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Old 07-07-2010, 12:30 PM
 
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Any recommendations for a great realtor who knows the NWI area well? My wife and I will be in the area Aug 1-3 and would love to meet with someone to discuss our needs.

Thanks!
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:40 PM
 
2,157 posts, read 5,493,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoeman101 View Post
Any recommendations for a great realtor who knows the NWI area well? My wife and I will be in the area Aug 1-3 and would love to meet with someone to discuss our needs.

Thanks!
If you discuss some of your needs on here (like location, housing type, etc) then it would a lot easier to refer you to someone.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:47 AM
 
44 posts, read 145,375 times
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Well, at the moment my wife and I are debating if we should choose Chicago or Dallas. It has been extremely difficult!!!! Both are great cities!!!! If we choose Chicago, we see taxes are very high in IL (probably $7-8k average for property tax). We don't want 1/2 of our mortgage payment going towards tax! In Dallas, taxes aren't as cheap as IN, but they are acceptable in the $3-4k range for an average. If we choose Chicago, it appears like we need to turn our focus to NWI to save on property tax. We would like to be relatively close to the South Shore train to make the city easily accessible. We want to spend no more than $200k on a home. We want a little space from neighbors, but don't want to be in the middle of nowhere! Hope this helps.
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:26 PM
 
2,157 posts, read 5,493,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoeman101 View Post
Well, at the moment my wife and I are debating if we should choose Chicago or Dallas. It has been extremely difficult!!!! Both are great cities!!!! If we choose Chicago, we see taxes are very high in IL (probably $7-8k average for property tax). We don't want 1/2 of our mortgage payment going towards tax! In Dallas, taxes aren't as cheap as IN, but they are acceptable in the $3-4k range for an average. If we choose Chicago, it appears like we need to turn our focus to NWI to save on property tax. We would like to be relatively close to the South Shore train to make the city easily accessible. We want to spend no more than $200k on a home. We want a little space from neighbors, but don't want to be in the middle of nowhere! Hope this helps.
Thank you! The info you provided can help me give you some advice. First and foremost, you are making a great decision by considering NWI. While I do love Chicago and the suburbs, it seems as though one MUST make a six-figure income in order to live a SAFE and middle-class lifestyle. In NWI, you could live jsut as comfortable on a lower income. Given your budget and the fact that you want some space between neighbors, I would suggest Valparaiso or Chesterton. Those are very nice towns with good schools and Chesterton has a south shore station. The homes are (on average) much more affordable than most comparable homes to the west in Lake County. Since proximity to the South Shore AND space between neighbors is most important to you (as well as saving on taxes), those two towns would probably be the best. If you are willing to spend a little more and be close to the expressway as well as a South Shore station, I would recommend Munster. Depending on where in Munster you would live, you could either use the Hammond station or the East Chicago station. The only drawback to Munster is that your $$ will not go as far and you won't have that much space between neighbors. However, the commute will be MUCH easier on both the expressway and South Shore and Munster (along with Valpo) has the best schools in the region. Another alternative is Crown Point. You will not be near any train station but I-65 is right by town and with your budget, you could probably find a sizeable place. If you do choose Crown Point, make sure you are in Center Township so you will be in the Crown Point School district. Crown Point is also in Ross Township, but homes in Ross Township are in the Merrillville school district which is not a great district. Hope this helps!
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:48 PM
 
44 posts, read 145,375 times
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It does help - funny because we were gravitating towards Chesterton and Valpo anyway. Ideally, we'd love to find a nice place in Chesterton b/c of the proximity of the train station. I don't mind 1 hr 20 mins on a train if you aren't driving 30 minutes to get to the station! I find it relaxing and good for the avid reader such as ourselves. What does Chesterton offer in terms of grocery stores, chain retailers, and restaurants? I see it is relatively small.

Thanks for your feedback!
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Hoosierville
17,428 posts, read 14,650,567 times
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Honestly, I don't think you need an agent right now ...

I do think that you're doing the right thing by doing internet research on the area though - and feel free to ask any and all questions here as well. (And there are quite a few threads on Chesterton & Valpo that you could read up on in your spare time.)

I also think that if you prepare yourself by reading as much as possible online here, in other forums and asking questions, that when you come out here in a couple of weeks, you'll be able to get a good grasp on the area but sightseeing & driving around yourselves.

If you wanted an agent to actually view homes, I think you'll have a hard time finding a good agent to agree to that. (Notice I said "good" agent - I'm quite positive you can get someone to take you out, but when you're doing a relo across the country, you really do want the best agent possible.) Reason being, you're quite far out in your move time (poss. 2 years) and you don't have any plan for financing in place based on your other thread.

I don't mean for this to come across as snarky - pinky swear. But I have sellers that are ready to sell - and from their standpoint, to prepare their house to show, get rid of pets, wrangle the kids all for a showing that has absolutely no possibility of being able to purchase ... well, that's not fun, now is it?
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:03 PM
 
2,157 posts, read 5,493,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoeman101 View Post
It does help - funny because we were gravitating towards Chesterton and Valpo anyway. Ideally, we'd love to find a nice place in Chesterton b/c of the proximity of the train station. I don't mind 1 hr 20 mins on a train if you aren't driving 30 minutes to get to the station! I find it relaxing and good for the avid reader such as ourselves. What does Chesterton offer in terms of grocery stores, chain retailers, and restaurants? I see it is relatively small.

Thanks for your feedback!
Glad it helps! Chesterton has a ban on big box stores, so mom and pop stores are pretty much your only choice there (they do have some chain restaurants tho like Wendy's). However, Valpo is just south and has most of the major big-box stores and chain restaurants one will need. If Valparaiso University was not there (and the need to accommodate students who might be used to living in big-box suburbia) you can bet that Valparaiso would likely have the same kind of ban as well. If you want a larger shopping area, you could also go to Hobart/Merrillville where the mall is. There are many stores and a lot of restaurants as well. For outlet shopping, you could get to Michigan pretty quickly. If you are looking for more upscale shopping/restaurants, then you would need to trek over into Illinois to find that.
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Hoosierville
17,428 posts, read 14,650,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northwest Indiana View Post
Glad it helps! Chesterton has a ban on big box stores, so mom and pop stores are pretty much your only choice there (they do have some chain restaurants tho like Wendy's). However, Valpo is just south and has most of the major big-box stores and chain restaurants one will need. If Valparaiso University was not there (and the need to accommodate students who might be used to living in big-box suburbia) you can bet that Valparaiso would likely have the same kind of ban as well. If you want a larger shopping area, you could also go to Hobart/Merrillville where the mall is. There are many stores and a lot of restaurants as well. For outlet shopping, you could get to Michigan pretty quickly. If you are looking for more upscale shopping/restaurants, then you would need to trek over into Illinois to find that.

Uh, NWI, bite your tounge on the upscale restaurants ... www.valpodining.com ... we've got quite a nice thing going on around the square.
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:24 PM
 
2,157 posts, read 5,493,927 times
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Originally Posted by Chuckity View Post
Uh, NWI, bite your tounge on the upscale restaurants ... www.valpodining.com ... we've got quite a nice thing going on around the square.
When I said "upscale" I meant more-so upscale chain restaurants. Valpo has very nice restaurants in town. I was really referring more to the Cheesecake factory, P.F. Changs, Maggiano's Little Italy, etc. Stuff that you cannot find around here. Nothing personal.
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:28 PM
 
44 posts, read 145,375 times
Reputation: 18
So does Chesterton have a Target? Jewel? Dominicks? Curious....
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