A $200,000 Budget in Utah Only Buys a 1,210-square-foot Home

Those who have $200,000 and plan to buy a house in Utah can be lucky to find one that’s more than 1,210 square feet, based on an analysis of median home prices and the average price per square foot in most U.S. states.

If you want to increase your chances of buying a bigger house, you should consider applying for financial down payment assistance in Ogden or other parts of the state.

Little Value for Your Money

Utah ranks as the 10th most expensive state for housing based on an average home price of around $275,100, while its median price per square foot of $228 ranks as the sixth highest in the country. It’s somewhat realistic for someone to pay $200,000 and expect to have a house slightly more prominent than 1,200 square feet.

However, a trade-off for a smaller home involves a lower cost of living in the state. Utah’s residents spend 2.7% less than the average price of living in the U.S. In case you’re wondering about renting a property instead, it’s cheaper to do so anywhere in the country. Despite being more affordable, take note that spending money on your own house is a much better investment than using it for monthly rental payments.

Renting vs. Buying Homes

Couple consulting real estate agent

An average monthly mortgage payment in Utah costs $1,455, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. On the other hand, the median rent costs $948 that brings the difference by around $507. Homeowners tend to spend more because of taxes, home maintenance and insurance among other things.

These expenses make renting a better prospect yet aside from having a sense of security, being a homeowner can be financially rewarding since home prices appreciate over time. You can choose to sell the house to recover your initial investment and downsize to a smaller home upon your retirement. But peace of mind from not having to worry about renewing the lease is perhaps the main benefit of owning a house.

The State of Housing Elsewhere

If you’re still undecided on buying a house in Utah, some of the other alternative states include Mississippi. You could buy a 2,370-square-foot house for $200,000 in the state, which is bigger than anywhere else in the country. The price difference in renting versus buying homes costs around $365, based on a monthly mortgage and rental payments of $1,105 and $740, respectively.

In Hawaii, you should prepare to spend more since $200,000 will just let you buy the smallest house at 590 square feet compared to other states. Owning and renting a home are relatively more expensive at an average of $2,303 and $1,507, respectively.

In the end, as home prices in Utah continue to increase, it might be close to impossible to find a home for $200,000. Even if you do, it could be smaller than the typical size. A housing loan seems to be the only option for many aspiring homeowners in the state, where property values are among the most expensive nationwide.

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