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View Poll Results: Which place fits our requests?
Greenwich/Darien, Connecticut 39 53.42%
Atlanta, Georgia 22 30.14%
Sacremento, California 12 16.44%
Voters: 73. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-02-2008, 10:23 PM
 
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I am new to the forum and have been doing plenty of research on here prior to posting this. We have a new opportunity that awaits us and a choice of 3 different (VERY different) cities.

We are a caucasion (I am Aussie, husband grew up in Virginia) family of 5. We have 3 kids (9, 12, 13) and are looking for a family-friendly town with an excellent quality of life. We currently live in DC but will probably be leaving when the kids' school year is done.

My husband was offered a job in Stamford, CT and Atlanta last week. Another opportunity has arisen and we have the chance to go to Sacremento too. Having never been to these places, we are looking for something to meet the following requests:

1. Home budget is $1.4m to maximum of $1.75m. We would ideally like to be in a SAFE neighborhood and would prefer a 4 bedroom home on a decent amount of land (plenty of sq feet, 1 acre at least since we have a Golden puppy).

2. EXCELLENT schools. I have researched and it seems Greenwich/Darien/New Canaan, CT have the best schools. What are schools in Sacremento (suburbs) like, and the Atlanta suburbs? Can anyone compare the three?

3. World culture. We live in a DC suburb now and the people, while incredible and friendly, just don't travel. They know nothing about other countries, and while not uneducated, they don't even know much outside of their own circle. That's wonderful if they enjoy that, but it's not to our personal liking!! (We are not liberal, nor conservative, so politics don't matter).

4. Access to a cosmopolitan city. We understand that cost of living will be higher near a large city, but we are ready for it. Wage is much higher in Stamford than Atlanta, but it is all relative.

Can anyone give us some specs on each area? What is daily life like in each? Weather does not matter to us (kids love snow, I love warmth).

Thank you all so much for your input. I was nervous to post here but now it doesn't seem so bad. I will be back to participate in discussion!!

Goodday everyone!

Cathleen
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:35 PM
 
3,368 posts, read 10,290,538 times
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Greenwich. It is one of this country's premier suburbs and you are only a 40 minute ride from Manhattan by train. Your budget is high enough for you to buy a home in Greenwich or a very large home in one of the surrounding towns. Lower Fairfield County is a very pleasant place and in places like Greenwich there is good representation of affluent European, Latin American, and Asian families. I know a couple people from that area and one of their families moved there from Spain; the other moved there from Britain. I cannot comment on Sacramento (have never been there and know no one from there) but I can say that Greenwich has much more "international" flair than Atlanta.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Connecticut... but trying to get out
193 posts, read 420,330 times
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I'm not sure about Atlanta (I'm considering moving there myself because the south is on the rise and north is not), but I do have some advice about Connecticut. I'm a CT children's photographer and work primarily in Fairfield County, so I'm constantly in the Southwestern CT towns.

Here is what you could get in Greenwich CT for 1.4 million- 3 bedrooms, .5 acres, 2,200 square feet



Here is what you could get in Fairfield CT for 1.4 million- 5 bedrooms, 2.5 acres, 5,000 square feet



Fairfield is just as nice as Greenwich (with a great school system too), and IMO, a lot more down to earth. Greenwich is too snobby for me. The people are generally more unpleasant and aloof. Fairfield is a little more real. Fairfield is only 23 minutes away from Stamford too, and in the better direction traffic wise at rush hour.

Hope that helps you some!
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:58 PM
 
0 posts, read 1,275,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT or ATL View Post
I am new to the forum and have been doing plenty of research on here prior to posting this. We have a new opportunity that awaits us and a choice of 3 different (VERY different) cities.
No comparison, go with Greenwich!!!!!
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:01 AM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
15,767 posts, read 22,047,781 times
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I haven't spent too much time in Atlanta and I have never been to Sacramento. If Atlanta is anything like Charlotte - massive sprawl - then I'd suggest the other two.

Greenwich is an excellent town...IMO it has among the best quality of life in the country. You're 40 minutes to midtown Manhattan, great restaurants, nice beaches and top notch schools. The town is very wealthy and can be pretentious but the sections of Cos Cob and Old Greenwich are neighborhoods with modest - but incredibly expensive - homes and decent people. Also in the current recession, the area is doing quite well given the amount of hedge funds and ties with Wall St. Over on the CT board, SW CT was dubbed the "Teflon Coast."

Greenwich is right next to Stamford, so it would be an easier commute than Fairfield. Driving from Fairfield, you're going with the NYC traffic so the commute wouldn't be fun. I'm not sure where he'll be working but you could take the train from Fairfield to Stamford which would be much easier than driving. Given that your budget would only allow a smaller home in Greenwich (median home price in town is $2 million), then I'd say take a look at Fairfield, Ridgefield, Wilton and Easton. They all have excellent school districts where you can probably find the home you want in your price range. Fairfield is also on the water but the other three are about 10-20 miles inland.

Keep in mind CT has high taxes (though ironically Greenwich has among the lowest property taxes in the state). There's also car tax (I pay $500/yr).

As for being worldly...you'll find that in SW CT for the most part. But then again, I would consider DC and its burbs to be pretty worldly so it depends on your definition. I can't answer for Atlanta or Sacramento though.
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:25 AM
 
Location: yeah
5,716 posts, read 14,246,920 times
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Sac
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
31,598 posts, read 53,217,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krudmonk View Post
Sac
I concour.

Granite Bay, El Dorado Hills, Rocklin, Loomis, Folsom, Cameron Park are all excellent suburbs that would suit you just fine.
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:57 AM
 
132 posts, read 289,205 times
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Go with Connecticut. You pay dearly to live there but you are correct with your assumption regarding public schools. Connecticut's are great. Atlanta's not so great. We just moved from Atlanta. CT is worldly and has very good dining.

I have also been to Sacramento and I was not impressed.
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
1,196 posts, read 4,257,002 times
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I don't know much about Atlanta or Greenwich, but I'm sure in that price range you could find what you want anywhere. I think Granite Bay outside of Sacramento would be a perfect fit.
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Atlanta and St Simons Island, GA
21,020 posts, read 33,013,138 times
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Of the three, you'll likely get the most bang for your buck in Atlanta. As far as the city goes, I concur that Atlanta city schools would come in last on this list (excepting elementary schools in the Buckhead neighborhood ie Warren Jackson and Sarah Smith). If private school is an option, Buckhead has plenty of excellent schools: Westminister, Lovett, Pace Academy and Woodward Academy. If you are set on public schools, your budget would easily get you into the better neighborhoods of the Walton High School cluster (the best public school situation in the Atlanta metro - eastern Cobb County).
The Buckhead neighborhood has a very similar feel to Gold Coast communities such as Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan.
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