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Old 05-07-2014, 11:35 AM
 
9 posts, read 15,558 times
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Hello,

So I have to relocate to CT for a job in Westport. Obviously Westport is over the top expensive, and out of reach for 99% of people... are there any nice, safe areas within an our commute that are more affordable?

Some background, my wife and I are in our late 20's, and we have an 14 month old daughter. We would like to be somewhere that is more "suburbs" than urban.

We would like to rent a 2-3 bedroom home for around $1,500 per mo.

Is Danbury nice? I have been looking there and have found a few leads, but I don't know what the town is like. We will be in Westport for the entire week next week, and I would love to be able to narrow down our search and only focus on "good" areas.

Even though were in our late 20's, we would like to be somewhere quiet and safe, where we can take our daughter for walks and to the playground, etc. We're basically old farts!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:17 PM
Status: "Still here" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Connecticut
22,387 posts, read 36,930,870 times
Reputation: 6060
Parts of Danbury are nice. Danbury is an old mill town, known for making hats when they were in fashion. The core of the city is a bit tired but outside of that it has some nice more suburban neighborhoods. Danbury has a great regional shopping mall and most major shopping and entertainment needs. I think it would be a good location for you to consider.

Also note that there is another thread with someone asking a similar question. In that thread, I had recommended looking in Fairfield, Bridgeport and Stratford. Since you do not want an urban area, you may want to skip Bridgeport but both Fairfield and Stratford are nice. Milford is another good suggestion. Jay
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
13,366 posts, read 16,016,849 times
Reputation: 2851
I used to work in Westport for 5 years. I lived in Bethel and then moved to Milford. Both were pretty easy commutes. Even on bad days from Milford, there are backroads on the Merritt you can take.

Most of my young colleagues that wanted to buy would go to Shelton or Milford. They were definitely the most popular choices. Downtown Milford would be a great place for you to rent. It's very family friendly with tons of family-orientated events (a Duck Race, Pirate Day, parades, art/craft fairs, carnivals, festivals, etc), playgrounds, sports fields, duck ponds, walking trails, a train to NYC, cute shops, etc. within walking distance.

Some also moved to Trumbull, but it's more expensive. A few went to Stratford, although the schools are not as good as Shelton or Milford. A handful settled in Bethel. I would not recommend Danbury as the Route 7 commute can be very frustrating - a few colleagues I know hated it and actually preferred the Merritt commute - and the schools aren't great. Also, I grew up in the Danbury area and find it a little "blah" compared to the southern FFC and coastal towns. There's a few nice parks, but many can be kind of trashy and the town's greatest asset is probably the mall. And the lake if you own a boat (the beaches are marginal at best)

For renting, you also may be able to afford Fairfield if you can compromise on the size of the place a bit. It's a fantastic town, characteristics are similar to Milford but it's wealthier.

Lastly, if a quick commute is a priority, Norwalk could work - although the schools are so-so and only parts are as family friendly as other towns mentioned. It's also more congested and not as quiet for the most part.
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Old 05-07-2014, 01:28 PM
 
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lots of hiring in Westport going on, it seems? 2 threads in one day?

Welcome to the area. I'd agree with Milford and Shelton as good options.
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Old 05-07-2014, 01:43 PM
 
1,692 posts, read 1,438,854 times
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Looks like Connecticut is growing in specific industries and if you are in those fields, it is a fine place to be. Ultimately it comes down to your trade and if it works here, makes little difference what other people might say.
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:04 PM
 
8,783 posts, read 15,366,749 times
Reputation: 5203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stylo View Post
A few went to Stratford, although the schools are not as good as Shelton or Milford.
Please just stop with that nonsense already. Milford(as well as Stratford) are just marginal school districts for CT. See the SAT scores from last year? Do you see that Bunnell with a 54/46 student distribution beat Law(with a 81/19 distribution) across the board!

Well, at least Foran with a 89/11 distribution beat Bunnell........






.........By a stinkin 2 whole points.

Bottom line. Milford has poor performing schools.


The End. Have a nice day.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratford, Ct. Resident View Post

Joseph A. Foran High School
2013 496 486 499

Jonathan Law High School
2013 485 488 487

Stratford High School
2013 474 464 471

Bunnell High School
2013 488 497 494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratford, Ct. Resident View Post

Ethnicity This school State average

Joseph A. Foran High School
White 89% 62%
Hispanic 4% 19%
Asian 3% 4%
Black 3% 13%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Two or more races 0% 1%

Jonathan Law High School
White 81% 62%
Hispanic 7% 19%
Black 6% 13%
Asian 5% 4%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Two or more races 0% 1%

Stratford High School
White 45% 62%
Black 27% 13%
Hispanic 25% 19%
Asian 3% 4%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Two or more races 0% 1%

Bunnell High School
White 54% 62%
Hispanic 22% 19%
Black 21% 13%
Asian 2% 4%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Two or more races 0% 1%

I look at these SAT scores and the racial makeup of the student body and i ask myself: Is one town really overachieving? Or is one town really underachieving?
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:16 PM
 
8,783 posts, read 15,366,749 times
Reputation: 5203
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnneffde View Post
We would like to rent a 2-3 bedroom home for around $1,500 per mo.
I'm guessing Danbury would be the only true possibility for a decent 3Br. house at your budget. You might find some listings in Bethel or Shelton, but i wouldn't get my hopes up. While Bridgeport does have "nice" safe areas that might meet your budget, i can't recommend looking there.
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
13,366 posts, read 16,016,849 times
Reputation: 2851
I don't think either district is "marginal". That's crazy. I know a lot of successful people that came out of both school districts with no major complaints. Went to good colleges, got good jobs. Sent their kids to the same schools. Milford high schools definitely have room for improvement on SAT performance given the demographics. No argument there.

The OP won't need schools for a while, but when they do - Milford grade schools do outperform Stratford's on the CMT's on nearly every occasion. Also disciplinary offenses in Stratford schools are significantly higher. The Bridgeport spillover effect is very real. I don't think Stratford elementary schools are "marginal" though. Bridgeport's range from marginal to poor.

The budget works in many of these towns if a detached single family home isn't a requirement.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:03 PM
 
1,692 posts, read 1,438,854 times
Reputation: 975
And the cost of living is cheap in comparison to the Boroughs of New York City
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:34 AM
 
9 posts, read 15,558 times
Reputation: 12
thank you for the advice everyone, I have been researching Milford a lot and it seems to be very nice. As Stylo says, I have a couple of years before schools become a factor so that is not the biggest deal.

I appreciate all of the feedback!
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