Real Estate Today: What JP prices could buy elsewhere

(Photo Courtesy AV Real Estate Inc.) A three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom home currently listed in Miami, Fla. selling for the same price as a JP condo.

Ever wonder what the cost of your Jamaica Plain property could buy you around the country? According to real estate agents from Montana, Arizona, Florida and Ohio, quite a bit, including beach-front condos and lake-view penthouses.

With the average sale price of a single-family home in JP this year hitting well over $500,000, according to data provided to the Gazette by local real estate agent Paul Melanson from Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the Gazette asked real estate agents in other markets what that budget could buy.

In Missoula, a small and liberal city in western Montana, that budget could buy “half the valley,” Mark Twite of Twite Realty Corp. said.

According to Twite, the home of the University of Montana has not recovered very well from the housing crisis.

“The ripple effect from large markets takes a long time to get here and a long time to leave,” Twite said. Foreclosure and short sales make up 20 percent of transactions, a very high percentage, he said.

For $500,000, a buyer could score a 4,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bathroom home in a premium neighborhood, with a three-car garage and a view. It would likely include a living room, dining room, rec room or “man cave,” and an unfinished basement, as well as a sizeable lot, he said.

The average home value in Montana is $238,000, Twite added. In JP, the average sale price for a condo is $338,000, according to Melanson.

Rentals are just as big a bargain. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in JP is $2,000 a month, according to Melanson. For that, in Missoula, one could rent a six-bedroom, three-bath, 3,300-square-foot house, with front and rear porches, fireplace and a family room in the basement, according to

For a little more luxury in Montana, that same budget could also afford a four-bedroom, newly-remodeled 2,600-square-foot house with granite countertops, walk-in closets and a volleyball court and fire pit, on half-an-acre of land.

“I’d rather be a lamp post here than a millionaire in Boston,” Twite said. He is a fifth-generation Missoulan.

In Phoenix, Ariz., $500,000 would buy a 3,000- to 4,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bathroom home with a three-car garage and a pool in a nice neighborhood, broker Trudy Moore said.

The $2,000 rent would likely net a four- to five-bedroom, up to 4,000-square-foot single family home with a fireplace and a possibly pool, according to

Moore added that rental prices are high because that market is “very, very competitive” right now.

In Miami, Fla., $500,000 would buy a “very, very nice” three-bedroom, two-bedroom condo on the beach, possibly on the waterfront, Enrique Teran, co-founder and managing director of Avanti Way, said.

In Miami, the real estate market is, like JP, a seller’s market, Teran said. Listings are closing at higher-than-asked prices and prices are climbing. An extra factor driving the price climb is wealthy tourists buying second homes.

“They’re willing to spend a lot more,” he said.

For the more modest $338,000, a buyer could get a suburban 1,700- to 2,000-square-foot three-bedroom, two-bathroom home.

As for the $2,000 in rent?

According to, that budget would cover a luxury one-bedroom with a view in Miami Beach, or a two-bedroom in a luxury building with business center, fitness center, pool, clubhouse and a private patio or balcony.

Cleveland, Ohio, has also picked itself up from the crash.

“Cleveland was really one of the first cities hit by the crash. We were kind of the first in and luckily first out,” said Mark Lastition, sales manager at Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. “We’ve been consistently busy here for the last year.”

Prices there have been slowly rising as the housing inventory has slowly shrunk, he said.

A Cleveland $500,000 budget would buy a 2,500-square-foot home on Lake Erie, or a 3,000-square-foot penthouse with a view of the lake and downtown Cleveland.

“With that budget, you would do well in Cleveland,” Lastition said.

Renting would also yield a comfortable outcome, according to The $2,000 budget would afford a four- to six-bedroom home, though further out of the city. Most of the properties in that range are either executive homes, which tend to be smaller and more luxurious and usually come furnished, or larger homes targeted at college students—though even these tend to be fairly updated.

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