Million Dollar Homes Buyer's Guide
Home prices are in the process of registering their first year-on-year decline in two decades. That may be a relative statement given the huge runup in recent years, but is nevertheless worrisome to some market watchers.
The average price of an existing home was $221,900 in 2006, versus $122,600 in 1996 and $80,300 in 1986, according to the National Association of Realtors. Some of that is simple inflation, but a sizable part of it is good, old-fashioned price appreciation. In some markets, real estate has been on a tear for ten years.
But there's nothing like a housing slump to remind people just how local a a business real estate is. Prices are continuing to rise in some markets, which are playing catch up to the broad-based gains across the nation in recent years. Other markets are holding steady.
CNBC decided to take the pulse of half a dozen markets across the nation to see what a million dollars buys you and whether it is more or less than a year ago.
There are 38 million-dollar homes on the market in the suburb of Washington D.C.. "Prices are holding their own," reports Diana Olick. Properties are moving in three to four months.
Take a look at this 3400 square foot, eight-year old house built by Toll Brothers. Five bedrooms. four and a half baths, an outdoor deck, hardwood floors and a community clubhouse with pool and other amenities will cost you $1.18 million.
Los Angeles, California
You'll find about 10 homes with a million-dollar price tag on the market in the Silver Lake neighborhood, about four miles south of downtown. "A million dollars usually buys you a tract home," reports Jane Wells.
Here's a property that just sold for close to its asking price of $1.14 million. It's a 1936 classic, but still a modest 1700 square foot house. It has two bedrooms, three baths, a den -- to name a few -- but all its rooms are "tiny." The view, however, might be worth some money.
There are about 20 homes with an asking price of $1 million or more on the market in the southwest Montana city near the mountains. “It has views you can usually see from any of the 4,400-square-foot home’s oversized windows and covered porch,” reports Mary Thompson.
The three-bedroom, three-bath house has custom cabinets in the kitchen, granite counter tops and a gas range. The master bedroom is on the main floor and includes a soaking tub, a steam shower with two heads as well as his and hers sinks. The house was built in 2004 and sits on 1.5 acres. The asking price is $995,000.
Bozeman’s population is about 33,500 and counts Montana State University among its residents.
In this university town, there are about 30 homes priced at $1 million or more, if you're in the market to buy. “The price reflects a market that, unlike many others, is not offering any bargains.” Diana Olick reports. “Every window, and there are a lot of them, is a scenic overlook.”
The house we visited is about 20 minutes from downtown Charlottesville and sits on ten acres. It has four bedrooms and four baths. The kitchen may appear small to some and the basement is unfinished. The asking price is $1.19 million and it’s been on the market for two weeks.
Charlottesville’s population is about 45,000. It’s home to the University of Virginia.