At $1,585, the median price per square foot in Manhattan is miles away from Cleveland’s ($53/square foot). We calculated that, for $200,000, you could buy a tiny 126-square-foot room in the borough, but it would be difficult to actually live in such a place. Plus, it’s highly unlikely you’d even find a listing of that size and price in Manhattan.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, in Cleveland, for $200,000, you could buy more than enough space to enjoy, and then some. You could own a house so big that you’d be hosting fancy Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings, with spare rooms for your extended family.
San Francisco, Boston and San Jose are in the same boat as Manhattan, where prices are sky-high, and the market is on fire, while El Paso, San Antonio and Memphis boast an affordability similar to Cleveland’s. San Antonio stand outs from the latter group with its thriving business activity, and the health and education sectors driving the economy in the area. The development pipeline is also robust, so San Antonio is definitely worth looking into, because with $200,000, you could buy a sizable 3,249-square-foot home there.
For the same amount, you could purchase a home ranging from 400 to 600 square feet in Los Angeles and San Diego or one as large as 2,000 square feet in Nashville or Orlando. Some might describe moving to LA as the American Dream, but you’d need a lot more than $200,000 to buy your dream house there. Orlando can be seen as an alternative to LA, with its pleasant climate, its nightlife and job opportunities—the one major difference being that the cost of living is considerably lower.
Although major cities, the following are slightly more affordable than San Diego or LA. For $200,000, you’d end up with decent living conditions in Miami (835 square feet), Portland (773 square feet) and Chicago (1,102 square feet), but probably not in the neighborhoods you’d want.