What 500k Buys You Around the World

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#1 $500,000 Is a Lot of Money - In Some Cities

$500,000 can buy you a pretty big house, if you live in the right place. But in a wealthier city, you may find things a little cramped. Here are a few examples of what sort of property you can snag for half a million.

#2 London, England
London has just about everything, from ancient gothic castles to modern, shimmering skyscrapers. One thing you won't be able to find there is cheap housing. But if you're willing to put up with the crowds, $500k could get you a one-bedroom apartment with a balcony (if you're lucky).

#3 Tijuana, Mexico
Just south of the border, half a million bucks could afford you a lovely villa with a swimming pool and wrap-around balcony. The largest city of the Baja Peninsula may not be the richest place in the world, but it sure has its perks. Beaches, palm trees and blue skies await you in lovely Tijuana.

#4 San Francisco, California
San Francisco is California's most densely populated city. The property values here are some of the highest in the US, as is the average income. So it comes as no surprise that $500,000 won't get you much more than a tiny bungalow on the outskirts of the City by the Bay.

#5 Lagos, Nigeria
The streets of Nigeria's largest city are filled with music and nightlife. And although the city is not exactly a mecca for the rich, it is Nigeria's economic center. Here, $500,000 could bag you a pretty sweet three-bedroom house. Not bad!

#6 Los Angeles, California

$500k won't get you very far if you're looking to buy a house in LA. In fact, it might be a good idea to just rent a place in the burbs if those Hollywood dreams are calling. Still, if you're intent on buying property in the middle of all the action, you can always land an okay apartment in the City of Angels.

#7 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Despite Rio being the world's 30th richest city, the real estate in the area is remarkably affordable. This 3,600 square foot villa is going for right around $500,000. It sports three floors, four bedrooms, two adjacent apartments, a garden and a pool. If we spoke Portuguese, we'd be packing our bags right now!

#8 Sydney, Australia

The largest city in Australia is — surprise — also the most crowded. The average rent in Sydney is the highest in all of Australia. Buying a $500,000 house isn't much of an option for those wishing to stay in Sydney proper, but apartments are always for sale.

#9 Cape Town, South Africa

The port city of Cape Town is one of the most popular tourist destination in all of Africa. It's also filled with some stunning historical architecture. And despite its recent housing boom, $500,000 can still fetch a nice 4 bedroom villa with a pool in this mountainous coastal city.

#10 Moscow, Russia

Thanks to the former Soviet Union's unrealized goal of providing homes for every citizen, Russia's capital is filled with huge, monolithic housing blocks. Fun fact: it's estimated that Moscow contains more than twice the number of elevators as Manhattan. Finding an affordable house isn't likely to happen within the city limits, but there are plenty of apartments to choose from.


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#11 Cairo, Egypt

Egypt might not be on everyone's destination list right now, but the country's capital city does contain some expansive homes for under 500 grand. This is because Cairo's recent housing boom ended up surging well past its own population growth. This $500,000 villa includes four bedrooms, a guest suite and a family room. The main balcony overlooks the Mediterranean Sea.

#12 Paris, France

The population of Paris is only a little less dense than that of Manhattan. That fact, plus its position as one of the wealthiest cities in the world, makes it hard for anyone to find affordable housing here. For five hundred G's, life in the City of Love looks like another case of the one-bedroom-apartment blues.

#13 Las Vegas, Nevada

Like Cairo, the population of Las Vegas just didn't grow as fast as the housing developers had hoped. The result was wide stretches of shiny, new empty subdivisions, as far as the eye could see. Many of those houses remain empty to this day, and $500,000 can easily buy a three-bedroom, three-bath luxury home. Smack dab in the middle of Sin City.

#14 Barcelona, Spain

The capital of Catalonia is one of the most populous cities in Europe. It's also one of the most expensive. Still, if you're willing to live in a small apartment, you'll be surrounded by culture, art, and beautiful, beautiful people. Lots of them.

#15 Detroit, Michigan

Detroit harbors some of the least expensive real estate in the country. Of course, this is probably due to the city's 15.8% unemployment rate. That isn't stopping us from gawking at this enormous colonial home, which contains a whopping 7 bedrooms, 5 full bathrooms and 2 half-baths. There are 8 fireplaces throughout the $450,000 house.