Whether they’re dropping $10 or $100,000, consumers usually want to know they’re getting the most “bang for their buck.” Of course, what you get for your money can range from brand to brand or store to store. Likewise, what you end up getting in housing markets across the U.S. can vary dramatically.

Currently, the median home value across the U.S. sits at $146,900. In light of that, here’s a snapshot of what homes for sale for $150,000 (plus or minus $5,000) in a few different cities.

Charlotte, NC

With major financial institutions such as Bank of America and Wachovia calling Charlotte home, the city has been a longtime hub of relocation activity which could in turn help relocation sales. Despite home values declining 6.8 percent year-over year the city has a modest growth in home values since last quarter and median Charlotte home values remain affordable at $125,600.

Undisclosed Address, Charlotte NC (below)
For Sale: $149,000

This 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath home on the Charlotte real estate market is located in Southampton Commons in south Charlotte’s prestigious Ballantyne area. The home has an open-concept floor plan and features a large great room with gas fireplace, master bedroom with en suite bathroom, and one-car garage. Amenities at Southampton Commons include: pool, clubhouse, playground, sitting parks, nature trails.

Houston, TX

According to 2010 Census data, Houston grew 7.5 percent, up to a population of 2.1 million, to sit secure in its spot as the fourth-largest city in the U.S. The Houston housing market held to positive territory as 2012 began, with January marking the eighth consecutive month of increased home sales. Median home values in Houston have settled at around $159,000.

11957 Chanteloup Drive, Houston TX (below)
For Sale: $150,000

For $150,000, this 3-bedroom, 2,5-bath Houston home for sale could be yours. Built in 2005, the one-of-a-kind home has been fully customized and upgraded with features such as cherry hardwood floors throughout, high efficiency insulation, granite slab showers and a covered dream patio. Current low mortgage rates make this home’s monthly payment around $550 with a 20 percent down payment and 30-year-fixed mortgage.

Phoenix, AZ

House sales in Phoenix have been rising for the 12th straight month on a year-over-year basis, and distressed real estate accounted for the smallest share of purchases since 2008. However, Phoenix led the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan areas with two-thirds of its mortgaged homes in negative equity at the end of the third quarter and steep discounts have lured investors and bargain hunters to Phoenix in hopes of capitalizing on the real estate overhang. Current Phoenix median home values are significantly below the national level, hovering around $119,000.

3821 W Townley Ave, Phoenix, AZ (below)
For Sale: $144,900

Priced just under the U.S. median home value, this 5-bedroom, 2.5-bath house has recently took a $5,000 price cut. Built in 1965, the home has had numerous upgrades. The Phoenix home for sale is a ranch-style home and features an open floor plan, as well as backyard pool for cooling off during those summer heat waves.

Atlanta, GA

While the sprawling metro is still a major hub for the south, the economy has dropped prices of Atlanta single-family homes12.8 percent compared with a year earlier. Still an attractive city to musicians and millionaires alike, it’s possible to snag a prime piece of Atlanta real estate for a steal.

2399 Paul Ave NW, Atlanta GA (below)
For Sale: $145,000

While A-listers and music stars have multi-million dollar mansions and condos in downtown Atlanta, you can pick up a relatively new home on the more suburban Riverside real estate market for under $150,000. This 3-bedroom, 2-bath bungalow was built in 2003 and features finished hardwoods, vaulted ceilings, a large dining area and large front porch with unobstructed views.


Nashville, TN

The Nashville housing market saw improved job growth and inventory levels during the fourth quarter, which shows positive signs for 2012. Analysts are attributing low mortgage rates and high rental costs to the list of factors that could end up driving potential buyers into the market this year. With the Nashville real estate market stabilizing there are plenty of great deals on homes attracting more than just country music stars and pro athletes.

4005 Alicia Ln, Antioch, TN 37013 (below)
For sale: $151,990

Located just 11 miles southeast of Nashville, in the small town of Antioch, is this smart and trimmed brick “Venice-style” home that offers 2,224 square feet of living space with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Nine-foot ceilings, oversized bedrooms and an enormous open kitchen offers a comfortable sense of space.

Albuquerque, NM

Since last July, the median list price for homes in Albuquerque have been holding steady at around $180,000. As the largest city in New Mexico, Albuquerque is home to the University of New Mexico (UNM), Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia National Laboratories, and Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute. As of December, 2011, Albuquerque’s unemployment rate is 6.8%, which is below the national average of 8.3%.

12501 Alps Way NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111 (below)
For sale: $150,000

As is typical in the Southwest, this contemporary home’s stucco exterior helps fight the intense daytime heat, while offering a cool environment at night. And, there’s always the charming park-like backyard, with a few trees that offer the perfect place to relax.  Features of this 1,422-sq ft home include 3 beds, 2 baths and include maple wood floors, gas-log fireplace, wood blinds with marble window seals, tile floors, and ceiling fans in every room.

Portland, OR

As of Dec. 2011, Portland’s unemployment rate is 8.1%, which is a full percentage less than what it was in July 2011. Things are beginning to stabilize in “The City of Roses,” where major employers include Willamette Industries, Louisiana-Pacific, CH2M Hill, Nike (in Beaverton, about 8 miles away), and Columbia Sportswear to name a few. Currently, Portland home values are $220,000, which is a drop of 4.1% year-over-year.

6249 SE 134th Ave, Portland, OR 97236 (below)
For sale: $149,900

Nary a leaf is out of place in this well-maintained 1,364-sq ft home, located on a cul-de-sac steps from a park. Roomy master suite with walk-in closet. Laundry on bedroom level. Close to bus line and freeway. Lots of patio in back with beautiful raised garden bed and huge storage shed with electrical outlets and light. Hardi-plank siding.

St. Louis, MO

While most people associate St. Louis with the recognizable Gateway Arch, it is also richly endowed with three professional sports teams — Cardinals (baseball), Blues (NHL) and Rams (NFL). The city on the banks of the Mississippi River is home to several major corporations: Express Scripts, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Scottrade, Anheuser-Busch, Edward Jones Investments, Energizer, and Monsanto. St. Louis unemployment rates are 8.3% since December.

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5235 Bonita Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63109
For sale: $149,900

Located in the highly desired Princeton Heights neighborhood, this brick two-story has 3 bedrooms with close to 1,300 square foot of open living space. Open living room area contains working gas fireplace and stained glass windows. The main level has original hardwood floors with a modern cherry finish. The gourmet kitchen contains granite counter tops, stainless appliances, and 42-inch custom cabinets. Plus a Zillow Special Offer is attached to the home — $1,500 to the buyer for closing costs!

More Eye Candy:

> See Homes Dr. Seuss Would Love

> See Dancing With the Stars Homes

>  See Mary Kay’s Pink Mansion for Sale

About the Author

Camille writes about housing trends for the Zillow Blog.

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