What You Get for $400,000
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Lakewood, Ohio | $350,000
A 1921 colonial-style house with four bedrooms, two full bathrooms and one half bathroom, on a 4,600-square-foot lot
Lakewood is a city of about 50,000 that sits on the southern shore of Lake Erie, about six miles west of Cleveland. It had been called one of the “coolest suburbs worth a visit” (Travel + Leisure, 2010) and one of the “best places in the Midwest to buy an old house” (This Old House, 2008). This property is in the West End neighborhood, less than half a mile south of Detroit Avenue, a major commercial stretch that includes Beck Center for the Arts, a performance and educational nonprofit.
Size: 1,941 square feet
Price per square foot: $180
Indoors: The sellers bought the house two years ago from the family of the original owners and made a number of improvements. They updated the HVAC systems, replaced the gutters and exterior siding (which is vinyl), rebuilt the chimney and created a bedroom suite with a new bathroom on the third floor.
The front door opens directly into a living room with a coffered ceiling and a painted-brick fireplace with a wood slab mantel and an electrical heating insert. The hardwood flooring continues into a dining room with built-in stacks of drawers and leaded-glass cabinetry flanking a windowed niche that neatly holds a credenza. The adjacent kitchen has been recently renovated with white cabinets, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and a subway-tile backsplash. The flooring in this room is wood-patterned vinyl, and there is space for a breakfast table.
A staircase off the living room (through a pair of pocket doors), which is also accessible from the kitchen, ascends to a second-floor hallway with built-in linen drawers. The three bedrooms on this level have hardwood floors and share an updated bathroom with a tub-and-shower-head combo and black-and-white floral-patterned floor tile. One bedroom, currently used as a study, has direct access to a sun porch.
Under sloping rooflines is a renovated third floor that includes a carpeted central room; the new bathroom has a walk-in shower.
Outdoor space: New raised flower beds flank the entrance to the covered front porch. In back are a deck, a small fenced area and a driveway. There is also a detached, two-car garage.
Contact: Matthew Ditlevson, Century 21 DePiero & Associates/the Vittardi Group, 440-228-7164; depiero.com
Chicago | $399,900
A two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in a 1987 building with Lake Michigan views
This unit is on the 17th floor of a 48-story building on Lake Shore Drive, in the Lake View East neighborhood. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the water to the east, the city to the north and Wrigley Field to the west, and you can crane your neck for a glimpse of famous downtown towers to the south. An underpass directly across from the building takes you to the lakefront and a park that includes a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, an archery range, a bird sanctuary and a dog park. (The building allows pets.) A Red line L station is about a 10-minute walk, and the ride south to the Loop is about 20 minutes. The building has a full-time door staff and on-site management and maintenance services.
Size: 809 square feet
Price per square foot: $494
Indoors: This corner unit offers extra window area, and light fills the space throughout the day. The open floor plan centers on a living-and-dining room with hardwood floors and a galley kitchen that flows into it. The kitchen has dark cabinets with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. A washer and dryer were installed five years ago.
Before the unit was listed, the popcorn ceilings were smoothed, the bedrooms re-carpeted, the bathrooms re-tiled and the paint throughout the unit refreshed. The primary bedroom includes an en suite bathroom with a combined tub and shower. The second bedroom has use of a hall bathroom that is almost identical, except that its rectangular wall tile is laid vertically.
Outdoor space: Residents have access to a 48th-floor roof deck with a firepit, grills and panoramic views. There is also a party room with a bar on that floor, as well as a third-floor game room. Garage parking for one car comes with the unit.
Taxes: $5,644, plus a monthly $707 homeowner fee
Contact: Cathryn Browne, Baird & Warner, 312-547-9157; cathrynbrowne.bairdwarner.com
Kingston, N.Y. | $389,000
A circa-1880 wood-sided house with three bedrooms and one bathroom, on a 3,484-square-foot lot
Kingston is a historic city of 23,000 in Ulster County. This quirky little house is about half a mile from Rondout Creek, in the revitalized district near the waterfront. It is a block from Broadway, a major commercial artery that runs through the city, and two miles southeast of the Stockade District, another node of development, with boutiques, galleries, bars and restaurants. The cultural and recreational attractions of Woodstock, N.Y., are about 20 minutes northwest. The George Washington Bridge is about 90 miles south.
Size: 1,508 square feet
Price per square foot: $258
Indoors: Masonry walls exposed in the living room and kitchen suggest that the rear portion of this house is solid stone. (It would also explain why floor plates don’t line up.)
The main level has exposed rafters and wood floorboards. The home’s single bathroom is to the right of the staircase, just opposite the front door, and includes a tub with a flat, rectangular shower head.
Turning right from the foyer takes you into the living room. At the end, an archway in a stone wall and a couple of steps conduct you down into the kitchen, which has a wall of cabinets with open upper shelving and room for a small breakfast area near a window overlooking a courtyard. Beyond the kitchen is a laundry room and a mechanicals room.
At the top of the stairs is a bedroom with a painted-tile ceiling, a walk-in closet and a windowed niche off to the side. A few steps down is a windowed space that could be another bedroom. It connects to a third room that is currently being used as a studio and has unfinished wood floors and a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams and a storage loft.
Outdoor space: The studio has a new glass door that brings light into the room and steps down to the courtyard, which has a koi pond and a storage shed. The brick driveway parks two cars.
Taxes: $5,749 ($5,102, if the house is used as a primary residence)
Contact: Mercedes Ross, Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty, 845-750-1133; coldwellbanker.com
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