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Old 10-29-2010, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Italy
6 posts, read 46,080 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello. This is my first time posting here. I have read a number of similar threads but couldn't find just the answer I needed.

I'm wondering which places within a 1 hour commute of NYC might be a good fit. I am originally from a small town in SE Massachusetts and have already lived previously in Brooklyn, NY. and in northern New Jersey. I loved those places but I feel very strongly that I want to be back in New England, even if it's on the very edge.

My husband an I currently live in Rome, Italy going on 5 years. We love it but it's not a place to live for the rest of your life unless you are independently wealthy or have parents to live with into your 40's. We have a 12 month-old son and are two professionals with good jobs and are in our mid 30's. We would like to finally buy a house for the first time, and since the prices are about as low as they'll ever get, we figure within the next year or so is the time to do it. Normally I'd say our price range is around $350K, but seeing the prices in this area, I think we'll have to do $500K-$700K. My husband has a good job, but I'll most likely take a year off from work upon our return to have baby #2 and re-settle back in. I do hope to work again in the NYC or CT area.

We'd like to live somewhere where we can get a decent sized house (3 or 4 bedrooms), yard, etc and hopefully a body of water, park, or main street type of thing nearby. The thing I will miss about Rome is my community and my neighborhood, yet I sometimes also find myself longing for my small town childhood as well. I think a small town that has a downtown area where people walk instead of drive or a small city (Stamford...but in the less concrete parts) might suit us. Basically we want to be around down-to-earth, artsy people, have good restaurants and culture not too far away. Access to out-doorsey things would be great. Schools are important, though my husband's job pays for schooling so private as well as public schools are an option.

Any suggestions? I know it's a super-rich area, but might we find some down to earth people too or even (gasp) maybe a little ethnic diversity?

I also heard some of the train stations have long waiting lists for parking. How do people manage their commutes without going crazy? We both once had 2 hour commutes and NEVER want to go to those extremes again, esp. with a car.

Thanks if you can help!

K
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:08 PM
 
4,777 posts, read 7,926,292 times
Reputation: 3101
In that area you'll have a hard time finding "where people walk instead of drive". You really need a car there. And as you've discovered, SW Ct. is quite pricey, and you want to be an hour from NYC which makes it even more difficult in your price range. The closest would be Greenwich or N. Stamford itself. Keep in mind that homes in your price range would likely be older and might need some updating. I really think you might like Westport better, though. It's a fabulous town with a lot of shopping, restaurants, an "artsy" feel, family activities, beach, train station, etc. I'm not sure about the commute, it might be just a bit longer than an hour though, depending on where in NYC your dh would be commuting to. And again, any homes you find might need some updating.
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Westport CT
18 posts, read 24,199 times
Reputation: 14
Look in Fairfield. 3 train stations. 65 minute commute. Beautiful walkable downtown with nightlife, shops & restaurants. Beaches, Farms. Much more diverse than Darien, Westport, New Canaan. Home prices are a bit less than said towns too. 55,000 residents. All & all -a pretty nice place to live.
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:13 PM
 
8,445 posts, read 9,713,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celtic33 View Post
Look in Fairfield. 3 train stations. 65 minute commute. Beautiful walkable downtown with nightlife, shops & restaurants. Beaches, Farms. Much more diverse than Darien, Westport, New Canaan. Home prices are a bit less than said towns too. 55,000 residents. All & all -a pretty nice place to live.
Slightly more diverse.
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:04 AM
 
Location: Italy
6 posts, read 46,080 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks. This is very helpful. We have been to Westport before on our many drives from NYC to Massachusetts along Rt. 95. We also do plan to have a car. I just meant it'd be nice to have a little area to hang out in (Main St?) with my baby in his stroller for a walk, cup of coffee, shopping, chat, etc.

I hadn't thought of Fairfield. I'll check it out.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:39 AM
 
4,777 posts, read 7,926,292 times
Reputation: 3101
Yes, Fairfield would be an even better option if the commute isn't too long. The only reason I didn't suggest it is because you wanted a 60 minute commute to NYC. I've heard people complain it's a 90+ minute commute. You would be able to get more house for your money in Fairfield, though.
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
14,472 posts, read 22,949,089 times
Reputation: 3200
Keep in minnd that the closer to New York, the more expensive the town is. Stamford and Norwalk are small cities which have some urban issue and do not really have the small New england town feel you are looking for. Most of the other towns in Fairfield County do have that feel particularly along the Metro-North New Haven line. Greenwich is the closest to NY and you can find a very modest home there in your price range. It does meet your description though. Darien and New Canaan are the next closest asnd both have what you want including trains directly into New York but again a home in your price range would be modest. Same for Westport.

I agree with others that Fairfield is very nice and you will find a nice home there in your price range. The town meets your description but the train trip into Manhattan is generally an hour and 15 to 20 mminutes. As you can see it is a matter of balancing what you want and can afford verse how far you are willing to be from the city. Jay
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Italy
6 posts, read 46,080 times
Reputation: 11
It's amazing. Where I'm from 500 to 700k would get you a gigantic house with lots of land. That being said, obviously the closer to NYC you are, the more expensive it is. I thought Greenwich might be nice, but got scared off some by watching a realtor's video that was clearly targeting multi-millionaires.
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:48 AM
 
4,777 posts, read 7,926,292 times
Reputation: 3101
If you want to see what type of homes are available in your price range, try raveis.com. It will show you everything available, and includes square footage, lot size, photos, etc.
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Italy
6 posts, read 46,080 times
Reputation: 11
Just checking out ravis.com now. It's great. Thanks! BTW, does anyone know if the commute to NYC is bad from Wilton?
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