Real Estate

$500,000 Homes in Massachusetts, New York and Illinois

What You Get for $500,000

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Rhonda Cyr

Westfield, Mass. | $499,000

A Colonial house built in 1770, with five bedrooms and four bathrooms, on a 1.9-acre lot

This house sits on land that was once home to a thriving bee colony, from which the street it sits on — Honey Pot Road — gets its name. The center of Westfield, where a number of shops and restaurants have opened in recent years, is 10 minutes away by car, as is the campus of Westfield State University, founded in the 1830s as one of the country’s first public coeducational colleges. The property is within commuting distance of Springfield (a half-hour drive) and Hartford, Conn. (a 45-minute drive).

Size: 2,748 square feet

Price per square foot: $182

Indoors: The home’s front facade has remained virtually unchanged over the last couple of centuries, with a simple wood door framed by two sets of identical windows.

From the entry, original wide-plank pine floors continue to the right, into the living room, which has a brick-framed fireplace built into a wood-paneled wall and rough-hewed beams lining the ceiling. To the left of the entry is an inviting family room with more wood paneling and access to a sunny space used by the sellers as a music room. From there, a wood-framed doorway leads into the dining room, which has another brick fireplace and a candle-style chandelier.

Off the dining room is a windowed kitchen that looks out over the nearly two-acre property. The wood cabinets have iron handles and hinges, and the soapstone counters were salvaged during the renovation of the train station in Springfield, Mass.

A hallway running alongside the dining room leads to the bedroom suite on this floor, which has exposed ceiling beams and a full bathroom. Another full bathroom is tucked between the dining and family rooms.

Stairs lead from the hallway up to the second floor, where there are four more bedrooms. At the top of the stairs is the primary suite, which has an en suite bathroom with a deep soaking tub and a separate shower.

The three guest rooms are cozy, with sloped ceilings and rough-hewed wood trim along the walls and around the doors. Each could comfortably hold a full-size bed, and they share a full bathroom off the hallway.

Outdoor space: The property is relatively flat, with wide stretches of grass, groups of mature trees and rows of hedges. A small dirt area behind the house holds a firepit, and the attached garage, added by a previous owner, holds two cars.

Taxes: $7,104 (estimated)

Contact: Stephanie McNair, William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, 413-204-4749;

Credit…Dwell Visual Marketing

Amherst, N.Y. | $499,900

A Tudor Revival house built in 1930, with five bedrooms, two full bathrooms and two half bathrooms, on a 0.5-acre lot

Amherst is a bustling suburb of Buffalo, about a 15-minute drive from the city’s downtown. It is popular with families, thanks to good public schools and quaint neighborhoods like Eggertsville, where this property is. Along Main Street, a few blocks away, there are pubs, an organic grocery store and the campuses of a public high school and Daemen College, a private school founded in 1947. The Peace Bridge, which connects Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario, in Canada, is about 15 minutes away by car. Driving to the American side of Niagara Falls takes about half an hour.

Size: 3,818 square feet

Price per square foot: $131

Indoors: The house is set back from the street, behind a grassy front yard, flowering hedges and a patio surrounded by a low brick wall.

The exterior front door opens into a small anteroom — ideal for taking off winter gear — with a second glass door that leads to the foyer, where the floor has its original tiles and a winding staircase rises to the second floor. The tile continues to the right, into a seating nook in front of a large window.

To the left, through an arched doorway framed in stone, is a living room with a stone fireplace that has a tile hearth matching the tile in the foyer. The walls and the coved ceiling are finished in stucco, and windows face the front and side yards. Through the living room is a dining room with hardwood floors and a bay of windows.

Another arched doorway connects the dining room to the kitchen, where the walls are trimmed in colorful brick and the stainless-steel appliances include two ovens. Behind a wood door with a frosted-glass window is a half bathroom.

Upstairs, the primary bedroom has parquet floors, a stucco fireplace flanked by windows and an attached half bathroom. The sellers use the bedroom next door, which has another fireplace, as a walk-in closet and dressing room.

Across the hall are two guest rooms, both with parquet floors, and a recently updated bathroom with a claw-foot soaking tub and a glass-walled shower. At the end of the upstairs hallway is a staircase to the third floor, where there is a bonus space with a built-in bar, another guest room and another full bathroom.

Outdoor space: Plantings give the front patio a sense of privacy, and there is room for a few chairs and a small table. The backyard is flat, with a playhouse and mature trees. The detached garage holds two cars.

Taxes: $11,508 (estimated)

Contact: Enas Latif, Enas Latif Sales Team, Hunt Real Estate, 716-417-4755;

Credit…Chris Dimock/VHT

Chicago | $500,000

A three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom condominium in a circa-1900 building

This unit occupies the first and ground floors of a three-unit building in the Wicker Park neighborhood, a few blocks from Division Street and North Avenue, the area’s main thoroughfares. Humboldt Park, home to a lagoon, a popular sledding spot and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, is about a mile away. The four-acre Wicker Park, with a playground and a weekly farmers’ market, is about a 10-minute walk. Downtown Chicago is a 20-minute drive or a 30-minute ride on public transportation.

Size: 2,200 square feet

Price per square foot: $227

Indoors: A low iron fence separates the building’s small front yard from the street, with steps leading up to a glass front door.

This unit’s entry is on the first level of the building, with a short corridor opening to the main living area, which has hardwood floors, a fireplace and a sitting area at the back.

Behind the sitting area is a galley kitchen with granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. An adjacent dining area faces a large window overlooking the street.

Off the sitting area is a half bathroom, as well as a bedroom with a private balcony, used by the sellers as the primary suite; the attached bathroom has a shower with slate tiles and a light wood vanity.

From the entry, stairs lead down to the lower level, which has two more bedrooms (one currently used as a home office) and a family room large enough to hold a sectional sofa, all with slate flooring. This level also has a full bathroom with a combination tub and shower.

Outdoor space: The balcony off the primary suite is big enough to hold a cafe table and chairs, and has a view of the fenced-in backyard shared by the building’s residents. This unit comes with one parking spot in a detached garage.

Taxes: $9,156 (estimated), plus a $280 monthly homeowner association fee

Contact: Soukbangone Supantavong and Laurie Borden, Coldwell Banker Realty, 312-502-0259 or 312-350-5222;

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