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Old 01-14-2013, 01:25 PM
 
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Hey all:

There's a potential that work will take us from the San Francisco Bay Area to Connecticut. It's a situation that would have me part of the time in NYC, and part of the time in Wilton. I've read through dozens of threads here trying to learn about what might be our new home.

We're frankly a little nervous about the move, and how the quality of life will differ from what we've grown used to out here. We live in a nice neighborhood that's reasonably dense, with lots of kids, and a two block walk away from a commercial strip with good shops and restaurants. We've got a close sense of community with our neighbors, and that's really important to us.

None of us have ever lived in CT, and I don't want to fall prey to the stereotypes--but we've heard stories from friends of friends about moving to places where they felt totally snubbed due to a combination of being 1) new in town, and 2) liberals. But I'm really anxious to hear if anyone has any suggestions on places we might look to live. We've got two kids in elementary school, and are hoping to find a welcoming, kid-friendly place where we might start to build that same sense of community we have now, hopefully some place where money and status isn't the measuring stick.

We'll have a decent but not insane budget for a house, up to 700K or so. Seems like Metro-North access would be a huge help, given the NYC part of the job.

Any thoughts that you all have would be hugely valuable. I think we have these sort of Revolutionary Road-type nightmares about the move, but I'm sure much of that is just anxiety about the change, and not knowing anything about it. All pointers on towns, neighborhoods, schools, anything, would be wonderful.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
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You can find some smaller houses in Greenwich for under $700,000. That might be a good mid-point between NY and Wilton and it has lots of shopping and restaurants.

Connecticut is one of the most liberal states in the country, so that won't be a problem at all. Even if someone differs from you politically it doesn't matter in terms of their relationship with you.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:16 PM
 
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Yeah, Connecticut is as least as liberal as CA. It shouldn't be any different politically.

Especially where you're looking (presumably only Fairfield County); it's overwhelmingly Democrat.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
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If you didn't have the NYC commute, I'd suggest Westport for you, hands down. It's arguably the most liberal town in the area, it's beautiful, and has great schools, but your NYC commute will be tough.

I would suggest you look into Greenwich. $700k won't go far at all in a town with good schools, so plan on a modest home for that budget. You will get a little more for your money in Wilton but on days when you'll have the NYC commute, you can add about 30-45 minutes each way. Look into the areas of Old Greenwich, Cos Cob and Riverside. All are nice villages within the town, and are along the southern portion near highways and Metro North. Northern Greenwich is woodsy and very exclusive - probably not to your liking (or budget). Personally, Old Greenwich is my favorite but it's the last stop in town on Metro North before you get into Stamford. Schools in Greenwich are very good, so no issues there.

New Canaan and Darien are beautiful towns, and are also very expensive, but the commute is further from Manhattan. Darien is also pretty conservative.

Politically, Connecticut is similar to the Bay area. There aren't many crunchy granola types in CT, though.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:19 PM
 
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If you're looking mostly at Greenwich, and finding it tough under your budget (you will find plenty of stuff, but maybe not the ideal home you're looking for), maybe consider Port Chester, across the New York State line.

Port Chester is pretty much the same as the adjacent Greenwich neighborhoods, but there are no fancy parts, like in Greenwich. And with your budget, you will get something quite nice in Port Chester.

Or maybe consider Stamford. Nice, urban neighborhoods, and more affordable than Greenwich. Like Port Chester, the overall vibe is much more down-to-earth than Greenwich (though Greenwich has areas like that too, though at a slight price premium).
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:21 PM
 
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Thanks for the suggestions -- any and all are welcome.

We've had people suggest Fairfield as a good place to look as well. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markonthemove View Post
We've had people suggest Fairfield as a good place to look as well. Any thoughts?
Very far for a NYC commute; it will burn you out quick. How often will you have to go into the city?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PA Born View Post
Port Chester is pretty much the same as the adjacent Greenwich neighborhoods, but there are no fancy parts, like in Greenwich. And with your budget, you will get something quite nice in Port Chester.
I would NOT recommend Port Chester. At all.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidyankee764 View Post
I would NOT recommend Port Chester. At all.
It's not fancy like the rich parts of Greenwich, but it's almost exactly the same as the adjacent parts of Greenwich. So if you're looking at those parts, no reason to not also look in Port Chester.

Obviously if you're looking for Greenwich Backcountry or something, Port Chester won't be an option. It's very urban, diverse, and the like. It isn't rough or anything, though. The tough parts of Stamford are much worse than Port Chester.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markonthemove View Post
Thanks for the suggestions -- any and all are welcome.

We've had people suggest Fairfield as a good place to look as well. Any thoughts?
Fairfield is nice and fairly affordable for the county, but it's more "typical suburbia". It isn't super special or anything (pretty average homes, good but undistinguished schools, etc.).
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:02 PM
 
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NYC will be a day or two a week, and in midtown. So I'm not totally freaked out about the commute. Westport?
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