We spend a lot of time on this blog covering multi-million dollar estates with mortgages far out of reach for the majority of Sonoma County. But what is out there for the rest of us?

According to the latest Compass real estate reports, the median home price in Sonoma County is $825,000. With a median income of only $81,018, the monthly mortgage for a house at this price would occupy over 50%* of one’s monthly income. According to traditional housing cost rules, the money you pay on mortgage or rent should occupy only 30% of one’s income, making homes priced around $500,000 a more affordable option for those who bring home an average Sonoma County salary.

But what do homes price at $500,000 look like in Sonoma County? There are plenty of urban ranches, cozy country cottages and Russian River getaways. Some of them are not built for year-round living and will need a little sweat equity. Some may have fabulous interiors but only a paved lot for a yard. What are you willing to give up to be able to afford a mortgage instead of rent?

Click through our gallery above to explore five homes under $500,000 currently on the market.

*Calculated using Zillow’s mortgage calculator with 20% down, a 30 year fixed mortgage and a 2.9% interest rate.