How much $400,000 gets you in California

Californians know how expensive it can be to live here. 

Home prices have reached a national all-time high of $405,000, with the average square footage of new single-family homes also rising. 

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the pandemic reversed the previous downward trend in home size, with the average square footage for new single-family homes increasing to 2,561.

What does $400,000 get you in California? 

Depends where you go. 

Analysts at Point2Homes found 5 cities in the Golden State that offer buyers more than 1,000 square feet of living space for that price and no, Los Angeles did not make that list. 

They are Bakersfield (1,860 sq ft), Fresno (1,747 sq ft), Stockton (1,404 sq ft), Sacramento (1,180 sq ft), and Riverside (1,124 sq ft).

Just last week we told you the Inland Empire was experiencing a population boom, adding 47,601 people in the year ending July 2021. Meanwhile, Los Angeles and Orange counties both experienced the nation's second-worst decline, losing more than 175,000 people.

Cities at the other end of the spectrum where you'll get the least amount of space for $400,000 are San Francisco (400 sq ft) and Fremont (494 sq-ft).

In Los Angeles, $400,000 will get you 619 sq ft, according to the analysis.

Compared to the rest of the United States, however, San Francisco comes in second for most expensive square footage. It's beaten out by New York City (Manhattan), which offers a snug 267 sq-ft. 

For $400,000, you can get a bit more square footage in San Jose, Irvine, and San Diego (between 500 and 600 sq ft). 

If you want to maximize your savings, you can get twice as much home for $400,000 in Riverside or in Sacramento versus San Jose, where the median price per square foot there is nearly $800.

Don't forget the state also just launched a new program to help first-time homebuyers with a down payment. California's Forgivable Equity Builder Loan allows qualified, first-time buyers to borrow up to 10% of a home’s purchase price, and have the debt forgiven if the buyer lives in the home for five years. You can learn more about the program here.

When it comes to America as a whole, you'll get the most space for $400,000 in Detroit, Michigan (5,882 sq ft). 

To get these results, Point2Homes analyzed the top 100 most populous U.S. cities based on the latest U.S. Census data. To calculate the amount of space that the new median home price of $400,000 can buy, analysts divided the median home price by the new median home price per square foot in each city. 

All local median home prices and prices per square foot were sourced from brokerages, MLS, realtor associations, and other listings portals.

You can see the full data and compare it to the national median by tapping or clicking here.