Buying a house can be fun and exciting, but as many people will tell you, the home-buying process can be fraught with headaches and disappointment. An easy way to prevent future pain is to start your search by getting a realistic idea of how much house you can afford where you live.
GOBankingRates researched the median property listing price in every state and the District of Columbia on Zillow, and then divided 300,000 by each number to determine the size of house a budget of $300,000 can buy. State-level data was not available for North Dakota, so GOBankingRates found the median list price per square foot from a sample of six cities — Bismarck, Dickinson, Fargo, Waterford, West Fargo and Williston — and then found the median of those six. GOBankingRates then divided 300,000 by this number.
So, do you have enough to buy a house in your desired state? Click all the way through to find out where you can get the most house for your money.
51. District of Columbia
$300,000 buys you: 603 square feet
Median price per square foot: $497
Move to D.C. and you’ll be living in the No. 1 most expensive place to buy a home in the U.S. Not to mention, D.C. is also one of the most expensive places to live when you consider other cost-of-living factors.
A budget of $300,000 won’t buy you much in the way of square footage in D.C.; however, it will buy you nice views from a plantation-shuttered window of a one-bedroom, one-bath condo. Expect additional perks like Corian counters, parquet floors, built-in bookcases and a huge walk-in closet.
$300,000 buys you: 625 square feet
Median price per square foot: $480
Get a front row seat for beautiful Hawaiian sunsets all year long when you spend your $300,000 on a home in the state. Although Hawaii is the No. 2 most expensive place in the nation to spend your real estate dollars, you’ll find small condos on every inhabited island that will fit within that price range.
Freestanding homes are more difficult to find but not impossible. For instance, a 480-square-foot home in Pahoa nestles into 14 acres of orchards.
$300,000 buys you: 1,066 square feet
Median price per square foot: $281
When you only have $300,000 to spend, California ranks near the bottom in terms of home affordability. The state is the third most expensive place to buy a home, with prices approaching $300 per square foot. Plus, it’s one of the states where you’re most likely to live paycheck to paycheck thanks to other high cost-of-living expenses like transportation.
For the money, though, you can walk to Disneyland from a two-bedroom, two-bath townhome in Anaheim. Or, you can savor sunset views from a one-bed, one-bath Marion Mountain home in Idyllwild.
$300,000 buys you: 1,327 square feet
Median price per square foot: $226
Beantown made the Top 10 in U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Best Places to Live, but you’ll pay for the privilege. Massachusetts is the No. 4 most expensive place to buy a home for $300,000. Those dollars will get you just more than 1,300 square feet.
Your money could buy you a top floor condo in a converted historic Victorian or a two-story colonial tucked just behind Cleary Square.
$300,000 buys you: 1,471 square feet
Median price per square foot: $204
Rocky Mountain high applies to Colorado’s home prices as well as its breathtaking scenery. The fifth most expensive place for your home dollar brims with modest homes positioned to start an outdoor adventure.
For $300,000, you can settle into a modernized three-bedroom, two-bath home in the Old Colorado City neighborhood. Enjoy dramatic Pikes Peak views, as well as hardwood floors in homes with upgraded kitchens and modern amenities.
$300,000 buys you: 1,588 square feet
Median price per square foot: $189
Even though Oregon ranks among the most expensive places in the U.S. to buy a home, there doesn’t have to be anything average about the house $300,000 buys you in this state.
For the money, you can get a front row view to Fourth of July fireworks over the harbor in Brookings. Not to mention, you’re perfectly positioned for a boat outing on the Chetco River or Pacific Ocean, or a day at the Chetco Cove beach.
If you prefer, sit by your fireplace in a seacoast home in Waldport, where you’ll enjoy views of the waves rushing onto the shore just past your backyard.
45. Rhode Island
$300,000 buys you: 1,634 square feet
Median price per square foot: $184
There’s perhaps no event more spectacular than WaterFire in Providence, where more than 100 fiery braziers light up the downtown rivers. The special music-and-fire event happens once every few weeks, but you’ll be close to the action when your mortgage affordability calculator indicates a $300,000 price range.
Not only is Rhode Island within the top 10 most expensive places to buy a home, it’s also one of the worst states to get a mortgage loan. Should you still want to buy a home in the state, know that you can find three-bedroom colonial homes in Pawtucket, which is just a few miles from the WaterFire action.
44. New York
$300,000 buys you: 1,664 square feet
Median price per square foot: $180
It probably comes as no surprise that New York is in the top 10 most expensive places to shop for a $300,000 home. If you want to be in the Big Apple, you can pick up two- and three-bedroom homes with more than 1,600 square feet in areas like Howard Beach, Staten Island and Jamaica.
Don’t ignore the rest of the state, though. You’ll find more square footage for your money in Syracuse or Albany. You might even find yourself living in a spacious log cabin along the shores of Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks.
$300,000 buys you: 1,694 square feet
Median price per square foot: $177
A budget of $300,000 offers a lot of variety in Washington. You can even have your own island getaway for the money.
Move into a four-bedroom home on an acre of land on Fidalgo Island, where you can spend your days at the beach, pick blackberries on your property or snuggle up to a cozy wood stove.
$300,000 buys you: 1,779 square feet
Median price per square foot: $169
Live your own outdoor adventure when you buy your $300,000 home in Montana. Although it’s among the top 10 most expensive real estate areas to spend your money, many consider it well worth the cost.
Spot celebrities while skiing Whitefish Mountain, challenge the rapids of the Flathead River, or explore Glacier National Park. You’ll be perfectly poised to do all that and more when you drop your housing dollars in Kalispell. About 20 miles south of Whitefish, it delivers all the outdoor access without the steep celebrity prices.
$300,000 buys you: 1,812 square feet
Median price per square foot: $166
Anchorage is a good place to buy if you want to stay right around the $300,000 price range, as the average home value in the city is $294,000.
For your money, you’ll get four or five bedrooms, a fenced yard and just less than a quarter-acre of real estate. Expect an outdoor deck where you can take in great Alaskan views.
$300,000 buys you: 1,816 square feet
Median price per square foot: $165
Since $300,000 will only gain you about 600 square feet in the District of Columbia, you might wonder, “How much house can I afford just outside the D.C. limits in Maryland?” The fact is, you can more than triple the square footage in your price range and still be close by for the Cherry Blossom Festival in the nation’s capital.
Rather than buying a pre-existing house, check out new construction in Riverdale where you can get homes with four bedrooms and four baths.
$300,000 buys you: 1,827 square feet
Median price per square foot: $164
Stretch out on a sandy beach just a short way away from your home when your mortgage affordability calculator approves you for $300,000 in Connecticut. You’ll find homes with three bedrooms and two baths in West Haven that overlook Long Island Sound for the price.
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38. New Jersey
$300,000 buys you: 1,839 square feet
Median price per square foot: $163
Move to the Garden State and enjoy a garden of your own when buying a home with a $300,000 price tag — just be prepared to pay high property taxes. Your money will get you a four-bedroom, two-bath home in the Presidential Heights neighborhood in East Orange on a tenth of an acre. If you’ve always wanted to continue your higher education, check out homes in Hillside that are just a block or two from Nathan Weiss Graduate College.
$300,000 buys you: 1,854 square feet
Median price per square foot: $162
Enjoy mountain views when you buy a Utah home in the Wasatch, Uinta or other mountain ranges that run throughout much of the state of Utah.
Provo and Salt Lake City roll out views along with homes offering up to five bedrooms for less than $300,000. If you prefer to be up in the mountains, check out homes in Morgan. A recent review of available homes showed a five-bedroom house with more than 2,300 feet of interior living space. A walk-out basement opens to mountain pines, wood-burning stove and secluded hot tub. Best of all, you’re just minutes from year-round outdoor activities at the Snowbasin ski area.
$300,000 buys you: 1,873 square feet
Median price per square foot: $160
With a meld of big-city amenities and laid-back Midwestern ambiance, Minneapolis ranked as No. 17 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 100 Best Places to Live.
Your $300,000 can get you a four-bedroom home in the city with just less than 2,000 square feet. If you need a little more room, let whispering pines sing you to sleep at night in smaller cities. Buy a home in Tower, and you’ll get more than an acre to go beneath a home of about 3,400 square feet.
35. North Dakota
$300,000 buys you: 1,921 square feet
Median price per square foot: $156
Live a quiet lifestyle along the Missouri River in Mandan. Spend a lazy afternoon paddling or boating the river right from your backyard. Large lots and fenced yards give you plenty of room to have neighbors over for summertime cookouts.
Or move to Fargo, where you can buy a historic four-bedroom home or spacious three-bedroom condo for $300,000 or less.
$300,000 buys you: 1,931 square feet
Median price per square foot: $155
Nestle along the Peace River or the Gasparilla Sound when you spend your money on a three-bedroom home in Punta Gorda. Step out on your lanai to view lush vegetation, or take a dip in your solar-heated saltwater pool. Inside, you can expect perks and decorator touches, such as cherry cabinetry, stone counters, a soaking tub and custom closet systems.
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$300,000 buys you: 2,002 square feet
Median price per square foot: $150
A budget of $300,000 can buy you a sizable five-bed, three-bath bay-side home in Maine. Watch the sun come up over Nova Scotia as you sip coffee just a short walk from a charming Cape-Cod style neighborhood in Eastport.
32. New Hampshire
$300,000 buys you: 2,007 square feet
Median price per square foot: $149
Mind-blowing fall foliage isn’t the only reason to move to New Hampshire, but you’ll definitely get a front row seat for the show when you live there. The state is ideal for its mix of scenery and historic architecture blended with cutting-edge technology.
Tuck into a spacious, new construction saltbox home in Boscawen, which includes a spacious mud room for coats, boots and other outdoor essentials.
$300,000 buys you: 2,053 square feet
Median price per square foot: $146
You’ll have Yellowstone Park in your backyard when you move to a six-bedroom, four-bath compound in Dubois. The historic fixer-upper belonged to Martin Olson, an immigrant who was crucial in the railroad tie-making industry. The Cape Cod-style home has three separate living areas, each with its own kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms.
$300,000 buys you: 2,071 square feet
Median price per square foot: $145
While inventory for $300,000 homes in Virginia is extensive, the houses are anything but ordinary. Buy your own coastal getaway in Accomac where the money delivers four bedrooms with 2,000 square feet of living space. Get sweeping views of Cross Creek, waterways and marshes that are a bird watcher’s dream.
Or head inland to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Your money buys a three-bedroom colonial on a scenic mountain acre in Montebello.
$300,000 buys you: 2,111 square feet
Median price per square foot: $142
Sit on your deck and watch moose, bear, wild turkeys and deer stroll by in Canaan. You might get up to 40 acres for your money in the area along with a 2,300-square-foot three-bedroom home. Hike, bike or ATV on your own turf, fish from private ponds and relax in a home with wood floors, a large kitchen and master suite.
Move to a three-bedroom home in Weston, and all you’ll have to do is peek out your window to see some of the state’s most striking foliage displays.
$300,000 buys you: 2,139 square feet
Median price per square foot: $140
Spend winters soaking up the sunshine and summers in air-conditioned comfort when you move to Phoenix, Arizona’s capital city. Discover two-story Mediterranean or single-story ranch homes that put you close to golf, shopping and desert hikes. The $300,000 price range can get you upgrades like vaulted ceilings, fireplace, roomy bedrooms and walk-in closets.
$300,000 buys you: 2,171 square feet
Median price per square foot: $138
Nevada topped the nation in job growth in 2016, according to the Gallup Job Creation Index. Plus, you’ll enjoy a few great tax benefits.
The state rolls out more than 2,000 square feet for your $300,000 housing dollars, but that doesn’t mean you’re limited to living in the bright lights of Las Vegas. Find homes with up to seven bedrooms in Reno. Inventory in the city and its neighbor, Sparks, includes ranch-style homes from the 1950s and 1960s with four to five bedrooms typical.
$300,000 buys you: 2,214 square feet
Median price per square foot: $135
When you’re wondering, “How much house can I afford?” in the nation’s second smallest state, head to Dover. Your $300,00 delivers a brand new three-bedroom, two-bath ranch-style home or a four-bedroom classic colonial that’s fully modernized.
Want to be near the water? The price range puts you in a three-bedroom townhome in communities like Selbyville, where you’ll be close to the beaches and Fenwick Island.
25. South Dakota
$300,000 buys you: 2,262 square feet
Median price per square foot: $133
Position yourself to enjoy South Dakota’s finest sights when your mortgage affordability calculator says you’ll qualify for up to $300,000. Spearfish Canyon, Black Hills National Forest, Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park are just a few of the sights that will be close when you buy a home in Rapid City.
Expect to be kicking back in a home that has as many as five bedrooms, or enjoy a newly constructed three-bedroom home.
$300,000 buys you: 2,305 square feet
Median price per square foot: $130
Walk to Montrose Beach just two blocks away when you spend your $300,000 to buy a three-bedroom townhome near Lincoln Park in Chicago. You’ll have access to all the city’s best sights and celebrations without having to battle traffic.
Should city living not be your style, move out to the country instead. Enjoy room to roam in a three-bedroom Elizabethtown home tucked in the Shawnee National Forest on the state’s southeastern edge.
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$300,000 buys you: 2,323 square feet
Median price per square foot: $129
When you buy a home in Idaho, $300,000 comes with many options. You might choose to live along the western flank of the Teton Range with wide open spaces and mountain views.
Or you can enjoy the music of the breeze through towering pine trees from redwood decks attached to your sprawling cedar cabin in Idaho City. Get those ATVs you always wanted, and ride away into the Boise National Forest right down the street.
$300,000 buys you: 2,499 square feet
Median price per square foot: $120
There’s more to Wisconsin than a publicly traded football team and lots of cheese. The state’s four geographic regions range from forests, glacial drifts, plains and Great Lakes shoreline, offering a great deal of variety for your real estate dollar. You can even live on an island.
Hearken back to the state’s Scandinavian heritage in a three-bedroom Washington Island home filled with cultural touches on the island’s waterfront.
$300,000 buys you: 2,520 square feet
Median price per square foot: $119
Des Moines is not only the fastest-growing city in Iowa, it’s the fastest-growing in the entire Midwest, according to Census Bureau data.
You’ll likely never have to wait to use the restroom in your home, as four-bed, four-bath homes are the norm in Des Moines’ $300,000 home inventory. Upgrades seen on the market include super-sized rooms and paved outdoor spaces.
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20. North Carolina
$300,000 buys you: 2,558 square feet
Median price per square foot: $117
Strong job growth, mild weather and good quality of life are just a few of the factors that place the Raleigh metro area in one of the top places to live, according to U.S. News and World Report. The median home price is $219,000 in the city, so bumping up your housing budget to $300,000 will get you a home that’s extra special.
Check out spacious new construction in the Massey Preserve South neighborhood. Get four-bedroom homes with upgrades like a master suite garden tub and adjoining sitting room.
$300,000 buys you: 2,566 square feet
Median price per square foot: $117
According to a recent survey by Apartment List Rentonomics, Omaha is one of the hottest places for millennials to move. Rising wages and affordable housing make it one of the best places for saving money.
The city’s inventory for $300,000 homes includes a fully-remodeled Victorian with three bedrooms and three baths. An ornate staircase, formal entry and hardwood floors hearken to times gone by. But redone plumbing, electrical and HVAC let you know you’re in the modern era.
$300,000 buys you: 2,616 square feet
Median price per square foot: $115
They say things are bigger in Texas. Your real estate dollar can buy a lot of house for the money. Texas is also home to Austin, the best city in the country to live, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Best Places to Live. The city might have a reputation for “keeping it weird,” but there’s nothing strange about Austin’s real estate industry. Settle into new construction with three or four bedrooms in the city for less than $300,000.
17. New Mexico
$300,000 buys you: 2,622 square feet
Median price per square foot: $114
New Mexico’s varied topography embraces elevations from 2,800 feet above sea level to more than 13,000. Although you’ll find the greatest number of homes in the $300,000 price range with more than 2,500 square feet of living space in Albuquerque, don’t overlook the rest of the state.
Farmington in the northwest corner rolls out large lots with newer construction. Some homes even come with basements, a rarity in the western states.
16. South Carolina
$300,000 buys you: 2,664 square feet
Median price per square foot: $113
Discover dozens of homes in South Carolina offering a variety of unique lifestyles in every part of the state. Hide away in the heart of the Francis Marion National Forest in a three-bedroom, three-bath home with a courtyard at its core.
If you prefer, savor coastal living as you soak up Winyah Bay views from a four-bedroom, four-bath home in Georgetown. Want to enjoy the state’s best nightlife and people-watching beach? Your $300,000 buys a three-bedroom condo overlooking Myrtle Beach.
$300,000 buys you: 2,692 square feet
Median price per square foot: $111
There are many reasons to move to Louisiana, including the weather, culture, music and food. Invest in a brick Acadian-style home that’s common across the state, or uncover a one-of-a kind property.
In Slidell, $300,000 buys a two-story brick home with high ceilings, a hydro soaking tub and decorator touches throughout.
$300,000 buys you: 2,702 square feet
Median price per square foot: $111
If you’re wondering, “How much house can I afford in Pennsylvania?” the answer will no doubt please you. Although the money buys a median of 2,702 square feet, you’ll find even better bargains in some parts of the state.
Current real estate inventory in Milford, an eastern Pennsylvanian borough, includes a four-bedroom home with three baths that rolls out 3,346 square feet.
$300,000 buys you: 2,838 square feet
Median price per square foot: $106
Your $300,000 buys a roomy home whether you want to live at the tip of the “mitten” or be tucked into the southwest corner with convenient access to Chicago.
Feel like you have the best of all worlds when you buy a three-bedroom, three-bath log cabin in Buchanan’s Starr Valley Ranch. Listen to the breeze through the pines from your screened porch, or walk to the Lake Michigan beach access in your gated community.
$300,000 buys you: 2,865 square feet
Median price per square foot: $105
It doesn’t matter if you can carry a tune: You can make your Nashville dreams come true when you buy a country home in Music City. You’ll get perks like a private workshop, fireplace and more within walking distance to East Nashville’s trendy business district.
If you want to lose yourself in the majesty of the mountains, your money goes even further. Move into a four-bedroom home with three baths and more than 3,400 square feet in Gatlinburg. Enjoy a free adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which has an entrance nearby.
$300,000 buys you: 2,988 square feet
Median price per square foot: $100
When you’re searching out that Old Kentucky Home that’s new to you, discover spacious homes on the more affordable end of the scale for $300,000 in the Bluegrass State.
Tuck into the heart of Thoroughbred horse country in Lexington. Your money gets you a stately two-story home with graceful white pillars and mature trees. You’ll have plenty of places to relax, from a basement theater to spacious living areas perfect for entertaining.
$300,000 buys you: 3,020 square feet
Median price per square foot: $99
One of the country’s most affordable places to buy a home for $300,000, Georgia’s home affordability delivers more square footage for your money and other perks.
Enjoy coastal living in Waverly, where $300,000 can buy a two-story, three-bedroom home with its own floating boat ramp. Savor estuary views from the deck of your master bedroom, or relax in the suite’s den with its private wood-burning fireplace.
$300,000 buys you: 3,051 square feet
Median price per square foot: $98
Another place your real estate dollar goes far is Missouri. You’ll discover homes that are more than 3,000 square feet throughout the state in the $300,000 price range.
In the Kansas City area, look for recent construction with up to five bedrooms and as many baths. In St. Louis, seek out updated homes from the early 20th century that roll out as much as 4,500 square feet.
$300,000 buys you: 3,053 square feet
Median price per square foot: $98
Kansas is one of the most affordable states in which to buy a $300,000 home. Wichita, the state’s largest business hub, rolls out spacious homes in that price range with up to five bedrooms included in the square footage.
Should you want to be out of the big city, Lenexa in the state’s southwest corner rolls out spacious homes with up to six bedrooms. Look for features like two master suites and a large fenced yard for your money.
$300,000 buys you: 3,175 square feet
Median price per square foot: $94
Oklahoma has some of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. Glenpool tops the chart as the fastest-growing city in the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Located south of the Tulsa metro area along U.S. 75, you’ll uncover four- and five-bedroom homes and more than 3,000 square feet in the city.
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$300,000 buys you: 3,256 square feet
Median price per square foot: $92
You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck when you take your $300,000 to Alabama. Even better, your day-to-day quality of life will be high, as Alabama is among the states where you’re least likely to live paycheck-to-paycheck.
Enjoy gracious Southern living in Mobile, where your money can buy a beautiful two-story home on more than an acre. For the money, expect to get up to five bedrooms and three baths, as well as upgrades like hardwood floors, fireplaces and possibly even a swimming pool.
If you’re wondering, “How much home can I afford in Birmingham,” your $300,000 might gain you the same perks as you’d find in Mobile with views out over a lake, as well.
5. West Virginia
$300,000 buys you: 3,360 square feet
Median price per square foot: $89
West Virginia is the No. 5 most affordable place in the U.S. to buy a home. Spread out in a 5,000-square-foot, 13-bedroom home in Marlinton. You’ll never have to wait for the bathroom because the home includes 11 of them.
Or check out homes in Morgantown, the fastest-growing city in the state. Uncover an inventory of new construction as well as updated classics from yesteryear for $300,000 or less.
$300,000 buys you: 3,366 square feet
Median price per square foot: $89
Settle down in a spacious three- or four-bedroom home on a large lot when you bring your housing dollars to Ohio. Home affordability in the state is the fourth highest in the nation, making it a great place for newlywed couples on the hunt for a home.
Although 3,366 is the median square footage that $300,000 will buy throughout the state, you’ll find even more for your money in some areas. Stretch out in a six-bedroom, four-bath chalet home in Toledo that’s just one foot shy of 5,000 square feet for starters.
$300,000 buys you: 3,390 square feet
Median price per square foot: $88
Your mortgage affordability calculator will leave you smiling when you’re home shopping in Arkansas. The state ranks third as the place where your home-buying money goes the furthest.
Whether you want to tuck away in the tall pines of the Ouachita National Forest or be in the thick of civilization in Little Rock, $300,000 buys more than 3,000 square feet and four or more bedrooms. Drink in views of Beaver Lake from a Eureka Springs home with spacious walkout decks, wood burning fireplaces and two master bedrooms.
$300,000 buys you: 3,402 square feet
Median price per square foot: $88
Mississippi ranks second as one of the most affordable places in the nation to buy a home. It also comes with a lot of options.
Be a few blocks from the beach when you invest in a sprawling Acadian-style home in Pass Christian. If piney woods and lakes are more your speed, head for a four-bedroom home in Wiggins. The De Soto National Forest cradles the town on three sides.
Need to be close to big-city amenities? Check out listings in the Jackson area. You’ll find sprawling four-bedroom houses on an acre, where you might have views of Culley Lake.
$300,000 buys you: 3,478 square feet
Median price per square foot: $86
There’s no better place in the country to buy a home for $300,000 than Indiana. The Hoosier State ranks No. 1 most affordable place to buy a home for $300,000.
Snap up a five-bedroom house on a wooded hill gazing out at the dunes in Ogden Dunes. You’ll feel far off while still being convenient to Chicago. Or invest your money in the fastest-growing area in the state. Ten of the fastest-growing communities are in the Indianapolis metro area, according to Indiana University. You can even pick up a custom-built home trimmed out inside with Brazilian cherry wood and white granite accents.
Methodology: GOBankingRates researched the median property listing price in every state and the District of Columbia on Zillow, and then divided 300,000 by each number to determine the size of house a budget of $300,000 can buy. State level data was not available for North Dakota; therefore, GOBankingRates found the median list price per square foot from a sample of six cities (Bismarck, Dickinson, Fargo, Waterford, West Fargo and Willison), and then found the median of those six. GOBankingRates divided 300,000 by this number.
Photo Disclaimer: The photos included with this article are of properties similar to ones being described that were on the market in their respective states or geographic areas in April 2017.