The following ten items are what I continue to tell my clients about Carmel, Indiana. I thought it might be a cool idea to share it with those that I've not yet met! Here ya go, my top 10 reasons to live in Carmel, Indiana (should be more like 25, but I am a colorful writer. And talker. And dresser.)
1. I've never felt safer! I had NO IDEA how much anxiety I had over living in other areas of the Indy Metro area until I moved to Carmel. I've NEVER been the girl that would even leave her door unlocked to take the dogs for a quick walk, and if I did, panic would set in as I would recall the young woman I saw crying and running and 6 am one morning, or the sketchy little electricity thief that had an extension cord hooked up to his neighbor's house (also a crazy, unbathed, large scary man pounding on his door for 20 minutes solid one Saturday morning.) In Carmel, I feel safe. Like, really safe. Like, I'm from a town of 2000 people and I never thought I'd feel this safe again safe. It's totally awesome.
2. People are nice! I had this...misconception...about Carmel when I moved here. I don't think I am the only one that has had this same misconception. I thought everyone in Carmel was pretentious. Which is in my top 5 things you can be to make me immediately not love you. When I moved here, what I discovered was, the people are totally cool! Even the gas station attendants! What? Yes.
3. I love unique, locally ownded, mom & pop restaurants. You know, the ones that don't close before you even have a chance to go check it out? Carmel is RIDDLED with them. It's interesting and fun. We have all the chains, too, don't worry, if you're craving a particular restaurant, you can have that too :)
4. I love to SHOP. *Pause for looks of astonishment on the faces of everyone that has ever met me* There is AWESOME shopping in Carmel! We are close to Clay Terrace, Hamilton Towne Center, and the Fashion Mall. There are locally owned boutiques and every niche store that you need to be close to in order to restock and don't have the luxury of time to wait on the mail is in one of these shopping venues. My favorite is Clay Terrace. And not every store is expensive. There's an Old Navy. A nice one. It's outside, so you can enjoy the wonderful sunshine, get fresh air, not be run down by mall walkers and *UGH* teenagers.
5. People care about their lawns. I know, seems like, "Of course they do! Everyone should!" Operative word in that statement being should. It's really nice to know that when I show homes in this city, there's a 99% chance that the neighbors' lackadaisical approach to landscaping isn't going to waste an hour for me, throw me off schedule, and leave me stammering about how I don't know why they hate their neighbors.
6. There's like, no crime. I mean, realistically, of course there's crime. Like one time, these fun loving twenty somethings broke into the neighborhood pool, didn't break anything, had fun, and didn't hurt anyone. Just awful! Not really. When I lived in Indy, I came home to three twenty somethings handcuffed on the curb, a paddy wagon, and a car being towed away....this isn't the scene of someone that stole a beef jerky from Gas America. Bit of a difference there. I've left my car unlocked at the grocery, realized it once I was too far away to do anything about it, and didn't freak out. And guess what, no one was stalking the parking lot looking for some rushed little space cadet to leave her car unlocked while she ran in to buy cookies for an open house that she may or may not have passed off as homemade.
7. There's attention to detail. You're all like, "So?!?!" Seriously. There are gorgeous flower pots that line the streets, always. Not just during Labor Day or Memorial Day or whatever festival. It's kinda cool. It's very pretty, and it's really nice that the city of Carmel cares enough to keep that up. There's a utility truck with a guy hoisted up like he works for the electric company that waters those beauties every day. Attention to detail. It matters when you're choosing a place to raise those babies you have/will have/grand-kids/whatever. I have none of the above and I love Carmel just as much as anyone else.
8. Roundabouts....Yes. I. Did. I thought they were ridiculous when I first got here. But guess what? They're super smart and stopping and starting in a Mini is a pain. It's better for the flow of traffic and you're not sitting at a stoplight that is still set for rush hour for what feels like two days waiting for the light to change at midnight when there's no one around. Learning the rules for these is a must, however. I didn't do that, and let's say I was the recipient of some dirty stares. (Mindful that I didn't say profane gestures and/or language-Carmel keeps it classy.)
9. Location. Logistically speaking, it's much easier to navigate my way to anywhere, especially downtown, from Carmel. No I-69 messes to wriggle around, no "OMG when are they going to finish that road so I can cut around I-69; no "which dance with the traffic devil do I wanna do today?" Carmel's been working on it. Before it was an issue. Then it never was.
10. In 2012, it was voted the #1 place to live in the COUNTRY by CNN Money Magazine. I used to not care about that, often going against the grain, not for any real reason, but now I totally care. This is called stability. Job stability, home price stability, safety stability, public school stability, and on....and on.....and on. Take that, Fishers! (No offense, I totally love Fishers.)
Everyone (well, many, but not all, but enough other non-converted naysayers) says it's so expensive to live in Carmel. Well, it's more expensive, but it's not THAT expensive. It's still Indiana. It's almost unmeasurable. I honestly don't feel it. And! In my humble opinion, it's a small (literal and theoretical) price to pay for stability, safety, friendly people, cool places to go, and efficient city planning. With much more awesomeness to come. See you there!