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Old 01-13-2011, 10:48 AM
 
2 posts, read 4,452 times
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Hello,
My husband and I are looking to buy a house in Hammond/Munster/Highland. We own a condo on the north side of Chicago but wanted to move closer to our parents. I see Hammond has some beautiful older homes but am concerned about the safety in the area. I am looking at homes in the area of 300K. My husband and I work in Chicago and our son will be attending preschool next year. Any information regarding schools (private or public) in the area and commuting into downtown would be extremely helpful.
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:46 PM
 
2,139 posts, read 5,133,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgarcia1975 View Post
Hello,
My husband and I are looking to buy a house in Hammond/Munster/Highland. We own a condo on the north side of Chicago but wanted to move closer to our parents. I see Hammond has some beautiful older homes but am concerned about the safety in the area. I am looking at homes in the area of 300K. My husband and I work in Chicago and our son will be attending preschool next year. Any information regarding schools (private or public) in the area and commuting into downtown would be extremely helpful.
If private schools are fine, then for Hammond, I would suggest south Hammond (near Munster). $300,000 would get you some of the nicest homes in southwest Hammond (Forest-Ivanhoe district). Now, this is only if you plan to have your child in private schools. In Munster, $300,000 would get you homes in various styles (although mostly quad-levels) that are are at least 25-30 years old. Some of the homes may be updated completely, and others may need complete updating. So if you are fine with that, then it can be a good fit for you. The newest property that you can find for $300,000 will be either a condo or a townhome here. Subdivision lots in Munster are going for around $300,000 for less than an acre so finding a brand new home in that price is typically not possible. As far as the schools, Munster schools are seen overall as the best in NWI (along with Valpo, Crown point, and Lake Central). There are two private schools in Munster [St. Thomas More (Catholic) and St. Paul's (Lutheran)] that provide education through the 8th grade. Both are rated very well. For Highland, the housing prices are less than Munster, so the $300,000 will go a little further. Still, due to the few parcels of land remaining, it will still be difficult to find a brand new home for that price. However, you should be able to find a completely updated older home. The schools in Highland are not excellent, but not terrible either. They are maybe a step above mediocre. Not a district I would avoid, but not one that is a huge draw either.

***I want to add Schererville and Dyer to the list***Both are in the Lake Central School district which is well regarded. The schools are large (in population) so if size is a consideration, take note of this. In Schererville and Dyer (mostly Dyer) you can get a brand new home for under $300,000. It will probably be a "cookie cutter" home, but if you want new, it can definitely be had. Other than that, the home prices overall tend to be resemble that of Munster's (with Munster's average home price/value being slightly higher). All of the areas I listed (including southwest Hammond) are safe and offer great housing options. If you need more help, just let us know! Glad to help!

P.S. As far as commuting into downtown, Munster, Hammond, and Highland have the best highway access and access to the south shore line (about 10-15 minutes to either the E.C. or Hammond station from Munster or Highland depending on where in town and traffic). From Dyer, there is quick access to I-394. For Schererville, there is access either to I-394 or I-80/94 depending on where in Schererville you choose.
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:54 PM
 
12,914 posts, read 11,638,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgarcia1975 View Post
Hello,
My husband and I are looking to buy a house in Hammond/Munster/Highland. We own a condo on the north side of Chicago but wanted to move closer to our parents. I see Hammond has some beautiful older homes but am concerned about the safety in the area. I am looking at homes in the area of 300K. My husband and I work in Chicago and our son will be attending preschool next year. Any information regarding schools (private or public) in the area and commuting into downtown would be extremely helpful.
I'm a huge fan of Munster in Lake County. Schools are definitely top notch. I just checked the MLS and there are 6 properties active btw 275K & 325K ... pickings will be slim and at your price point you'll most likely find an older home (30+ years - but that most likely been well maintained and updated) but not a starter home by any means.

Your money will go MUCH farther in Highland & Hammond - but it will be better spent in Munster.
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:10 AM
 
2 posts, read 4,452 times
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I am sincerely grateful for the comments to my post. I actually just googled Forest-Ivanhoe district and am excited to see older architectural style homes. I was anticipating this would be a starter home for us, at least for a few years. However I wouldn't mind investing in an older style home and updating it myself. This move is definitely a large change but I am looking forward to moving away from the congestion of the Northside of Chicago. Any information you might have on private schools in Hammond or am I better off looking at private schools in Munster?
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:38 AM
 
2,139 posts, read 5,133,663 times
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Originally Posted by lgarcia1975 View Post
I am sincerely grateful for the comments to my post. I actually just googled Forest-Ivanhoe district and am excited to see older architectural style homes. I was anticipating this would be a starter home for us, at least for a few years. However I wouldn't mind investing in an older style home and updating it myself. This move is definitely a large change but I am looking forward to moving away from the congestion of the Northside of Chicago. Any information you might have on private schools in Hammond or am I better off looking at private schools in Munster?
For private school (with pre-k) in Hammond, there is Montessori Children's Schoolhouse which is very well regarded in the area. If you are familiar with the Montessori philosophy of teaching, I would choose this school. Many of my friends went here and they still remember it being as a wonderful place. A couple family friends of ours had their children there a couple years ago and they loved it as well. I would set up an appointment (during a school session if possible) to tour the school. Oh! And the school is not far from where the F-I district is!

There is also another school in Hammond called Hazel Young Academy. I do not know anything about this school other than the fact that it is Christian based and located right in the area of the F-I district.

for Munster, there is St. Thomas Moore, which is the most "popular" choice in the area for private pre-k. The school overall has been well regarded at all grades. I THINK St. Paul's in Munster has a pre-k program too.

Also, this is a link to the Hammond Neighborhood Architectural Guide where you can view homes in each of Hammond's historic districts.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:57 AM
 
12,914 posts, read 11,638,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgarcia1975 View Post
I am sincerely grateful for the comments to my post. I actually just googled Forest-Ivanhoe district and am excited to see older architectural style homes. I was anticipating this would be a starter home for us, at least for a few years. However I wouldn't mind investing in an older style home and updating it myself. This move is definitely a large change but I am looking forward to moving away from the congestion of the Northside of Chicago. Any information you might have on private schools in Hammond or am I better off looking at private schools in Munster?
Just remember, it's quite possible that you may never receive a return on your dollar in Hammond. While some of the homes are beautiful, some are next door to literal dumps and the general area to the north and west and pretty crappy. Coupled with Hammond's school district issues, crime problems and general reputation, the buyer pool for these homes is exceedingly small and if you ever need to sell, you just well may be taking a loss.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:38 AM
 
809 posts, read 2,202,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgarcia1975 View Post
Hello,
My husband and I are looking to buy a house in Hammond/Munster/Highland. We own a condo on the north side of Chicago but wanted to move closer to our parents. I see Hammond has some beautiful older homes but am concerned about the safety in the area. I am looking at homes in the area of 300K. My husband and I work in Chicago and our son will be attending preschool next year. Any information regarding schools (private or public) in the area and commuting into downtown would be extremely helpful.
Welcome and thanks for posting. All comments that have already been posted are informative and I would second the thoughts of Northwest Indiana and Chuckity. I just wanted to chime in with my two cents, so take it as you will. I would not buy in Hammond if I were you. Although Northwest Indiana is right to say that the south part of Hammond is the most desirable part and still a relatively safe place, the town in general is on the downslide and there are many other towns closeby that are heading in a positive direction that, to me, it wouldnt' make sense to buy in Hammond.

I, like you and your husband, commute to the loop for work daily. I'm not going to reiterate what has already been said about the South Shore, but I would add that the train might be a better option depending on where your office is located in Chicago. The stops are along Michigan Ave., so if you work toward the west side of the loop, or further north than the river, you'll be looking at a pretty long walk to/from the train. Keep that in mind.

I did want to also say that carpooling to Chicago from Northwest Indiana is the best way to commute in my opinion, especially if you can take the skyway and avoid much of the Dan Ryan traffic. I do this from Schererville, and it takes me about 1 hour door to door. I've talked to many people I work with from Naperville, Crystal Lake, Aurora and they're all amazed how quickly you can get to Chicago from NWI. They are paying more for a comparable house, much higher taxes, and their commutes are longer! I'd be happy to answer any other questions you may have about commuting to Chicago based on my experiences, feel free to ask!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckity View Post
Just remember, it's quite possible that you may never receive a return on your dollar in Hammond. While some of the homes are beautiful, some are next door to literal dumps and the general area to the north and west and pretty crappy. Coupled with Hammond's school district issues, crime problems and general reputation, the buyer pool for these homes is exceedingly small and if you ever need to sell, you just well may be taking a loss.
I couldn't agree more. For the original poster, if you were to go into this process having the mindset of buying an older home, fixing it up, and selling it, Munster would be a better place than Hammond to do that. For example, if you wanted to buy a home for $250,000 that needed some work, then you wanted to sell it a few years later for $350k, you will have MANY more $350k buyers looking to buy in Munster as opposed to Hammond. If the home-buyer is affluent enough to buy a $350,000 home, chances are that good schools are one of their top priorities. This would immediately eliminate Hammond as an option, and they would look to Munster before any other town in the area, which would be good for you as the seller.

Last edited by svillechris; 01-14-2011 at 08:59 AM..
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:49 PM
 
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Default hill and vale or south end of town

My husband and I (and our two toddlers) are also planning to move to Munster from Chicago. We really love hill and vale but we are concerned that we will be some of the only younger people in the neighborhood. Please tell me that I am wrong! We are considering homes in the south end of town but since we will be commuting to the city we would love to hear some good feedback regarding hill and vale. Any thoughts on the number of kids in hill and vale and surrounding neighborhoods?
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:55 PM
 
2,139 posts, read 5,133,663 times
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Originally Posted by need neighborhood advice View Post
My husband and I (and our two toddlers) are also planning to move to Munster from Chicago. We really love hill and vale but we are concerned that we will be some of the only younger people in the neighborhood. Please tell me that I am wrong! We are considering homes in the south end of town but since we will be commuting to the city we would love to hear some good feedback regarding hill and vale. Any thoughts on the number of kids in hill and vale and surrounding neighborhoods?
Hill and Vale is one of the nicer older subdivisions in town. The only thing is that due to its relatively high cost and somewhat exclusive "old money" feel (relative to the rest of Munster), there are not many young families there. Most of the families there have lived there since the subdivision was developed (1970s); however, there are some new young couples . If you go right across Ridge Road to Wicker Park Estates, there are many more young families there. Also, some people have torn down and rebuilt some homes there and as more people are looking to move closer to the expressways/ center of town, this is becoming more popular especially with younger couples with children who want a new home, but do not want to pay the price for new land on the south end of town. You are better off buying a $90k to $150k home in the older part of town and razing it for a new home as opposed to paying 250k to 350k for a lot in a newer subdivision. If you would like more information, don't hesitate to DM me. I am more than happy to help!

Last edited by Northwest Indiana; 01-24-2011 at 05:47 PM..
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