Of course the difference is the value of the dirt. When I lived in Los Altos there were dirt lots which were more valuable than lots with houses, because it cost money to demo existing structures before rebuilding :)
At least the Redwood City house has three bedrooms.
Of course, at 950 sq ft, one of them undoubtedly doubles as the living room.
I swear that I cannot resist the temptation to think of California earthquackes as a very good thing.
If I had $500,000 to work with, I could pay off the mortgage on my North Carolina house, my home equity line of credit, my car loans, my credit cards, and every other debt I have, and still have half the money left over for my children's college education.
Move to California? Not if you offered me $5 million.
I live in SF. My first thought when I saw this post was "You can by a house for $499,000 in Palo Alto?"
I live in Missouri, and my first thought is that price on the Ozark house is a little high. It must be right outside Branson because you can certainly get a house that big on a lot more land in most of Missouri. We just have tornados instead of earthquakes. I'm in the process of putting the third roof in seven years on my house -- I'm thinking of asking the roofers for a buy three get one free deal next time.
The Midwest gets on my nerves some times (everybody is so freakin' NICE all the time), but I have to admit, I'd never be able to afford my lifestyle back East.