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A Loophole for Backyard Houses: Kids' Portable Real Estate

Since your parents had to move in because of the temporary/emergency legislation banning development of backyard mother-in-law units, little Bobby and Sally might have been relegated to the couch in the living room. To give yourself some more space, why not take advantage of a loophole and give them a place of their own in the backyard? We're not suggesting that parents pitch a tent outside and call it good -- we're not heartless barbarians. Rather, parents seeking sanity and breathing room can snag some portable real estate in the form of playhouses to throw in the backyard where their mini-mes can hang for a while. Hand 'em some blankets and a fully-charged iPad and they should be fine...Here are the finest that Craigslist has to offer.

1) Log Cabin for One

Asking price: $500
The low down: This four ft. by four ft. Lincoln Log-style play-cabin for for the ambitious parent looking to assemble this 113-piece house at home. While it has no window panes, the "listing information" states that "[a]ll wood members are Doug Fir. Bottom two pieces are pressure treated so it's OK for direct ground contact -- no need for any blocks or 'foundation.' Roof is made from WeatherMAX 65, a marine grade awning fabric ,keeping the house shaded or dry, even in a rainy climate." Look how happy one can make her five-year old!
2) Wood Playhouse

Asking price: $175
The low-down: From the workshop of Costco comes this well-crafted playhouse ready for one's little one to move in. The place comes equipped for "pretend play with a sink, grill, 2 windows, door and covered patio with seat", not to mention a mini-basketball hoop set up on the side. Plastic shingles are also in place to protect kids from the inevitable rainy season.

3) Rose Petal Cottage

Asking price: $50

The low down: While this place might not be the warmest, it's certainly aesthetically pleasing and perfect for the tyke with a flair for interior design. Made entirely of fabric, this four-ft. tall house has been pre-decked out with decorative touches and comes complete with curtain-covered windows and a cute little door that can swing open (when unzipped). Not the most practical, per se, but such is the way of beauty in so many cases...

· City Council Puts Kibosh on Mother-in-Law Units [Curbed Seattle]
· Craigslist [official site]