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6 Big Ways to Completely Botch Buying a Home

 | Oct 11, 2017

We all make careless mistakes. We accidentally undertip the waiter. We lock our keys in the car. We wear white after Labor Day. We press “send all.” It happens to the best of us.

But some little mistakes can create big problems, like when you’re buying a home.

A house, after all, is a huge purchase; the stakes are extremely high. With that kind of money on the line, you’d better be darn sure you can navigate the home-buying process without a hitch. And avoid self-sabotage!  Check out the article…

What Kind Of House Does $300,000 Get You Around The World?

Take a tour of global real estate markets, where 300 grand can buy you a mansion or a walk-in closet.

Compton, LA: For $300,000, the realtor didn’t even get out of the car to snap the photo.

1/33 Compton, LA: For $300,000, the realtor didn’t even get out of the car to snap the photo.

When Reddit user Somuch101 asked, “What does a $300,000 house look like where you are from?” he or she set of a storm of responses. The answers ranged from “impossible to afford” to “a palace for pocket money.” Although the range is startling, there are few surprises. The more desirable a place is to live, the more expensive the housing. In New York’s Manhattan, $300,000 might buy you a four-weeks share in a fancy hotel suite. In San Francisco, the same will land you a corner plot covered in grass and nothing else.

The list below is a photo tour of the responses. I concentrated on the U.S., because the house prices run such a huge range all in one country, but the U.K. has its own price disparities. While Londoners can expect to get a small apartment for their £200,000, away from the capital, the same money would buy a whole street’s worth of homes. I also checked into China, but as you’d expect, the range is similar to that found elsewhere, from city-center hovels to cheap country homes to farmhouses.

Other non-surprises were the tiny apartments in Hong Kong and Japan, where your $300,000 gets you little more than a walk-in closet, and the difference between the capitals of Germany and Greece. In Berlin (not the richest city in Germany by any means), you can get a tiny two-bed apartment in the chaotic Kreuzberg neighborhood. In Athens, you can take your pick of huge apartments or maisonettes, and have plenty of money left over to donate to the poverty-stricken European Central Bank.

The one thing that did surprise me is just how expensive property is everywhere I looked. The only places that are cheap are run down neighborhoods or properties in tiny, remote villages.

LOS ANGELES

Compton, LA: For three bedrooms at $300,000 the realtor doesn’t even get out of the car to snap the photo.

West Hollywood: You can get a 304-square-foot studio with no parking and no kitchen, “which means you can’t have a car because there is literally nowhere to park in WeHo, and HOA fees are $630/month,” says Reddit user seriallysurreal.

SAN FRANCISCO

Good luck getting anything in San Francisco. You can’t even find a parking garage for $300,000. One solitary spot appears on the real estate site Zillow’s map when you narrow the search to the $250-300,000 range, and that’s a 1,520-square-foot patch of grass at 3579 Folsom Street.

LAS VEGAS

In Las Vegas, you can get a “decent sized house,” according to Redditor originalsinner702, who even posted photos of their own $100,000 home. A Zillow search shows up lots of big properties, and you can get a massive five-bedroom home like this 2,100-square-foot home for $275,000. Lots of space in the desert we guess.

DETROIT

Meanwhile, over in Detroit, you can pick up this beautiful (and palatial) 1912 townhouse for $320,000, with five bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms.

MANHATTAN, NY

Manhattan is even worse than San Francisco. Your $300,000 won’t get you your own place, but you could live in this two-bedroom Fifth Ave condo for four weeks of the year. You get all of week 36 (early September) to yourself, plus the rest of your allotted 28 days dotted around the year. Don’t like the Donald Trump-style decor? Tough, because you’re sharing the place.

ARKANSAS

Redditor Goose recommends Arkansas, where you can pick up a desirable six-bedroom, five-bathroom palace like this with $1,000 left over from our budget.

LONDON, U.K.

In London, the local equivalent of $300,000 is £192,000, and it’ll get you a sweet lockup garage. Like the San Francisco plot, though, this one’s value is in the land underneath the building, and the site comes with a planning application for a three-floor house. Oh, and calling this “London” is technically accurate, but something of a stretch.

MIDDLESBOROUGH, U.K.

Up north, in Middlesborough, you could buy a whole street of houses. This single three-bedroom terraced (multi-floor homes, joined together in a row) house costs £20,000, which means you could get 9-10 of them for the same price as that London car parking spot. According to the Independent, Middlesborough is the cheapest place to buy a home in the U.K.

GERMANY VS. GREECE

In the center of Berlin, €180,000 will buy you a tiny 620-square-foot apartment in Kreuzberg. Meanwhile, down in the capital of Germany’s arch enemy Greece, it’s hard to spend all that money. For instance, how about this 1,300-square-foot apartment with two living rooms, two kitchens, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms for just €150,000, or $160,000?

TUNISIA

In Tunisia, $300,000 translates to 585,000 Tunisian Dinar. Outside of town, that’ll land you a 2,400-square-foot home on three acres of land, complete with peach, olive, almond, and fig trees. Back in the city, you can pick up this 1,400-square-foot house for just TND150,000, which is only $77,000.

MEXICO

Down in Mexico, Reddit user kerplunk182 points out that five million pesos will buy you a 3,700-square-foot modern mansion with parking, a huge garden, and a beautiful newly fitted kitchen.

ICELAND

In Iceland, where everything else is notoriously expensive, the property prices are pretty reasonable. This lovely house costs 39,800,000 Iceland Krona, which is pretty much dead on our $300,000 budget. You get 3,000 square feet of living space, with three bedrooms and one bathroom, perfect when you’ll be spending the long, cold winters inside.

HONG KONG

Reddit user Parramatta says that, if you don’t mind living in “a very remote part of the city,” then you can get this tiny 320-square-foot apartment for HKD 2.38 million. That’s over our $300,000 target, but not by much.

Dominican Republic

Reddit user Cluelessknowitall says that in the Dominican Republic, $300,000 will buy you a “4-5 bedroom, less than 10 years old, big yard with a pool probably 5 or so min from the ocean.” I checked, and found this lovely place, for USD $240,000, 1,600 square feet, with two beds and two baths, marble floors, and a gym, right next to the ocean.

What’s the lesson in all this? Next time you’re complaining about high housing prices where you live, remember the old adage is true: location, location, location.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Previously found writing at Wired.com, Cult of Mac and Straight No filter.

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33 Tried and True Tips for a Sparkling House

Houzzers from around the world share their tips for transforming housework into child’s play.

Houzz Contributor,  Pauline Warlet

Household chores are a fact of life — no matter how we tackle them, there’s no getting around them. Sometimes we divide them up among family members and try to turn them into a game; at other times, we simply integrate them into our weekly routine. Either way, we’re eager to make them as easy as possible, and we want our tactics to be both cheap and effective.

Because 33 opinions are better than just one, we’ve asked the global Houzz community for household cleaning tips that will transform the novices among us into veritable pros. From herbs for deterring insects in Australia to green tea for banishing bad smells in Japan, these magic tips have one thing in common: They’ve been tested and approved by the best experts around — you!  To the tips Lego Batman!