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What can you buy for $40,000?

(MoneyWatch) What kind of home does $40,000 get you in today's real estate market? You might be surprised.

Most of the houses listed across the country for about $40,000 need some cosmetic changes, but not the kind of overhaul you might expect for such a cheap property. Homes in Grand Rapids, Mich., or Buffalo, N.Y., need a facelift, but not much else. Unlike many of the houses you could purchase for $25,000, some of these homes are move-in ready. With what you would spend on the down payment, you can own one of these homes outright.

"What Can You Buy" is a series that looks at what type of house and amenities you can get at particular price points in various locations across the U.S. Be sure to check out each of the posts in the series: What can you buy for $125,000?; What can you buy for $35,000?; What else can you buy for $35,000?; and What can you buy for $3,000?

What can you buy for $40,000?

This home in Canton, N.C., is nestled on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains outside Asheville. While the home is old -- it was built in 1913 -- it has four bedrooms, nearly 2,000 square feet of space and hardwood floors, and it sits on an acre with mountain views. Two years ago, it was on sale for almost $80,000, but you can get it now for $39,900. But you might want to add another bathroom -- this house only has one.

What can you buy for $40,000?

Unlike many of the supercheap homes you can pick up around the country that require some work to be livable, this $38,150 Shreveport, La., home is move-in ready. It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, living room and a covered patio.

What can you buy for $40,000?

This Houston short-sale home needs some work but doesn't necessarily require tearing up the walls. The three-bedroom, three-bathroom home has a formal dining room, den, living room, exposed-brick fireplace and 1,700 square feet of space. The $40,000 price tag has been slashed by $5,000 since February.

What can you buy for $40,000?

Springfield, Ill., has a number of homes for sale needing only cosmetic changes for less than $40,000, including this two-bedroom, one-bathroom bungalow. The $39,900 home has new windows, a covered front porch, fenced backyard, carpets, fully finished basement and central air as well as a one-car garage.

What can you buy for $40,000?

This two-bedroom, one-bathroom home in Savannah, Ga., originally listed for $65,000 in 2009 but has been reduced to $39,900 in recent months. The home is small -- just 672 square feet -- with a kitchen, family room and porch, but it is located just a short walk from Savannah Harbor and midtown Savannah.

What can you buy for $40,000?

If you want to live in Grand Rapids, Mich., you can actually pick from many homes under $40,000. This well-kept, two-bedroom, one-bathroom ranch has recent updates including new siding, a newer hot water tank, hardwood floors and entry doors. The home also has a privacy fence, large backyard, rear deck, storage shed and partially finished basement and attic -- for less than $39,900.

What can you buy for $40,000?

If you want to live among the natural splendor of the Pacific Northwest, this $34,900 one-bedroom, one-bathroom home in Shelton, Wash., could be for you. Located next to Lake Limerick near Seattle, the single-floor home sits on nearly a half acre surrounded by massive trees. The home was initially listed for $43,900 just last September.

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