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Old 01-02-2010, 08:52 PM
 
3 posts, read 13,783 times
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We're thinking about giving up our 15 minute commute downtown and relocating to NWI from Chicago. We both work in the Loop and are open to either commuting via train or car during rush hour (changing our hours is not an option). What's the best place to raise a family that still has a relatively short commute? If you'd be willing to share commuting times during rush hour (if you know them), I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:41 PM
 
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First of all, let me state that you guys are making a great decision. I grew up in NWI, then moved to Chicago for a few years for work. I still work downtown, but live in Schererville now. It's really amazing how much further your dollar goes in NWI than in Chicago.

To answer your question, most on this board will say Munster, due to it's close proximity to Chicago and the fabulous schools. I would agree with this. From Munster it'll take about 45 mins to drive downtown. Also, many living in Munster that work downtown hop on the South Shore train at the Hammond station. This will probably add a bit more time to your commute, but still not horrible.

If you're driving, I'd also consider St. John, Schererville, or Dyer. If driving, you can get on Rt. 30 to 394, take that north to the Dan Ryan right into the loop. Depending on your starting point, you can expect a commute of about an hour. If you have or are looking to have kids, all 3 of these towns flow into one school system and high school, Lake Central, another very good system. These are 4 (Dyer, St. John, Schererville, and Munster) of the most affluent towns in NWI.

I would recommend not looking into towns further south than St. John or further east than Schererville. The commute would be pretty long.
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:36 PM
 
3 posts, read 13,783 times
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Thank you so much, cmitseff, that is a HUGE help!
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Hoosierville
17,373 posts, read 14,622,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmitseff View Post
First of all, let me state that you guys are making a great decision. I grew up in NWI, then moved to Chicago for a few years for work. I still work downtown, but live in Schererville now. It's really amazing how much further your dollar goes in NWI than in Chicago.

To answer your question, most on this board will say Munster, due to it's close proximity to Chicago and the fabulous schools. I would agree with this. From Munster it'll take about 45 mins to drive downtown. Also, many living in Munster that work downtown hop on the South Shore train at the Hammond station. This will probably add a bit more time to your commute, but still not horrible.

If you're driving, I'd also consider St. John, Schererville, or Dyer. If driving, you can get on Rt. 30 to 394, take that north to the Dan Ryan right into the loop. Depending on your starting point, you can expect a commute of about an hour. If you have or are looking to have kids, all 3 of these towns flow into one school system and high school, Lake Central, another very good system. These are 4 (Dyer, St. John, Schererville, and Munster) of the most affluent towns in NWI.

I would recommend not looking into towns further south than St. John or further east than Schererville. The commute would be pretty long.
Actually, the commute from Chesterton wouldn't be THAT much longer than St. John - either by driving downtown or via the South Shore. In fact, for driving, Chesterton might actually be quicker or at least very similar.

From St. John, you'll spend a large chunk actually driving to the South Shore station in Hammond - and if you take 41, that road is becoming more and more of a nightmare. From Chesterton, you'll spend more time on the train itself, but you can live in a great community with great schools not too far away and have a very short drive from home to the station. (That's not to say that St. John isn't a good community too - it is. Chesterton just hasn't been mentioned yet. For Lake county, I'd recommend, Dyer, St. John & Munster, for Porter, Valparaiso & Chesterton.)

Truthfully, either commute will be tiring at times. For someone in your position who now has such a short commute now - it's going to be tough.

If I can offer a suggestion - since this will be such a big lifestyle change, I would stay at a hotel at least two weeknights in both towns and do each commute and see which one makes you want to poke your eyes out less. While I don't think there are any decent hotels south of 30 & 41 towards St. John, there is a Holiday Inn Express just to the west of that intersection ... that area will give you a good taste of a St. John, Schererville or Dyer commute. Munster would be a bit shorter.

And there are a few chain hotels in Chesterton as well where you can stay and try the commute.
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:13 PM
 
16 posts, read 50,530 times
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I totally agree with all that Chuckity says here. Chesterton wouldn't be a bad option. I used to live in central Valparaiso (great town great schools) and took the South Shore from the Dune Park exit. That commute was around an hour and 45 mins. So if you look at Valpo, I'd recommend driving.

As for St. John, I was only bringing this up for an option if you were driving, as it's easy to jet across the border to 394 and up to Chicago. Getting from St. John to any train station is going to take you about a half hour if not more, then a 45 min train ride. Not fun.

Quick note on the real estate prices here. Munster as a town probably has the highest property value of Lake County. Not bashing Munster here but, it may be worth looking at the other towns mentioned in these posts (Dyer, St. John, Schererville, Chesterton) for just a little bit longer of a commute.

I recently bought what I would consider a nice house in Schererville, and based on my research, most houses in this area that are just as nice would cost roughly $30-40k more in Munster. You pay for being 15 mins closer to Chicago in a big way in my opinion.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:58 AM
 
2 posts, read 6,908 times
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CMITSEFF - You are definetely right. Munster homes are priced higher than many other towns including Schererville and Dyer.

CHUCKITY - You made a good point. St. John wouldn't be a great idea since Rt 41 has become a more busy road lately.

RUBYSOHO - My suggestions are very much the same.
Lake County - Munster homes are more expenssive. The benefit its that Munster has some of the best schools if not in the best in Lake County as well as some of the best in the state. Dyer and Schererville are also great communities. They are not too far from 394. You can also drive to the South Shore train station in Hammond.
Porter County - I would go with Chesterton. It's a great place to live in and you have the Dune Park South Shore Station.

See South Shore Line Stations Here
<mod cut ... no real estate advertising.>

Last edited by domergurl; 01-04-2010 at 11:41 AM..
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:20 PM
 
4 posts, read 12,433 times
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Whiting.
Good school.
Character.
Walkabiltiy.
Quick access to the Skyway, very short distance to Hammond station.
You do not have do drive EVERYWHERE.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:59 AM
 
Location: City of North Las Vegas, NV
12,600 posts, read 9,385,490 times
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Ranked for fastest commute: Munster, Dyer and Schererville. Highland could be a less expensive option. Sure Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago are closer but they are not a desirable place for many since they are much older industrial cities.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:19 PM
 
2,156 posts, read 5,489,551 times
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Default NWI is a good choice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubysoho View Post
We're thinking about giving up our 15 minute commute downtown and relocating to NWI from Chicago. We both work in the Loop and are open to either commuting via train or car during rush hour (changing our hours is not an option). What's the best place to raise a family that still has a relatively short commute? If you'd be willing to share commuting times during rush hour (if you know them), I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
I agree with all of the above suggestions. Munster is a great community (i've lived there most of my life) as well as the other communities. From Munster, I can get downtown in about 35-40 mins (going a little above the speed limit though ). One thing i want to ask that hasn't been brought up...Are you planning to buy an existing home or build a new one? The reason I am asking is because if you are going to build, just keep in mind that while the home prices in Munster may be about 30 - 40k (on average) more than the surrounding towns, the prices for lots in Munster is sometimes double the price of a comparable lot in Dyer & Schererville (excluding Briar Ridge) and in some subdivisions of St. John.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:17 PM
 
7 posts, read 23,045 times
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Tons of people do this everyday from Crown Point. If you find a place close to I-65 it can be faster than some places in scherellville/St. John. Schools are the best, but taxes are high.
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