TODAY   |  April 12, 2013

5 homes you can get for $250,000 or less

TODAY real estate contributor Barbara Corcoran shows off five homes you can buy across the country for a steal, including a gingerbread-style home in St. Louis and a townhouse in Newark, Del.

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>>> on "today's real estate" what you can get for $250,000 or less. barbara corcoran has an open house tour of affordable homes from across the country.

>> good deals today, good morning.

>> let's start in the middle with st. louis and $209,000.

>> you get a lot of little house packed here for $209,000. this is a brick and stone gingerbread style home which folks really like a lot especially in that part of the country, it was built in 1935 and it's in the heart of the trendy soha neighborhood of st. louis. everybody's got cool names, not just new york. i love the vibe of this house . it's updated and kept all of its charm intact. the living room has a stone fireplace, lots of south facing windows and the averaged doorway leads to the dining room with beautiful floors. it's a pretty house , everything is meticulous. the stitchen is updated with stainless steel appliances, a jazzy tile backsplash if you like that thing and off the kitchen a tiled floor sunroom. the chairs should be la-z-boy chairs, but i love the details of the house when you check out that stained glass window in one of the four big bedrooms that come with the house and the taxes here just $1,650 a year. you ought to move there.

>> that's the theme this morning. let's move west to surprise, arizona, outside fee fix nor $250,000.

>> this has the whackiest name, surprise, named by flora may statler, she said i'd be surprised if the town amounted to much. it stuck and has grown. well over 100,000 today, it's a ranch style house with over 2,700 square feet and the price breaks down on that if you figured it out to only $92 a foot. it is an open style room with built-in book shelves , a tile fireplace, the kitchen has cabinets and a tile topped island with double sink and comes in with a built-in fire place , a sauna, spa and the waterfall.

>> look at the outdoor kitchen.

>> so another whole house outside and the taxes here also reasonable, $1,400 a year.

>> 250 grand and a great part of the country to be outside all the time. our next home, one of my favorite places, nashville, tennessee, 239 grand.

>> a great house and nashville is of course the state capital , known as music city . this is a classic brick home and a quiet neighborhood and just 20 minutes from downtown. the living room is sunny, oversized windows t has wood floors and a classic fireplace. there is a cheery open kitchen, breakfast nook and stainless steel appliances. they will never go out of style i'm convinced.

>>> there's also a whole lot of potential when you see the downstairs, gorgeous dining room . you see the downstairs of this, unfinished walkout basement that is a hidden gem, so much extra square footage there, the house itself is 2,200 square feet , if you would just do the basement, could you add another 20,000. there's a beautiful old deck on the back side and look at the privacy outside your own backyard.

>> big space in the basement for $239,500 and finally pacific southwest, seattle , smaller house but pretty good price.

>> if you tried to get into that seattle market for under 250 it is tough and according to the national association of realtors , seattle prices have gone up 17% in the last 12 months. this is a 1937 home, it might feel tiny. on the inside it's one bedroom and one bath and only 540 square feet but feels so big, all the space is light and bright, the kitchen is great, the simple dining room , the bedroom is gorgeous. wide open , the arch windows. everything feels like a giant house but it's not. the lot is filled with pretty perennial gardens out back and the taxes are just under $1,800 a year.

>> i like all of them, i think i'm going to surprise, arizona, for the outdoor kitchen.

>> i think you'll surprise me buying seattle that's my favorite