If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat from the pulsating vibrance of Chicago, LaPorte, Indiana, is the ideal destination. This laid-back city has a charming feel, with just over 22,000 people, while Chicago is nearly 125 times larger. You’re less than a 90-minute drive from the Windy City, but you’ll feel like a world away. Enjoy the close-knit lake life of this friendly community while commuting to Chicago as needed, and you’ll have the best of all worlds. Moving from Chicago to LaPorte can help you finally achieve the lifestyle you’re looking for.

Cost of Living Difference: Chicago vs. LaPorte

Moving to LaPorte from Chicago is an efficient way to make your dollar go further. LaPorte’s overall cost of living is 22.7% lower than that of Chicago. One of the biggest differences is the cost of transportation, which is 43.8% lower in LaPorte than in Chicago. You’ll also pay nearly 30% less for housing; the median cost of a home in Chicago is $284,100, while the average house price in LaPorte is $220,900.

Food and groceries are 4% cheaper in LaPorte, and miscellaneous expenses are 9.6% lower than in Chicago. The only areas where you’ll pay more are utilities and health care, but the difference is marginal. The average cost of utilities is 3.7% higher in LaPorte, and healthcare costs are just 2.7% higher.

Commuting to Chicago From LaPorte

The average one-way commute for residents in LaPorte is 19.3 minutes, much lower than the national average of 26.4 minutes. This indicates that most residents are not commuting to Chicago, over an hour away. If you hope to keep your job in Chicago, consider going remote or negotiating a hybrid work schedule to reduce commute time.

Chicago is just one of many cities where office attendance remains below pre-pandemic levels. Remote work is rising as employees strive to retain the comforts and conveniences they enjoy working from home during the pandemic. Chicago-based design firm Nelson Worldwide says clients are signing on for 40% less space on average. One law firm set up an office where 75% of the seats were unassigned. You’re not alone if you want to exit the conventional office and embrace working from home.

A new home in LaPorte is perfectly positioned for Chicago employees who want to work remotely some or all the time. When needed, workers can still make the occasional journey into the city without the hassle of having to buy a plane ticket. There are three convenient ways to get to Chicago from LaPorte:

  • By train: Amtrak runs from Chicago Union Station to New Buffalo, which takes about an hour and 36 minutes. The New Buffalo train station is about half an hour north of LaPorte.
  • By bus: The Baron’s Bus Line has a station in Michigan City, about 30 minutes from LaPorte, and offers many stops in Chicago. The bus route takes about an hour and 40 minutes.
  • By car: It takes about an hour and 16 minutes to cover the 68 miles between LaPorte and Chicago. This is by far the quickest and most convenient option.

Education and School Districts in LaPorte

Public school students in LaPorte attend the La Porte Community School Corporation, which has seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. The public school system is well-rated, with a B overall from Niche.com. The district has a 15:1 student-to-teacher ratio and an 81% graduation rate. Chicago public schools, by comparison, have a 75% graduation rate. Area students also have access to La Lumiere — a private, parochial school — and St. John’s Lutheran School.

The city of LaPorte offers children an abundance of opportunities for athletics and art classes. You can stop in the park office to register kids for ceramics, pottery, art, and cooking classes. If you’re looking for opportunities to keep young ones active, check out the gymnastics, yoga, and ice-skating classes for kids.

Raising Kids in LaPorte

LaPorte is a popular destination for families wanting to escape the rush of the Chicago metropolitan area. The county offers many amenities for parents and children, such as the La Porte County Public Library. The main library location is in LaPorte and hosts weekly events, such as Play and Learn for infants through age 3, Stories and More for kids ages 3 to 5, and the Homeschool Hub for homeschoolers aged 6 and up. You’ll also find special events, including holiday craft classes.

The free maker space provides access to tools and equipment, such as 3D printers, CNC mills, Cricut machines, sewing machines, a wood lathe, a soldering station, a leather working station, a drill press, a laser cutter, and much more. The library even has an audio recording studio for podcasting or music recordings and a video recording studio for professional-looking photos and videos.

You can even rent toys and equipment from the La Porte Library’s Library of Things to use at home, including puzzles, games, STEAM kits, yoga kits, foam rollers, instant pots, and crockpots. And if you’re looking for a library location elsewhere in northwest Indiana, you’ll find further branches in Union Mills, Rolling Prairie, Kingsford Heights, Hanna, Fish Lake, and Coolspring.

Families will also enjoy LaPorte’s vast range of parks, trails, and lakes. From the swimming and sunning at Stone Lake Beach to the shady playgrounds at Charles W. Lindewald Park, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.

Building Your New Home in LaPorte

Are you ready to put down roots in LaPorte? Our team at Steiner Homes can help you build your family’s ideal home here. From the ground up, we walk you through the entire home-building process. Whether you want to work with an existing floor plan or experiment with moving a few walls, we help you tailor your home perfectly at every step. Get ready to welcome your family home to LaPorte.

Photo Credit: frozen water under a bridge in the city by Alex Azabache is licensed with Unsplash License