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By TODAY real estate expert

Explainer: What you can get for under $300K

  • Image: Henderson home
    Trulia.com

    Each week TODAY's Barbara Corcoran scours the country for unique homes for sale. This week she goes from California to Florida looking for homes that can be had for under $300,000.

  • Henderson, Nevada, $250,000

    Image: Henderson home
    Trulia.com

    3 bedrooms, 2 baths

    Here’s a desert home with 180-degree views of the mountains and the Vegas Strip. Henderson is 20 minutes from the casinos of the Strip! It has stone accents and water-saving desert landscaping out front. There are tiled floors throughout, plantation shutters and surround sound speakers. The open kitchen-living room combination has granite countertops, maple cabs and pendant lights. The bathrooms all have vessel glass sinks with waterfall faucets. Out back there’s a sparkling pool and hot tub, your own putting green, and a screened gazebo! And those incredible mountain and desert views!

    Click here to see the listing.

  • Mandeville, Louisiana, $259,000

    Image: Mandeville home
    Zillow.com

    4 bedrooms, 2 baths

    This home raises the bar on “triple mint.” The town of Mandeville sits on a lake directly across the water from New Orleans. It was once a popular summer and weekend getaway for city folks and is now a bedroom community with good schools and friendly neighbors. This 2,000 square-foot sophisticated home makes a big impression starting with its rustic wood front door. It has scored cement floors, plantation shutters and wood trim throughout. The den has big windows, built-in cabinets and a gas fireplace. The dining room has chair rail wainscoting and a built-in china cabinet. The open kitchen and dining area have clean white cabinets and a breakfast bar. There’s a charming covered patio overlooking the oversized fenced backyard.

    Click here to see the listing.

  • Palm Springs, California, $265,000

    Image: Palm Springs home
    Zillow.com

    2 bedrooms, 2 baths

    Everybody knows Palm Springs! Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren, Clark gable, Elizabeth Taylor and Elvis Presley have all lived in this desert oasis. This perfect mid-century modern ranch style home is tucked inside the 24/7 guarded gates of the Seven Lakes Country Club. There are tile floors and shutters in the main living areas. There’s a fireplace in the living room and bright clerestory windows in the dining room. The galley kitchen opens onto the dining room and has clean white cabinets and stainless steel appliances. There are two sunny patios with western mountain views! The country club has an exec golf course, a restaurant and bar, and 15 pools.

    Click here to see the listing.

  • Sarasota, Florida, $286,000

    Image: Sarasota home
    Trulia.com

    3 bedrooms, 2 baths

    Here’s a ranch style home on a circular driveway. In Sarasota, on the west coast of Florida, real estate prices are down 10 percent from last year. This one-story home is nicely landscaped with a circular tree-lined driveway. It’s an open floor plan with high ceilings, exposed beams and cool tile floors. The bright kitchen has high ceilings, wood cabinets and granite counters. The screened lanai with a solar heated pool and covered outdoor seating is a knockout! The home is in the Seven Lakes Country Club which has a liberal home owner’s policy, but there are restrictions: “You are free to choose the color of your home as long as it is not outlandish. You are free to choose the composition of your roof, whether it be shingle or tile. There are no restrictions as far as pet ownership is concerned. The rules are that your dog or cat can be on a leash and that you pick up the waste!!! That certainly is not asking too much. Yes, commercial vehicles are not allowed overnight in your driveway. Having a business in your garage is frowned upon. You will get notified if your post light is not working, if your roof is dirty and needs cleaning, if your driveway needs cleaning.”

    Click here to see the listing.

  • Austin, Texas, $299,900

    Image: Austin home
    Zillow.com

    2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths

    Come live the hip life in Austin! Austin is the Texas state capital and one of the hippest cities in the U.S.! Music, film and art festivals go on here almost year-round. This new home is has no direct neighbors on 3 sides! It’s on a creek with a green area and a doggie park across the way! There are Brazilian hickory wood floors and contemporary fixtures throughout. The open living room has big sunny windows and a glass door to the patio. The big kitchen has Silestone counters, an island with a double sink, cherry cabs and glass tile backsplash. The backyard is small but private and looks out on the lush greenery of Bouldin creek.

    Click here to see the listing.

Video: Homes under $300,000

  1. Closed captioning of: Homes under $300,000

    >>> hip city of austin , texas. you will be surprised how far your money can go. barbara, good to see you. here we go. this week's picks. we'll start at $250,000 for a home in henderson, nevada. three-bedroom house and you like this one.

    >> i like it. it's 20 minutes from las vegas . it has 180-degree views of the las vegas strip and the amazing mountains that surround the property. that's a pretty house . neat as a pin on the front side. all of the plantings, by the way, out front are totally waterproof or whatever the world is.

    >> zeroscaping.

    >> you got it. this tile floor is throughout the entire house . it has plantation shutters in just about every room and surround sound speakers. i think the gray couches have to go. i can't imagine a gray couch in this environment. but there is a gray sink to go with it in the kitchen . there is a combination of granite countertops, maple cabinets and pendant lights. looks like a western kind of home. i'm not sure how that happened in nevada, but there you have it. a new kitchen . you don't have to put in an ounce of work there. a pretty little vessel glass sink. people like to look at it. people like the waterfall type fountains, but they are a mess to use. you put the water on and it shoots back up. but it helps to sell the house . it's like a status-y thing people buy into. there's the charm. a sparkling pool with a hot tub and outside the hot tub you have your own putting green. a screened gazebo as well. that's your own putting green. doesn't look to be used that much. probably for the first week or two and then people grow tired of that stuff. you can pull out the holes and flags and you have a nice backyard. you can watch the sunsets from the gazebo.

    >> gorgeous. next up a four-bedroom home in mandeville, louisiana.

    >> this house is directly across the water from new orleans . if you get tired of the quiet backyard and the quiet neighbors you can go across the water and have a good time in new orleans . this was once a popular resort for getting away from new orleans . now it has great schools, great neighbors and people live here full time . that's a pretty living room. i think the tv over the fireplace competes a little bit too much in the room. tvs are a necessary evil , i guess. but look what it does to that beautiful room. plantation shutters much like the last house we saw. there are scored cement floors. that's a little bit unusual.

    >> will that take away from the value?

    >> it doesn't really suit the house . they would be better off with wood floors.

    >> don't drop anything.

    >> forget it. there's the dining room . odd color choice. looks like executive dining, if you don't mind my saying. there is a kitchen . beautiful windows throughout the kitchen . that entire kitchen is totally new with clean white cabinets and a breakfast bar. out back, a covered patio which overlooks -- we'll see it in a second. you can't see it in this picture but it overlooks a huge backyard, totally private.

    >> looks like a park.

    >> it's perfectly flat. you can throw marbles out there.

    >> now palm springs , california. two-bedroom home at $286,000.

    >> everybody knows palm springs . so many people lived there frank sinatra , elizabeth taylor , clark gable and elvis presley . look at the house . that was a quick shot. it has trees growing out of the roof which you never really see. it's a 24/7 guarded community called the seven lakes country club . everybody wants to be there. that's a funny shot of a hallway. there you have a hallway. a fireplace in the living room . bright windows in the dining room that go to the ceiling.

    >> another tv over a fireplace.

    >> that's a little bit smaller, better. there is even a dead palm tree in the corner. that's unusual. but it kind of works, i guess. there's the dining room . maybe not the best choice of table. a little bit different style but you have it there. the country club has an exec tiff golf course , restaurant, bar and once you get out of the kitchen you have access to 15 pools. not bad. there is the dining room in the back on the deck.

    >> to sarasota, florida, a three-bedroom house .

    >> you're pushing me along here. okay.

    >> we want to get them all in.

    >> sore sociearasota is down in prices again. it's down 55% since the high. you're looking here at a house that's half price what you would have paid five years ago. a one-story house , nicely landscaped. inside you have tall ceilings, sliding pocket doors into the lanai. the family room has vaulted ceilings with a nice beam across the top. you could paint those out. there is a bright kitchen . now i'm waiting for you. a den, built in fireplace and shelving. another shot of the living room .

    >> you like the living room .

    >> there's the kitchen .

    >> high ceilings, wood cabinets and granite countertops. the screened lanai has a solar heated pool. that's not the club. that comes with the house . not a bad thing.

    >> last house in austin , texas, $299,900.

    >> one of the hippest cities in the u.s. with music, film and art festivals all year around. people love austin . this home has no direct neighbors on any side. it has a green area on one side and a dog park across the street. you don't have to see human beings for weeks.

    >> looks like a dr. seuss house .

    >> it's spacious and lovely. looks tall and squeezed in. it's not on the inside. windows on every wall of the house . that's a back screened in porch. there is a big kitchen with stone counter tops and a double sink, cherry cabinets, glass-tile back splash. the backyard is miniature, but private and big enough for me. it backs into a creek.

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