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Old 02-13-2013, 07:34 PM
9 posts, read 48,872 times
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Hello! I was wondering if anyone could tell me a little about the standard of living in the Bridgeport/Milford/Stratford areas? My hubby and I are thinking about accepting a job offer there, and have really no experience with the East Coast. We are both from Michigan, and in a very low key, laid back, low cost of living area. We have two dogs, and a pretty casual lifestyle. Any help [weather, crime, city facts, etc] would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:15 PM
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Climate- overall, spring, summer & fall, similar to where you are maybe warmer in the summer if you're in the UP. Winter, likely milder . Yes, we did just have a blizzard and there's three feet of snow on the ground in places, but this is very, very rare.

Cost of living- you'd be moving into one of the highest cost of living areas in the country. Highest utility costs in the country. Very high property taxes, thousands a year on even a small home. Cars are taxed yearly. There is nothing cheap about anything in CT.

Bridgeport is a city that has some very severe urban issues and crime. It's not overall a highly desirable place to live. There are some more suburban areas in it, but the property taxes are so high, why bother.

Milford and Stratford are nice towns, with maybe Milford being a little more upscale. They are well developed, especially Stratford. This is not the country, it's suburbia, so you'll see a mix of apartments, condos, single family homes. They are both safe places to live .

If you're looking to rent the dogs are going to be a problem. One small dog may be OK, two small dogs is going to be tough and large dogs near to impossible unless you found a single family home to rent.

You didn't say what kind of budget you were working with, but I'd suggest this. Go to any of the following sites

Trulia - Real Estate, Homes for Sale, Apartments for Rent, Local data, realtor.com, homes.com, zillow.com, hot pads. com and input what kind of place you're looking for whether it's a house or a some type of rental It will give you an idea of what things cost and what you get for your money.

One more note - lots of traffic in the region. This is a busy part of the state, lots of highway traffic.

You can also use the advanced search feature at the top of the page . Many of the things you want to know have been asked and answered before. It may help. Good luck
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:10 AM
Location: Connecticut
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I agree with much of what Willow Wind says but note that Bridgeport is a major city and like any major city, it has its good areas and its bad. There are many nice safe neighborhoods there so unless you have kids and want good schools, you might still want to consider it for renting.

One thing to keep in mind is that here in the northeast, the towns and cities are very small in area. The cities are surrounded by fiercely independent towns that serve as their suburbs. Stratford and Milford are basically suburbs of Bridgeport (Milford also serves as a suburb of New Haven and now a lot of people in these towns work in the Stamford area as well).

To the west of Bridgeport are a number of super affluent suburbs that make this area the wealthiest in the country. Towns like Fairfield, Westport, Easton, Weston, Darien, New Canaan, Greenwich, Wilton, Redding and Ridgefield are stunning and veyr expensive. Stamford is home to a number of major corporations and hedge funds which is why the area is so expensive.

On the plus side, you will be near all of the things that make the northeast such a great place to live. New York City is about an hour and a half to the southwest with regular train service. Boston is a few hours northeast. There is a lot of history and culture in the area and some of the best restaurants in the world.

From what the OP's says in their post, I am not sure any of this is of importance to the OP but still the area is a great place to live. Jay
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:19 AM
Location: Coastal Northeast
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Note that you are moving from one of the most affordable places in the country to one of the most espensive (actually, Stamford/Norwalk/Bridgeport ranks as THE most expensive place to rent). You will have to lower your expectations with regards to what you will get for your money.

As JayCT noted, east of Bridgeport will be cheaper than west of Bridgeport. If you find something to be "cheap" in this area, it is cheap for a reason. I will not recommend that you avoid all of Bridgeport, but a good portion of the city is undesirable.

If your budget allows, Fairfield is a very nice town, followed by Milford and Stratford. Trumbull is also a good place to look into.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:26 AM
Location: Coastal Connecticut
14,713 posts, read 17,933,283 times
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willow wind hit most of the key points.

Weather is typical southern New England, but because it's coastal - we do get less snow generally and it's a bit warmer (~5 degrees on average). With the exception of the recent blizzard, often times we will get rain or a rain/snow mix while the Danbury/Waterbury/Hartford areas get snow.

I wouldn't recommend Bridgeport for a Stratford job. It's not significantly cheaper than Stratford to be a value proposition. It does have nice neighborhoods. Black Rock would be great for a twentysomething. But I'd only recommend it to those seeking value for a commute westward. Much of the city looks blighted and has crime issues. If you're buying, property taxes are out of control.

Stratford and Milford are great towns. Stratford has a lot of really nice areas and is marginally cheaper. Both towns are solidly middle class, however Milford does have wealthier areas on the coast (Laurel Beach, Woodmont, Gulf Beach, Morningside, etc) and both towns have pockets of upper middle class areas - especially in the north where lots are larger. I find both towns to be rather low key and down to earth, but that's the perspective of someone who grew up and works in Fairfield County.

Milford offers a bit more as far as nightlife and restaurants and has a good variety of both. Both towns have plenty of shopping, and are on the denser side compared to their neighbors to the north.

Stratford has a great beach, and Milford has several good beaches. Both have nice walkable downtown areas. Milford downtown is one of the more attractive in the area with a large town green, harbor, parks, and duck ponds/water features.

I'd stay around from the areas in Stratford that are close to east Bridgeport. Some spillover crime does happen, and just a general bad element there. The rest of Stratford is perfectly safe. Milford is generally very safe, although I'd personally avoid the Devon area - it has nice pockets and isn't dangerous, but is a bit trashy compared to the rest of town. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to live in the Rivercliff or Laurel Beach areas of Devon as they're very nice.

Shelton is another good option in the area, offering a good value comparable to Stratford. Its only downside IMO is its downtown, which is improving - but still a little rough around the edges. That said, there are some gorgeous areas, especially in the more rural sections if you're looking for a little more privacy and isolation.

Cost of living will be high compared to where you live, but the area you're looking at is moderate by CT standards. It is A LOT cheaper than points west.

You really can't go wrong with Stratford, Shelton or Milford in your situation. Take a look around and see what you like.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:05 AM
Location: Coastal Connecticut
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Also, consider yourself lucky from a traffic perspective - it's not much of an issue commute-wise to Stratford.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:45 AM
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We have lived in Stratford for 5.5 years and really like it here.

Regarding dogs, everyone seems to have them here, and I always see people out and about walking them. There are a lot of places to take a dog for a long walk, too, in the nearby area (such as the rail trail in Trumbull). We even have an annual dog festival in the town green. We don't have dogs (yet), but we enjoy going every year.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:56 PM
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Thanks everyone! We are still deciding, but will keep everyone posted!
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:10 PM
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I know I'm late to the party, but my wife and I enjoyed the 5 years we lived in Stratford. It's very convenient to shopping and the vibe is very down to earth. I think Stratford has a lot of potential. We moved because the commute to Stamford was getting old, and we weren't thrilled with the schools.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:28 PM
Location: Milford, Connecticut
140 posts, read 206,581 times
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Stratford seems like an okay area in my opinion. I prefer Milford, which is one town over and has better schools (that perform at average or slightly above average). Milford has many great beaches, a nice town center, lots of shopping/dining options along Boston Post Road that carry over into Orange, and its family friendly. I love Milford's beaches, harbor, the duck ponds, the woodsy areas in the northern part, the suburbia vibe, and the people. I'm sure wherever you choose, you'll love. Stratford has many nice areas too.
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