Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, a column that explores what set dollar amounts buy in the ever-growing list of cities that comprises the Curbed universe. Is one man's studio another man's townhouse? Let's find out!
A budget of around $700K presents some opportunities, but in the country's more expensive real estate markets, even this relatively large budget—more than three times the national average—can require some compromise. In San Francisco, it's enough to secure three bedrooms and two bathrooms in a single-family townhouse in the unsung Merced Heights neighborhood. The lacking curb appeal isn't likely to win this 1,300-square-foot home any awards, but the interiors have been substantially updated. Plus, there's a rare private garage, perfect for parking-starved San Fran, and a grassy rear yard, complete with large old-growth tree and distant mountain views. Despite the unsightly facade, the house is currently in contract for close to $699K.
? Buying into one of Southern California's storied neighborhoods, the Laurel Canyon section of the Hollywood Hills, would generally cost far more than $700K, but buyers willing to settle for this odd-looking hillside home would pay just $699K. The curb appeal, once again, is less-than-desirable, with chrome columns and an unsettling tiled overhang, and the interiors aren't much better. This is essentially a fixer-upper, unless the broker manages to find someone obsessed with that mid-1990s magician look.
? If Miami Beach has been dominating the South Florida real estate market of late, it hasn't prevented some glassy towers from going up on the Miami side of Biscayne Bay. Located in the heart of downtown, the Icon Viceroy is a hotel with a suite of condos above and, unlike some of the hotel/condo combinations in Miami Beach, the prices here are accessible. This high-floor, one-bedroom, one-bath apartment, with 1,350 square feet and walls of glass overlooking the bay, is listed for $701K.
? Brooklyn's favorite hipster hotbed turned banker bedroom community, the Williamsburg neighborhood has seen dozens of new condo buildings erected in recent years, but despite the glut of inventory, prices don't seem to be softening. This $699K offering has two bedrooms, one bath, a balcony, and a roof terrace crammed into just 804 square feet.
? A forlorn-looking, 1,000-square-foot cottage in Sag Harbor, N.Y., this property is hardly the sort of luxury home that one might expect at this price point, but, crucially, the $650K price includes a half-acre of desirable Hamptons real estate. Yes, this place is most likely a tear down, but those few looking for a modest vacation home on the East End of Long Island could always restore the tiny house at minimal cost.