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Old 07-07-2009, 05:46 AM
 
62 posts, read 196,687 times
Reputation: 30

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Hi!

My husband and I currently live in NC, but are looking to relocate closer to family in New York State. I am hoping some of you can help with some of the questions I have...

First, one of the reasons I'm not thrilled w/Charlotte is the number of cookie-cutter houses and big box stores and restaurants that prevail. I am looking to live in or near a "walkable" town/small city with character (some older buildings, ethnic restaurants, independent-type stores)

Second, we are not rich. Our maximum budget is $300K. We are willing to live in something smaller and/or older if we can be in a location that will fit what we're looking for; we'd be fine with living in a townhouse.

Also, good schools will be important in the future, as we plan on having kids relatively soon (hopefully).

I have heard West Hartford is nice. Opinions or any other suggestions?
We would prefer to be in commutable distance to a larger city in CT (i.E. Hartford) for jobs.

Thanks so much for any input you may have!!
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Fairfield
588 posts, read 1,619,055 times
Reputation: 275
The best advice I can give is to first find a job, before coming up here. Then look for the towns around it based on your tolerance for commute times. You don't want to buy a home, then find a job thats 90+ minutes away.

Your budget will not get you much of anything in Fairfield County, but there are plenty of other areas of the state that you can get a nice place for that price, and not sacrifice decent schools.

Since you don't have kids yet, they won't need the local schools for a number of years. You might be better off finding something without schools as a good criteria, and then in 4 or 5 years upgrade to a better district. That will give you some time to save some $$ and get into a district you couldnt afford today.
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Farmington Valley, CT
502 posts, read 1,169,217 times
Reputation: 331
I think you might like West Hartford... it's walkable and has character/older unique homes, lots of shopping and services. I would visit the area first, as it is quite different from NC. (I'm currently renting in the Raleigh area until we're ready to build/buy again in CT). Culturally it's quite different in many respects, so is the weather, etc. But if you have family in New York then you're probably aware of that. CT is quite expensive compared to NC in the way of housing; what you get for the $$$. (We're enjoying the $aving$ down here while renting!) I think you would definitely enjoy the character if you're looking to escape "cookie cutter" housing. West Hartford has many lovely Tudor and Colonial Revival homes.
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
3,402 posts, read 8,939,519 times
Reputation: 2006
Try Middletown also.
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:47 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,927 times
Reputation: 10
Default West Hartford

I think you would love West Hartford, I know I do. My Husband's son and daughter-in-law live there and it's a great town with lots of character and a wonderful downtown. There's a reason for this though and unfortunately it's taxes. They pay 5-6 thousand a year and it's still going up. Also you aren't going to much house for your budget.

We currently live in Indiana and are thinking of relocating south. Maybe you could tell me something about NC. My husband is looking for Mayberry of the 1950's but I would like just a little more action. A walkable town with shops and outdoor dining, bookstores etc. We looked at Greenville, but it's a little too young and slick for us. We're retired so work isn't an issue.
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
3,402 posts, read 8,939,519 times
Reputation: 2006
Pspade, check this topic where I posted some general towns of interest in NC:

Looking to Re-Locate to North Carolina from Boston-Suggestions?
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
420 posts, read 998,086 times
Reputation: 328
West Hartford does have many ethnic restaurants and a great downtown, but it IS also filled with chain restaurants, big box stores, and cookie-cutter houses. So, it's really up to your preference. In your price range, and based on your requests, I would suggest the following towns:

Commutable to Hartford:

Colchester
Glastonbury (more specifically, South Glastonbury)
Middletown

Good luck!
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,323 posts, read 39,783,673 times
Reputation: 6838
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctcoldplay11 View Post
West Hartford does have many ethnic restaurants and a great downtown, but it IS also filled with chain restaurants, big box stores, and cookie-cutter houses. So, it's really up to your preference. In your price range, and based on your requests, I would suggest the following towns:

Commutable to Hartford:

Colchester
Glastonbury (more specifically, South Glastonbury)
Middletown

Good luck!
Chain restaurants, big box stores and cookie-cutter homes in West Hartford??? Are you kidding? I am not sure where you think these are in West Hartford. If anything I would say the EXACT opposite. West Hartford has some of the best non-chain restaurants in the state. West Hartford Center is the typical old-fashioned downtown area. Blue Back Square is a life-style center that has been integrated into the downtown area with retail, entertainment, offices and apartments. Nothing big box or cookie cutter about it. Most neighborhoods are charming older homes but nothing (and I mean nothing) like the vast developments of real cookie cutter homes down south or out west. West Hartford would be aa wonderful place to move to. But I agree to find employment first. Jay
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:27 PM
Status: "I Gotta Feelin'" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: East Tennessee and Atlanta
2,987 posts, read 8,214,160 times
Reputation: 1746
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
Chain restaurants, big box stores and cookie-cutter homes in West Hartford??? Are you kidding? I am not sure where you think these are in West Hartford. If anything I would say the EXACT opposite. West Hartford has some of the best non-chain restaurants in the state. West Hartford Center is the typical old-fashioned downtown area. Blue Back Square is a life-style center that has been integrated into the downtown area with retail, entertainment, offices and apartments. Nothing big box or cookie cutter about it. Most neighborhoods are charming older homes but nothing (and I mean nothing) like the vast developments of real cookie cutter homes down south or out west. West Hartford would be aa wonderful place to move to. But I agree to find employment first. Jay
I agree completely, Jay. I was up in West Hartford back in May, and it is the complete opposite of most cookie-cutter, big box subdivisions.
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,184 posts, read 25,179,207 times
Reputation: 24920
Hiya!

First of all, I agree with Jay 100%.

Secondly, I live in West Hartford, so if you have any specific questions, I'd be glad to answer them if I can.

PS. You can get quite a nice house for $300K in WH these days. Not a Tudor on Prospect Avenue, but a nice 3BR/2BA house in a nice neighborhood.
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