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The Best 'Bang for Your Buck' Real Estate Markets

Where Your Dollar Goes The Furthest

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No matter what kind of economic environment homebuyers find themselves in, one thing always holds true: They’ll be looking for a deal. Although there are many aspects of a home that can increase or decrease its value — such as climate, school district, landscaping, or the age of the home itself — usually buyers expect that the bigger the house, the bigger the price tag.Around the country, however, no square foot is created equal and in some places bigger houses don’t necessarily translate to sky
Source: Zillow.com || Photo: Tony Cordoza | Getty Images

No matter what kind of economic environment homebuyers find themselves in, one thing always holds true: They’ll be looking for a deal. Although there are many aspects of a home that can increase or decrease its value — such as climate, school district, landscaping, or the age of the home itself — usually buyers expect that the bigger the house, the bigger the price tag.

Around the country, however, no square foot is created equal and in some places bigger houses don’t necessarily translate to sky-high home values. With the latest data from real estate website Zillow.com,the following list highlights homes in U.S. metro areas with the lowest average price per square foot. This list includes all homes in the area, owned, for sale and recently sold. In effect, these cities are where your real estate dollar would go the furthest — places where you can buy the most space with the least amount of money.

On one end of the spectrum, the three most expensive cities by square foot are Honolulu, Hawaii ($399), San Jose, Calif. ($344) and Santa Cruz, Calif. ($305). The notoriously expensive New York metro area ranks seventh, at $225 per square foot, while the U.S. average stands at $92 per square foot, according to the Zillow data.

So, where can you get the biggest bang for your buck around the country? Click ahead for the list.

By Paul Toscano
Posted 13 Dec 2011

10. Toledo, Ohio

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Value per square foot: $62 Average home size: 1,652 sqft October ZHVI: $86,700 Fall from value peak: -27.1% Year-over-year price change: -14.7%
Photo: Courtesy of Ray Steup | Flickr

Value per square foot: $62
Average home size: 1,652 sq ft

Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI): $86,700
Fall from value peak: -27.1%
Year-over-year price change: -14.7%

More information from Zillow on the Toledo market

8. (Tied) Augusta, Georgia

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Value per square foot: $61 Average home size: 1,756 sqft October ZHVI: $84,600 Fall from value peak: -14.1% Year-over-year price change: -4.1%
Photos: Shawn Dent | www.augustaga.gov

Value per square foot: $61
Average home size: 1,756 sqft

Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI): $84,600
Fall from value peak: -14.1%
Year-over-year price change: -4.1%

More information from Zillow on the Augusta market

8. (Tied) Canton, Ohio

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Value per square foot: $61 Average home size: 1,634 sqft October ZHVI: $88,900 Fall from value peak: -22.8% Year-over-year price change: -6.4%
Photo: Tom Bower | Flickr

Value per square foot: $61
Average home size: 1,634 sqft

Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI): $88,900
Fall from value peak: -22.8%
Year-over-year price change: -6.4%

More information from Zillow on the Canton market

6. (Tied) Memphis, Tennessee

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Value per square foot: $60 Average home size: 1,882 sqft October ZHVI: $95,400 Fall from value peak: -16.7% Year-over-year price change: -8.4%
Photo: Tetra Images | Getty Images

Value per square foot: $60
Average home size: 1,882 sqft

Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI): $95,400
Fall from value peak: -16.7%
Year-over-year price change: -8.4%

More information from Zillow on the Memphis market

6. (Tied) Atlanta, Georgia

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Value per square foot: $60 Average home size: 2,128 sqft October ZHVI: $109,700 Fall from value peak: -38.8% Year-over-year price change: -14.7%
Photo: Superstock | Getty Images

Value per square foot: $60
Average home size: 2,128 sqft

Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI): $109,700
Fall from value peak: -38.8%
Year-over-year price change: -14.7%

More information from Zillow on the Atlanta market

5. Detroit, Michigan

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Value per square foot: $59 Average home size: 1,604 sqft October ZHVI: $72,900 Fall from value peak: -52.0% Year-over-year price change: -6.7%
Photo: Getty Images

Value per square foot: $59
Average home size: 1,604 sqft

Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI): $72,900
Fall from value peak: -52.0%
Year-over-year price change: -6.7%

More information from Zillow on the Detroit market

4. Mobile, Alabama

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Value per square foot: $57 Average home size: 1,803 sqft October ZHVI: $78,200 Fall from value peak: -24.0% Year-over-year price change: -12.8%
Photo: Danita Delimont | Getty Images

Value per square foot: $57
Average home size: 1,803 sqft

Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI): $78,200
Fall from value peak: -24.0%
Year-over-year price change: -12.8%

More information from Zillow on the Mobile market

3. Spartanburg, South Carolina

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Value per square foot: $56 Average home size: 1,678 sqft October ZHVI: $98,800 Fall from value peak: -13.8% Year-over-year price change: -4.7%
Photo: Courtesy of City of Spartanburg | Flickr

Value per square foot: $56
Average home size: 1,678 sqft

Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI): $98,800
Fall from value peak: -13.8%
Year-over-year price change: -4.7%

More information from Zillow on the Spartanburg market

2. Lakeland, Florida

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Value per square foot: $52 Average home size: 1,666 sqft October ZHVI: $89,100 Fall from value peak: -55.6% Year-over-year price change: -4.7%
Photo: Patti McConvill | Getty Images

Value per square foot: $52
Average home size: 1,666 sqft

Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI): $89,100
Fall from value peak: -55.6%
Year-over-year price change: -4.7%

More information from Zillow on the Lakeland market

1. Ocala, Florida

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Value per square foot: $50 Average home size: 1,615 sqft October ZHVI: $85,200 Fall from value peak: -52.8% Year-over-year price change: -12.7%
Source: www.ocalafla.org

Value per square foot: $50
Average home size: 1,615 sqft

Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI): $85,200
Fall from value peak: -52.8%
Year-over-year price change: -12.7%

More information from Zillow on the Ocala market