Where to Find Houses for Sale under $300k?
Elevated interest rates have increased the cost of mortgages across the country, making all homes for sale costlier to own than before. For many buyers, finding affordable real estate is critical to their budget. So where are the real estate listings that cost under $300,000? Today I’m sharing a quick reference on where to find the more affordable listings in the U.S.
How to Find Houses That Cost Less Than $300k
To find homes under $300k, you need to look in the right places. In spite of what the news says, there are still property types and markets in which homes cost less than $300k.
1. Check out Townhouses!
Compared to single-family homes, townhouses typically come with less land and also cost less to build. A smaller sq ft lot and a shorter/more efficient building time reduces labor costs and the overall cost of the property.
Therefore, homebuyers can get townhomes with similar sqft compared a detached home but for a lower sale price. So, if you need a three-bedroom house and a single-family model is out-of-budget, check out move-in ready townhouses in your area. You may find some deals!
2. Explore Smaller Homes
In this day and age, shrinkflation is not just a thing in grocery stores, but with houses too. If you want to stay within a certain monthly payment zone, you will need to find home with less square feet compared to what you would buy pre-rate hikes.
Opting out of extra living space can get you in an affordable starter home. However, this doesn’t mean that the smaller home needs to lack in any other way. A lot of sellers are encouraged to please buyers in light of higher interest rates, offering seller concessions like replacing old appliances with stainless steel appliances, offering repair or upgrade credits for features like new flooring or granite counter tops.
3. Explore Cheaper and Emerging Markets
When an area grows and becomes more desirable, homes in that locale tend to grow in value. As demand increases and desirable homes in the area become scarcer, new homes on the market will cost more than homes in less popular areas. Location also matters— homes with easy access to mass transit, the highway, and desirable amenities also tend to grow in value.
Therefore, we advise that you explore areas that are growing and not fully established. Suburbs, smaller towns, and new communities have greater potential for affordable housing. You can also explore new construction homes in emerging areas that offer excellent value through builder incentives like special low interest rates.
Need examples of emerging markets?
No problem! A lot of our builder partners are active in the most popular markets recommended for Gen Z. Conveniently, The New York Times recently outlined some of the best and affordable growing markets where homes are still in the 300’s and below. If you’re someone (and you don’t have to be Gen Z) who needs an affordable new construction home, Ask Marketplace Homes about finding a listing under $300k in places like Durham, Memphis, Fort Wayne, and the other cities listed in green!
Source: New York Times
4. Find Distressed Properties
Distressed listings can offer significant discounts compared to market value priced homes. You can find these online, through a realtor, or attend auctions yourself to find them. Examples of distressed properties include:
- Pre-foreclosures: These are homes that are behind their mortgage payment and are about to be foreclosed on. Many owners of pre-foreclosures want to sell fast to avoid the credit hit of a foreclosure.
- REO Foreclosures: These homes have been repossessed by the lender and are often sold at a discount and at auctions. You can find them more easily through a real estate agent.
- REO Properties: REO properties are bank-owned properties that don’t sell at auctions.
- Short Sales: These houses are “underwater,” in other words, will make the seller end up owing money to the lender post sale. With short sales, an agreement with the lender is made to sell the house for a discounted rate to meet the seller and lender in the middle.
- Tax lien sale: The government can claim the house when a property owner doesn’t pay income or property taxes. Investors that buy tax lien sales may need to pay the tax lien encumbrances before owning this property free and clear.
5. Check “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) Homes
FSBO listings are homes that homeowners want to sell without involving a real estate agent. You may find these on websites like Zillow or through local classified ads. Sometimes, these homes can come at a discount if you can negotiate with the homeowner.
6. Get a Leg up with Government Programs
Sometimes you can get a deal on a home through your unique financial situation. Investigate government programs that offer assistance to homebuyers, especially for first-time buyers or those with specific income criteria. Instead of listing everything here, check out HUD’s extensive list of resources.
More Tips on Finding Homes under $300,000
To find houses for sale under $300,000, you can explore various online platforms, work with real estate agents, and consider local resources. Here are some suggestions:
1. Check Online Real Estate Websites & Apps
A good initial search starts on the web. Here is a list of popular home search sites:
2. Check the MLS (Local Multiple Listing Service)
Many real estate websites mentioned above pull listings from the local MLS, but you can also check your local MLS directly or work with a real estate agent who has access to it.
3. Ask a Real Estate Agency
Contact local real estate agencies and speak with agents who can help you find homes within your budget. Examples of reputable RE agencies that have experience agents include:
- Marketplace Homes: America’s #1 brokerage for new construction, also a nationwide property management company! No other real estate firm has more solutions to buy new construction homes than Marketplace Homes.
- Keller Williams: A well-known brokerage known for its agent-centric approach, aiming to provide tools and support that empower agents to build successful businesses.
- Re/Max: Founded in 1973, Re/Max has grown into one of the largest and most recognized real estate networks worldwide. Re/Max professionals follow a business structure that emphasizes agent independence, extensive training, and a global network of support.
- Coldwell Banker: This firm is a prominent international real estate brand with a history dating back to 1906. Coldwell Banker is well known for its global network and extensive market presence.
- EXP Realty: This is a rapidly growing real estate brokerage known for its cloud-based, agent-owned business model.
4. Check Community Newspapers & Social Media
Check community bulletin boards, local newspapers, and classified ads for homes listed for sale. You never know what listings will appear in the local news! You can also double your reach by joining local community groups on social media platforms or forums where people may post about homes for sale.
Work with a Real Estate Agent to Find Affordable Homes
Working with a real estate agent from a reputable brokerage makes all the difference. With expert help, you can tell what kind of home you’re looking for and they will stick to these buy box guidelines. When a home that fits your desired profile comes on the market, you’ll get an email or text about it! Criteria can include:
- Maximum/ Minimum price
- Number of full baths and half baths
- Hardwood floors
- No HOA
- Primary bedroom floor
- Walk-in closets
- Open floor plan
- 3-bedroom home (or any other number)
- 1-4 car garage
- …and much more!
Find Homes under $300k with a Real Estate Agent
Discovering your dream home for $300,000 becomes a breeze with the friendly guidance of a seasoned real estate agent. Armed with in-depth market knowledge, these experts effortlessly identify homes that perfectly align with your budget, making the search a breeze.
Beyond just saving time and effort, their expert negotiation skills and adept handling of the intricacies in the real estate journey bring unmatched value, ensuring a delightful and successful home-buying experience.
Alicia Persson is a Content Strategist SEO writer at Marketplace Homes, utilizing previous years of experience on real estate teams that specialized in investments and property management. Before she joined Marketplace Homes, she was also a freelance writer for 7 years, leading to a specialization in real estate and home living content for boutique digital marketing agencies. During her writing years, she learned the basics of SEO and gained experience writing for many different clients, making her versatile at creating diverse content.
She is a proud University of Virginia master’s graduate and enjoyed her undergraduate years at the University of Mary Washington. When Alicia is not writing, she plays keytar and sings in a local 90’s rock cover band, or she spends time with her amazing family.