Not gussied up or cute, Lafayette is a sturdy town, persistent in its character
-Author: Patricia Henley.
The Best Thing About Lafayette?
In A Family Way
Lafayette is a good place to raise a family. Home ownership and rentals alike are both affordable, with a diverse housing selection throughout the city and the greater metropolitan area. In addition, Lafayette County’s public school system is highly lauded, and there are plenty of parochial schools as well. Add into that an excellent public library, a high number of youth-oriented sports and recreation programs, a growing economy, and a low-ish crime rate, and you have all of the charms of a rural midwestern community combined with amenities of bigger cities that you typically get with college cities and you have a great spot for a young family.
Here's a pov from a local about raising a family in Lafayette:
I have lived in Lafayette my entire life (35) and have two children (5 and 3). It is a generally great area to live in. We live on the East side and while some of the crime stuff is true I think a lot of it is blown out of proportion by social media/instant news. The ease of access to literally anything you need while maintaining a somewhat small town feel is what keeps me here. The general cost of living is low even though the housing market has exploded like anywhere else. Imo there are far worse places to raise a family.
The Worst Thing About Lafayette?
The divide between Lafayette’s lifelong residents and its student population, which is mostly in West Lafayette, is fairly severe. While this is true of many college towns, and it is felt keenly in Lafayette due to the political divide between its more conservative native population and the more liberal and more ethnically diverse population of Purdue University. This in turn leads to arguments over the perception of town, with the student population often describing the crime rate as being greater than it is, and the lifelong residents greeting students with hostility. Please be aware of this before you make your move.
Here'a a pov on the pros/cons of Lafayette from a local: Crime isn't noticeably high and there are no areas that I feel unsafe driving through. The area is growing very fast and crime is a side effect, though. The growth rate also means housing is expensive, so give yourself time to look: lots of houses sell in 24 hours or less, and even rentals go quickly. Plenty of good parks and trails, though for bike/walking trails there is a lot more in W Lafayette than in Lafayette. It is true that this area is kind of flat and boring, but Lake Michigan isn't that far away and there are neat hidden gems like Turkey Run.
The only real downside I've found so far is that affordable acreage is hard to find. You pretty much have to settle about 30 minutes outside of town if you 1+ acres at less than $200K.
Lifestyle of Lafayette
Lafayette is, in many ways, a sleepy countryside town. Outdoor activities are the primary pastime, with canoeing, cycling, hunting, fishing, and gardening especially popular. Combined with the local love of Purdue’s athletics programs, you have a town that gathers together eagerly in spite of its differences for a basketball or football game. That being said, for those whom these activities hold no interest, there are more artistic options such as the Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art and the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra. And for those desiring bigger city options, Indianapolis and Chicago are within driving distance.
Check out the Lafayette calendar of events for a flavor of what goes on during the year: https://www.homeofpurdue.com/events/
Worklife of Lafayette
Lafayette is home to a diverse and growing economy. In addition to Purdue University and the Ivy Tech Community College providing work for academics, administrators, and facilities workers, numerous manufacturing operations, such as Arconic, Caterpillar Large Engine Division, and Subaru of Indiana Automotive employ thousands of workers. This in addition to Purdue’s esteemed engineering program and legacy of having produced multiple astronauts makes Lafayette an excellent home for scientists and engineers.
Why You Should Move Here Now
College Amenities / Small Town Prices
If you are a student, a scientist, a young family, or simply want a quaint farm town with bigger city amenities, Lafayette may prove an excellent option for you. In Lafayette you get the benefits of a college town without the prices of the pricier spots like Columbus or Ann Arbor.