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Homes: What you can buy for $80,000

Zillow

You can still find good real estate deals for a meager $80,000 -- but it all depends on where you look.

Despite home prices trending upwards nationally, in cities such as Cleveland, Atlanta and Pittsburgh, homes are as affordable as ever, according to an affordability report released this week by the Realtor.com.

That means that $80,000 won't limit you to dilapidated teardowns. A two-bedroom traditional in Oklahoma City, for example, with new laminate wood flooring and a utility room, could make a good home for a buyer who's just entering the market.

Some homes, already snagged by investors at bargain prices, were already fixed up and are back on the market. Others are ripe and ready to be picked by an investor who understands the area. The two-bedroom condo in Colorado Springs, with a pantry and access to a pool, could offer a good rental return (homeowners association permitting).

But some $80,000 homes are still very risky. If homes in the neighborhood have been on the market for a long time with more than one price reduction, that's a major red flag. If an area has high rates of violent crime and unemployment, low graduation rates or a dismal median household income, that's another reason to watch out.

Here's what $80,000 can buy in 10 cities across the U.S.

Chicago

Zillow

This two-bedroom, one-bathroom 1947 co-op in the West Ridge neighborhood of northern Chicago is on the market for $80,000. It features 900 square feet of space, hardwood flooring, a partial basement, dishwasher, double-pane windows, gas heating and a kitchen that was recently updated with new countertops, cabinets and appliances, according to the listing.

Chicago

Its price has gone up a bit since it last sold for $62,500 a year ago, probably as a result of renovations. However, apparently the sellers aren't getting as much of a return as they wanted: It's had three price reductions since it was listed in November for $88,500. The area could be a good fit for a first-time buyer, with crime rates 42 percent lower than the Chicago average and a median household income that's 4 percent higher, according to AreaVibes.

Houston

Zillow

Located in the Fairbanks neighborhood of Houston, this three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom townhouse is currently listed for $80,000. The 1,300-square-foot property was built in 1979 and has gated entry, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a two-car garage, patio, fireplace, skylight, pantry and mud room. According to the listing, it was fully remodeled this year with new plumbing, new lighting fixtures and a new garage roof.

Houston

Zillow

It was last listed in February 2012 for $70,000, and after a $6,000 price reduction was taken off the market a year later. Now, the owners aren't asking that much more for it, especially considering all the renovations. The reason could be subpar schools. According to AreaVibes, the average high school graduation rate in the area is 63 percent -- 12 percent lower than the Houston average.

Indianapolis

Zillow

This three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,632-square-foot historic home in the Irvington neighborhood of Indianapolis is for sale at $80,000. It was built in 1912 and has a front porch, fireplace, laundry room, dishwasher, some stained glass and hardwood flooring and radiator heat. Both the exterior and interior have visible signs of wear. The kitchen has been newly rehabbed, according to the listing, which apparently means new countertops and cabinetry.

Indianapolis

Zillow

The property last sold for $79,200 in March 2009, and hasn't increased much in value despite the updates. Since it went on the market in October 2014, the price has been reduced three times from $90,000. The most recent cut to $80,000 puts it exactly in line with the median price of other homes listed in the area, according to Zillow. These local prices could be the result of high violent crime rates, which are 244 higher than the state average, according to AreaVibes.

Jacksonville

Zillow

This two-bedroom, one-bathroom ranch house in the Brentwood neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida, is currently listed for $80,000. The 1928 property, which has 1,170 square feet of space, features hardwood flooring, a two-car garage, separate carport, fireplace, backyard, double vanities in the master bath and an eat-in kitchen.

Jacksonville

Zillow

It last sold in June 1989 for around $50,000. In July 2014, it was listed for $85,000 and went off the market after a $5,000 price reduction. Even at its current price, it's more expensive than the median home value in the area, which Zillow puts at $61,100. The primary culprit for these low valuations could be any number of factors: Local crime rates are 53 percent higher than the Jacksonville average, according to AreaVibes, the median household income is 49 percent lower than the rest of the city, and high school graduation rates are 62 percent lower.

Memphis

Zillow

Located on the cusp of the Frayser and Raleigh neighborhoods in Memphis, Tennessee, this three-bedroom, two-bathroom traditional home is on the market for $80,000. It was built in 1966 and has 1,504 square feet of space, a one-car garage, separate car port, fenced backyard, fireplace, attic, patio pantry and new granite countertops.

Memphis

Zillow

The foreclosed property was most recently listed by the lender and previously sold for $76,300 in November 2005. According to the listing, the home has gotten several updates -- like new ceramic tile, carpeting, toilets and bathroom vanities -- but apparently it didn't do much to up the value. Both price points are over the $63,600 median home value in the area, which has a crime rate that's 26 percent higher than the Memphis average, according to AreaVibes.

Oklahoma City

Zillow

This two-bedroom, one-bathroom 1943 traditional home in Central Oklahoma City is currently for sale at $80,000. It has 820 square feet of space, a utility room, one-car garage, porch, gas heating, new laminate wood flooring, some built-in shelving, an eat-in kitchen, recessed lighting and a fenced backyard.

Oklahoma City

Zillow

The property last sold in August 2014 for $40,000, which makes it a pretty great fix-and-flip from an investor's standpoint. Before that, it sold for $27,500 in January 2012, so it's clear the home and its location have growth potential. However, it has taken an almost $4,000 price cut since it most recently hit the market in December 2014, putting it more in line with the $81,300 median home value in the area. Future investors should keep an eye on the local violent crime rates, which are 87 percent higher than the Oklahoma average, according to AreaVibes.

Louisville

Zillow

This three-bedroom, one-bathroom,1,000-square-foot bungalow in the Wyandotte neighborhood of Louisville is on the market for $80,000. It was built in 1938 and features a breakfast bar, mud room, deck, dishwasher, fenced backyard, storage shed, gas heating and popcorn ceilings.

Louisville

Zillow

The home last sold in November 2012 for $55,500 -- and before that sold for just $15,000 in February 2012 -- showing good growth potential. It's more expensive than the median home value in the area, which is currently at $60,100, according to Zillow. But all things considered, the neighborhood's AreaVibes profile looks pretty good: Crime rates are 11 percent above the Louisville average, but considering its "A" rating for amenities, this market could pick up.

Milwaukee

Zillow

Located in the Saveland Park neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this two-bedroom, one-bathroom ranch house is currently listed at $80,000. It was built in 1942 and has 805 square feet of space, a fenced backyard, basement (presumably unfinished, but the listing doesn't say), hardwood flooring, a one-car garage, gas heating, granite countertops, an eat-in kitchen and some built-in shelving.

Milwaukee

Zillow

It last sold in July 1992 for $56,000, but obviously the market has changed a bit since then. This time, it's been on the market for five months and has had two price reductions. Considering the $132,600 median home value in the area, this property looks questionable. According to AreaVibes, local crime rates are lower than the city average, but graduation rates are higher and so is the median household income.

Atlanta

Zillow

This one-bedroom, one-bathroom, 1,214-square-foot loft condo in the West End neighborhood of Atlanta is on the market for $80,000. The unit's gated community was built in 2006. The home features hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, in-unit laundry, an open floor plan, a patio and access to a pool, clubhouse and fitness center.

Atlanta

Zillow

It last sold for $157,900 in April 2007, presumably right around the time the building opened. The higher price could have been a result of the buzz surrounding the new construction, but it's more likely that the drop was a result of what happened post-2007 in Atlanta and many other cities across the country: The market crashed big time. Now, the median home value in the area is just $52,600. But according to AreaVibes, the slow local housing recovery may not be the only reason for low valuations: The area's median household income is 39 percent lower than the Atlanta average, the crime rates are 47 percent higher and the graduation rates are 20 percent lower.

Colorado Springs

Zillow

This two-bedroom, one-bathroom, ground-level condo in southeast Colorado Springs, Colorado, is for sale at $80,000. The building was built in 1965, and this unit has 1,013 square feet of space. It features laminate hardwood flooring, a pantry, small patio, gas heating, a parking space in the carport and access to a pool. According to the listing, the bathroom has been updated with granite countertops and new shower tiling.

Colorado Springs

Zillow

The unit last sold for $32,500 in October 2013, so its value has improved a lot -- and probably not as a result of the bathroom updates. Home values in the area are doing reasonably well with the median currently at $134,600. The neighborhood seems to be showing growth potential, but there are a few things to watch out for: Crime rates are 35 percent higher than the city average, according to AreaVibes, and unemployment is almost 2 percent higher.

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