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Laura Berry

Former Insurance Agent

Former Insurance Agent

Joshua Adamson

Joshua is a copywriter at Obrella who for more than 10 years has been creating content about insurance, health care, and more. He helps companies explain complex insurance subjects in simple ways so that customers can make smart buying decisions. He spends way too much time binge-watching Netflix, loves the outdoors and has a cat who tolerates him.

UPDATED: Nov 29, 2023

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The Top 10 Priciest And Cheapest Cities To Buy a Home In

City lights at twilight

Location, location, location. That’s the name of the game when it comes to the real estate market. While you may scratch your head wondering how it’s possible for a dumpy 600 sq. ft. apartment in San Francisco to cost as much as a historic and high end 3,000 sq. ft. home in Texas, it’s all based on the locale. This got us thinking about America’s highest and lowest priced real estate and we’ve come up with a list of the cheapest and most expensive square footage out there today.

Manhattan, NY / $1,538 per sq. ft:

The big apple also comes with BIG price tags. To give that price per square footage some context, it means that a 500 sq. ft. apartment, which is a little bit over a 20×20 foot space, would cost a cool $769,000.

Detroit, MI /$12 per sq. ft.:

It’s no secret that Detroit is struggling—especially in the housing market. However, it has some of the most impressive historical mansions that are just waiting for some TLC to get back to their full glory. If you can buy a 5,000 square foot mansion for 60,000, just think of all the money you could put into restoring it!

“For $1 million, you can buy a 650 sq. ft. apartment in Manhattan—compared to 83,000 square feet in Detroit, MI.”

San Francisco, CA / $961 per sq. ft.:

As of 2015, San Francisco real estate prices are at an all-time high. With an average of $961 per sq. ft., you would only get about 1,040 sq. ft. for $1 million.

Cleveland, OH / $46 per sq. ft.:

Save your money for tickets to the Browns games because at $46 per sq. ft., you could afford a comfortable 3,000 sq. ft. home for under $150,000.

Boston, MA / $478 per sq. ft.:

With all of its history, great food, and close proximity to the coast, it’s no wonder why Boston is one of the most expensive cities to live in in America. Save your pennies because a 1,000 square foot home would cost about half a million big ones.

Memphis, TN / $64 per sq. ft.:

Listen to music and buy a home on the cheap in Memphis Tennessee. Your savings will go a lot further here—buying you a spacious 3,000 sq. ft. home for under $200,000.

Washington D.C. / $455 per sq. ft.:

The nation’s capital also comes with a hefty price tag. Homes in Washington D.C. average a selling price of about $455 per sq. ft. (as of 2014). That means a tiny 650 sq. ft. apartment would cost you almost $300,000.

Arlington, TX / $81 per sq. ft:

Everything’s bigger in Texas—except its average square footage. Buy a modest home that’s 2,000 sq. ft. for just $162,000.

Los Angeles, CA / $421 per sq. ft.:

With all of the celebrities, big time movie producers, culinary wonders, and more, LA is one of the top most expensive places for real estate. Don’t expect to find a small apartment of 600 square feet for less than a quarter of a million dollars.

Fort Worth, TX / $84 per sq. ft.:

Another Texas city has made the list for some of the cheapest square footage in America. Give yourself lots of room to roam without overpaying for square footage. You could buy a cozy 1,000 sq. ft. home for under $85,000.

Wherever you’re looking to buy, just make sure you know how much it’s going to cost. If you’re looking for space in an expensive area, you’ll need a lot more than you may have initially thought.

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