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Old 02-03-2008, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Palm Coast, FL & Floral Park, NY
563 posts, read 1,666,238 times
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Default Western CT/New Milford/Southeastern NY border

Hello everyone--

I need a few tips and any guidance anyone can offer. This past weekend (Saturday), my fiancee and I took a drive around the New Milford area. More on that on a second. Basically, we have begun to seriously consider where we want to settle together. We have kept our options open and initially decided to take a look at Orange county, NY. Long story short, we weren't feeling it. We then moved east driving on 84 and then Mr. Garmin navigated us onto Route 311 and through some back roads of Putnam County. We passed through Patterson, NY and some other small town areas before crossing over into CT. No fancy welcome signs to let us know, other than seeing the border on the GPS map and a sign for Sherman, CT. We then drove along Route 37 winding all around and down into route 7 where we entered New Milford. This drive was a great drive. What a nice area we drove through. I could see myself living there as I was driving. We took a quick detour onto N. Candlewood lake road to see a house my fiancee's aunt lived in at one point years ago. Both my fiancee and her aunt have fond memories of the area. Very nice homes up in there. We then drove down Route 7, stopping off at a Big Y supermarket to get something quick. It gave us a chance to see the local folks go about the day. This is a big thing for my fiancee. She has to see the people in the areas we visit. It gives her a good sense of the area she tells me. Maybe she is looking to see if people are normal. Who knows. By the way, they were normal . IMO, the impression I got was that most people looked happy and relaxed. I do not really get that impression when I am back home. The girl at the customer service counter was very polite and easy going to talk with. We then proceeded down Route 7 and as it was getting dark, we decided to head home. Since we could not see too much at that point, we plan to go back to explore New Milford and neighboring Brookfield, as well as other areas in two weeks. We both really liked the area. It all just felt right for us from the location to the conveniences and we want to explore it more and get a better idea of what we are up against. Now if you are still reading, here is my question: What to I do next? Do I continue driving the areas to get a "feel" for what I like and don't like? Do I contact any real estate agencies to get some information on the area(s)? How do I pick one...just walk in and say Hey? Lastly, is there any significant differences between the Putnam county towns in NY and the CT towns that I may not be aware of? I am not looking to do anything in the immediate future, but within the next 6-9 months I will be. I do not want to waste anyone's time, but I do not know what my next set of steps should be when scouting new areas. There is only so much you can get from driving around. We have done a lot of talking about places and such, both in NY and CT. My roommate from college lives in West hartford so he has given me some info on that area. We have been up there and its nice. Very walkable...kinda like Long Island towns. We also drove to the eastern (of Hartford) towns of CT (Enfield, Tolland etc), a few months back ...october maybe? Nice areas over there too....I had no idea where I was going but just driving around and seeing the area, it was very nice. I went to college in CT so I am relatively familiar with the state. I guess any guidance, suggestions or insight anyone may have would be appreciated. You see, I am currently in FL teaching and my fiancee is a nurse on Long island. (We were both born and raised there). My contract ends at the end of the school year this summer. At that point, I will be heading back north and we will hopefully have a better idea of where life will take us. We would really like it if CT works out. Thanks WAY in advance to anyone with any tips and guidance.

Joe
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Old 02-04-2008, 04:14 AM
 
Location: Tolland County- Northeastern CT
4,455 posts, read 1,982,610 times
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As you found out there is a difference 'visually' once you cross the border from NY state into Connecticut. The sign you see may be unobtrusive and small- but the the general layout and spatial distances of human development aka 'House Form & Culture are distinctly New England, and this is seen right over the state line. This kind of visual change, house form, roads and human population density is one of the geographic 'signatures' to the New England landscape which includes its towns/cities, farms, roads and other distinct visual reference points.

If you enjoyed western Connecticut- the best thing to do is to spend a wee more time in the region-perhaps a weekend, in a final evaluative process. Contacting a local Realtor of integrity in the region should be no problem- it all comes down to personal preference and trust.

The difference between Putnam county NY and Litchfield/Fairfield county in Connecticut will be as I alluded to before- are visual and spatial with regards to population density; transportation patterns, settlement and architectural styles. Economically, Taxes will be higher in NY for real estate, and just about everything else.

Last edited by skytrekker; 02-04-2008 at 05:55 AM..
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
13,838 posts, read 21,178,973 times
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Even though you drove through New Milford, it sounds like you may have missed the best part - the Town Green. New Milford has a wonderful little downtown just across the river from the Big Y. It was featured in the Adam Sandler movie Mr. Deeds. Definitely worth a trip to see.

In addtion to checking the area out, I would start looking into jobs in the area. Being a teacher, you should be able to find a job in one of the area school systems. Your fiancee should also start to look for nursing postions in the area. There is a small hospital in New Milford and a larger one in Danbury. Plus there are a number of medical offices and nursing homes that may be good. Good luck, Jay
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:03 AM
 
539 posts, read 1,240,237 times
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Keep driving north on 202 as well...New Preston is one cool spot. Lake Waramaug...that's about the closest thing (IMHO) to a Connecticut utopia.
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Colorado
309 posts, read 726,622 times
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I grew up in New Milford, so I'm quite familiar with the area. I can't tell you as much about the taxes, since I never owned anything there though. I would check out the other smaller towns surrounding New Milford, since New Milford seems to be building everywhere, and taking up as much available land as they can. Since I grew up there when it was still a fairly small town, it's really hard to see all of the building going on now. My parents still live there so I'm in the area a couple of times a year. But anyway, it was a nice town when I lived there, and the school system was pretty good. I still love going to the "green". Depending on what you can afford, I'd check out Sherman, Washington, New Preston or Bridgewater if you want more of a small town. Roxbury is really nice, but I know that used to be a lot more pricey than New Milford.

Best of luck to you with your decision!
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Cheshire, Conn.
2,102 posts, read 4,927,168 times
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Hi Samrai309,

I am familiar with the towns that you mentioned. Putnam County has seen a lot of growth over the last 20 years. Its housing prices are a direct result of the spill-over from Westchester County.

The eastern Putnam County towns of Patterson, Kent (Lake Carmel), Southeast (Brewster), and Carmel (including Mahopac) are very desirable since they provide easy access to Metro North - Harlem Line and I-684.

I know what you mean about crossing from Patterson into New Fairfield especially at Putnam Lake. It's not much different in Pawling at Quaker Hill or Wingdale along Route 55 - there are no signs! The roads take a turn for the worse in Connecticut. Growing up, we always thought it was because Connecticut didn't have an income tax. The road signs along secondary roads were often unreadable where the laminate had peeled and flaked away from the plywood!

The roads are a lot better now. I don't think anybody takes Route 6 from Brewster to Danbury. This used to be quicker in the '80s when the traffic for Exit 5 backed up about 1 1/2 miles leaving I-84 with one lane eastbound during rush hour.

You have to cross into New York from Route 55 in Sherman. The size of the NYS sign would make one think (s)he is coming in from I-84!

Getting back to the towns: Patterson, however, is more like the southern Dutchess County towns of Beekman, Pawling, and Dover. As a matter of fact, it's ZIP coded as part of Dutchess County (125xx). Also, its phone prefix isn't in keeping with the Westchester-Putnam convention where the first two numbers translate to the location name (225 - CArmel 5, 279 - BRewster 9, 265 - COld Spring 5, etc.). In the late '80s, Putnam County officials proposed a county dump to be located in Patterson. Patterson town officials threatened to secede the town from Putnam County to join Dutchess County.

Over in Connecticut, Sherman is very rural and exclusive. I believe students attend New Fairfield or New Milford High School. New Fairfield makes full use of Lake Candlewood. The downtown hasn't been influenced by the growth of neighboring Danbury or Brookfield. Most of the retail in New Milford is along Route 7 with some along Route 202 south of Northville. New Milford is the largest town in Connecticut. If you are comparing towns between the two states, I would compare New Milford to Carmel.

As for what to do next, I would say to get maps, list a few things of importance (home repair center, church, post office, library, restaurants), then use Garmin to find them. Some folks like these things to be close together; others don't mind.

Rich
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Danbury CT covering all of Fairfield County
1,774 posts, read 3,531,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Lee View Post
The roads are a lot better now. I don't think anybody takes Route 6 from Brewster to Danbury. This used to be quicker in the '80s when the traffic for Exit 5 backed up about 1 1/2 miles leaving I-84 with one lane eastbound during rush hour.


Over in Connecticut, Sherman is very rural and exclusive. I believe students attend New Fairfield or New Milford High School. New Fairfield makes full use of Lake Candlewood. The downtown hasn't been influenced by the growth of neighboring Danbury or Brookfield. Most of the retail in New Milford is along Route 7 with some along Route 202 south of Northville. New Milford is the largest town in Connecticut. If you are comparing towns between the two states, I would compare New Milford to Carmel.

As for what to do next, I would say to get maps, list a few things of importance (home repair center, church, post office, library, restaurants), then use Garmin to find them. Some folks like these things to be close together; others don't mind.

Rich
People still take route 6 from Brewster into Danbury, particularly on Friday evenings when I-84 is packed. Anyway, Sherman is very rural. The average list price today (per CMLS) is a tad over a million dollars but the average market time is a little bit over 6 months! All of the listings I see say the high school is per board or ed or choice.

New Fairfield did recently have a shopping center built just north of downtown with a Big Y that is pretty nice. New Milford is getting built up a bit with shopping and new construction homes.
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Old 02-04-2008, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Palm Coast, FL & Floral Park, NY
563 posts, read 1,666,238 times
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Well thanks in advance to each of you who responded so far.

Skytrekker and JayCT--

I was hoping both of you would chime in. Sky I agree with the trip back up as that is what I am planning on doing in two weeks. Presidents day weekend....we will drive around and I am considering staying over a day or so before shooting over to Mohegan Sun for a concert on Monday evening. One quick question--with regard to contacting a local realtor of integrity in the area...I am sure there are lots of great people but how do I go about finding a respectful and reputable agency that will genuinely be interested in my situation and its best interests? Is there a way for me to see who is more experienced in the area? Do I just go into the area and go to a few and see who I am most comfortable with? At this point, as far as I know, I have no friends or relatives who have any connections or friends in the area.

JayCT, What is the Town Green? I did go across the bridge and past the downtown to take a look at the hospital real quick. We then drove back on Elm St? or turned on to it. I think there were some store fronts to our left as we were driving. My fiancee said her aunt had a business there way back when. As for the Mr. Deeds info, I remember hearing that but always forget. I will have to pay attention to the details and see if I recognize anything. I have begun to look into the area schools and I will see about her compiling some info on the hospitals. I personally have taught in catholic schools since I went to them for my school career as a student. I feel comfortable there and even though pay is more in the public schools, sometimes it may not be worth the extra red tape and headaches a public school beauracracy gives you--plus I would rather do something I enjoy where I feel happy with the atmosphere than make more money. Thanks again guys.


JiminCT--Thanks for the suggestions I will definitely check them out.


Sleddog905--I appreciate your personal take on the area. I understand how you feel about all the building and how its hard to see it. It kills me when I see it down here in FL. All the natural beauty is plowed over. I welcome your advice and will look into your suggestions as well.

Rich Lee--Thanks for the little history lesson on the area. I liked the threat to secede from Putnam county for Dutchess ITs like Quebec threatening Canada or Vermont threatening the US LOL. I noticed a lot of the businesses on Route 7. I knew it was the business area. I think I read that Costco wants to build another store down the road from the one they have there? Is that true? I can see that area could potentially get VERY congested with more stores or bigger relocations for the existing stores but for a lazy late saturday afternoon, the traffic all around was not too bad IMO. Good tip with the Garmin about the local stuff. I did not even think of that. It does not really matter to me how close all the stuff is but now I am curious so I will check all of that stuff out. By the way, I know there is reservoir and water shed areas in Putnam county but is there some sort of state park either in CT, or NY? THere was an awful lot of woods as we drove around Route 37. Thanks again.

JDHall1--A tad over a million huh? Is that all? Pocket Change LOL
I would have never suspected that. Whats your take on the building out of New Milford and the area? Is it steady? Slowing? You think its going to have a negative impact on the area quality of life wise? Has it had any negative impacts? Thanks again for your input.

Joe
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Danbury CT covering all of Fairfield County
1,774 posts, read 3,531,565 times
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[quote=Samrai309;2724459

JDHall1--A tad over a million huh? Is that all? Pocket Change LOL
I would have never suspected that. Whats your take on the building out of New Milford and the area? Is it steady? Slowing? You think its going to have a negative impact on the area quality of life wise? Has it had any negative impacts? Thanks again for your input.

Joe[/QUOTE]

Joe,

Actually the average list price is $1,005,176 (per CMLS). The average list price is swayed substainally by the 7 of homes currently under construction or for sale in the River Oaks Country Club with the average list price being close to $1.4 million and a few large estates on Candlewood Lake. There are 11 homes (of the 42 for sale) that are under $500,000.

I suspect much of the new devolpment in New Milford has been done in advance of the completion of the the Route 7 bypass (main north south road) which will save commuters between 5-10 minutes on their commutes. New Milford has led the state in terms of % of population growth since 1970. Since New Milford has is the largest town in the state, in terms of square miles, it also does have the most undevolped land in the greater Danbury area.About a 1/3rd of the homes currently for sale in New Milford have been built (or currently under construction) since 2000. There have been no major 500-600 home subdivisions built like places in the west. A dozen homes do have the year built date as this year. I have not seen many new notices for any large new subdivisions coming in, but I would have to check with the town to confirm.

As a Realtor, I can't say if the new devolpment has been for a postive impact or negative impact in terms of the schools or crime.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Tolland County- Northeastern CT
4,455 posts, read 1,982,610 times
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Samrai309

Finding a professional reputable real estate agent can be a task that can be considered bewildering. I met a couple here over the summer, who came to eastern CT for a visit. They loved Tolland county and fell in love with the area- previously in the Washington DC area for 30 plus years- they wanted out of that rat race.

They where seeking a 55 and over community- I suggested some new construction locally- and they contacted 2 agents. They where most pleased with both- who have had a long career and excellent reputation.

They are closing on their new home at the end of the month- are are happy beyond joy.
Since I am not familiar with western CT realtor's- (and I am not a Realtor) I hope someone here can make some suggestions.
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