Woman With A $1.5 Million Budget Goes House Hunting & Learns She Can Only Afford A Run-Down Bungalow

She thought a million dollars would offer her more options in the housing market than it did in reality.

woman with 1.5 million house hunting budget affords bungalow TikTok

Self-proclaimed “Big Real Estate Guy” Darren Kriz showcases various California homes on his TikTok account. He highlighted one woman’s house-hunting journey in California with a $1.5 million budget.

Marina posted a video that Kriz then reposted, in which she explained that “after living in the US for several years, [she] was finally approved for a mortgage and started looking for a single-family home.”


Her budget for house hunting was $1.5 million, which Kriz declared ‘a good starting budget.’

Marina reported that she started her house search close to the neighborhood she lives in already, and expected to find more options than she actually did. Buying a home is a serious commitment, a step into the future that shouldn't be taken lightly.

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When she started her house hunt, Marina was “stunned” to discover that there was only one house available for her budget. She decided to check it out, commenting that “the neighborhood looked nice, but things started to change as [she] approached the house.”  


The house was “really close to a highway,” and there were “RVs parked everywhere,” along with open trash barrels on the street. Kriz added his commentary, stating that it “looked like a decent neighborhood.”

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When Marina went into the house, she was startled by what she found— a run-down bungalow that needed lots of work.

She reported that her first impression of the house was that it was “really dark [and it] needs a lot of renovation.”

“This is where the stove was supposed to be,” she stated, showing an empty gap in the kitchen. She noted the house was very cold with very low ceilings. 


“This space is really weird,” she commented. She showed both bedrooms, which were small and run-down, with very little natural light.

“This actually left me so depressed,” she said. “Of course, we’re going to look at other areas, but this is what you get for $1.5 million in Silicon Valley.”

Kriz offered his commentary again, stating, “Of course, Silicon Valley.”

On average, a single-family home in San Francisco costs $1.2 million, and the average cost for renting a 1 to 2-bedroom apartment is $3,500 a month. The price of real estate in San Francisco is high in part because of the city’s size— its area is just under 47 square miles, with a population of almost 900,000 people. 


While Silicon Valley is known to be the tech center of the US, Financial Times reports that foreign direct investment into new projects in the area has hit a slump in the past year, getting down to its lowest level since 2009. The media outlet also notes that San Francisco has experienced a historic population decline during the pandemic.

In a survey compiled by the Financial Times and Nikkei, San Francisco ranks second-to-last for quality of life, and the highest costs for housing and healthcare out of the 89 cities surveyed.

Someone in the comments of Kriz’s TikTok post noted, “She’s in Mountain View. Unfortunately, that’s normal for Silicon Valley. I have to commute about 40 minutes each way to get a slightly better place.”

Others commented on just how expensive life in California is, with one person explaining, “She should lower her expectations and get a townhome or condo in a nice neighborhood.”


Some commenters outside of the US explained that in their home countries, $1.5 million could buy a castle or a mansion. Yet not all foreign commenters agreed.

“In Munich, 1.5 million would buy you a 1 bedroom apartment,” said one person.

Taking into account rising inflation and the high cost of living, buying property at this moment in time seems like a luxury reserved for the very wealthy. As Marina’s post showed, even $1.5 million can’t buy more than a run-down bungalow. 


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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.