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Old 12-31-2012, 07:55 AM
 
284 posts, read 423,969 times
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Originally Posted by dazzleman View Post
Lincoln Park on Jackman Avenue?

In terms of price, the Beach Area is much more expensive for something comparable than the Stratfield Section which seems to be your other alternative. I'm going to guess that if the prices are comparable, you are looking at the not-so-nice part of the Beach Area. But I'm only guessing.
Yeah, that's the Lincoln Park I was referring to. Our ideal would be the University area, but it's not as easy as I had hoped to find what we're looking for in that area. As far as the prices being comparable between Stratfield and the Beach area, they are comparable but for very different square footage/acreage. So I don't think we're looking at the bad part of the beach area per se; more so that for the same money, we could get a much smaller/older home in the beach area.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
5,531 posts, read 8,188,759 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elinyc View Post
I guess the appeal of the beach area (other than the obvious being able to walk/bike to the water) is that you're also in most cases walking distance to all the amenities of post road. Also, it seems to be the most dense part of Fairfield, so it just has a more "city" feel to it. Other than that, I also can't justify the pricing premium in that neighborhood.
True. In Fairfield, you pay not so much for the quality of the housing, but the location.

There is a certain snob appeal to being on the western side of town that translates into higher housing prices, even though there's not really a measurable objective benefit to being there over some other place.

The Beach Area has a certain snob appeal because it's near the water, even the parts that I consider kind of crummy (like the streets off Oldfield Road west of Reef Road). The houses are often small and the neighborhoods uneven -- with oversized McMansions that go right to the edge of the property line situated among punky little capes.

The nicer part of the Beach Area -- streets like Penfield Road, Beach Road, etc. are priced extremely high.

It's true there's a certain convenience there, being close to town and the train station (though there's now a new train station off Black Rock Turnpike on the other side of town). It's up to you to decide what is important to you.

Sometimes I regret not buying in the Beach Area back in 1995. I had a limited budget back then ($200K range) and was looking at some crummy houses that needed work off Oldfield Road. Since I had little money to pay for the work, I opted for a nicer house in the Brooklawn/Stratfield/Tunxis Hill area. The Beach Area houses appreciated a lot more over time that the house I bought did, so in that sense, it was a mistake.

But I actually prefer this side of town. Now I live right next to Brooklawn Country Club and I'm very happy here.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:10 AM
 
284 posts, read 423,969 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzleman View Post

There is a certain snob appeal to being on the western side of town that translates into higher housing prices, even though there's not really a measurable objective benefit to being there over some other place.

But I actually prefer this side of town. Now I live right next to Brooklawn Country Club and I'm very happy here.
Can you please elaborate on why you prefer the Eastern part of town? We're trying to decide if the higher prices on the West are really "worth it". I can see how living in a part of town where we could walk to the train station/post road would be a big +, but on the other hand, those parts are also usually close to I-95, which is of course a drawback. It'd help to hear any thoughts on East vs. West as we try to justify the best place to buy.

As far as the objective benefit of West vs. East, it does seem like the West has more walkable commercial areas (aka: post road) as opposed to the East where the commercial area of Black Rock Tpke doesn't have that charm or walkability. Also, maybe I'm wrong on this, but it seems like the Western part of town has more neighborhoods where people are out and about, strolling the sidewalk-lined streets whereas on the East, I haven't seen as much "activity."
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
5,531 posts, read 8,188,759 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elinyc View Post
Can you please elaborate on why you prefer the Eastern part of town? We're trying to decide if the higher prices on the West are really "worth it". I can see how living in a part of town where we could walk to the train station/post road would be a big +, but on the other hand, those parts are also usually close to I-95, which is of course a drawback. It'd help to hear any thoughts on East vs. West as we try to justify the best place to buy.

As far as the objective benefit of West vs. East, it does seem like the West has more walkable commercial areas (aka: post road) as opposed to the East where the commercial area of Black Rock Tpke doesn't have that charm or walkability. Also, maybe I'm wrong on this, but it seems like the Western part of town has more neighborhoods where people are out and about, strolling the sidewalk-lined streets whereas on the East, I haven't seen as much "activity."
The reality is that there are very few places in Fairfield that allow you to walk to the train station, as appealing as that idea is. The station is ringed by commercial districts and I-95, and you have to get well away from the station in most places before you actually find housing. And as you said, it's within hearing distance of I-95, which I consider a huge detriment. I ruled out some very nice streets because I could hear the loud rumble of trucks from I-95.

The west definitely has more walkable commercial areas, but you'll probably have to drive the them anyway, unless you live in the close-in Beach Area.

I think you're wrong about the western side of town having more neighborhoods where people are out and about. My neighborhood is very active with people out and about, pushing baby strollers, jogging, walking and biking. The Stratfield section is known for that. You can find that kind of neighborhood (or not) all over town, not limited to west or east.

I originally wanted to buy in the University Area also. When I sold my last house, I made finding a place closer to the train station a goal. But honestly, I found that over on the western side, I was getting so much less for the money that I couldn't justify it. Some of the vaunted University Area was downright ugly, I found, with pink capes and ranches on some streets. I'd stack my block up against almost any street in the University Area.

In general, I like the feel over here. My block is great; the people are very friendly and nice. It's quiet and peaceful, a perfect oasis. I hope it never changes, and I never have to leave here. I don't see how my living experience could be improved by paying more over on the western side of town.

As for the train station, at the time, getting closer to the station was the one goal that I did not fulfill when I bought my current house. But the train station moved closer to me. I now go out of Fairfield Metro and I like it a lot better, because I get a better seat in the morning. That was an unanticipated benefit.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:26 AM
 
284 posts, read 423,969 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzleman View Post

As for the train station, at the time, getting closer to the station was the one goal that I did not fulfill when I bought my current house. But the train station moved closer to me. I now go out of Fairfield Metro and I like it a lot better, because I get a better seat in the morning. That was an unanticipated benefit.
That's great! For me, the biggest appeal of the Western side was a) the possibility of walking to cafes/shops/amenities and b) being further away from Bridgeport. Like you said, though, only very few streets would be able to fulfill requirement a (and many would come with the issue of being too close to I-95) and it sounds like b) isn't much of an issue since Park Ave. seems to be a nicer part of Bridgeport. Thanks for the input.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,587 posts, read 40,140,661 times
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Just to add to some of what Dazzleman said, I also find that Black Rock Turnpike has just about everything you need in stores and restaurants in what is actually a pretty compact area. The stores are in strip shopping centers which provides easy parking options. I find it difficult sometimes in the Center to run quick errands because parking is so limited. Jay
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:10 AM
 
284 posts, read 423,969 times
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Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
Just to add to some of what Dazzleman said, I also find that Black Rock Turnpike has just about everything you need in stores and restaurants in what is actually a pretty compact area. The stores are in strip shopping centers which provides easy parking options. I find it difficult sometimes in the Center to run quick errands because parking is so limited. Jay
I agree. The Center is definitely much more for walking and doing errands on foot, which I absolutely love.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,587 posts, read 40,140,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elinyc View Post
I agree. The Center is definitely much more for walking and doing errands on foot, which I absolutely love.
Maybe its me but when I run errands I want to be done as quick as possible with the least amount of work. I find that walk from store to store is fine for light occasional shopping but when I am buying a number of things I like to get them out of my hands and into the car immediately. I can do that easily on Black Rock Turnpike but in the Center walking back and forth to the car is a drag. JMHO, Jay
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
14,722 posts, read 17,944,963 times
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The only problem on BRT is the traffic. It also seems to be really congested. It's a really nice area though. I've had a few friends that have lived there.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:16 PM
 
2,890 posts, read 2,963,726 times
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Congested? It's pretty tame compared with route 1 in Norwalk or Milford. I've never had an issue travelling at 30mph, even on a Saturday afternoon in December.
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