(NewsNation) — House hunting? Depending on where you live, the amount of house you can get for the money is going to look very different.
Location is the most significant contributor to housing costs, with a typical home in Hawaii, for example, costing more than six times a typical home in West Virginia.
Median home prices by state:
Say your homebuying budget is $300,000. For the most part, that price point won’t afford much for housing in Hawaii. Oahu’s median price for a single-family home as of August 2022 was $1,125,500, and the median price for a condo/townhouse was $498,500.
In today’s market, $300,000 can barely buy you a studio, or a one-bedroom unit, in Hawaii. An example of a unit in this price point is $297,000 for a one-bedroom in Waikiki. The unit is a fully furnished legal short-term vacation rental.
“Hawaii is a state where we have many newcomers every year and constant rotation. We have all branches of the military and company relocations. There is always a lot of movement, especially on Oahu. We have also seen a lot of relocation coming from Colorado, California, Washington and Texas,” real estate agent Ayla Toman said.
There’s also limited land available for housing in Hawaii.
“There is only 8% of the land on Oahu which is actually available for development. All this is already taken and will be developed in the next 20-25 years. So land in Hawaii is prime,” Toman added.
Here’s what $300,000 will buy you in the highest median-home-priced states:
- Hawaii: $848,926; cost per square foot: $649
- $300,000 buys you 462 square feet
- California: $848,926; cost per square foot: $468
- $300,000 buys you 641 square feet
- Washington: $595,732; cost per square foot: $313
- $300,000 buys you 958 square feet
- Colorado: $559,838; cost per square foot: $263
- $300,000 buys you 1,141 square feet
- Massachusetts: $559,312; cost per square foot: $321
- $300,000 buys you 935 square feet
Meanwhile, in West Virginia, $300,000 can go a long way. Real estate agent C’Anna Keffer told NewsNation Digital that for that amount of money, you can buy a minimum three-bed, two-bath home with at least 1,500 square feet.
An example of a home at this price point would be $275,000 for a six-bedroom house in Morgantown, West Virginia.
“You’re not only going to get a detached house that’s its own unit,” Keffer said. “But you’re also going to get a yard, if not more, often in nice neighborhoods.”
West Virginia ranks as the fourth-worst place to live in a U.S. & World News ranking, a spot it has held since 2018. Kefir says a lot of that has been reflective of the way the state governs itself.
The Mountain State launched a program called Ascend, where people could earn tax credits up to $12,000 if they moved to West Virginia. The hope was to encourage people to try out West Virginia. Overall, Keffer said, West Virginians value slightly lower taxes, having a little more space, and the outdoors.
“I love West Virginia,” Keffer said. “It is home. The people are incredibly warm and friendly. We’re very welcoming and inviting. We enjoy all four seasons, and that’s something that you can’t get a lot of other places. We have beautiful places to hike and relax and boat and fish and ski. We really take advantage of you know, all year-round activities.”
Here’s what $300,000 will buy you in the lowest median-home-priced states:
- Iowa: $183,418; cost per square foot: $118
- $300,000 buys you 2,542 square feet
- Oklahoma: $171,057; cost per square foot: $98
- $300,000 buys you 3,061 square feet
- Arkansas: $169,867; cost per square foot: $95
- $300,000 buys you 3,157 square feet
- Mississippi: $157,828; cost per square foot: $84
- $300,000 buys you 3,571 square feet
- West Virginia: $129,103; cost per square foot: $75
- $300,000 buys you 4,000 square feet