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By TODAY real estate expert

Explainer: What you can get for $300,000 or less

  • Image: Albany home

    Each week, TODAY real estate expert Barbara Corcoran looks around the U.S. to see what homebuyers can get for their money. This week she goes from Pennsylvania to Missouri in search of truly unique properties you can get for $300,000 or less.

  • Albany, Georgia — $259,900

    Image: Albany home

    3 bedrooms, 2 baths

    Albany, in southwestern Georgia, is Ray Charles’ hometown. This pretty house has a white picket fence, big shade trees and a comfy front porch. There is a double-height living room with extra-tall windows, wood floors and a dramatic fireplace. The dining room has detailed woodwork, shuttered windows and wood floors. The kitchen has loads of cabinets, Mexican tile floors, shuttered windows and a big sunny dining area. There’s a finished rec room with a barrel vaulted ceiling and dormer windows over the garage — and the pool table’s included! Taxes are just $2,600 a year.

    The home is for sale by owner. No listing is available.

  • Reading, Pennsylvania — $260,000

    Image: Reading home
    Zillow.com

    6 bedrooms, 3 baths

    Reading is about an hour from Philadelphia and just 2.5 hours from New York City and Washington, D.C. This 1906 craftsman style home is on “Mineral Spring mansion row” and it truly is a mansion with 6 bedrooms and over 3,400 square feet! The living room has three sunny window seats. The formal dining room has wood floors and a big bay window. The eat-in kitchen has tons of custom white cabinets. The one-acre property is a summer oasis with a 20-foot by 40-foot in-ground pool. There’s also a paved patio, outdoor cooking area and a garden house.

    Click here to view the listing.

  • St. Louis, Missouri — $269,900

    Image: St. Louis home

    2 bedrooms, 4 baths

    This contemporary townhouse was built on the site of Gaslight Square, a thriving jazz scene in the 1950s. It’s in one of St. Louis’ most walkable neighborhoods and is a short stroll to Forest Park, a city park over 50 percent larger than NYC’s Central Park. It’s a quiet end townhouse with a sunken front courtyard and two-story entryway. The carpeted living room has big sunny windows. There’s an open family room and dining room with wood floors and lots of light. The open kitchen has granite counters, wood floors, maple cabinets and a breakfast bar. It’s tax abated so taxes are a remarkable $63 per year!

    Click here to view the listing.

  • Greenville, South Carolina — $274,900

    Image: Greenville home

    4 bedrooms, 2 baths

    Greenville is in “upstate” South Carolina midway between Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina. The 1950s brick home is a short walk to coffee shops and a jog to Cleveland Park. The home blends modern updates with classic details like picture frame molding and antique door hardware. There are gleaming wood floors and contemporary light fixtures throughout. The beautifully modernized living room has a wood-burning fireplace. The formal dining room looks like a room you’d actually use! Kitchen has Energy Star stainless steel appliances, a hip tile backsplash and sunny breakfast nook. The backyard has a small lawn and paved patio.

    Click here to view the listing.

  • Jackson, Mississippi — $279,900

    Image: Jackson home

    4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths

    Jackson is the state capitol and was named after General Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the U.S. This southern-style home has a big front porch and stately front door with plantation shutters. The two-story entryway has wood floors and a winding staircase. The elegant living room has crown molding, wood floors and a wood-burning fireplace. The dining room has crown molding, wainscoting and the large sunny window kitchen has a big center island, granite counters and glass tile backsplash. There’s a pretty wood deck out back with a cabana for entertaining. Taxes on this home are just $2,700 a year.

    Click here to view the listing.

Video: Check out these homes for less than $300K

  1. Closed captioning of: Check out these homes for less than $300K

    >>> this morning on "today's real estate," what you can get for under $300,000. we are touring homes from jackson, mississippi, to redding, pennsylvania with two to six bedrooms. today our brick house barbara corcoran is here to take us through them.

    >> good morning, al.

    >> we're going to albany, georgia, with a house at $259.900.

    >> that's ray charles ' hometown. this is a pretty house with a white picket fence , big shade trees and a comfy front porch . i love the arches. it makes a little house look sophisticated. i love the front of it. there is a double height living room inside with tall windows and a living room painted red that breaks all the rules about what to do with the colors of the walls when selling a house .

    >> it works.

    >> it has white trim, plenty of space. i couldn't picture that room any other color. i love it. the dining room has detailed woodwork throughout. shuttered windows. the kitchen has loads of cabinets, mexican tiles and a big sunny dining area adjacent to it which makes it friendly for a family.

    >> the ceilings are nice and high.

    >> all of the ceilings are high. it costs more to cool in the summer. remember that detail.

    >> but they have ceiling fans .

    >> it makes the house grand. it's not a huge house . a poolroom upstairs. i love the coffered ceilings . they threw in the pool table with the house .

    >> very nice. let's jump to a six-bedroom home in pennsylvania on the monopoly board priced at $260,000. that's a lot of house .

    >> wait until you see the condition of the house . it's big, grand and has tons of things that everybody wants today. by the way, the old redding railroad cars are still parked in reading. you can see them. six mansions and 3400 square feet . there is the living room with three sun-filled window seats and an old brick fireplace. i think because the furniture is dated it takes a lot away from the house .

    >> what about the color of the wall?

    >> that yellow is the wrong color. not to live with. i'm sure it's happy to spend time in but the curtains have to go. the curtains throughout the house have to go along with that tablecloth. worst thing you can do is block the light. you almost can't appreciate how pretty the windows are. this is a formal dining room . it's oversized. with the big bay window there is an eat-in kitchen with custom white cabinets. another yellow but it works in the kitchen. looks like a modern house . not bad. there is one full acre. 20 by 40 in-ground pool with an outdoor cooking area and separate garden house , all for $260,000.

    >> man, you're not even expecting that.

    >> it's a big bonus when you walk in the back.

    >> st. louis, missouri, two bedroom at $269,900.

    >> one of st. louis's most walkable neighborhoods, a contemporary house not far from the park which is bigger than central park in new york city . it's a corner townhome which sells at a premium because you don't have a neighbor on each side. it has a sunken front courtyard and three levels of living space including down stairs. this is a shot of the back. there is the living room . it has sunny windows. it's fully carpeted. always a mistake in selling a house . it's outshined by the open living room and dining room with wood floors and light? everybody will migrate to the family room . that will sell the house . the open kitchen has black counters, maple cabinets and wood floors like the rest of the house . great shot of the living room . that looks like the living room and it's just the family room . better than the living room . the taxes on the house , you won't believe me. $63 per year. per year.

    >> that's crazy.

    >> that's what it is. it includes a very good public school just down the block. you can't go wrong.

    >> greenville, south carolina , priced at $274,900. a four-bedroom house .

    >> this is between atlanta, georgia and columbia, south carolina . it has a fancy front on the front of the bung low. it's a short walk to cleveland park .

    >> are those black ceilingings?

    >> i like it. the walls are white, furniture is white, the rug is black. the floors are beautifully done. it works. on the exterior of the house you don't know what you will get. this is a pleasant surprise. gleaming wood floors, all new. a too crowded dining room but nice light. a kitchen with energy star appliances and a hip tile splashback. the basement comes with the house . i think it looks like somebody will be electrocuted. the ceiling needs to be closed up. that would make a big difference. the backyard has a small lawn and a paved patio out back. that's a pretty house .

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