It's a tough gig to get a real solid, updated move-in family home in Old Irving Park for under $500K... that's not up against the highway of course. A middle residential block location well off the busier streets is very desirable.
The top two reasons to leave our tricked out duplex? Yard and garage!
For some reason, we don't give Old Irving Park the regular looks that I do Sauganash or even the North Shore in Wilmette. Old Irving Park would make the most sense for my career (easy drive to all the neighborhoods I work in) and it's pretty easy on my wife's commute to Lincoln Park (and soon, she may be taking the train downtown). The amosphere is just not quite doing it for us yet... to jump to the single family home, we may need a little more leafy, winding road seclusion that I feel in the above mentioned areas. The schools are a little bit of an issue for us as well (depending on purchase price of the home, we'd go private in this location).