“My parents came [to the United States] in 1969. I grew up in the Chicago area.

“When Cynthia and I got engaged, we started home searching. We wanted a place ready to go.

“I knew nothing about [the cost of] homeownership until I started to home search. I was looking in Oak Lawn, Oak Forest, Crestwood, Tinley Park. But then I saw the property taxes.

“One of my coworkers, joking around, said why don’t you go look [for homes] in Indiana. I mentioned it to my wife, we started doing some research and thinking about it seriously.

“Property taxes here are $1,000-2,000. I was like ‘wow, this is a big difference’ [compared] to Illinois. That’s a big deal when you’re starting a family.

“I have another coworker that bought a home in Oak Lawn not too long ago. Told me he was paying $6,200 last year and now $8,200. That’s insane. I’m paying $1,200 here.

“Illinois isn’t going to recover from their pension crisis. Why would you pay such high property taxes and then send your kids to private school? [High] property taxes are supposed to pay for good schools.

“Right away the first thing we heard [when moving] was schools, schools, schools. Our kids are our future and we want them to get a good education. Much lower property taxes and we still have blue ribbon schools here.

“It’s a win-win for us.”

Adan and Cynthia Villafranca
Highland, Indiana