a screened patio, deck, jetted bathtub, sprinkler system, fireplace, two-car garage, breakfast bar, modern light fixtures and granite countertops.

Atlanta, Georgia

Photo courtesy of Zillow

This two-bedroom, two-bathroom Atlanta bungalow in the Virginia Highlands subdivision is on the market for $489,000. It last sold for $343,900 in 2006. The home costs a bit less than the area's median value of $568,700, which Zillow predicts will rise an additional 3.3 percent this year, but it's more comparable to nearby homes that have recently sold for an average of around $519,000.

It features a fireplace, attic, one-car garage, screened porch, two-floor deck, an unfinished basement, hardwood flooring and an updated kitchen.

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