Real estate prices have long been a popular topic at parties, around water coolers, on news shows: bring up the cost of a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan or a waterfront house in Fort Lauderdale, and a heated discussion is bound to ensue. Regardless of the direction of home prices — and the current bleak truth is we’re back to 2002 levels — the fact is that where you’re buying has as big an effect on how big of a home you can afford as your housing budget itself. Median prices range from just $50 per square foot to nearly $400 throughout the country, depending on where you look. (And as anyone can tell you, in certain swanky zip codes, paying $1,000 per square foot or more is more like it.)

TIP:You may be able to buy more house for your money by using the free financial tools on Once you register on you will receive a FREE credit score with no credit card required, and you will be able to receive home loan offers you qualify for based upon your complete financial profile.

So how much house can you buy? To give you an idea, we created this interactive infographic, based on median property values in 63 metro areas in the U.S. Follow the directions below and find out how many square feet you can buy for $250,000, $500,000 and $1 million.

Use to find the best mortgage rates based upon your complete financial profile!

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Published August 11, 2011 Updated: August 7, 2014
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andrea•  August 15, 2011
its nothing compared to northern italy!! NY median price is half price than in milan! time to move there..