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How Much Home You Can Buy for $300,000 in Every State

Cynthia Measom
·22 mins read

Spending your $300,000 homebuying budget in a state such as West Virginia or Mississippi will get you much more living space than what that same bundle of cash will get you in Hawaii or the District of Columbia — and the difference is thousands of square footage.

Those extra square feet can prove very valuable if you are planning to start a family or already have one. With the U.S. median list price at $285,000 and each square foot costing an average of $152.51, you might be able to afford a bigger home if you choose to settle down in a less expensive state.

To help you gauge your options, GOBankingRates used March 2019 data on median list prices, sourced from Zillow, to determine the amount of square footage that $300,000 can buy you in every state and the District of Columbia. However, taxes, fees and other homebuying costs are not included in the $300,000 figure for each area, so prospective buyers should factor that into their calculations accordingly.

Keep reading to learn how much house you can actually afford — and whether it’s worth buying a home in a different state.

Last updated: Oct. 12, 2020

51. District of Columbia — 556 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $540.01

The District of Columbia offers the worst value for your money, which is no surprise. If you look at housing market trends, its ranking hasn’t changed in the past two years, and median list prices per square foot are continuously rising. In 2018, the median list price per square foot for a $300,000 house was $516.40, whereas in 2017, it was $497.16.

50. Hawaii — 570 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $526.04

Living the island dream comes at a high cost. Hawaii is the second-most expensive state for homebuyers — a trend that has continued since at least 2017. In 2017, you could have gotten a 625-square-foot home for $300,000. In 2018, the median list price per square foot increased, and $300,000 only paid for a small home of 588 square feet.

Hawaii also has the highest cost of living in the nation, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, at a whopping 90% above the national average.

49. California — 933 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $321.43

California is the third-most expensive place in the nation to buy a home. In 2018, the median list price per square foot totaled $298.95, whereas in 2017, the price was $281.33. It’s no surprise that the most expensive real estate is located in cities and towns along the Golden State’s Pacific coastline, with San Francisco and San Jose rolling out median list prices over $1 million.

48. Massachusetts — 1,142 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $262.67

The Bay State ranks No. 4 in the nation among the places where $300,000 won’t buy much. In 2018, Massachusetts served up just 1,246 square feet for your money at $240.81 per square foot. And, in 2017, things weren’t much better: $226 was the median list price per square foot, which equaled only 1,327 square feet of living space for $300,000.

47. Colorado — 1,213 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $247.39

Colorado makes the bottom five when it comes to the size of home you can get for $300,000. In 2018, for $227.93 per square foot, $300,000 bought just 1,316 square feet of living space. In 2017, prices were a bit better: The same money bought 1,471 square feet.

46. Washington — 1,286 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $233.23

Prices are on the rise in the state of Washington: The price per square foot has increased by almost 32% since 2017. For example, in 2018, median list prices ran $203.38 per square foot — just 1,475 square feet of space for $300,000. In 2017, the prices were $177.13 per square foot, which equaled a 1,694-square-foot home for the same money.

45. Oregon — 1,386 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $216.43

Median list prices per square foot in Oregon have increased 14.5% over the last couple of years. In 2017, homebuyers in the Beaver State could expect to shell out $188.95 per square foot for a 1,588-square-foot house. In 2018, $300,000 bought a 1,478-square-foot home at $203.04 per square foot.

The state has a higher-than-average cost of living at 31% over the U.S. as a whole, according to MERIC.

44. New York — 1,452 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $206.58

New York ranks in the bottom 10 for places where $300,000 buys the most, and prices skyrocketed between 2018 and 2019. In 2017, homebuyers paid 180.25 per square foot for a 1,664-square-foot home. In 2018, homebuyers got a little less for their $300,000 tab: 1,647 square feet at a median list price of $182.20 per square foot, which equaled an increase of less than $2 per square foot. In 2019, however, prices jumped by over $24 per square foot.

43. Rhode Island — 1,454 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $206.39

Prices in Rhode Island have been steadily rising since 2017, when the median list price per square foot was $183.55 and you could have gotten a 1,634-square-foot house for $300,000. In 2018, homebuyers got less for the same money — only a 1,537-square-foot home.

 

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42. Montana — 1,476 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $203.25

Big Sky Country ranks in the bottom 10 for worst home values. In 2017, homebuyers could have gotten 1,779 square feet of space for $168.60 per square foot. In 2018, $300,000 didn’t stretch quite as far, buying only 1,637 square feet at a price of $183.28 per square foot.

41. New Jersey — 1,604 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $187.06

The size of home you can get with a $300,000 budget has decreased 12.8% since 2017. For example, in 2017, homebuyers could have landed a 1,839-square-foot home for $300,000. But, in 2018, that same budget yielded only 1,791 square feet in the Garden State.

40. Maryland — 1,614 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $185.88

Your money won’t go as far as it will in other states when you buy a home with a $300,000 budget in Maryland. This price point delivered 1,861 square feet at $165.21 per square foot in 2017, and 1,707 square feet at $175.78 per square foot in 2018.

39. Minnesota — 1,635 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $183.46

If real estate market trends are an indicator, Minnesota’s current median list price may be set to rise. The median list price per square foot jumped from $160.18 in 2017 to $169.37 in 2018. And, from 2018 to 2019, the price increased by over $14 per square foot.

38. Utah — 1,639 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $183.06

In Utah, the total square footage you can get for $300,000 has decreased by 11.6% since 2017. In 2018, a homebuyer could have purchased a 1,718-square-foot home with a $300,000 budget. In 2017, a homebuyer could have gotten 1,854 square feet for the same price.

37. Connecticut — 1,705 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $175.92

On average, your $300,000 budget will buy less in Connecticut than it would have a year or two ago. In 2017, the median list price per square foot was $164.22, and in 2018, it was $169.02. Plus, Connecticut was one of the top 10 most expensive states to live in 2018, according to CNBC.

36. Nevada — 1,721 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $174.36

Things have really changed in the Nevada housing market over the past couple of years thanks to the growing costs of land, materials, and labor costs, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The median list price per square foot has increased by 26.2%, and the total square footage that homebuyers can get at the $300,000 price point has decreased by 20.8%. For example, in 2017, homebuyers could have purchased a 2,171-square-foot home for $138.17 per square foot.

 

35. Alaska — 1,748 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $171.62

If a move to the Last Frontier is in the works, you should know that the size of home you can buy for $300,000 in 2019 registers a decrease from the size of home you could have bought in 2018 and 2017. In 2017, $300,000 bought 1,812 square feet of living space, whereas in 2018, you could have gotten a slightly smaller home of 1,806 square feet.

Alaska’s cost of living is ranked No. 7 in the nation, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research.

34. New Hampshire — 1,776 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $168.88

Prices per square foot are rising in the Granite State. In 2017, homebuyers could have purchased a 2,007-square-foot home for $300,000. In 2018, the same money was worth only 1,902 square feet.

33. Wyoming — 1,791 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $167.55

Prices are on the rise in Wyoming. In 2018, you could have invested $300,000 in a home and gotten 1,950 square feet, on average, at a median list price of $153.85 per square foot. In 2017, homebuyers got more for their money: 2,053 square feet for $146.11 per square foot.

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32. Florida — 1,801 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $166.55

The size of home you can get for $300,000 is becoming smaller in the Sunshine State. In 2017, a $300,000 budget got you a 1,931-square-foot home. In 2018, the same money netted homebuyers only 1,839 square feet of living space, on average.

31. South Dakota — 1,812 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $165.60

Home values aren’t as monumental as they used to be in the Mount Rushmore State. In 2018, $300,000 delivered 2,027 square feet, with a median list price of $148.02 per square foot. In 2017, home values were even better: 2,262 square feet of living space for $132.63 per square foot.

30. Idaho — 1,829 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $163.98

Idaho’s median price per square foot jumped by almost $20 from 2018 to 2019, which means that homebuyers have to settle for a home of less than 2,000 square feet for $300,000. In 2017, the median list price per square foot was much lower, coming in at $129.15, and homebuyers could have bought a home with over 2,300 square feet, on average.

29. Maine — 1,846 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $162.50

Maine’s median list price per square foot has increased each year since 2017 — but not too dramatically. In 2017, the median price per square foot was just under $150. In 2018, it increased to $156.25.

28. Virginia — 1,875 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $160.01

Virginia is yet another place where home prices are on the rise. In 2018, you could have found a median list price of $150.38 per square foot — which means you could have snagged a 1,995-square-foot home for $300,000. Prices were less costly in 2017, with a median list price of $144.87 per square foot, equaling a 2,071-square-foot home for the same money.

27. Arizona — 1,879 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $159.64

Some people consider Arizona a great place to retire. If you’re part of that group, you might want to purchase your home now before prices increase again so you can enjoy those legendary Arizona sunsets for less. If you wait, it’s likely you’ll end up getting less house for your money. In 2018, you could have snatched a 2,007-square-foot home with a budget of $300,000, and things were even better in 2017 — you could have purchased a 2,139-square-foot home for the same money.

26. Vermont — 1,905 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $157.50

You might want to consider settling into scenic living in Vermont before prices make another jump. Median list prices in 2018 were $154.43 per square foot, equaling a 1,943-square-foot home for $300,000. In 2017, homes were $142.11 per square foot, which got a homebuyer 2,111 square feet of living space for the same money.

25. Illinois — 1,952 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $153.73

Illinois, aka the Prairie State, falls right in the middle of this list ranking the best and worst states to buy a home for $300,000. If you’re interested in living here, however, you might want to make a move ASAP — the median list price per square foot increased by over $18 from 2018 to 2019.

24. Delaware — 2,036 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $147.35

In Delaware, the median list price per square foot has been steadily increasing over the past couple of years. In 2017, the median list price per square foot was $135.48, but in 2018, it increased to $140.91. With an increase of almost $6.50 per square foot from 2018 to 2019, this real estate trend signals that homebuyers in Delaware might also get less for their $300,000 next year.

23. North Dakota — 2,070 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $144.94

Move to North Dakota and your cost of living will drop below the national average by approximately 1%, according to MERIC. Right now, you can also buy a home for $300,000 that’s slightly over 2,000 square feet. In the future, however, that may change. In 2018, homebuyers leveraged their $300,000 to get a slightly larger 2,090-square-foot home for $143.31 per square foot.

 

22. Wisconsin — 2,151 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $139.48

The price per square foot in Wisconsin has increased by roughly 16% since 2017, but you can still get a home measuring over 2,000 square feet for $300,000. The state also rolls out a cost of living that is roughly 4% lower than the national average, according to MERIC.

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21. Nebraska — 2,164 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $138.66

Between 2017 and 2019, the median list price per square foot for homes in Nebraska increased by 18.6%. In 2017, the price per square foot was $116.90, which got you a 2,566-square-foot home at the $300,000 price point. And, in 2018, the price went up to $132.17 per square foot, equaling a 2,270-square-foot home for the same money.

20. New Mexico — 2,261 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $132.69

You can still buy a home well over 2,000 square feet in the Land of Enchantment for $300,000. But that could very well change in the future. The amount of home you can get for $300,000 has decreased by 16% since 2017. For example, in 2017, you could have bought a home spanning 2,622 square feet. In 2018, $300,000 got homebuyers less — only 2,353 square feet.

19. Tennessee — 2,264 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $132.49

Homebuyers with a $300,000 budget can still get plenty of bang for their buck in Tennessee, but prices are steadily increasing. A $300,000 home got homebuyers 2,490 square feet in 2018 and a much larger 2,865-square-foot home in 2017.

18. North Carolina — 2,273 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $132

Getting the most out of $300,000 is becoming more difficult in North Carolina. In 2017, $300,000 bought a 2,558-square-foot home for $117.28 per square foot. In 2018, homebuyers got 2,418 square feet for $300,000, at a median list price per square foot of $124.09.

17. Pennsylvania — 2,276 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $131.79

The amount of home you can get for $300,000 in Pennsylvania is decreasing. In 2017, homebuyers could have gotten a 2,702-square-foot home for $111.02 per square foot. In 2018, homes in this state listed for a median price of $119.31 per square foot and delivered 2,514 square feet for $300,000.

16. South Carolina — 2,321 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $129.23

Although the size of home you can get for $300,000 is shrinking in South Carolina, homebuyers with this type of budget can still acquire spacious homes measuring over 2,000 square feet. But those days might be coming to a close. The price per square foot for homes in this state has increased by 14.8% since 2017.

 

15. Michigan — 2,351 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $127.61

Michigan has one of the most drastic changes in price per square foot on GOBankingRates’ list, increasing by 20.7% over two years. Between 2017 and 2019, the price per square foot grew from $105.72 to $127.61. Still, homebuyers in the Great Lakes State can net a home that’s over 2,300 square feet at the $300,000 price point, which is way more than what some states can offer.

14. Iowa — 2,353 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $127.52

Iowa didn’t make the top 10 for most affordable median list prices per square feet, but its homes are much more affordable than some of the other states on this list. And, after an increase from $119.05 in 2017 to $127.95 in 2018, the median list price per square foot actually went down slightly in the following year.

13. Texas — 2,356 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $127.33

Everything’s bigger in Texas — and that holds true for how much house you’ll get for $300,000, which is well over 2,000 square feet. But it probably won’t always be that way; the price per square foot has increased by 11% over the past couple of years. In 2018, the median list price of $121.28 per square foot helped homebuyers snag homes spanning 2,474 square feet. In 2017, however, the median list price of $144.67 per square foot served up homes measuring a whopping 2,616 square feet.

12. Louisiana — 2,480 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $120.96

Louisiana is a steal when it comes to home prices. Although the median list price per square foot has steadily risen since 2017, the increases haven’t been as significant as the ones in other states. For example, prices rose less than $5 per square foot from 2017-18 and 2018-19.

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11. Kansas — 2,497 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $120.16

Kansas ranks just outside of the top 10 when it comes to getting the most for $300,000, but prices have been steadily rising since 2017, when homeowners enjoyed over 3,000 square feet of living space with a median list price of under $100 per square foot.

10. Missouri — 2,519 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $119.11

Rounding out the top 10 places to buy a home for $300,000, Missouri has experienced a 21% increase in price per square foot between 2017 and 2019. In 2017, the median list price per square foot was $98.34. In 2018, homebuyers got less — 2,813 square feet of living space for the same money, at a median list price per square foot of $106.67.

9. Georgia — 2,521 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $119

A home budget of $300,000 can still go a long way in Georgia, even though the median list price per square foot has been steadily increasing since 2017. The median list price per square foot in 2017 was $99.34, which allowed homebuyers with a $300,000 budget to get a home measuring just over 3,000 square feet. In 2018, the median list price per square foot jumped by almost $10 to $109.13, but homebuyers still could have gotten a sizable home of 2,749 square feet.

8. Kentucky — 2,599 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $115.43

In 2019, Kentucky managed to hold on to the No. 8 spot for keeping more green in your wallet when you buy a $300,000 home. In 2018, that kind of budget would have bought a spacious 2,836-square-foot house in the Bluegrass State. In 2017, homebuyers with $300,000 to spend could have gotten an even larger home spanning 2,988 square feet.

7. Ohio — 2,790 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $107.53

Ohio ranks in the top 10 for the best home values, but prices are continually rising. In 2017, $300,000 netted homebuyers 3,366 square feet for $89.12 per square foot. In 2018, the same money bought less — 3,090 square feet at $97.08 per square foot.

6. Alabama — 2,827 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $106.13

The Yellowhammer State won’t hammer your housing budget. Alabama ranks in the top 10 for delivering the most square footage for the money — but prices per square foot have been steadily on the rise since 2017. Two years ago, you could have bought a 3,256-square-foot home for $300,000. In 2018, square footage prices increased, netting buyers only 3,103 square feet of living space for the same money.

5. Indiana — 2,844 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $105.48

The Hoosier State ranks No. 5 for the most square footage for $300,000. However, in 2017, homebuyers could have purchased a much larger 3,478-square-foot home for the same money. In 2018, living space for a $300,000 home in Indiana shrank to 3,114 square feet.

4. Oklahoma — 2,875 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $104.36

The Sooner State comes in at No. 4 for offering the most square footage for $300,000. But home prices per square foot are increasing steadily in this state. In 2018, the cost was $99.21 per square foot, whereas the cost in 2017 per square foot was $94.50.

3. Arkansas — 3,002 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $99.94

Arkansas delivers major square footage for a $300,000 budget, ranking in the top three states that give you the most bang for your buck. In 2018, you could have purchased a 3,212-square-foot home for the same money. In 2017, $300,000 would have gotten you almost 3,400 square feet.

2. West Virginia — 3,121 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $96.11

West Virginia currently ranks No. 2 in the nation for getting the most home for $300,000. In 2018, you could have gotten an additional 226 square feet in the Mountain State for the same money. In 2017, that amount was slightly higher, at an extra 239 square feet.

1. Mississippi — 3,207 Square Feet

  • Median list price per square foot: $93.55

Throw away your snow shovel when you move to Mississippi. The state ranks first in the nation for getting the most home for $300,000, even though the price per square foot has been increasing since 2017 — but only by 6% overall. In 2017, the median list price per square foot was $88.19, and you could have snagged 3,402 square feet for $300,000. In 2018, the price per square foot increased by almost $3, netting buyers 3,290 square feet for $300,000 — a reduction of 112 square feet compared to 2017.

Best and Worst States To Buy a Home For $300K

If you’re looking for a large house on a $300,000 budget, some states have real estate markets that just won’t meet your needs. These states, including the District of Columbia, rank in the bottom 10 for getting the most bang for your buck:

  • District of Columbia

  • Hawaii

  • California

  • Massachusetts

  • Colorado

  • Washington

  • Oregon

  • New York

  • Rhode Island

  • Montana

On the other hand, these are the 10 best states that will provide you with the most value for a $300,000 homebuying budget:

  • Mississippi

  • West Virginia

  • Arkansas

  • Oklahoma

  • Indiana

  • Alabama

  • Ohio

  • Kentucky

  • Georgia

  • Missouri

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: GOBankingRates determined how much square footage $300,000 buys in every state and the District of Columbia by using the median home listing price per square foot, sourced from Zillow’s “Median List Price Per Sq Ft ($)” using March 2019 data. To find out exactly how much home $300,000 buys, GOBankingRates divided $300,000 by each state’s price per square foot. Supplemental data for median list price by state and nationwide were sourced via March 2019 data from Zillow.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How Much Home You Can Buy for $300,000 in Every State