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A house under $400,000 in SLO County? It’s possible — particularly in these 5 spots

Here’s how to find an affordable house in SLO County

Stacy George, a real estate agent for Platinum Properties in Paso Robles, California, talks about how what to consider when buying a house in San Luis Obispo County.
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Stacy George, a real estate agent for Platinum Properties in Paso Robles, California, talks about how what to consider when buying a house in San Luis Obispo County.

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Looking for a cheaper home in San Luis Obispo County? You might want to search a bit off the beaten path.

Single-family home prices in the county have hit historic highs in 2019 — the May median was $640,000, according to the California Association of Realtors.

The county’s median household income is $67,175, according to U.S. Census Bureau data gathered from 2013 to 2017. Most local workers can’t afford to purchase a home anywhere close to the median price.

There are a few options for homebuyers shopping for houses in the $300,000 to $400,000 range, but they’re likely located in the northern, southern or eastern edges of the county.

A survey of homes in this price range on real estate site Zillow shows houses for sale in Paso Robles, San Miguel, Shandon, Nipomo, Oceano and Heritage Ranch near Lake Nacimiento.

Stacy George, a real estate agent at Platinum Properties in Paso Robles, is selling a $355,000 home on Fourth Street, not far from the city’s downtown area.

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This house at 628 4th St. in Paso Robles is listed for $355,000, making it one of the cheaper homes in San Luis Obispo County. Laura Dickinson ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

The two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom house is part of a planned unit development, similar to a condominium complex. It was built in 1986 and has 1,110 square feet, a fireplace, granite countertops and front and back porch areas.

The home’s downsides include a Jack-and-Jill bathroom that connects the two upstairs bedrooms and the lack of yard space. But George said it’s perfect for first-time buyers who want to break into the housing market.

“This is a great property for someone that is buying for the first time, and a couple of years — two, three years — it positions them well in their equity to move to another home,” she said.

Buyers always have to balance what they want in a house with what they can afford, George said.

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One of the two bedrooms inside 628 4th St. in Paso Robles, which is listed for $355,000. Laura Dickinson ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

“My first step is always to inquire if they’ve seen a lender, to basically look at their ability to buy,” she said. “And, at that point in time, let’s see if we can get you in a game plan. It may not happen today, and it might be three to six months, but most times, we’re able to cross the threshold if everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to do.”

Natasha Mercurio, a real estate agent for Richardson Properties in San Luis Obispo, said buyers need to keep an open mind when looking for a home.

Those who want to end up in an area like San Luis Obispo may not get there with their first houses, she said. Buying property and getting into the market is the most important first step.

“In most cases, this is not going to be your forever home,” Mercurio said.

Here are four additional houses that may be worth a look if you’re shopping in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range.

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A three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Oceano that’s listed on Zillow for $379,000. Zillow

$379,000 in Oceano

Address: 1661 15th St.

Size: 957 square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms

Year built: 1961

This single-level home in Oceano comes with granite countertops, a three-car driveway and fenced front and back yards with drought-tolerant landscaping and fruit trees, according to Zillow.

It’s been on the market for 59 days, and the price was recently reduced by $20,000.

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Zillow

$399,900 in Nipomo

Address: 540 Linnet Lane

Size: 1,040 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms

Year built: 1996

This Nipomo house is located on a dead-end street and features a two-car garage, a fenced backyard, hickory flooring and stainless steel appliances. It’s been on the market for nine days.

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Zillow

$399,000 in San Miguel

Address: 844 Avenida Vista

Size: 1,398 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms

Year built: 2017

This San Miguel house was built just two years ago as part of San Miguel’s 60-home Jazzy Town development.

It comes with vaulted ceilings, stainless steel appliances, a two-car garage and a fenced-in backyard. The house has been on the market for six days.

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Zillow

$364,900 in Heritage Ranch

Address: 4655 Silver Saddle Lane

Size: 1,534 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms

Year built: 1979

This house is located in Heritage Ranch, a private community near Lake Nacimiento.

It features a large living room, separate dining area, patio and fenced-in side yard. The property also includes a separate workshop attached to a room that could function as a mother-in-law suite.

The house has been on the market for 40 days, and the price was recently reduced by $7,100.

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Lindsey Holden writes about housing and everything in between for The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. She also covers communities in northern San Luis Obispo County. Lindsey became a staff writer in 2016 after working for the Rockford Register Star in Illinois. She’s a native Californian raised in the Midwest and is a proud graduate of two Chicago schools: DePaul University and Northwestern University.
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