Homes: What you can buy for $150,000

  • Photo courtesy of Zillow

    Believe it or not, it's still possible to find homes for $150,000.

    That price point isn't considerably less than the median home value in the U.S., which is currently about $181,000, according to Zillow. But depending on where you look, a few thousand dollars could mean the difference between a savvy buy and a money pit.

    A good rule of thumb is to compare the price of a listing with other properties in the neighborhood. If it costs much more or much less than other homes nearby, that should be a major red flag. It's also smart to compare neighborhood prices with home values in the surrounding metro area. A much lower neighborhood median home value could indicate high crime rates or poorly performing public schools.

    If all the indicators line up, and a market is trending in the right direction, it's possible for deal-seeking homebuyers to find a modest, worthwhile spot in which to live or invest. For $150,000 in Portland's Multnomah neighborhood, you can buy an 800-square-foot condo with pool access. In the Gentilly Woods area of New Orleans, that amount will buy a 1,340-square-foot ranch house with a fireplace and jetted bathtub.

    Click ahead to see what $150,000 will buy 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.