Here Is Where You Can Get A Mansion For Under $600K

A median home above 5,000 square feet in Chicago goes for $449,000 or $89 a foot.

While “affordable mansion” may sound like the definition of an oxymoron, there are a number of markets across the country where large homes are sitting on the market as compact urban condos fly away in bidding wars.

There are a number of cities where one can get a 5,000-square-foot home for $600,000 or even $500,000. In its round-up, home listing site calculated averages at major American cities and found that Chicago had the lowest price per square foot.

Due to the urban exodus that has been taking place in the city for decades, one can find everything from turn-of-the-century brownstones to mid-century single-stories on the market.

A median home above 5,000 square feet goes for $449,000 or $89 a foot.

“You might think that with higher interest rates, and the typical buyers priced out, investors usually come in,” Robert Dietz, an economist at the National Association of Home Builders, said in a statement. “But now, even they’re stepping to the sidelines a bit.”

The Cities With An Overabundance Of Markets

Another city with an overabundance of for-sale mansions is Conyers, Ga. The 16,000-person suburb 35 minutes outside of the state’s capital has historically been the place where wealthy Atlanta residents went to build their mansions. 

While societal mores shifted, the city currently has lots of mansions for sale. The average one goes for $624,450 or $105 per square foot.

Louisiana’s Houma has similar historical building and migrations trends and, now, an average price of $599,999 or $106 per square foot.

Cleveland is closer to Chicago in spirit. Wealthy residents built many fancy homes during the turn of the century but, by the 1950s and 1960s, largely started abandoning them for the suburbs.

New generations, meanwhile, are coming back to the city and in some cases buying out these historic mansions as fixer-uppers.

Tulsa, Okla., Indianapolis, Louisville, Ky., and Birmingham, Ala., follow similar trends of abandoned historic properties.

Joplin, Mo., and Fredericksburg, Va., on the other hand, are suburban cities where large mansions are being traded in by those lusting after the opportunities of bigger cities.

“Mansions can be found for a steal in the city, compared to the sky-high prices in the nation’s capital or even Virginia’s capital of Richmond,” reads the report. “And there are far more of them in Fredericksburg than in the next closest population hub of Baltimore.”

Are You Really Sure You Want That Mansion?

For years, even the word “mansion” has been associated as a sign of success and something to aspire to.

During the pandemic, there was no shortage of stories about millennials who ditched the $5,000 rent in New York City, bought a mansion somewhere in the countryside and found inner bliss.

But the high property taxes and maintenance fees that come with many of the properties on this list mean that taking them is not as simple as “come and get your cheap mansion.” Most are at least several decades old and require a massive change of lifestyle as well as a serious renovation project.

“Buyers used to love to get a good value proposition on a rehab property like these,” Nancy Nugent, senior vice president at Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty, told “[…] If you need a new refrigerator or a new washer and dryer for these properties, you might be waiting months and paying more than what you expected.”

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