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Old 02-16-2020, 02:45 PM
 
41 posts, read 71,912 times
Reputation: 31

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My partner and I are thinking moving out of the city and we're thinking about Miller Beach because it seems to have a lot of the things on our wishlist:

- single family homes under 300k with good sized yards
- easy access to the Metra
- close to the lake (so friends from the city *might* actually visit once in a while)
- cute housing stock (midcentury, older cottages or brick homes, etc.) or cheap land where we could build a small place of our own

My main concerns are:
(1) I'm not sure how safe it is there. Are there a lot of issues with burglaries on the north side of the south shore tracks close to the water?
(2) I'm not sure what our neighbors would be like. Does anyone know if we'd have neighbors there who are smart and progressive? Nerdy and artsy/creative, gay-friendly neighbors would be a big plus.
(3) I know some neighborhoods are having major issues with beach erosion. Is that a big problem for Miller Beach? Is it sever enough that the entire beach might actually be gone? I heard recently about issues in the national park and in Beverly Shores where the water is getting too close to gas lines.

Also, just FYI, we don't have kids, so school districts aren't a concern.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:08 PM
 
810 posts, read 2,210,307 times
Reputation: 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by artsy1 View Post
My partner and I are thinking moving out of the city and we're thinking about Miller Beach because it seems to have a lot of the things on our wishlist:

- single family homes under 300k with good sized yards
- easy access to the Metra
- close to the lake (so friends from the city *might* actually visit once in a while)
- cute housing stock (midcentury, older cottages or brick homes, etc.) or cheap land where we could build a small place of our own

My main concerns are:
(1) I'm not sure how safe it is there. Are there a lot of issues with burglaries on the north side of the south shore tracks close to the water?
(2) I'm not sure what our neighbors would be like. Does anyone know if we'd have neighbors there who are smart and progressive? Nerdy and artsy/creative, gay-friendly neighbors would be a big plus.
(3) I know some neighborhoods are having major issues with beach erosion. Is that a big problem for Miller Beach? Is it sever enough that the entire beach might actually be gone? I heard recently about issues in the national park and in Beverly Shores where the water is getting too close to gas lines.

Also, just FYI, we don't have kids, so school districts aren't a concern.

Thanks in advance!
All of what you have on your wish list is attainable in Miller Beach. In response to your concerns, my brief thoughts:

1 - While Miller Beach is much safer than the rest of Gary, it's still a part of Gary and there is some spillover crime.

2 - Miller Beach is known to be a largely progressive and artsy type of area. That said, a staple of progressive people is their willingness to accept all types of people, so this point about who your neighbors are should be moot, no?

3- Yes the major erosion issues that have hit the news lately has been further east up the Lake Michigan coastline. However would anyone be too surprised if it continues along the coast and someday soon really hits Miller Beach? I wouldn't be surprised.

A couple other thoughts:

-I understand the point you're making that you have no kids so schools aren't a concern. However if you're looking to buy which it appears you are, quality of schools absolutely should be an item you consider as it affects the value and re-sale value of your property. That said, Gary Schools couldn't get any worse so perhaps the glass half full view of it would be that the impact of the schools has on your property's value can only go up from here.

-I always trust real estate values, they're the true indicator of the level of desirability of an area. There are reasons you can get a cute house on a decent sized lot just steps away from beautiful views and shoreline for what seems to be a VERY reasonable price.

Just things to consider. Hope it works out for you both.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:59 PM
 
41 posts, read 71,912 times
Reputation: 31
Thanks for the insights. Care to share any more on what makes Miller Beach so undesirable (if we're going purely on real estate values as the best indicator of desirability)?

As for progressive people being willing to accept all types of people, I understand your point. That being said, it's possible to accept people for who they are and still not feel a strong connection with them. You might just be very different people with different interests, different senses of humor, different ways you like to spend your time and money, etc. And that's fine...but it doesn't mean we're going to be best friends. I'd like to continue to live in an area where my neighbors and I have enough in common that we enjoy each other's company, especially if I'm moving pretty far outside the city and would need to make new friends.
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Old 02-17-2020, 12:57 AM
 
51 posts, read 159,148 times
Reputation: 75
I'm surprised that Miller doesn't appear to have fully taken off and become the lakefront gem it seems so well positioned for.

That being said, my brief thoughts are:
- Miller does have a strong art-focused community with many neighborhood events to help encourage a sense of neighborhood and encourage the arts. There is a garden walk, art shows, coffee house, etc. and I'd be willing to bet there's a good foundation to get involved and to be able to build upon the momentum in place.
- The location of Miller is a tremendous asset as you're on the lake and close to Chicago (via car or the South Shore). You can easily get to the city but can also enjoy the dunes and the spectacular views and beaches in Miller.
- Beach front erosion doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon; therefore, any beach front community on Lake Michigan is going to potentially be susceptible to issues.

A few things to also consider:
- As previous posters have mentioned, although you don't have kids, in NWI the quality of the schools in each community help dictate the overall desirability and real estate values of each community. For the most part, the better the schools, the better the real estate values and desirability of the area are. Therefore, you'll want to keep in mind that in Miller, the schools may result in lower property values and appreciation and will also limit the types of people willing to buy in the area (e.g. less families).
- Depending on how you define quality of life for you, you may find yourself struggling with the move - especially coming from Chicago. You won't be able to walk out your door, have endless restaurants, shopping, etc. nearby. This may be a welcome change for you and your partner but just something to think about for you as well as your visitors. Like I said, you can easily get back to Chicago for these needs, and keep in mind, there are plenty of options in NWI within a 30 minute drive (e.g., Merrillville, Schererville, Portage, etc.) but it's something to consider.

Last, if you already haven't, I'd encourage you to drive around the area, walk along Lake Street and check out the beach and dunes when the weather is nice. You can talk to people you meet in order to get thoughts from residents and workers directly within the area.

Best of luck!
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Old 02-17-2020, 11:02 AM
 
810 posts, read 2,210,307 times
Reputation: 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by artsy1 View Post
Thanks for the insights. Care to share any more on what makes Miller Beach so undesirable (if we're going purely on real estate values as the best indicator of desirability)?

As for progressive people being willing to accept all types of people, I understand your point. That being said, it's possible to accept people for who they are and still not feel a strong connection with them. You might just be very different people with different interests, different senses of humor, different ways you like to spend your time and money, etc. And that's fine...but it doesn't mean we're going to be best friends. I'd like to continue to live in an area where my neighbors and I have enough in common that we enjoy each other's company, especially if I'm moving pretty far outside the city and would need to make new friends.
Well I never said it was undesirable. Far from it. I'm just saying you likely aren't finding the shoreline gem for 1/3rd of the cost of what it truly is worth like some people seem to think when they research Miller Beach. I think the fact that it's in Gary and that alone suppresses the ability for real estate prices to grow considerably. The town of Gary by name just has a stigma to it, right or wrong, but probably right. It's isolated, and you wouldn't want to walk outside of that little neighborhood in either day or night. Some are fine with that, and that's great. Many are not. Those issues and the fact that many with kids (I know that's not you) won't consider it due to the schools and location removes a huge portion of potential buyers from the area immediately, which imo is a large reason why the prices are not much higher in Miller Beach.
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Old 02-17-2020, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Hammond
285 posts, read 486,165 times
Reputation: 298
I think others have explained everything pretty well. The low values for what you get are largely tied to the stigma of Gary and the Gary school systems. Keep in mind that while I'm sure Gary puts in every effort that they can to keep Miller Beach stable, as the nicest part of the city, you will also be subject to Gary politics, and Gary's municipal financial shortfalls.

My partner and I live in a similar situation on Forest Avenue in Hammond. While Hammond does not have as sever of problems as Gary, Forest Ave could still be considered one of the best areas to live in the city and has historically maintained it's long-term residents and housing values. The city puts extra effort, including additional police patrols and small capital projects to ensure that the residents stay happy and the property values remain stable. There is also a vigilant community self-policing from many invested residents. As such we enjoy significantly lower crime than neighborhoods that are even just a half mile away. I would suspect that Miller Beach has much of the same.

I'm not especially familiar with crime statistics in Miller, but what crime does exist I believe is mostly segregated to the areas closer to the South Shore line and to some extent extending up Lake Street, where it spills over from surrounding areas. Even so, my partner regularly parked at the Miller station for three year, including overnight parking when he was visiting me in Chicago. He never had issues during that time.

But at the same time you should know that a major upgrade to the South Shore line is on it's way (currently schedule to open in 2024). As part of the double tracking project from Gary to Michigan City, Miller Beach will be getting a new station. Concurrent with that project, Hwys 12 and 20 will be merged running by the station to allow more attractive land for development. If Gary plays this right, the town center at Miller could be greatly expanded and improved in the future.
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Old 02-21-2020, 10:10 AM
 
13 posts, read 26,853 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by artsy1 View Post
My partner and I are thinking moving out of the city and we're thinking about Miller Beach because it seems to have a lot of the things on our wishlist:

- single family homes under 300k with good sized yards
- easy access to the Metra
- close to the lake (so friends from the city *might* actually visit once in a while)
- cute housing stock (midcentury, older cottages or brick homes, etc.) or cheap land where we could build a small place of our own

My main concerns are:
(1) I'm not sure how safe it is there. Are there a lot of issues with burglaries on the north side of the south shore tracks close to the water?
(2) I'm not sure what our neighbors would be like. Does anyone know if we'd have neighbors there who are smart and progressive? Nerdy and artsy/creative, gay-friendly neighbors would be a big plus.
(3) I know some neighborhoods are having major issues with beach erosion. Is that a big problem for Miller Beach? Is it sever enough that the entire beach might actually be gone? I heard recently about issues in the national park and in Beverly Shores where the water is getting too close to gas lines.

Also, just FYI, we don't have kids, so school districts aren't a concern.

Thanks in advance!
Me and my wife are also looking into buying a home in Miller. First let me say you do not want to be be by the South Shore or off Lake st. Not because of safety, but because that’s not the beach part of Miller.You want to go as deep into Miller as possible.. I would say once you cross Montgomery you have nothing to worry about. Even before Montgomery you shouldn’t be to concerned it’s just not as nice, but it’s still nice. You will still see deers roaming around front yards. Once you cross Montgomery it’s definitely fully removed from Gary and the home values sky rocket . They are still building homes from the ground up and these homes are worth over half a million. Nobody is building half million dollar homes in bad neighborhoods so that should kill your safety concerns. Second, your neighbors will be white and black. You will see older whites biking/walking through the summer and winter. Last Sunday it was warm in the area and people were biking all over.

The only thing holding me and my wife back is the schools because are kids age range from 2 to 12, so we would be using the school system for a looong time. I currently live in Hammond. Miller’s high school is ranked higher than Hammond High. My kids go to private school now to avoid Hammonds schools.
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Old 02-21-2020, 10:18 AM
 
13 posts, read 26,853 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned B View Post
I think others have explained everything pretty well. The low values for what you get are largely tied to the stigma of Gary and the Gary school systems. Keep in mind that while I'm sure Gary puts in every effort that they can to keep Miller Beach stable, as the nicest part of the city, you will also be subject to Gary politics, and Gary's municipal financial shortfalls.

My partner and I live in a similar situation on Forest Avenue in Hammond. While Hammond does not have as sever of problems as Gary, Forest Ave could still be considered one of the best areas to live in the city and has historically maintained it's long-term residents and housing values. The city puts extra effort, including additional police patrols and small capital projects to ensure that the residents stay happy and the property values remain stable. There is also a vigilant community self-policing from many invested residents. As such we enjoy significantly lower crime than neighborhoods that are even just a half mile away. I would suspect that Miller Beach has much of the same.

I'm not especially familiar with crime statistics in Miller, but what crime does exist I believe is mostly segregated to the areas closer to the South Shore line and to some extent extending up Lake Street, where it spills over from surrounding areas. Even so, my partner regularly parked at the Miller station for three year, including overnight parking when he was visiting me in Chicago. He never had issues during that time.

But at the same time you should know that a major upgrade to the South Shore line is on it's way (currently schedule to open in 2024). As part of the double tracking project from Gary to Michigan City, Miller Beach will be getting a new station. Concurrent with that project, Hwys 12 and 20 will be merged running by the station to allow more attractive land for development. If Gary plays this right, the town center at Miller could be greatly expanded and improved in the future.
The part of Hammond you are talking about is constantly seeing new neighbors because people are moving out. There has been no extra effort or capital projects from the city in your area. The last project the city did over there was dropping the wall to keep Illinois residents (aka black people) out of the city. The bike bridge is not in your neighborhood. There has been no development there in all my 30+ years in Hammond. Hammond schools suck and was recently in danger of state takeover. The neighborhood around Forestt is one the best in Hammond, but it’s no where near as nice as Miller beach.
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Old 02-24-2020, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Hammond
285 posts, read 486,165 times
Reputation: 298
Chitoelk, what? On my street many of the houses haven't sold in decades because people have been residents for that long. We are the fourth owners of our house over a period of 100 years. The neighbors across the street and next door have been there since the 1990s, the neighbor on the other side's family has owned the house since the 1940s. Last year the Indi Illi got a new tennis cour last year. It got a new playground the year before. The renovation of Edison Park is not that far away either. Many of our streets have been recently resurfaced, and the city keeps up with the maintenance of street lights, sidewalks, and other public features. We've heard that Hohman south of 165th is supposed to get a resurfacing very soon too. We even have a community garden in the neighborhood now.

True there has been no development, but it's not like we have plentiful empty land to develop. Meanwhile most houses get regular maintenance and upgrading, and with a few exceptions are generally well maintained.

The curb that bisected State Line was built to keep people from Illinois from cutting through our neighborhood by car. The wall was primarily designed so that those living south of us don't need flood insurance, as additional protection because Illinois has a lower levee than in Indiana. It was last increased in size in 2017 to relieve even more people of flood insurance requirements. Does it also act as an impediment from Illinois residents wandering through the neighborhood? Yes, though if it was one of the drivers no one would ever say it, and I had no part in it's development.

I wasn't trashing Miller Beach; just using my experience living in the "nice" area of a city as an example of what might be expected in Miller Beach. There was no need to trash my neighborhood either.
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:23 PM
 
2,887 posts, read 6,394,560 times
Reputation: 2144
Quote:
Originally Posted by chitoelk View Post
Me and my wife are also looking into buying a home in Miller. First let me say you do not want to be be by the South Shore or off Lake st. Not because of safety, but because that’s not the beach part of Miller.You want to go as deep into Miller as possible.. I would say once you cross Montgomery you have nothing to worry about. Even before Montgomery you shouldn’t be to concerned it’s just not as nice, but it’s still nice. You will still see deers roaming around front yards. Once you cross Montgomery it’s definitely fully removed from Gary and the home values sky rocket . They are still building homes from the ground up and these homes are worth over half a million. Nobody is building half million dollar homes in bad neighborhoods so that should kill your safety concerns. Second, your neighbors will be white and black. You will see older whites biking/walking through the summer and winter. Last Sunday it was warm in the area and people were biking all over.

The only thing holding me and my wife back is the schools because are kids age range from 2 to 12, so we would be using the school system for a looong time. I currently live in Hammond. Miller’s high school is ranked higher than Hammond High. My kids go to private school now to avoid Hammonds schools.
Miller's high school has been shut down. High school kids in Gary go to West Side HS.
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