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Old 03-20-2013, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Powell, WY
992 posts, read 2,378,600 times
Reputation: 1363

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My husband is looking at a job in Gary, IN. I have read a bit on the forums and found that Gary itself is not the ideal place!

So....if we wanted good schools, friendly people, a Catholic church, safety, and convenience and ease of commute to Gary, what would you recommend and why?
We are in a small town outside of Houston right now, and I like small towns....but also love to be close to the city.
Give me whatcha got!
Thanks!
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:03 AM
 
2,164 posts, read 5,520,774 times
Reputation: 1578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazymomof3 View Post
My husband is looking at a job in Gary, IN. I have read a bit on the forums and found that Gary itself is not the ideal place!

So....if we wanted good schools, friendly people, a Catholic church, safety, and convenience and ease of commute to Gary, what would you recommend and why?
We are in a small town outside of Houston right now, and I like small towns....but also love to be close to the city.
Give me whatcha got!
Thanks!
It depends on how small of an area you are looking for. I would first recommend Munster because it consitently has some of the best schools in the area and while it is close enough to Gary to commute (around 20 minutes depending on where in each area you are commuting to and from) it is far enough away where the issues in Gary do not affect Munster. It is a very very safe area and it is also about 35-45 minutes from Downtown Chicago for more amenities and entertainment! The downside to Munster is that the housing prices per acre are the most expensive in NWI (save for some prime lake michigan frontage lots) and that land size tends to be a bit smaller. As a suburb in a very developed string of contiguous suburbs, the town may be only about 24,000 in population, but the area is very busy and large overall. So you will not get the "small town feel" while in Munster but more of a busy subruban feel.

Another option would be Schererville, Dyer, and St. John. Schererville and Dyer lie south of Munster but Schererville is very spread out as it also borders Merrillville to its east and St. John to its south. Schererville, Dyer, and St. John are known as the Tri-town area as they share the same school district. The population of the Tri-town area is between 65,000-70,000 or so and while the high school (Lake Central High School) is large, it is very good academically and excellent in sports and other offerings. The area overall is very safe and you can get the same type or nicer of a home than in Munster for less money due to more land availability and room to grow. There is also major shopping along US 30 and US 41. The downside again could be that you find the area (mostly north of 30) to be very busy and not quiet enough of an area for you. Commute to Gary is not too bad but will take longer from St. John especially as there is no direct highway access to Gary. But lots of people travel from south Lake County to the northern end for work.

An additional option is either Crown Point, IN or Winfield, IN. If you chose Crown Point, make sure you are in CENTER TOWNSHIP so that you would be in the Crown Point School Corporation, which is rated highly. There is an area of Crown Point that is unincorporated that falls into the Lake Central School District. This is not a bad thing but could mean longer commute times to schools for the kids since it really isn't that close to msot LC schools. Then, the area of Crown Point that is north of 101st St is zoned to Merrillville Schools which are not well regarded and is getting a worse reputation each day. Crown Point is not the small town it used to be and while it has a nice downtown area, it is getting busier. There are more rural offerings in Crown Point that would give you the space that you want and the commute to Gary that is needed (with I-65 running along the eastern border of the developed areas of the city). While some parts of CP may be farther than other towns from Gary, you can actually get to Gary much faster due to proximity to I-65 which is a direct link to Gary with much less traffic than 80/94. The housing in Crown Point is the least expensive out of all the areas named so far and has the most diverse arangement of NEW housing options meaning you do not have to be wealthy by any means to build a new home in CP.

Winfield is directly east of CP and while it is growing, it remains a very small town that desires to stay mostly residential. It too has access to I-65 via 109th Ave. Homes in Winfield still have CP addresses but they share the same school district which is good. The main downside to Winfield is that once your child gets to middle and high school, you have to go into Crown Point (as Winfield only has the elementary schools) and rides to school may take 20 mins. Also, while travel to Gary is pretty quick, 109th Ave is not a big road and can get backed up. Also, CP and Winfield are far from Chicago (which some see as good and others not so good).

All of the towns listed have Catholic Church offerings.

Let us know what you think so far! We are glad to help!

Also, what is the name of the town in TX that you reside in? I am somewhat familair with Houston and some suburbs so I may be able to draw some rough comparisons (although most Houston suburbs have more similarities with the suburbs of Chicago that are in Illinois that those in Indiana)
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:27 AM
 
811 posts, read 2,347,253 times
Reputation: 644
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazymomof3 View Post
My husband is looking at a job in Gary, IN. I have read a bit on the forums and found that Gary itself is not the ideal place!

So....if we wanted good schools, friendly people, a Catholic church, safety, and convenience and ease of commute to Gary, what would you recommend and why?
We are in a small town outside of Houston right now, and I like small towns....but also love to be close to the city.
Give me whatcha got!
Thanks!
People certainly have different definitions of the phrase "small town". By small town, do you mean rural and small surround by cornfields? Or would towns that are smaller in population (15-25k people) that appear to be typical American suburbia also work for you? Not sure how close you'd like to be to Chicago, but in Northwest Indiana there really are no small rural towns that are within an hour's drive to Chicago. Hebron and Lowell probably fit that description best and are the quickest drive to Chicago, but again you're looking at over an hour for commute.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Powell, WY
992 posts, read 2,378,600 times
Reputation: 1363
Thank you so much for the input!

I am in Huffman, about 10k people. We're a 3A school....currently about 250 kids per class. One high school, one middle school, one elementary. No grocery store, but we are surrounded by Kingwood (where I grew up), Atascocita, Humble and about 20 mins. from Houston. We go to Houston a lot for Costco shopping, zoo visits, museum visits, etc.
2 of my children are into sports; volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball. I have one very into music, plays guitar, etc.
I am not opposed to a big city, because I lived in Houston for so long (pre children of course).
As far as housing, we want the most bang for our buck....we are currently in a 4b 2b home, on almost 1/2 acre. We are close to the schools, and Lake Houston.
Suburban is good, too, but I like roots and community and being involved is very important. I'm a PTO board member and do a lot of volunteering, so an area that offers that opportunity and is welcome to outsiders is important.
Houston has some of the best housing prices, but our property taxes are quite high.
I've heard IL taxes are horrible.....what about IN?
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Indianapolis
3,892 posts, read 5,535,280 times
Reputation: 957
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazymomof3 View Post
Thank you so much for the input!

I am in Huffman, about 10k people. We're a 3A school....currently about 250 kids per class. One high school, one middle school, one elementary. No grocery store, but we are surrounded by Kingwood (where I grew up), Atascocita, Humble and about 20 mins. from Houston. We go to Houston a lot for Costco shopping, zoo visits, museum visits, etc.
2 of my children are into sports; volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball. I have one very into music, plays guitar, etc.
I am not opposed to a big city, because I lived in Houston for so long (pre children of course).
As far as housing, we want the most bang for our buck....we are currently in a 4b 2b home, on almost 1/2 acre. We are close to the schools, and Lake Houston.
Suburban is good, too, but I like roots and community and being involved is very important. I'm a PTO board member and do a lot of volunteering, so an area that offers that opportunity and is welcome to outsiders is important.
Houston has some of the best housing prices, but our property taxes are quite high.
I've heard IL taxes are horrible.....what about IN?
Indiana has one of the lowest tax rates in the midwest.
Property Taxes are capped at 1% of a homes value and our income tax is 3.4% flat rate.
Illinois is much more expensive than Indiana. especially in Chicagoland.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:28 PM
 
2,164 posts, read 5,520,774 times
Reputation: 1578
Based off of where you live right now, the place in NWI that would be most similar to Huffman and be a good commute is Hebron, IN. Hebron is only about a 30 min drive to Gary although it FEELS and looks much farther away...it is not growing very fast at all which can be seen as good for those who prefer a small town feel. It was actually rated as the safest town in Northwest Indiana I believe recently.

Another option would be the Union Township area of Valparaiso (unincorporated area that borders Lake County). It would be about 10 mins closer to Gary as this area is further north and a little further east than Hebron. It does not have much of a town feel as there is not really a downtown area of Union Township and there are more upscale housing options than in Hebron. It's pretty much either subdivision living or country living. No "in-town" living (unless you actually lived in Valpo of course which probably would be too busy of an area).

Lowell still has a small town charm but it is growing and soon will be considered more of an exurb (as many locals are workers in the union at companies in Gary or even in Illinois)
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