We'll make a bet that 90% of you reading this article are not actively looking to buy your first place. But, real estate stalking (whether to buy or rent) is addicting. We would know. When R29 editor Lindsey Stanberry saved $100,000 to put down on her own first place in New York (and spilled all her secrets), we realized that owning a home, even for millennials living in the craziest real estate market, is not impossible. Soon enough, we were checking sites like Redfin, Zillow, and Trulia like it was our job, which means we made an article out of our hunt for the most happening homesteads under $500,000.
And, this might not just be wishful thinking. According to Halstead Property agent Porter Hovey, sometimes you're more ready than you think. "Knowing what you want is important. People are not waiting to get married or settle down nowadays. They're seeing the value of buying versus renting."
If you were poking around 15 years ago, you probably would've received a single spec sheet filled with numbers and a teeny thumbnail image of a house's exterior. Redfin agent Alec Traub says that the access to information about properties is almost overwhelming, but should be empowering to buyers. Thanks to a million plus photos and virtual tours online, you can practically peer inside a linen cabinet on the opposite side of the country, all from the comfort of your couch (and iPad).
To get you started, we handpicked 13 three-plus bedroom homes in happening cities like Austin, Portland, and Chicago. And, with postcard-perfect front yards, marble columns, glistening pools, and expansive lake access, they're all a sight to behold for our closet-renting selves. Click through, and you may just get motivated to pack that Uhaul, too.