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For the Kids: Five Starters in Which to Grow a Family

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Here now, Curbed's introductory round-up of several 'starter' homes that could or should appeal to the . You don't have to flee the city for quality schools and open space— there are plenty of areas that excel in both respects right here in The Windy. Some you might even consider affordable! For this feature, we honed in on examples from four distinct neighborhoods and one suburb (OK, we fudged the parameters a little). The properties are of differing types and sizes but all are amenable to family life either by location, schools, property characteristics, or all the above. Other criteria: All selections are under $400K and fit for habitation. Graze away!

5823 N Ravenswood #116
Asking Price: $189,000; HOA: $479
Specs: 2/1.5 Edgewater loft; 1,500 sf
Kid-Friendly Elements: Borders huge Rosehill Cemetery; on edge of leafy, safe, and fun-loving Andersonville; bright spaces and private patio; half-mile from two quality elementary schools, Peirce and Hayt.

5400 S Hyde Park Blvd Unit C6
Asking Price: $355,000; HOA: $679
Specs: 4/2.5 Hyde Park townhouse; 2,800 sf
Kid-Friendly Elements: Lots of space; complex has "botanical garden" feel (just sayin'); one block from lake and park space; near kid-centric Museum of Science & industry and highly regarded K-7 Murray Language Academy.

1806 W Diversey Pkwy Unit E
Asking Price: $379,900; HOA: $155
Specs: 2/2 West Depaul/Roscoe gated townhouse; 1,500 sf
Kid-Friendly Elements: Affordable entry to West Depaul area; gated community means you can afford to loosen the reigns on the kiddies a little; close to neighborhood parks and popular Burley school.

1117 N Hayes Ave.
Asking Price: $299,000
Specs: 4/2 Oak Park single fam; no square footage given
Kid-Friendly Elements: Big-home 'hood with vivid architectural history; generous front and back yards; porch and deck; top-notch schools, K-12; great long-term potential with room for two or more children.

2248 W Lunt Ave
Asking Price: $284,000
Specs: 3/2 West Ridge single fam; 2,150 sf
Kid-Friendly Elements: Great condition & character; lots of space; large yard; two blocks from attractive Indian Boundary Park (w/ zoo) and Warren Park (w/ golf course); mile-and-a-half to the beach.