Family-friendly homes in the best cities for raising kids

Would one of these affordable properties work for you?

Forbes magazine recently picked the top cities in America to raise a family based on the cost of living, home affordability and ownership rates, commuting times, crime stats and school quality.

That made us wonder what kind of homes we might be able to find in some of those cities, focusing our search on neighborhoods that were especially safe and offered excellent schools. (We used to get a sense of that.)

We looked for single-family houses with at least three and preferably four bedrooms, lots of comfortable living space and a kid-friendly yard priced at or near that metro area's median home price.

Of course, some compromising was required, but the home’s we found offered 2,000 square feet for an astoundingly cheap $55,000 to a very affordable $215,000.

That works out to a monthly principal and interest payment of $223 to $872, assuming a 20% down payment and a 4.5% 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

Let’s start with the house in the biggest metro area we searched.

By Ingrid Case Contributing Editor

December 10, 2014