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Old 11-18-2013, 12:31 PM
 
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My family might be relocating for my job, which would be in Chicago (Wacker Dr). We currently live in the southern most suburb of DC in Northern Va. Commute is at best an hour and a half but more regularly 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Looking into the areas around Chicago we have eliminated IL and are looking at northwest IN. I will most likely train into Chicago. I have 4 kids between 4 and 11. We are politcally right of center. Looking for a great family community, buying a house with a little space between neighbors probably new construction. Have looked from st. John, Crown Point, Cedar Lake over to Chesterton and Michigan City. Don't like what I am seeing tax wise in St. John and Crown Point. We love winter, snow, woodburning fires, christmas and food. Tired of the strip mall feeling of NOrthern VA. Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 11-18-2013, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
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You didn't ask, but I'd be a bit concerned with Cedar Lake. The schools are not as highly regarded as St. John or Crown Point.

The state has a cap on property taxes (1%) but individual taxing districts can go to referendum to raise this. For example school districts can go to referendum to increase funds and this might raise it. Taxes are likely higher in Crown Point and St. John because the property values are higher.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carribou4 View Post
My family might be relocating for my job, which would be in Chicago (Wacker Dr). We currently live in the southern most suburb of DC in Northern Va. Commute is at best an hour and a half but more regularly 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Looking into the areas around Chicago we have eliminated IL and are looking at northwest IN. I will most likely train into Chicago. I have 4 kids between 4 and 11. We are politcally right of center. Looking for a great family community, buying a house with a little space between neighbors probably new construction. Have looked from st. John, Crown Point, Cedar Lake over to Chesterton and Michigan City. Don't like what I am seeing tax wise in St. John and Crown Point. We love winter, snow, woodburning fires, christmas and food. Tired of the strip mall feeling of NOrthern VA. Any suggestions? Thanks.
The taxes in St. John and Crown Point are mostly due to the referendums passed by the Lake Central School Corporation (LCSC) and the Crown Point Community Schools (CPCS), respectively. Also, keep in mind that St. John is served by LCSC north of 101st Ave (very good) and Hanover Schools south of 101st...Hanover = Cedar Lake Schools = not as highly regarded, but still okay and good if you like smaller schools. Crown Point is served by Merrillville Schools north of 101st (not a good school system and getting worse) and south of 101st is served by Crown Point schools, which are very good.

Chesterton school system is good as well and the size of the district will allow you to live in nice areas in diverse range of settings from lakeshore living to suburban living to country living. Michigan City can offer this too, but the school system is not very good and the commute to Chicago would be a pain.

Given what you stated, your best bet would probably be Chesterton due to access to train, politics (although you will probably see more conservative values than just "right of center", and the fact that taxes in Porter County are lower, the school system is good, and you can build new in an open space for a good price.
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:29 PM
 
Location: the Great Lakes states
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Originally Posted by Northwest Indiana View Post
Given what you stated, your best bet would probably be Chesterton due to access to train, politics (although you will probably see more conservative values than just "right of center", and the fact that taxes in Porter County are lower, the school system is good, and you can build new in an open space for a good price.
Going from the DC suburbs to a small community like Duneland (Chesterton/Porter) would probably be a shock. The Duneland community has a lot to offer (food, specialty restaurants, small town feel and community spirit) but it is not as metropolitan as the US41 corridor in Lake County.

I would say that Chesterton has traditional community values (parades, youth sports, work ethic, church) and isn't particularly conservative or liberal. Both sides of the political spectrum have a voice and are represented. There's just as many union democrats as there are conservative Christians. There are some loud conservatives, but on the other hand, people in this area pulled off one of the early successes of the environmental movement. You have some of everything, and Porter County is gradually becoming more accepting of diversity.
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by summer22 View Post
Going from the DC suburbs to a small community like Duneland (Chesterton/Porter) would probably be a shock. The Duneland community has a lot to offer (food, specialty restaurants, small town feel and community spirit) but it is not as metropolitan as the US41 corridor in Lake County.

I would say that Chesterton has traditional community values (parades, youth sports, work ethic, church) and isn't particularly conservative or liberal. Both sides of the political spectrum have a voice and are represented. There's just as many union democrats as there are conservative Christians. There are some loud conservatives, but on the other hand, people in this area pulled off one of the early successes of the environmental movement. You have some of everything, and Porter County is gradually becoming more accepting of diversity.
Coming to NWI from the DC suburbs would be a shock in general.
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Edmonds, WA
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I don't think the op will have too much of a shock apart from maybe the winters. S/he's clearly done the research especially if ruling out all of Illinois. The one thing that may be an adjustment is a much slower pace than the DC metro.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:08 AM
 
2,888 posts, read 6,744,775 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summer22 View Post
Going from the DC suburbs to a small community like Duneland (Chesterton/Porter) would probably be a shock. The Duneland community has a lot to offer (food, specialty restaurants, small town feel and community spirit) but it is not as metropolitan as the US41 corridor in Lake County.

I would say that Chesterton has traditional community values (parades, youth sports, work ethic, church) and isn't particularly conservative or liberal. Both sides of the political spectrum have a voice and are represented. There's just as many union democrats as there are conservative Christians. There are some loud conservatives, but on the other hand, people in this area pulled off one of the early successes of the environmental movement. You have some of everything, and Porter County is gradually becoming more accepting of diversity.
He said he was " Tired of the strip mall feeling of Northern VA." And to me, the US 41 corridor is a giant strip mall. On steroids.

In Chesterton, they'd be close enough to the Lake for outdoor activities, and shopping can be had in nearby Valpo. I think Porter County is a tad more conservative politics-wise. Crown Point is the only community I would recommend in Lake County.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:03 AM
 
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Default looking for a slow down

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northwest Indiana View Post
Coming to NWI from the DC suburbs would be a shock in general.
Thanks. One of the allures is getting out of the megalopolis grind. We also spent time in a small town suburb of Charlotte and prefer the slow life for family while living close enough to a city for urban experiences. Seems the distance to Chicago and the small town feel is that mix.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:08 AM
 
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Smile strip mall on steroids

Quote:
Originally Posted by artemis View Post
He said he was " Tired of the strip mall feeling of Northern VA." And to me, the US 41 corridor is a giant strip mall. On steroids.

In Chesterton, they'd be close enough to the Lake for outdoor activities, and shopping can be had in nearby Valpo. I think Porter County is a tad more conservative politics-wise. Crown Point is the only community I would recommend in Lake County.
Thanks Artemis.
If you have not been to northern VA - the entire area, not just one highway, is nothing but strip malls. A couple of nicer shopping centers but mostly run down strips. This only adds to the notorius traffic that DC is famous for. I know Chicago has traffic but behind LA and Atlanta, DC is about the worst for commute, anyday of the week. I do appreciate the comment and will definitely evaluate the US 41 corridor accordingly.
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:29 AM
 
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My husband and I just did this exact move in August 2013...We lived in Columbia Heights, DC for 2 years, then Alexandria the year before that. Its a shocker. Its a MUCH slower lifestyle and even with the outdoor options, it barely keeps up with the DC/VA area as far as outdoor activities (unless you hunt). As far as other options for the kids, there is very little and very spread out so plan to commute for EVERYTHING!! The Chicago train is not as good as the DC metro region (this is solely based on my opinion and may simply be due to the fact that Chicago is a MUCH larger city) and the further out from Chicago that you catch it the more glitches there are. My husband works in Hammond and I work in Michigan City and we are choosing the Crown Point area. It has one of the better school districts (I'm guessing because of the higher taxes), the most family friendly activities in a concentrated area, centrally located (including access to the highways) and in all looks newer, nicer, and cleaner without being jammed packed.
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