Here’s how much land you can buy in the middle of the country for the cost of a house in San Francisco

Property costs in San Francisco versus the Midwest

By Zoë Miller, Bankrate

If you’re looking for an affordable place to live with plenty of land to call your own, avoid pricey San Francisco and head to the Midwest where you’ll get more acreage and a bigger home for your money.

The median price of a house in San Francisco is $1.6 million, with condos selling for an average of $1.2 million, according to data provided by Compass, a real estate brokerage platform.

Patrick Carlisle, chief market analyst for the San Francisco Bay Area at Compass, said the region became the most expensive housing market in the country due to wide scale employment growth in the booming tech sector and its affiliated industries, such as venture capital and financial services, over the past eight years.

More than 700,000 jobs were created in that hotspot over that time span, he estimates. The appreciation in housing prices, he adds, is also tied to the real estate market recovery that began in 2012.

“All those people rushing into the Bay Area in that time period put enormous pressure on the housing market since new construction wasn’t even coming close to keeping up with the increase in population,” Carlisle said.

You can get much more for your money in other parts of the country. Compared to San Francisco’s median million-dollar-plus listings, up from $850,000 in 2011, Carlisle said that the median house price in the rest of the country is about one-sixth of the cost at $265,000.

If you’re looking to buy a more affordable property, your dollar will stretch a lot further in the Midwest, for example.

Using state-by-state land value data from a 2015 study by William Larson, senior economist at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, we calculated how much land you could buy in Midwestern states for the cost of one house priced at $1.6 million in San Francisco.


Land is worth: $32,077 per acre

How much land you could buy with $1.6 million: 49.88 acres

Of all the states in the Midwest, Ohio's land is the most valuable. It's priced at $32,077 per acre, meaning that the $1.6 million you'd spend on one house in San Francisco could pay for nearly 50 acres.

In Bexley, OH, you can purchase a Georgian-style five-bedroom home with a four-car garage for $1.595 million that boasts more than 5,800 square feet spread out over 2.5 floors.


Land is worth: $23,765 per acre

How much land you could buy with $1.6 million: 67.33 acres

An 11,000-square-foot, six-bedroom Cape Cod house in Plymouth Township, MI, could be yours for $1.590 million. With land to spare, you’ll also be able to throw in a brick patio and swimming pool, all for the cost of one regularly sized home in San Francisco.


Land is worth: $23,492 per acre

How much land you could buy with $1.6 million: 68.11 acres

In Illinois, you can buy 68 acres for $1.6 million.

Or, for a similar price, you could invest in a $1.6 million Tudor Revival home complete with seven bedrooms and a marble fireplace in the living room.


Land is worth: $16,903 per acre

How much land you could buy with $1.6 million: 94.66 acres

If you're thinking of moving to Indiana, you could purchase about 95 acres of land for the cost of a house in San Francisco.

With another $50,000, you could buy a two-story, six-bedroom house in Plymouth, IN. Encompassing more than 14,000 square feet, the home comes equipped with a heated four-car garage.


Land is worth: $9,924 per acre

How much land you could buy with $1.6 million: 161.23 acres

In Oregon, WI, you could purchase a spacious five-bedroom house with an Italian Travertine entryway for $1.649 million. The 8,831-square-foot property also boasts amenities like a theater room and a workout room, as well as a suite with a private spa bath.


Land is worth: $8,191 per acre

How much land you could buy with $1.6 million: 195.34 acres

If you spend $1.593 million, you can purchase a four-bedroom house with five and a half baths and a private cul-de-sac in Edina, MN.


Land is worth: $7,364 per acre

How much land you could buy with $1.6 million: 217.27 acres

For $1.6 million, you could have have 217 acres of land in Oklahoma.

Featuring a safe room, chef's kitchen and a dining room with a custom mural, this contemporary three-bedroom home in Nichols Hills, OK, costs $1.595 million.


Land is worth $7,233 per acre

How much land you could buy with $1.6 million: 221.21 acres

221 acres of land could be yours in Missouri for the cost of a San Francisco house.

Or, you could buy a custom-built, five-bedroom house in Springfield, MO for $1.5 million.


Land is worth: $6,590 per acre

How much land you could buy with $1.6 million: 242.79 acres

With $1.6 million, you could buy nearly 243 acre of land in Iowa.

Alternatively, you could buy a five-bedroom country lodge estate in Solon, IA that sits on 43 acres of fields and woods.


Land is worth: $4,220 per acre

How much land you could buy with $1.6 million: 379.15 acres

A $1.6 million budget would cover 379 acres in Kansas.

For slightly less at $1.525 million, you could purchase a five-bedroom, Tudor-style home in Mission Hills, KS.


Land is worth: $2,936 per acre

How much land you could buy with $1.6 million: 544.96 acres

For the same money as the $1.6 million median priced home in San Francisco, you could get into a six-bedroom, six bath house in Walton, NE that spans 7,500 square feet.

North Dakota

Land is worth: $2,517 per acre

How much land you could buy with $1.6 million: 635.68 acres

Investors with $1.5 million to put to work in real estate could buy an entire 12-plex apartment complex in Minot, ND.

South Dakota

Land is worth: $2,135 per acre

How much land you could buy with $1.6 million: 749.41 acres

South Dakota's land may be the least valuable in the Midwest, but that's a good thing if you're looking to stretch your money. $1.6 million could buy you a whopping 749 acres.

In Rapid City, SD, a three-bedroom ranch with more than 3,000 square feet of living space sitting on more than 75 acres lists for $1.595 million.


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Home Magazine: Here’s how much land you can buy in the middle of the country for the cost of a house in San Francisco
Here’s how much land you can buy in the middle of the country for the cost of a house in San Francisco
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