Who doesn't dream about living in a mansion someday? As you travel the world, you've probably stopped to enjoy the architecture and beautiful houses the line the streets or that are nestled in the countryside.
You've probably thought about who lives in those houses and how much they have to make to afford their mortgage payments. You probably wonder if you'll ever be in that position.
When you visit your favorite destinations, the ones you continually go back to, you probably start thinking about purchasing a first or second home.
If you look in the right places, you might be able to afford a mansion!
Back in 2008 when the stock market crashed and we flew into a recession, the housing economy did some funny things. Different markets recovered a lot faster than others, and it's surprising where you can now find affordable real estate.
On the other hand, some markets went through the roof. You're lucky to afford a parking spot in some of these states where the market recovered quickly and real estate is thriving.
Whether you're interested in purchasing a giant house in your favorite destination, or you simply enjoy the view, take a look at these destinations where the real estate is either extremely cheap or out-of-this-world expensive.
20 Iowa (Mansion)
Iowa is known for its scenic green hills, rumbling rivers, and fields of sweet corn and soybeans. It's also home to one of the lowest costs of living in the country.
The median home price for Iowa is $182k, which is almost 100k below the national average.
What's more, the average price per square foot is less than $80, which means you can purchase a 5,000 square foot house for $400k or less.
Housing in the northern part of the state is more expensive, but if you go south towards Pella, Ottumwa, and Burlington, the prices drop to closer to $60 per square foot, and you could easily afford a refurbished mansion that dates back to the 1800's.
19 Colorado (Parking Spot)
Colorado has some of the best the United States has to offer with incredible mountains, temperate weather and red rock scenery. For that reason, it's a coveted place to live, and housing prices reflect that.
The median home price in Colorado is a whopping $419k with an average price per square foot of $239. That makes the price for a small mansion almost $1.2 million.
Homes are more expensive in large commercial and suburban areas, like Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Aurora, Fort Collins, Durango, Grand Junction, and the surrounding areas. These cities are beautiful to visit, but unless you're a millionaire, you probably won't be buying a big house there anytime soon.
18 Kansas (Mansion)
While the dusty planes of Kansas make people overlook it as a prime travel destination, the fields of sunflowers and low real estate are a huge draw.
Homebuyers in Kansas are looking at a median home price of $189k, well below the national average. The median price per square foot is right around $100, so your mansion will be close to $500k in larger cities like Kansas City or Wichita.
In rural areas, it's harder to find existing mansions, but you could build one from the ground up for as little as $90 per square foot. Not bad for a custom-built mansion you get to design yourself!
17 Massachusetts (Parking Spot)
While the real estate in Western Massachusetts is more manageable, cities like Boston, Cambridge, Plymouth, Salem, and Worcester have some incredible mansions with an even more unbelievable price tag.
The average home price in Massachusetts is $455k with an average price per square foot of $256. That means the starting price for a mansion is close to $1.3 million.
When you get into some of the older neighborhoods in the big city where some mansions date back as far as the 1700's, those prices can skyrocket to multi-millions.
People will pay a lot for living history.
16 Wisconsin (Mansion)
Tourists go to Wisconsin for the incredible greenery, lakefront resorts, and water recreation. There's nothing like Apostle Islands National Lakeshore or Devil's Lake State Park if you love pristine lakes and the associated recreation.
And if you want to buy a mansion near one of these parks, you probably can. The median home price in Wisconsin is $209K, well below the national average. The average price per square foot is around $130, so your average mansion is around $650k.
Not too shabby for a lakefront property in a gorgeous state!
15 New York (Parking Spot)
The state of New York is a coveted place to live, even if you're not right in the city. The rural parts are beautiful and close enough to big cities that you're rarely isolated, and New York City is fantastic to visit any time of the year.
For that reason, you'll be lucky to afford rent, let alone a mansion throughout the state. With a median home value of $380k, more than $100k above the national average, your average mansion costs just under a million.
Those numbers are skewed significantly when you get closer to New York City. The median price of a small condo was $690k, and if you want a comfortably sized home, you're looking at well over a million. Some mansions in New York City are priced in the multi-millions.
14 Oklahoma (Mansion)
Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the planes, is another often overlooked vacation destination. But if you've ever been to Turner Falls, Oklahoma City National Memorial, Beavers Bend Resort Park, and the many wildlife refuges throughout the state, you know why people keep going back!
The median home price is $180k with a median price per square foot of $101. That means your small mansion starts off at $500k, even in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The more rural areas boast even more affordable big houses. You can live in style for almost nothing.
13 Washington State (Parking Spot)
From whale watching in the Puget Sound to Pike Place Market to Olympian National Park, Washington state is one of the most beautiful regions in the pacific northwest. It's no wonder millions of people visit every year.
While home prices in Spokane, near Idaho's northern border, tend to be more affordable, housing near Seattle, Tacoma, and other waterfront cities are through the roof.
Median home prices are listed at $385k, even higher than in New York. Your average mansion will be well over $1 million, but some of the larger homes on the seashore can list as high as $13 million.
12 Ohio (Mansion)
Whether you're breathing in the incredible skyline on the Cincinnati river or touring waterfalls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio has a lot to offer by way of tourism. There are also a number of incredible state parks featuring breathtaking foliage, hiking trails, bridges, waterfalls, and so much more.
The real estate scene isn't too bad either. Even though Ohio home values have risen more than six and a half percent in the last year, list prices are about $161k, well below the national average. That puts your average mansion at just shy of $600,000. What a deal!
11 Connecticut (Parking Spot)
If you're in the mood to take in both history and ocean views, Connecticut is a beautiful place to visit. It's home to historical museums, seaports, architecture, the Mark Twain house, and Yale University. You can spend days exploring the historic cities and scenic countryside of Connecticut.
These incredible tourist attractions are one reason the real estate is so hot. The median home list price is $325k, not even close to the national average. While a small mansion in Connecticut doesn't quite break a million, it's sitting above $800k, and if you were to purchase a mansion in a historic neighborhood, you're looking at a multi-million dollar investment for a lavish home.
10 Missouri (Mansion)
If you haven't been to St. Louis, it's a trip worth taking. Nestled on the Mississippi River, it's a city that represents opportunity with the Gateway Arch and some of the best barbecue in the United States.
The rest of the state has even more to offer by way of scenic byways, incredible foliage, hikes, botanical gardens, caves, history, and so much more.
Despite the unrivaled beauty and attractions of the state, real estate in Missouri is perfectly reasonable.
The median list price in 2017 was $179k with the average mansion listed at just over $500k. Homes at this price are pretty rare, making it more affordable than ever.
9 New Jersey (Parking Spot)
The tiny state of New Jersey is often overshadowed by the neighboring New York City. However, Jersey Shore is one of the most popular summer destinations in the Atlantic northeast. Liberty State Park, George Washington Bridge, and the Atlantic City Boardwalk are a few huge draws from tourists everywhere.
New Jersey home prices have risen almost 10 percent in the last year, making it one of the fastest growing real estate markets in the nation.
With this in mind, it shouldn't be surprising that the median home price is more than $319k. That puts your average mansion right around $900k with several big-ticket buildings going for millions.
8 New Mexico (Mansion)
There's a lot of uninhabited land in New Mexico that's beautiful in its own way. While driving through the state, take in all the dessert has to offer, including White Sands National Park, Carlsbad Caverns, Bandelier National Monument, and stunning red rock formations throughout the state.
Albuquerque is also a fun place to visit with Native American history, archaeological sites, shopping, art, and more.
And while Albuquerque is a great place to live, it's also affordable. The median home price in the city is around $224k, which is higher than many places, but the average price per square foot is low at $130. That puts a small mansion at right around $650k.
7 Florida (Parking Spot)
Do we even have to point out the virtues of sunny Florida, with its white sandy beaches and warm Atlantic surf?
Florida home prices have risen about 10 percent over the last year, making them one of the fastest growing real estate markets in the nation.
Rural, inland parts of Florida have surprisingly low home prices, which has skewed the median home price to about $290,000, but if we were counting major coastal cities like Naples and Miami, the price would be closer to $330k.
Unfortunately, the average price per square foot in some of these major coastal cities is above $400, which drives the price of a small mansion more than $2 million!
6 South Dakota (Mansion)
South Dakota is home to several wonders, including Mount Rushmore and the Badlands. It's also home to Custer National Forest and the Black Hills, an incredible haven of mountains, trees, and nature. These destinations bring people from all over the world looking for recreation and a picture with the 60-foot sculpture of some of our founding fathers.
Still, South Dakota is one of the most rural states in the nation, which drives the real estate prices down significantly. Homes there are valued at $182k, and if you're looking for a mansion nestled in the Black Hills, you're looking at around $700k. It's not the most affordable mansion, but it's not out of reach either.
5 Hawaii (parking spot)
The collection of islands in the South Pacific sea attract more than nine million people each year. The snorkeling and surfing are legend, and the beaches provide a supreme relaxing experience amid a vibrant culture.
As one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world, it shouldn't be surprising to learn that it boasts some of the highest-priced housing in the nation.
The median home price is $615k and the price per square foot is a whopping $508.
If you want a modest mansion, you better be prepared to fork over a modest $2.5 million.
If you're looking for ocean-front property with all the latest amenities, you're looking at a multi-million dollar property.
4 Mississippi (Mansion)
Mississippi has its fair share of wonders that make it worth a visit. It's primarily known for its rich history including national military parks, battlegrounds, nature areas, and more. It's also the birthplace of Elvis Presley, which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
Mississippi homeowners stand to make about $180k on the sale of their homes, and if they're in the market for a mansion, it'll run them less than half a million dollars.
When you buy a mansion in Mississippi, you also have the opportunity to buy rich history in an older home.
3 Illinois (Parking Spot)
Illinois is a beautiful state, shrouded in greenery and long rivers. Chicago is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state. In fact, it's the third largest city in the United States and can be a fun place to visit, particularly the Magnificent Mile. There's shopping, unique hobby shops, and, of course, scrumptious deep dish pizza.
Homes listed in Chicago and the highly populated surrounding areas are averaging about a $324k list price, which is high, but not unreachable.
But when you look at the mansions, it's a different story.
Some mansions in the nicer neighborhoods of Chicago are selling for upwards of $10 million, with one particularly ornate house selling for $50 million. Wowzer!
2 Arkansas (Mansion)
Arkansas bridges the gap between the midwest and the Deep South with the best of both worlds. There's good southern cooking, beautiful national parks, green fields, and mountain hiking trails. It's a lovely place to visit year round.
If you're looking for a home there, you're in luck! Median home prices are listed at $171k, meaning you can buy an incredible home for a tiny price. If you're in the market for something grand and luxurious, you can get a fantastic mansion for less than half a million.
1 California (Parking Spot)
California is one of the most highly populated states in the nation with plenty of tourist activity. With all the beaches, perfect weather, amenities, theme parks, and attractions, it's no wonder people want to live there.
Although you can find more affordable homes in rural areas, the median price for a home across the state is $532k, making it one of the most expensive places in the nation for real estate. It's not looking much better either, since real estate prices are rising at a rate of nearly 10 percent.
San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and the surrounding areas have the highest property value. Some of the grandest and most expensive homes in California are going for upwards of $100 million.
references: cnbc, gobankingrates, finance.yahoo, zillow, nytimes