(Washington Post) In a previous story, we showed you the types of homes you can expect to buy when you have about $300,000 to spend. Most of them were for entry-level buyers. This time, we are going to look at homes in the $500,000 range.

Even though we’ve moved up $200,000, we are still in that first-time buyer category, particularly inside the Beltway.

“Generally speaking, people in this price range are either going to be entry-level buyers, folks that are moving into D.C. from outside the area, and then occasionally you’re going to see folks that are going to be downsizing,” said Steve Centrella, a real estate agent with Redfin. “Once we start getting out into some of the surrounding jurisdictions, it’s still likely going to be somebody who is fairly early in their homebuying career.”

For anyone outside the Beltway, the D.C. region’s housing prices must seem exorbitant. According to realtor.com, the median price nationally was $274,900, compared with $462,500 for the Washington area in May.

In this market, homes priced at about $500,000 tend to be snapped up quickly. Low inventory and low interest rates have birthed an aggressive market. Multiple bids and escalation clauses are common. Many home buyers also are competing against investors with all-cash offers. . . .  (read more)