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Old 10-13-2023, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Palm Bay
16 posts, read 44,601 times
Reputation: 21

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Hi there!

We’re a family of 4 potentially relocating for my husband’s job in December from the space coast of Florida to the Elkhart area. His company recently acquired some RV company, and he’s looking at taking a promotion there. We are from Michigan originally, but have been living in Florida for 15 years. I am completely unfamiliar with Indiana as a whole, and the Elkhart region in general. We don’t necessarily have to live in Elkhart but we do have to live in a commutable area close by probably within 30 minutes. I’m looking for advice on specific areas, a realtor recommendation , reformed presbyterian or Baptist church suggestions, homeschooling coops.


A little bit about us: we’re hoping to have a small amount of land, half an acre or more. We absolutely do not want to live in an HOA or any sort of gated community. we have been homeschooling for 12 years, so it doesn’t matter to me what the school system is like. A solid conservative church community is super important to us, preferably reformed Presbyterian or Baptist. We love Florida and leaving is going to be heartbreaking so the need for the very supportive church family is so important, especially since we won’t have any immediate family nearby. We are big into DiY, so rehabbing a place isn’t a deal breaker. Big into being outdoors, fishing, biking, hiking, and just generally staying active. Of course, big into swimming and sunshine
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Old 10-14-2023, 05:56 AM
 
468 posts, read 465,572 times
Reputation: 1128
I'm originally from Indiana and just moved back to Indiana in March from Sarasota area in Florida. Even though I've not lived around Elkhart I can tell you, in general, that Elkhart is in a rural area and I think you shouldn't have any problem finding an acre of ground to build on and the cost will be considerably cheaper than just about anywhere in Florida. We bought a nice home here in Bloomington Indiana for about $125,000 less than where we lived in Florida and we have 5 times more lot size. Bloomington is one of the more expensive communities in Indiana due to the presence of Indiana University so you should do even better in a more rural area like Elkhart.

I grew up in central Indiana but I spent 34 years living in the Fort Wayne area in northeast Indiana. I remember that when I moved to that area it took me a while to get to know people. Being a native Hoosier I feel that, in general, Hoosiers are very family oriented and life tends to revolve around family activities. I've been single most of my life and I always found it difficult in Indiana to make friends. Joining a church should make it easier for you to fit in as Indiana tends to be fairly religious. We aren't religious and are in our 70s so we are finding it harder to make friends here in Indiana as compared to where we lived in Florida. It was easy there as most people in the Sarasota area were our age and almost all of them migrated there recently from other states primarily from the northern USA. Many people here in Bloomington Indiana are from elsewhere too but they are in a much younger age demographic than we are. Therefore, we realize it will take us longer to make friends. People in Elkhart are probably mostly from Elkhart, though. If you are in a younger age group I think you will have an easier time making friends especially since you are church oriented. From my experiences in northeastern Indiana there are a large number of Lutherans and Methodists as well as some Catholics too. Northeastern Indiana has a lot of people of Germanic descent.

I wouldn't worry too much about any HOAs. That tends to be more of a Florida thing. We paid $4000 a year in HOA fees in Venice Florida and we pay $125 a year here in Bloomington Indiana. In general Indiana people aren't into HOAs unless you live in some high end place like Carmel.

I wish I had more info on Elkhart but perhaps someone else will chime in. The Indiana forums aren't nearly as active as the Florida forums but eventually someone will chime in. Indiana people take awhile to get to know but once you get to know them they will talk your leg off. LOL.
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Old 10-14-2023, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
17,764 posts, read 39,717,430 times
Reputation: 8248
I grew up near Elkhart. You will be able to find everything you are looking for in terms of housing, homeschooling resources and churches. You could even look in Michigan if you wanted. You could look in surrounding communities like Nappanee and Wakarusa.

Since you are familiar with northern winters, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

Welcome to the area.
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Old 10-15-2023, 12:45 PM
Status: "Hello Darlin, Nice to see you - Conway Twitty" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: 9764 Jeopardy Lane
792 posts, read 372,092 times
Reputation: 830
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeLady_WPB View Post
Hi there!

We’re a family of 4 potentially relocating for my husband’s job in December from the space coast of Florida to the Elkhart area. His company recently acquired some RV company, and he’s looking at taking a promotion there. We are from Michigan originally, but have been living in Florida for 15 years. I am completely unfamiliar with Indiana as a whole, and the Elkhart region in general. We don’t necessarily have to live in Elkhart but we do have to live in a commutable area close by probably within 30 minutes. I’m looking for advice on specific areas, a realtor recommendation , reformed presbyterian or Baptist church suggestions, homeschooling coops.


A little bit about us: we’re hoping to have a small amount of land, half an acre or more. We absolutely do not want to live in an HOA or any sort of gated community. we have been homeschooling for 12 years, so it doesn’t matter to me what the school system is like. A solid conservative church community is super important to us, preferably reformed Presbyterian or Baptist. We love Florida and leaving is going to be heartbreaking so the need for the very supportive church family is so important, especially since we won’t have any immediate family nearby. We are big into DiY, so rehabbing a place isn’t a deal breaker. Big into being outdoors, fishing, biking, hiking, and just generally staying active. Of course, big into swimming and sunshine
You can find lots of nice places in Elkhart even though the reputation isn't that great so I would start by looking outside of Elkhart IMO but if a dream home comes up consider it. You are really going to have to think about exactly what you want more than just a 1/2 acre and access to churches - that is super easy to get anywhere in the area you are talking about. If you want to stay in Indiana I would focus East (Middlebury) and/or South, Southeast if you are looking for a conservative, semi-rural experience. A lot of Amish in the area, very safe, very rural and very nice. If you want more amenities I would suggest Goshen. There are lake communities (Syracuse, IN) if you want waterfront or you could focus on Michigan near Edwardsburg although that would be pushing 30 minutes and the politics are Michigan, not Indiana, including higher taxes. Home schooling is very prevalent. Elkhart generally has city issues, shootings and what not, that I would want to avoid but you can even find nice places S of South Bend - some beautiful areas to the North & East of Potato Creek St Park.

If you find some options post again and I will let you know about the surrounding communities. I grew up in South Bend, now live outside of Coldwater, MI but am very familiar with the area as I work there. You will find something great - good luck.
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Old 10-18-2023, 05:41 AM
 
Location: Aishalton, GY
1,459 posts, read 1,399,869 times
Reputation: 1978
Rent first
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Old 10-24-2023, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Brownsburg, IN
174 posts, read 243,464 times
Reputation: 381
I would second looking in the Wakarusa area. There is a Baptist Church there, don't know much else beyond that church wise in the area.

My BIL grew up on a 12 acre non-farming property just around the corner from Wakarusa. His parents owned a business in Goshen, but he went to school (I know that's not of importance to you) in between Elkhart and South Bend at Penn. He loved it. They had the town of Wakarusa for community and local support/events, but plenty of property for not having to deal with people when they wanted it. They typically avoided the bigger cities like Elkhart and South Bend but that's just because they didn't like traffic, people, etc.

There are many properties and or small-acre homes you should be able to find. None will have HOAs. You can also look north and commute from Michigan if you desire.

South of Elkhart (I use highway 20 as the southern border for an easy break) will be more free lots not tied to a neighborhood or HOA. To the East and West will be more of neighborhoods until you get past Middlebury (east) or Westfield (west)

Like another poster mentioned HOAs here in Indiana are typically not much. We live in a neighborhood that's one of the largest in our community and we pay $385 a year. That covers our neighborhood pool and landscape/mowing more than anything else. In our neighborhood, most people don't worry too much about the HOA laws and covenants as long as it isn't a complete eyesore or you aren't mowing your lawn. Not sure what HOAs are like in other states, but if like another poster said than Indiana probably won't be too strict.
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