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Old 08-19-2008, 08:54 PM
 
Location: City of North Las Vegas, NV
12,600 posts, read 9,396,045 times
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NW Indiana is as many know, much cheaper to live in and some of the schools are great.
If you don't want to go as far as Valpo, look for homes in Munster, St. John and Scherreville. They are a bit closer to Chicago and all have great schools
Personally, I don't think an hour commute is that bad....
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
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But for a majority of the folks in this state, those who live south of US 30 specifically, an hour commute=death.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:56 AM
 
Location: East Chicago, IN
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Basically, you want the best commute, you have to live in East Chicago, Hammond, Whting, etc. But I know a lot of people in the area tend to steer newcomers to the "nicer" areas, but that's the truth.
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:10 PM
 
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Thank you all so much. All of this information is extremely helpful. I am very overwhelmed trying to decide what is the best thing to do. Keep the thoughts coming!
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:25 PM
 
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What's your budget for purchasing a home? How large a home (# BR, # Bathrooms, etc.) are you looking for?
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:20 PM
 
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That seems to be what worries us the most, is finding something we can afford. At the very least, we have to have a 3 bedroom, preferably a 4. I have been able to find homes in the 150 price range in Valpo, but not so much in other areas.
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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Have you looked in Portage? I think they are a little cheaper then Valpo and the south shore train runs through. I don't know how their school system is either. Also Highland. I think they have a good school system.
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:09 PM
 
4,176 posts, read 6,338,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slol9056 View Post
That seems to be what worries us the most, is finding something we can afford. At the very least, we have to have a 3 bedroom, preferably a 4. I have been able to find homes in the 150 price range in Valpo, but not so much in other areas.
$150K is a small budget for a home, even in The Region. You're not going to find much (if anything) worth buying that has 3-4 bedrooms for that price. It might be something very old and in need of a lot of work. The budget eliminates the IL side and many of the nicer areas in NWI closer to Chicago.

Is that the absolute maximum??
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Hoosierville
17,442 posts, read 14,680,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slol9056 View Post
That seems to be what worries us the most, is finding something we can afford. At the very least, we have to have a 3 bedroom, preferably a 4. I have been able to find homes in the 150 price range in Valpo, but not so much in other areas.
You can definitely find a 3 bedroom for that in Valpo - 4 might be really tough.

And the good ones go quick - even in this market.

Try searching through GNIARMLS - it's the NWI Realtor's MLS site that has a public portal. If you want Valpo schools, be sure that under "area" you search 209 - Valpo/Center Township only.

Good luck to you.
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:42 PM
 
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NWI is a great place to call home and has many family friendly communities with good school systems. I am not very familiar with Porter County but I can put my two cents in regarding Lake County.

In northern Lake County, Munster and Highland have great school systems and are about a 30-45 minute drive to downtown on average. Munster has one of the highest rated school systems in the state (if not the highest) but the homes tend to be on the pricey side which might make it difficult to find a home that meets your price criteria. Highland also has great schools and a lower cost of living than neighboring Munster. I would expect you can find an older 3-4 bedroom home within your price fairly easily in Highland.

That being said, Schererville, St. John, Dyer, and Crown Point are further south and all have very good school systems as well. The towns are about a 45-60 minute drive (depending on location) to downtown Chicago and have much newer development than the towns to the north. With some time and patience, I think you could also find a nice home around your budget in these towns.

Personally, I would spend a few days driving around NWI to see which towns feel like a good fit your family. The towns are all fairly close to each other and you can visit them all within a day or two. If you do chose to move to NWI, make sure you search for your home based on school system rather than location. Because the towns are so close, some towns ship students to school systems in neighboring towns which might provide a lower quality education.

Best of luck!
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