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What You Get For $500K Around the Curbed Universe

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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!

Finding waterfront property in Cape Cod for under seven figures is usually a challenge of Melvillian proportions, so we were pleasantly surprised when we happened upon this five-bedroom ranch in Cotuit. While hardly in the swankest section of the cape—that title being reserved for nearby Osterville and Hyannis Port—but five-bedroom houses in that area run for multiples of this asking price. Listed for $495K, the 1,640-square-foot house sits on aptly-named Shoestring Bay, a marsh-lined extension of Popponesset Bay, with access to Nantucket Sound beyond. Architecturally, the house is in need of some work, but a little extra investment could turn this white whale into a bonafide deal.

? Just a couple hours north of Cotuit, in Boston, this one-bedroom condo offers much smaller, if better situated, living quarters. Located in the swank Back Bay neighborhood, close to shopping on Newbury Street and a short walk from Boston Common, this flat measures just 670-square-feet and is listed for $495K.

? Located just off of Fifth Avenue on Manhattan's Upper East Side, this one-bedroom apartment is listed for $499K in what brokers like to call "estate condition," meaning just about everything needs to be updated and/or totally renovated. The floors are worn, electric lines run outside of the plaster in places, and the kitchen is of 70s vintage. Though also on the small side, even for Manhattan, this place offers the chance at reviving a 1928 classic with tasteful renovations.

? Down in sizzling Miami, anything within walking distance of the beach is much sought after during the summer months. This one-bedroom flat in a recent build on Miami Beach's Collins Avenue has a peek at the ocean from the porch and is an easy stroll to the sand. Listed for $489K, the one-bed, one-bath condo measures 723 square feet and features a totally modern kitchen with breakfast bar, a balcony, stone floors, and, at the moment, an all too purple bedroom that could use some new color.

? Famously expensive San Francisco is not usually the place to go hunting for a single-family home with just $500K in hand, but this cute Victorian three-bedroom makes a fine case for itself, located close to Ocean Beach and with built-in subterranean parking. Though the house itself is just 1,280 square feet, it manages to pack in a fair amount of style for $509K, especially considering the place last traded hands in February of this year for $618K.

· 24 Bay Road [Robert Paul]
· 146 Marlborough Street [Zillow]
· 7 East 85th Street [Warburg via Streeteasy]
· 225 Collins Avenue [Zilbert]
· 562 40th Avenue [Zillow]