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Old 04-11-2021, 11:53 PM
 
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Hi all! I’m looking to buy a home in NWI but would like honest feedback from others. I’m currently looking for a home in the 250k-275k range and have been eyeing crown point, Schererville, highland, dyer, and merriville( I have seen some homes online in Hobart but haven’t heard anything about the town) I wanted honest opinions on the diversity in those cities(I am currently renting in homewood, Il with my husband and daughter. I also wanted to to throw in that we are an African-American family) if you guys can give us honest feedback on any of the towns I mentioned it would be very appreciated.
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Old 04-12-2021, 03:13 PM
 
253 posts, read 333,327 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charris07 View Post
Hi all! I’m looking to buy a home in NWI but would like honest feedback from others. I’m currently looking for a home in the 250k-275k range and have been eyeing crown point, Schererville, highland, dyer, and merriville( I have seen some homes online in Hobart but haven’t heard anything about the town) I wanted honest opinions on the diversity in those cities(I am currently renting in homewood, Il with my husband and daughter. I also wanted to to throw in that we are an African-American family) if you guys can give us honest feedback on any of the towns I mentioned it would be very appreciated.
Hobart is split into a couple school districts: Hobart, Merrillville, and River Forest. If you're in Ross Township, you're in Merrillville Community School Corp. The Ross Township section of Hobart is pretty rural. If you're in Hobart Township and south of US 6, you're in School City of Hobart. North of US 6 has a small section of Hobart that goes to River Forest. Hobart is still mostly white overall with a decent sized Hispanic population in Hobart Township and a growing black population in Ross Township and some in Hobart Township. Hobart has a reputation for being a bit racist towards black people, but your experience may vary. Hobart is extremely blue collar and plenty of Hobart residents have been there for generations and have a lot of hometown pride, but can be unwelcoming to outsiders (which is in part where the racial prejudice comes in) School City of Hobart is fine, nothing spectacular, River Forest is really poor and not recommended.

Merrillville north of US 30 has gotten worse in terms how it looks and in terms of crime. The poverty rate amongst black people is significant now. South of US 30 you can find many nicer subdivisions and if you're east of I-65 in Ross Township, it's pretty rural. Merrillville Community School Corp isn't great, but part of that is just because a lot of the kids there are poorer. Merrillville is becoming more and more black and less white as older whites die off and the housing demand in Merrillville is mostly from black people. There's a decent sized Hispanic population, but nothing large.

Crown Point is very nice and growing significantly. North Crown Point (north of 101st) is in Ross Township which means Merrillville Community School Corp. This section of Crown Point is diversifying quickly as more blacks have moved in. North Crown Point is nice overall. South of 101st is Crown Point Community School Corp which has a great reputation but only 3% of Crown Point Community School Corp is black. Crown Point definitely has some racist people, as plenty of those south of 101st moved in from Merrillville/Ross Township when the black population grew there. Crown Point people are very opposed to building new apartments in the city (many believe racial reasons to be part of the motivation) Tons of new homes of all sizes in CP. Winfield is to the east of Crown Point and is growing significantly as well. A lot more rural feeling but it is getting built up more and more. Winfield is in Crown Point Community School Corp and the town is mostly white.

Schererville/Dyer/northern 2/3rds of St John are in St John Township which is Lake Central School Corp which has a great reputation. Black population isn't very big in any of those towns, and you might find some unwelcoming people there who moved in from the south suburbs when white flight happened. Lots of bigger homes in St John and parts of Schererville and Dyer, but plenty of modest homes in Schererville and Dyer as well. Hispanic population is growing quite a bit in St John Township. A note about St John: if you're south of 101st you're in Hanover Township thus Hanover Community School Corp which is based in Cedar Lake and has a decent but unspectacular reputation. Hanover Township is growing a ton but the area feels more like Crete/Monee/Beecher because it's pretty rural. Lake Central School Corp doesn't have a significant black enrollment, your child likely wouldn't be super out of place like they would in Hanover Community School Corp.

Highland is fine. It's the most middle of the road town in Northwest Indiana. Nothing great about it, nothing terrible. School Town of Highland is decent but nowhere close to as good as School Town of Munster or Lake Central School Corp. Highland is completely built out so mostly older homes and thus a lot of old white people who are dying off and being replaced by a lot of Hispanics coming from Hammond and East Chicago. Black population is very small in Highland but the black enrollment in School Town of Highland has grown a little recently.

If you guys are a professional, nice family, good neighbors, you will likely have very few problems with white people being racist/unwelcoming towards you. I honestly think many who are "racist" are more culturist and hate those who act like ghetto morons and have no problem if you're professional. And white people don't just hate other races, plenty of whites hate white trash which you can find a lot of in certain towns in Northwest Indiana. I'm half white, half Filipino (my mom is Filipino, immigrated to the States at age 7 and grew up in Chicago) and my mom has never had any issues in regards to race in the whole area, although of course the black experience is much different.

Do you want to be in any area with tons of black people and in a school district that is majority black or are you open to being a significant minority? Gary, East Chicago, Hammond, and Merrillville are the only school districts that are over 30% black, and the rest are 10% or less black besides Portage which is 14% black and growing. You're not gonna find a community in this area that is like Homewood-Flossmoor with tons of wealthy blacks. There are wealthy blacks sprinkled throughout North Crown Point/South Merrillville, parts of Schererville and some in Munster.
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Old 04-14-2021, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Edmonds, WA
8,901 posts, read 9,060,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charris07 View Post
Hi all! I’m looking to buy a home in NWI but would like honest feedback from others. I’m currently looking for a home in the 250k-275k range and have been eyeing crown point, Schererville, highland, dyer, and merriville( I have seen some homes online in Hobart but haven’t heard anything about the town) I wanted honest opinions on the diversity in those cities(I am currently renting in homewood, Il with my husband and daughter. I also wanted to to throw in that we are an African-American family) if you guys can give us honest feedback on any of the towns I mentioned it would be very appreciated.
I think Crown Point is a safe bet. The city was 8% African American as of the 2010 census and likely higher today. It’s been a draw for middle/upper middle class people of all races looking to get out of Illinois for a while now. Is it super diverse? No. But I could almost guarantee your daughter will not be the only African American kid in her class.

Crown Point has a good school system, I’ve heard less great things about Merrillville and Highland. Dyer is good.

Wherever you choose, the housing market in NWI is white hot at the moment and you need to be prepared to jump on a house quickly if it’s a good fit. Inventory is super low and demand is super high with homes often selling well over ask price.
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Old 04-20-2021, 04:09 AM
 
2,133 posts, read 5,099,128 times
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Default Looking into the future

Out of the list of towns you provided, Crown Point (and Winfield) is likely to be your long-term safe bet as an area that will have housing in your price range, is desirable (and likely will remain so for the foreseeable future although I had been skeptical a few years ago myself), and as an area where as time goes on, you will continue to see an increase in the Black population as well (not by a huge amount, but steady).

In comparing Homewood, the only area of NWI that has the same “feel” I would say is Munster only because like Homewood, it is a Ridge community. However, while Munster is more diverse as far as a representation of cultures, Homewood has a much higher Black population, a solid true downtown core, a Metra station (although Munster will soon have two South Shore stations) and even with the higher taxes is still a lot more affordable than Munster (as Munster housing prices have always been rather high and have only gotten higher recently). There are zero single-family homes active in Munster under $275k as of this writing. Schools are routinely in the top 10 in the state.

Highland is middle of the road and while the market is hot there as well with more homes in your budget, you still have to be very quick. Black population has grown somewhat but pales in comparison to the White and Hispanic population in town and will likely always be the case.

Dyer is a solid area and mostly feeds into Lake Central. The Black population in town is not very high. Most either live in Briar Ridge Country Club (which is a wealthier neighborhood) or live in the far southern part of Dyer that is very new and feeds into Hanover Schools (newer housing in that part of Dyer is more affordable and is close to the IL border for commuting and attracted a lot of IL transplants who likely moved there more so due to proximity to IL as opposed to a desire to be in Hanover Schools.

Schererville is another solid area and as far as the Black population, it will either be in Briar Ridge (as a note, half of Briar Ridge is in Dyer and other half is in Schererville) or in the far eastern part of Schererville which borders Merrillville and also has several nice higher end neighborhoods.

IN NWI, the Black population in the suburban areas are not as well integrated as in the south suburbs (east of I-57) where the Black population is mostly the majority. In NWI, most Black residents in a town usually either live in the highest end neighborhoods OR may live in some of the apartment complexes. However, most of the middle of the road neighborhoods (think 60’s/70s split and quad levels) are still predominantly White. The exception would be Merrillville and northern Crown Point where the population is more integrated into “normal” neighborhoods overall. Despite some issues in north Merrillville with crime (largely due to close proximity to Gary), there have been a ton of homes flipped and sold for large profits and very nicely redone homes at that.

If you can stretch your budget to $300k, more options may open up for you. Another area to mention would be Portage. The Black population is not huge but is growing and is more integrated than other NWI towns. Desirability in the next 10-20 years is somewhat questionable but you’ll get more house for your money than in Lake County and taxes would be lower.

Good luck on your housing search!
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:00 AM
 
809 posts, read 2,190,109 times
Reputation: 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by charris07 View Post
Hi all! I’m looking to buy a home in NWI but would like honest feedback from others. I’m currently looking for a home in the 250k-275k range and have been eyeing crown point, Schererville, highland, dyer, and merriville( I have seen some homes online in Hobart but haven’t heard anything about the town) I wanted honest opinions on the diversity in those cities(I am currently renting in homewood, Il with my husband and daughter. I also wanted to to throw in that we are an African-American family) if you guys can give us honest feedback on any of the towns I mentioned it would be very appreciated.
Respectfully, what kind of diversity are you asking about? I'd assume racial, but the more meaningful of diversity of opinions, diversity of income levels, etc. may be more telling of a certain area and its future prospects than only a stat on race? Also, some areas may seem racially diverse now, but in 10-20 years may be predominantly one race as the trends continue to certain directions. Merrillville, for example, comes to mind as what used to be a predominantly white town a few decades ago, is currently considered to be a racially diverse town, but most in NWI believe Merrillville will be a predominantly black town in the next 20 years... then out goes any perceived benefit of racial diversity. Just a heads up.
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