TODAY   |  November 20, 2009

Find a great home for less than $500,000

Nov. 20: TODAY’s Al Roker talks to TODAY real estate expert Barbara Corcoran about some great deals for homes across America that cost between $200,000 and $500,000.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the country, florida to alabama and oregon. we are criss-crossing the nation to find real estate that's right for you. *

>> oh, no!

>> she's here, our own brick house . barbara corcoran, ladies and gentlemen . i like it! you thought you were free, and then we pulled you right in. barbara , a lot going on out there. let's start right now -- let's start in des moines , iowa . three-bedroom home for $170,000.

>> oh, al, i'm going to kill you one of these mornings, i'm telling you. well, this one's a great house , smack in the middle of iowa , and it's the capital of iowa , as everyone knows, and it's one of the best places to do business. the cost of living is low, and that is called a craftsman style house . it got its name originally because it was made out of local materials and it was intended to help the middle class expand across america. a cheap house to build, and today it's hugely popular. inside, everything about it is uniq unique. it feels like it has a personal touch. even look at those window frames , the beautiful flooring. and this house has been totally renovated, but all of the beautiful things that made it what it is have been left totally intact. that's a perfectly poised dining room . that's outside on the big back patio deck. and remember the price is $170,000. not bad.

>> in des moines , iowa . that is lovely.

>> with jobs galore.

>> that's right. lots of work there.

>> lots of work.

>> you know why elephants don't like this next place?

>> i am not sure i want to ask --

>> because the tuscaloosa! tuscaloosa, alabama, three-bedroom home at $239,000.

>> okay. this is about a half a mile from the university of alabama , and it's one of the most beautiful colleges, and this house fits right into that town. look at that beautiful, big front porch . it's everybody's dream of a yellow house that you can move right into. it has inside an open floor plan , crown molding , windows galore, and the plantation shutters are original and perfectly, perfectly painted. so, everything looks just meticulous. the kitchen has appliances that are brand new, white cabinets, pretty white trim. there's a pass-through window right there.

>> in fact, the owner knocked out a wall between the kitchen and living room to do that. do you recommend that or is that irrelevant?

>> irrelevant! oh, my god. no, it's actually not a good idea. it dates the house to 1950s . people don't like pass-throughs anymore. if you're going to take a wall out, take the whole wall out. people like it better.

>> all right, now let's head to dallas, home of the dallas cowboys , dallas, texas. two-bedroom home priced at $349,000.

>> yep, and this is home to at&t, texas instruments , southwest airlines . so, you've got, again, plenty of jobs here, which helps you pay for a house like this, priced at $349,000. and wow, look at what that curved port -- oh, i missed it, too quick there, but there's a curved sidewalk that totally adds charm to the front face of this house .

>> there it is.

>> there it is back again. picture that as a straight run. the curve makes all the difference. they'll get an extra $10,000 just because of that walkway there.

>> wow, good tip.

>> it adds charm. getting back inside, the colors of this house i think are delightful. they are all in pastel colors . people eat this stuff up.

>> kind of like sorbet.

>> like sorbet. in fact, that's a great analogy. it's exactly like sorbet. there's the stairway that goes up to the very spacious master bedroom . it's got a bright, airy kitchen. it has tiled floors, some new doors and it's got a sun room and yard out the back.

>> okay, let's go to santa fe , new mexico, $429,000. four bedrooms on an acre of land.

>> you got it, and it's got over 300 sunny days a year there, and that's what attracts people again and again to santa fe . there's many artists and writers that live there. there's a clubhouse and a pool attached to this house within the complex -- excuse me, within the complex, not attached to the house . that's the backyard with the pergoa again, mexican style, kitchen in sandstone colors, very neutral. people love it. and there's your drop dead gorgeous entrance.

>> fabulous. bangor, maine, this is $459,000.

>> a pretty shingled cape cod house with a bill solarium. i should mention bangor is about 1 1/2 hours from augusta, if you want to put it somewhere in your mind. there is the house right there, on a huge corner lot. stephen king lives in the neighborhood, so it's got a little status.

>> oh. i've got my stair people.

>> you're right. no good for halloween, but that's behind us. it's got a big solarium, game room , crown molding , wood-burning fireplace, a chef's kitchen, perfect condition.

>> gorgeous.

>> again, that's a spare little enclosed porch there. and out back there's an enclosed stone patio that you can't see because we've run out of time.

>> oh, no, no, our big-ticket item.

>> oh.

>> wait, $485,000 in amity, oregon, on a five-acre lot.

>> okay. you like to get to the expensive stuff, and here it is. it's one of the best places to do business. the cost of living is low. that's a very modern house that a lot of people don't like, but once you get inside a modern style home, everybody falls in love with it. look at the double-tier windows there.

>> man!

>> that's an enclosed porch. there is the meticulous kitchen, perfectly laid out. and there's a large patio out back, dining room . it's got everything, and it's only -- what's the price, al? i think i have a sale here. $485,000.

>> fantastic.

>> seeing if you're paying attention.

>> i am, i am. barbara corcoran, thank you so much. have a good weekend and happy thanksgiving.

>> thank you so much.

>> if you have questions for barbara , go to