Longtime Rockford realtor Bob Nieman says $125,000 doesn't go nearly as far as it used to when buying a home.
"Say in the early 1970's those homes would have been high teens, low twenties, so, in my 35 years, they've gone up 100-thousand dollars in value," Nieman said.
23 news sampled $125,000 homes primarily in Belvidere and Rockford. Although each city had a similar number of houses on the market, one glaring difference stuck out.
In Boone, Winnebago and Stephenson County, where in each you can buy a similar two-story home with a garage for 125-thousand dollars, area realtors say you can get the best bang for your buck in Winnebago County.
"It is 20,000 dollars more expensive in Boone County for similar type homes than it is in Winnebago County or Rockford," Nieman said.
The realtor says Belvidere's real estate value is all about supply and demand, not to mention being closer to Chicago.
"Boone county is smaller geographically. It's got less population. Winnebago County is a much larger market, so you have more properties for sale.
But prospective home buyers, don't get too bummed out. Nieman says there's still a lot of quality houses available in the $125,000 price range.
"If you want a home with three bedrooms, and one to two baths and a one-car garage, that will work. There are even some of these with two garages," Nieman said.
The changing face of the area's housing market, proof that the same amount doesn't always get you the same home.