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Old 01-01-2013, 06:51 PM
 
20 posts, read 23,438 times
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Hi! We will be moving to CT this summer to be closer to family/NYC, and we are trying to narrow down where we should be concentrating our house search in the SW area of CT. Any help at all would be really appreciated

We are looking for a 3-4 bdrm house, preferably 1400 sq ft or more. Our budget would be up to $450k, and we don't mind a fixer upper. My husband works from home, but in the distant future he would likely have to commute to either Stamford or NYC for work, so somewhere not too far from a train station would be nice, but if a drive to a neighboring town's train station is required, that's ok too.

A reliable internet connection is very important for us.

We also have two small children who will be attending schools in the next few years. This is our primary concern in choosing an area. We may decide to rent at first instead of buy, and want to start off in an area with a solid elementary school since my oldest will start kindergarten in 2014. Rental budget would be $2500-$3k or so, and we would prefer to rent a house over a townhouse/apt since our children are super loud.

I've done some research and it seems like we might be able to find something around Bethel, or maybe in eastern Fairfield or Trumbull, but I keep coming back to Norwalk/Stamford. They seem very centrally located, and somewhat more affordable, but from what I've read I'm a bit hesitant. Are there 'better' public schools than others in Norwalk and Stamford, or are the entire districts just universally not recommended? Also, I realize its a larger town but crime in Norwalk still seems higher than usual... is most of the city generally safe outside of a few specific areas?

Can anyone recommend another town that might fit our price range a little better, but still keep a solid school system? Do you think a future commute to NYC would be completely insane from Monroe / Newtown / Seymour / Shelton?

Thanks so much for any insight/suggestions you can give!
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:12 PM
 
673 posts, read 1,232,490 times
Reputation: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by chanTy04 View Post
Hi! We will be moving to CT this summer to be closer to family/NYC, and we are trying to narrow down where we should be concentrating our house search in the SW area of CT. Any help at all would be really appreciated

We are looking for a 3-4 bdrm house, preferably 1400 sq ft or more. Our budget would be up to $450k, and we don't mind a fixer upper. My husband works from home, but in the distant future he would likely have to commute to either Stamford or NYC for work, so somewhere not too far from a train station would be nice, but if a drive to a neighboring town's train station is required, that's ok too.

A reliable internet connection is very important for us.

We also have two small children who will be attending schools in the next few years. This is our primary concern in choosing an area. We may decide to rent at first instead of buy, and want to start off in an area with a solid elementary school since my oldest will start kindergarten in 2014. Rental budget would be $2500-$3k or so, and we would prefer to rent a house over a townhouse/apt since our children are super loud.

I've done some research and it seems like we might be able to find something around Bethel, or maybe in eastern Fairfield or Trumbull, but I keep coming back to Norwalk/Stamford. They seem very centrally located, and somewhat more affordable, but from what I've read I'm a bit hesitant. Are there 'better' public schools than others in Norwalk and Stamford, or are the entire districts just universally not recommended? Also, I realize its a larger town but crime in Norwalk still seems higher than usual... is most of the city generally safe outside of a few specific areas?

Can anyone recommend another town that might fit our price range a little better, but still keep a solid school system? Do you think a future commute to NYC would be completely insane from Monroe / Newtown / Seymour / Shelton?

Thanks so much for any insight/suggestions you can give!
You can easily get a house in Redding on that budget for a 3bedroom, realistically get a 4 bedroon so you can forget Bethel. Ridgefield will be a stretch but not impossible if you can do some work on the house. Fairfield is also a stretch.

The schools in Stamford and Norwalk do not perform as well due to the student bodies' diversity in socio-economic class.

The 4 towns you mention to me will be impossible to commute to NYC without losing my sanity. Any town in FFC with top ranking schools with <66mins commute time from town station to GCT (add the morning drive to station and subway ride to office we are looking at 90mins door to door) will have a $1mil average price so try looking in compromise towns with longer but attainable commutes and good schools.

If there is a higher chance for him to work in Stamford, look in Ridgefield / Redding. If there is a higher chance for him to work in NYC, look in Fairfield. You got the strategy right by prioritizing location over house condition. If the odds are 50 Stamford/50 NYC then focus in Ridgefield as its backroads can take your car into Stamford in 38-50mins without major traffic and is also 20mins away from the NYC direct trains in Katonah station. Aim for a 4 bedroom structurally sound, insulated house in the best location you can afford.

And I hope you are ready to spend the entire $450k if you can - money doesn't go very far in FFC real estate.

Last edited by Konig1985; 01-01-2013 at 11:26 PM..
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
15,739 posts, read 21,986,671 times
Reputation: 5277
Quote:
Originally Posted by chanTy04 View Post
Do you think a future commute to NYC would be completely insane from Monroe / Newtown / Seymour / Shelton?
Yes. These towns are only ~70 miles outside of Manhattan, but morning traffic and train travel takes time (and patience). I would not want to do it 40 miles out, nevermind 70.

As someone else said, be ready to spend all $450k, and don't expect the home to have luxurious features. You'll likely have to put some work into it.

Good luck!
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,566 posts, read 40,120,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konig1985 View Post
You can easily get a house in Redding on that budget for a 3bedroom, realistically get a 4 bedroon so you can forget Bethel. Ridgefield will be a stretch but not impossible if you can do some work on the house. Fairfield is also a stretch.

The schools in Stamford and Norwalk do not perform as well due to the student bodies' diversity in socio-economic class.

The 4 towns you mention to me will be impossible to commute to NYC without losing my sanity. Any town in FFC with top ranking schools with <66mins commute time from town station to GCT (add the morning drive to station and subway ride to office we are looking at 90mins door to door) will have a $1mil average price so try looking in compromise towns with longer but attainable commutes and good schools.

If there is a higher chance for him to work in Stamford, look in Ridgefield / Redding. If there is a higher chance for him to work in NYC, look in Fairfield. You got the strategy right by prioritizing location over house condition. If the odds are 50 Stamford/50 NYC then focus in Ridgefield as its backroads can take your car into Stamford in 38-50mins without major traffic and is also 20mins away from the NYC direct trains in Katonah station. Aim for a 4 bedroom structurally sound, insulated house in the best location you can afford.

And I hope you are ready to spend the entire $450k if you can - money doesn't go very far in FFC real estate.
Redding??? There are only three homes listed on Realtor.com in Redding in the $400,000 to $450,000 price range and two of those are smaller than the OP's requested 1,400 s.f. minimum size. Ridgefield has 14 homes listed in the OP's price range and Fairfield has 22. Most of those homes meet the OP's original size request. Jay
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
14,713 posts, read 17,933,283 times
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Norwalk/Stamford are most certainly not more affordable than the other towns you mention. They are very expensive, and the schools don't perform as well. If I had a $450,000 budget and needed to accomodate a future NYC commute, I'd look at Fairfield primarily, and maybe Ridgefield. They are also expensive, but at least you're getting top notch schools. $450k is a budget more suited to Bethel/Shelton/Trumbull/Stratford/Milford and the like - as you go further out, you can afford more house - but that's a brutal commute to NYC.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
15,739 posts, read 21,986,671 times
Reputation: 5277
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
Redding??? There are only three homes listed on Realtor.com in Redding in the $400,000 to $450,000 price range and two of those are smaller than the OP's requested 1,400 s.f. minimum size. Ridgefield has 14 homes listed in the OP's price range and Fairfield has 22. Most of those homes meet the OP's original size request. Jay
There are quite a few if you extend the filter to include up to 500k. Remember that asking price is just that - asking price. There is a gorgeous dutch colonial on the market for 490k and I was very surprised at how "affordable" it was given that Redding has some of the best schools in the state.

That being said, I would never commute from Redding to NYC.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:31 AM
 
673 posts, read 1,232,490 times
Reputation: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
Redding??? There are only three homes listed on Realtor.com in Redding in the $400,000 to $450,000 price range and two of those are smaller than the OP's requested 1,400 s.f. minimum size. Ridgefield has 14 homes listed in the OP's price range and Fairfield has 22. Most of those homes meet the OP's original size request. Jay
My cousin just sold her house in West Redding (3 bedroom, 1500+ square feet) for $255000. Try to expand the price range from $0 to $450000 we should have more choices. The op may get her house for less than $400000 in Redding but I will only buy Redding if I seriously cannot afford Ridgefield.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,566 posts, read 40,120,453 times
Reputation: 6942
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidyankee764 View Post
There are quite a few if you extend the filter to include up to 500k. Remember that asking price is just that - asking price. There is a gorgeous dutch colonial on the market for 490k and I was very surprised at how "affordable" it was given that Redding has some of the best schools in the state.

That being said, I would never commute from Redding to NYC.
Expanding the price range only adds a couple of homes and those appear to all be above $475,000. Not much of a chance for the OP to buy it for under $450,000 but then again you never know. Jay
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