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What kind of home can you buy for $1 million?

Winnipeg buys you swank and space, Vancouver gets you neither

What kind of home can you buy for $1 million?

If you’re a big city-dweller with a million dollars to spare on a home, you’re probably going to have to adjust your expectations on the kind of home you can get. Canadian real estate brokerage house Royal LePage just came out with a very useful report on how far one million dollars gets you in different real estate markets across Canada.

The key conclusion is that home prices vary so drastically across Canada, that if you value space over location, you might really want to consider NOT living in Toronto, New York or Vancouver. One million dollars can get you a run-down hole of a house in Vancouver, a slightly bigger, but equally shabby home in Toronto, or a mansion in Winnipeg.

As an extension to Royal LePage’s report on Canadian housing, VICE Money has put together a list of homes that cost $1 million, across 10 popular North American cities:

Toronto

It’s pretty bleak in this city if you’re looking for a single family home for $1 million or under. But when I increased my price range to $1.5 million, at least 70-80 homes popped up. Here’s one pretty decent house that I’m pretty sure will sell above $1 million.

Courtesy of REALTOR
  • 613 Glenholme Avenue (20 minutes from downtown Toronto)
  • 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
  • 2750 square-feet

Vancouver

You cannot get a house in Vancouver for $1 million or under. At least, that’s according to the simple search I did on a bunch of popular real estate websites. Now you can, however get a pretty decent two bedroom condo in downtown Vancouver, or if you’d really like a home, there’s this thing that resembles a house that’s being listed at $1.2 million.

Courtesy of REALTOR
  • 2710 McGill Street
  • 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
  • 1708 square-feet

New York

There is zero chance of finding a house in New York for $1 million. It’s just not happening now, or ever. Gone are the glory days of buying a tiny townhouse in Harlem for $800,000. What you can get though, is this sleek one bedroom condominium in the Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood of New York.

Courtesy of REALTOR
  • 635 West 42nd St
  • 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom
  • 650 square-feet

Calgary

Although home prices in Calgary have been gradually rising over the last decade or so, they’ve taken a slight hit over the last two years because of Alberta’s oil recession. Having said that, it’s still a way more affordable city to live in than Toronto and Vancouver. Here’s a very, very stunning family home for $1 million — an equivalent home would probably cost upwards of $2.5 million in Toronto.

Courtesy of real-estate.ca
  • 1913, 31 Avenue SW
  • 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
  • 1877 square-feet

Montreal

There’s tons of choice in Montreal for $1 million. You can basically get anything — a four-bedroom house in a very nice neighbourhood, or a swanky 2-storey, three-bedroom condo downtown, or my personal favourite, this gorgeous two-bedroom loft in Old Montreal.

Courtesy of Century 21
  • 454 Rue De La Gauchetiere Ouest
  • 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
  • 2186 square-feet

Chicago

Chicago seems to be Toronto’s twin city in everything except real estate, because it turns out the Windy City is not nearly as unaffordable as The 6ix when it comes to buying actual houses. In fact, the Home Alone mansion sold for $1.6 million — for that hefty price you’d get a home a quarter of that size in Toronto) Downtown Chicago condos are expensive, but if you get out of the city into the suburbs, you actually have quite a bit of choice.

Courtesy of REALTOR
  • 1243 W Barry Avenue (20 minutes from downtown Chicago)
  • 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
  • 3268 square-feet

Edmonton

The average price of a single detached home in Edmonton as of January 2017, was roughly $415,000, so you can imagine that $1 million takes you a very long way in this frigid city. Here’s a very beautiful example:

Courtesy of Edmonton Real Estate
  • 9726, 83 Avenue, Strathcona
  • 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
  • 2226 square-feet

San Francisco

Moving along further west, the tech capital of the world is downright unaffordable. It’s estimated that 65 percent of San Francisco’s residents rent their homes, and perhaps half of those who rent don’t live alone because they can’t afford to. If you did have $1 million to throw around, you could buy this two-bedroom apartment in the fast-gentrifying Mission District. But forget about an actual house unless you have Zuckerberg’s bank account.

Courtesy of REALTOR
  • 3418, 26th Street
  • 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
  • 795 square-feet

Winnipeg

One of the few cities on this list where you can actually live like a millionaire on a million dollars. This house looks like a Malibu mansion out of Architectural Digest, except for the fact that it’s in Winnipeg.

Courtesy of REALTOR
  • 234 Oak Forest Crescent
  • 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
  • 2587 square-feet

Los Angeles

I suspect real estate in Los Angeles is extremely area-specific. Forget West Hollywood because you’re competing with an average net worth of $100-million, but if you settle for a less swanky neighbourhood, you can surprisingly get a very spacious home like this for $1 million.

Courtesy of REALTOR
  • 2300 West 24th Street (20 mins from the Hollywood Hills)
  • 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
  • 3494 square-feet

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