The general decline in prices as well as greater difficulty in getting large (jumbo) loans have taken a toll on a once hot part of the real estate market. From Florida to the Northeast to California, many a suburban house moved up into the seven-figure category during the boom of the early part of the 21st century.
It wasn't long before some were saying a million dollars didn't buy you much in certain markets. Though that may still be in the case in parts of California, seven-figures certainly buys you more house today than it did a year ago, never mind two years ago when prices had started to decline.
As part of our recurring "Million Dollar Homes" feature, we thought it would be interesting to look at the housing markets in the hometowns of the various presidential candidates, both past and present.
North Little Rock, Arkansas
The only $1 million home in North Little Rock can be found in the gated community of Chimney Rock. It is a 6,500 square-foot home with a five-car garage, game room, master suite, furniture-finish cabinetry and pool all for $1.42 million. But this home has been on the market for three months and is likely to be there for more than a few more.
Chappaqua, New York
The Clintons put Chappaqua on the map when they paid $1.7 million for a five-bedroom, four-bath, Georgian-style colonial nine years ago. Today it's valued at $2.2 million. Home prices have remained stable over the past year. In fact, most homes in this Westchester Co commuter town sell for between $1 and $1.5 million and take just three weeks to sell.
In Denver, a million dollars gets you 10 rooms, 3.5 bathrooms and a second-floor roof garden. A rotunda, copper sink and walk-in closets are just some of the amenities this historic home offers. Plus, it's two miles away from the convention center, site of the Democratic Party's national convention in August.
In Phoenix, a multi-million dollar home put on the market today could well be on the market come election day in November. To move homes, owners are taking extraordinary measures. This two-year-old luxury home, for example, is listed for less than the owners paid. It boasts 6 bedrooms, a Jacuzzi tub, slate flooring, plantation shutters, real-wood doors and a trampoline-- all for just over $1 million.
High-end homes go for well over $1 million in Sen. Barack Obama's Hyde Park neighborhood. Meanwhile, in the western suburbs of Chicago, $1 million gets you a French-style house on a quiet street. The 3,000-square-foot home is not vast, but it's got a unique perk: a temperature-controlled wine cellar.
A million dollar home in the D.C. suburb of Bethesda most likely appeals to the move-down buyer; whether it’s a small family or downsizing boomer. There are only six houses currently listed around the $1 million mark, and even though prices have slid a bit, they remain relatively high. One 4-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom rambler, for instance, is listed 10 percent less than it would have been last year--just under $1 million. Your top dollar won’t get you the ultimate luxury, but at least it’s an easy commute to the White House.