The New York Times visits Chicago, Houston and New Haven, Conn. — and compares the type of homes of you can purchase for $400,000.

Ponderosa Forest is a suburban neighborhood outside the beltway that encircles the core of Houston, about 20 miles northwest of downtown. This house, built by a former owner in 1977, is in a residential section sometimes called the Champions-1960 area (named for a golf course and a commercial road about a mile away). Though 1960 has basic shopping, locals tend to head to one of two malls: Woodland, about 10 miles north; and Willowbrook, six miles west. There are public elementary, middle and high schools within a mile and a half. – from HGTV