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Old 05-16-2012, 05:13 PM
 
Location: California
53 posts, read 90,557 times
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My job may be relocating me to Farmington, Connecticut....

I have a budget of $1200/month for rent.
I am looking for a 2-3 bedroom apartment in an area that is no more than an hour commute from work and safe for my wife and 2 children (8 and 2 yrs old.)

I am also looking for an area with a good school system.

Can anyone offer me any suggestions?

I also heard rumors that CT has high taxes....what is the %?

Thank you for your help in advance.
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:52 PM
 
21,135 posts, read 28,963,590 times
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You can probably get a 2 bedroom in a town with good schools at that price point, but I'm not sure about 3. I'd suggest you look into Farmington itself, or if you prefer higher density with a walkable downtown, West Hartford is great too.

Yes Connecticut has high taxes. We are routinely ranked the most tax burdened state in the nation (though some on this board absolutely refuse to believe that) and last year we experienced the largest tax hike of any state, ever. One thing I will warn that you get ready for is a car tax - depending on the town you live, you will pay annual taxes on your vehicle. So if you live in a town with a mil rate of 25 (which is about average for CT), and your car is valued at 15k, you would pay about $375. I will say that West Hartford, while an amazing town, has VERY high taxes.

That being said, the area you're looking into has a very high quality of life, which includes good schools and great shopping (West Farms Mall and downtown West Hartford, which includes Blue Back Square).

Good luck
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
33,018 posts, read 52,270,596 times
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I agree with kidyankee to start right in Farmington. It is a nice suburban town (one of the nicest in greater Hartford) with excellent schools and a lot of what you are looking for. West Hartford would be my second choice too. Good luck, Jay
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
20,385 posts, read 25,349,233 times
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West Hartford is really great, it'd be my personal #1 choice as it just has more going on, beautiful parks and a great walkable town center.

The tax issue just means you'll be paying more on your car tax than in Farmington. About 30-40% more. Your sales tax, income tax and whatnot will be exactly the same. If you have a cheap car, it's not a huge deal.

To me, the mill rate (property tax) matters a lot less for renters. If buying a house, then it becomes a lot more painful.
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Old 05-23-2021, 03:58 PM
 
56 posts, read 36,521 times
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My wife and I are elderly and planning to buy a home next year in either New London or Windham counties so we can be relatively close to our son in Rhode Island and daughter in Litchfield County, CT. Any ideas, suggestions, comments or advice? We want to spend somewhat under $300K because we are merely the post war baby boomer remnant of the once thriving middle class.

We own a nice home in Florida we can sell in a day or two once on the market next spring. It should (but won't) bring much more than the ones for sale in RI and CT, because the prices in New England are in our opinion astronomical. Anyone moving from a nice home in Florida experiences sticker shock in New England. We don't expect to get anything as lovely and large and in great condition like we have now. Nevertheless, we are not buying a home as an investment and could care less if the value drops somewhat in the future. We do not intend to vacate it unless we find the neighbors drive us out by poor behavior. (Next stop after this move is the nursing home.)

We are going to pay cash. We may have to rent a short time to find something we want if we can't buy one off the plane by wiring a down payment. We have no friends or relatives anywhere near those two counties, so any advice would be welcome concerning where to stay or even rent if we have to. We noticed the rentals are not appealing and few around.

We are not tavern goers nor polka dancers and the like, and have little need for stimulation like that. We want a decent relatively quiet suburban setting so we have no worries about motorcycle clubs partying down the street and so forth.

No two or three deckers in the middle of a city or town! We are suburbanites. We need a ranch or even better a raised ranch, and not one the Albanian army camped in for six months! No trashed and broken properties because we are too old to endure the renovation.

Taxes are not an issue. If you add the high property insurance we have to pay to our moderate property tax, it is not very different from the relatively high property taxes in New England. Likewise we could care less there is a state income tax unlike Florida. Florida kills you with fees and other sneaky add on charges, because they like to pretend they are a low tax state. (Don't get me going about the politics in Florida.)

Direct questions:

1. Do they use lock boxes in CT? Since some homes are "drive aways" once the neighborhood and condition of the homes are seen, if there are no lock boxes the sellers' realtors become annoyed having to drive all the way over to show them and find lack of interest.

2. Are there any areas around Norwich which are okay, and do not have disadvantages being too close to the casino(s) or marginal neighborhoods? I have been to Norwich years ago and found it somewhat poor and semi-run down, but some of the outlying areas may be okay. We saw a couple of houses listed in Lisbon which looked right up our alley, but who knows, there may be some annoying people in that area or poor environmental conditions like dumps, etc....

3. Same question for New London/Groton/Mystic areas.

4. Any specific areas we should avoid or instead those we should try to buy within?

Any advice or comments appreciated.
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Old 05-23-2021, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
33,018 posts, read 52,270,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pslresident444 View Post
My wife and I are elderly and planning to buy a home next year in either New London or Windham counties so we can be relatively close to our son in Rhode Island and daughter in Litchfield County, CT. Any ideas, suggestions, comments or advice? We want to spend somewhat under $300K because we are merely the post war baby boomer remnant of the once thriving middle class.

We own a nice home in Florida we can sell in a day or two once on the market next spring. It should (but won't) bring much more than the ones for sale in RI and CT, because the prices in New England are in our opinion astronomical. Anyone moving from a nice home in Florida experiences sticker shock in New England. We don't expect to get anything as lovely and large and in great condition like we have now. Nevertheless, we are not buying a home as an investment and could care less if the value drops somewhat in the future. We do not intend to vacate it unless we find the neighbors drive us out by poor behavior. (Next stop after this move is the nursing home.)

We are going to pay cash. We may have to rent a short time to find something we want if we can't buy one off the plane by wiring a down payment. We have no friends or relatives anywhere near those two counties, so any advice would be welcome concerning where to stay or even rent if we have to. We noticed the rentals are not appealing and few around.

We are not tavern goers nor polka dancers and the like, and have little need for stimulation like that. We want a decent relatively quiet suburban setting so we have no worries about motorcycle clubs partying down the street and so forth.

No two or three deckers in the middle of a city or town! We are suburbanites. We need a ranch or even better a raised ranch, and not one the Albanian army camped in for six months! No trashed and broken properties because we are too old to endure the renovation.

Taxes are not an issue. If you add the high property insurance we have to pay to our moderate property tax, it is not very different from the relatively high property taxes in New England. Likewise we could care less there is a state income tax unlike Florida. Florida kills you with fees and other sneaky add on charges, because they like to pretend they are a low tax state. (Don't get me going about the politics in Florida.)

Direct questions:

1. Do they use lock boxes in CT? Since some homes are "drive aways" once the neighborhood and condition of the homes are seen, if there are no lock boxes the sellers' realtors become annoyed having to drive all the way over to show them and find lack of interest.

2. Are there any areas around Norwich which are okay, and do not have disadvantages being too close to the casino(s) or marginal neighborhoods? I have been to Norwich years ago and found it somewhat poor and semi-run down, but some of the outlying areas may be okay. We saw a couple of houses listed in Lisbon which looked right up our alley, but who knows, there may be some annoying people in that area or poor environmental conditions like dumps, etc....

3. Same question for New London/Groton/Mystic areas.

4. Any specific areas we should avoid or instead those we should try to buy within?

Any advice or comments appreciated.
I’m pretty sure agents use lock boxes in eastern Connecticut. I know you had a bad experience in RI but I would not worry about it. If agents want to drive out to their home listing, that’s their problem, not yours. Don’t let that persuade you either way.

Both New London and Norwich have a few rundown areas but they also have some beautiful ones. Groton does as well. Mystic, which is not a town, but an area and village straddling the Mystic River in Groton and Stonington is a beautiful area to consider but be aware it is a tourist area and it does get congested in the summer.

There are many towns around you could consider. For a more suburban or small town feel, I’d suggest Stonington, North Stonington, Waterford, Montville, and East Lyme. Jay
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Old 05-23-2021, 08:48 PM
 
21,135 posts, read 28,963,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pslresident444 View Post
Anyone moving from a nice home in Florida experiences sticker shock in New England. We don't expect to get anything as lovely and large and in great condition like we have now.
Huh? The average sale price in PSL is about 300k right now, which is amongst the most affordable in FL and is just about what you’ll see in much of Rhode Island. Go south of that in FL to any of the big metro counties and you can almost double that. Even in Walton County in the FL panhandle, which is traditionally the most affordable area of FL, you’re not finding much in the 300s.

RI isn’t Boston or Southern CT. It’s a pretty good bang for your buck, even in today’s market.
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Old 05-23-2021, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
20,385 posts, read 25,349,233 times
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One town in from the shoreline tends to be cheaper. Ledyard is a bargain and a very decent town.

Not sure where in RI you need to be near, but it’s probably not the halfway point. Depending on where in Litchfield that can take a while to get to. Especially with backroads.

Some more halfway points could be Chester, Deep River, East Haddam, Killingworth, Westbrook, East Lyme, Salem, Centerbrook or Ivoryton sections of Essex. Even Old Saybrook, which is not cheap but the taxes are incredibly low which may allow budget stretch and it’s a phenomenal town popular with retirees.

Caveat, this may not apply if the towns are Newport and Woodbury, for instance.

Last edited by Stylo; 05-23-2021 at 09:21 PM..
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Old 05-24-2021, 10:53 AM
 
2,413 posts, read 4,453,300 times
Reputation: 2969
Quote:
Originally Posted by pslresident444 View Post
No two or three deckers in the middle of a city or town! We are suburbanites.
Don't deny your true identity as a proud Rhode Island three decker dweller. Doesn't a scene like this warm your heart? Turn the calendar back to 1958-- the milkman has just made his deliveries, hopscotch and jumprope on the sidewalk, there'll be street hockey later in the day, housewives are chatting from the rear porches as they hang the wash out to dry, younger kids inside trying to tune in Bullwinkle on the TV set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pslresident444 View Post
We need a ranch or even better a raised ranch, and not one the Albanian army camped in for six months!
This place in Norwich could be a front for the Albanian army-- Just saying.

There you go-- a raised ranch. Very 1970s. Across the street a split level. But for the bay window pasted on sometime later I can see the '59 chevy with its gull fins sitting there in the driveway, dad about to fire up his power mower, kids flying by on tricycles.

Your post took me down memory lane. Hope you find what you need and it's hard to believe there wouldn't be just the right affordable mid-century period piece like this for you and the Mrs. in a nice suburban neighborhood in eastern Connecticut.
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Old 05-24-2021, 09:47 PM
 
1,911 posts, read 1,817,545 times
Reputation: 1806
Agree with Stylo - location matters. The central and northwestern parts of Litchfield County are very rural and difficult to access from the east and the towns on Narragansett Bay are more difficult to access from the west.

Generally speaking, if your daughter lives to the northwest of the town of Litchfield, expand your search further west than where you are currently looking — into Middlesex and New Haven counties.
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