U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Connecticut
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 04-29-2010, 07:11 AM
 
27 posts, read 45,932 times
Reputation: 23

Advertisements

Hi folks,
I have been reading this forum for over a month while my husband has been interviewing for a job in NYC. We currently live in Boston area, down route 3 - drivable to the ocean. It takes my husband 1 hour door to door for work - train to Boston. We have three children - almost 9, 7, almost 4 and expecting a baby in early September. The timing here is challenging. My husband is in the final phase of interviews for a position he is very excited about in NYC and we are trying to wrap our head around what a move like this could mean for our family. So, I am hoping you all can give me some straight info here -

1) I know the schools in Fairfield are strong, but it seems like many still send kids to private school. Any idea on why? Also, we currently live in a town that has 2 elementary schools and I am concerned about the size of Fairfield - is it easy to get to know people?

2) I have read the challenge in the train schedule/parking, etc. Do I understand the wait list is 5+ years?

3) We have a 4BR 2.5 colonial approx 3,000 SQ or so and would like the same. What is a realistic price to pay in Fairfield? From looking on line, it seems the 900 to 1m range. Which leads to my next question - cost of living.

4) I see the taxes listed but how high are the other costs - house insurance, car insurance, etc in that area? That may be unrealistic question as each situtation will be different. I am just trying to understand the increase in our true cost of living vs where we are now for salary negotiation, etc.

5) Family friendliness - my big fear is that I will be lonely. Hubby will be working in the city, long hours, and I want to make sure I am in a community where people are relatively friendly and welcoming. Is this true of Fairfield? We are pretty down to earth people who enjoy family time, biking, sports, swimming, walking etc.

6) What areas of Fairfield should we look to for a family type neighborhood with the type of home we are seeking? We would love to be able to walk to town. A quiet side street is important to us as we now live on a cul de sac. However, we would give up walking to town in order to have a family friendly neighborhood.

7) Drs - how would I find a new ob/gyn since I am due in September? As I said, the timing is challenging. Does anyone have any recommendations? Also, pediatricians, etc?

8) We will need some child care help - right now we have a large pool of sitters to help with the kids, etc. But, we would be starting from scratch and not know people. Thoughts on how to find child care? My husband obviously would not be home as much as the commute to the city would be longer and when starting a new job, hours longer, etc. With having a baby, I know we would need to line up help and wondering what resources folks use for that.

9) Lastly, I know I say Fairfield and I arrive at that town based on the feel I have for it (family members went to Fairfield U) and the reputation of the schools and the commute to NYC - I don't think we want any longer than that. However, if there are other thoughts on location, I am more than willing to consider other options.

Sorry for such a long post - as you may sense, we have a big decision facing us and I know there is no crystal ball, I just want to gather as much intel as possible before we make such a big decision/move.

Thanks so much!
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-29-2010, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
15,741 posts, read 21,986,671 times
Reputation: 5277
I don't have much time but I'll quickly type a reply.

1) Lots of people send their children to private schools simply because they can. Most of the public schools are excellent.

2) I believe the wait list for the Fairfield station is quite long. Better get your name on it ASAP. I know they are currently building a new station but I'm unsure what the parking situation would be there.

3) For 3,000 SF, that seems about right for Fairfield (~1m). Cost of living in southern FFC will likely be higher than Boston, though Fairfield is one of the most affordable due to the longer commute to NYC. If you wanted a shorter NYC commute, look into a section of Greenwich (Byram, Cos Cob, Old Greenwich or Riverside). All of these sections have their own train station that you can likely walk to. Darien is also another option. Keep in mind you will get much less for your money in these towns than Fairfield. IMO though, commuting daily to Manhattan from Fairfield would be extremely difficult and stressful.

4) CT has a car tax that depends on the assessed value of your vehicle and your town's mill rate. Last year I believe mine was ~$300.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-29-2010, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Fairfield
588 posts, read 1,626,585 times
Reputation: 275
First - congrats on the new baby!

Now, on to the questions...

1. In Fairfield, some people send their kids to Catholic private schools simply because of the religious aspect. As for secular private schools, those that can afford it (and some that cant) send their kids their in hopes of giving them a leg up on the competition... that by associating with wealthier kids they might make better contacts for later in life. The schools in Fairfield are top-notch (I won't get into whether or not they are "better" than some neighboring towns). They are consistently rated highly, and the fact that you are asking shows that you will have some involvement in your kids lives and they will do just fine.

2. Yes, the wait list for a parking permit is at least 5 years, as of today. However, if/when they complete construction on the new station, there will be 1500 permit spots available, which will knock off at least 50% of the wait list, if not more. There are plenty of options for daily parking, depending on the time of day that your husband will be commuting. In-station, there are $6 daily spots that fill up by 6:15 or so. Up the road a little, at the Knights of Columbus, are $4 daily spots that fill up by 7 or so. And on the far side of the station, on Mill Plain, is a satellite station lot for $6/day. Not sure if this ever fills up.

3. It all depends on the neighborhood, the street you'll be on, lot size, how up to date the house is, etc. That house could easily be $1.5m in Greenfield Hill, but in Stratfield about half that.

4. Insurance costs are pretty reasonable, at least to me, considering I moved from NJ which has the worst costs around. Homeowner's and car insurance can vary based on what you are insuring and for how much. As for taxes, these #'s will be changing next year as the town is re-appraising everyone. All appraisals were done in 2005, when the market was better than it is now. I expect a lot of houses will come down in appraised value, which will in turn lower the taxes. Not by a huge amount, but it should help.

5. In my experience, the people of Fairfield are very friendly. Some may just be friendly enough to say hello as they pass by, hoping to keep to themselves. Others will be inviting you over their house the day after you move in. It all depends on the street, your neighbors, and how friendly you are. Now that it's warming up, you'll see a lot more people outdoors with their families.

6. You have a couple of options for "walking to town" - there's the area around the train station on Post Road or the shopping area on Black Rock Turnpike. There are a ton of side streets and cul de sac's to choose from, but your best bet is to take a quick trip down and drive around some of the neighborhoods, particularly if the weather is supposed to be nice. If you have a local realtor, ask them to take you around or at least plan a drive for you to explore on your own if you want to do it by yourselves.

7a. OB - Ob Gyn Specialty Group in Bridgeport (next town over). They came highly recommended by a close friends father who has been a cardiologist in the area for 30+ years. They delivered my son 18 months ago, and will be delivering my next child in November. We use Dr. Darak, but they have 6 or 7 doctors in the practice that they rotate you to see for your OB appointments, just so you know them in case of a middle of the night delivery and you have the on-call doctor instead of your regular one. All the doctors are good, so you can't go wrong. They are affiliated with St. Vincent's Hospital (in Bridgeport), not Bridgeport Hospital, which may or may not make a difference for you. Bridgeport Hospital has a top-tier NICU, but St. V's is a little bit nicer and more modern (and you get a private room when you deliver). And, the hospitals are less than 10 mins away from each other.

7b. As for pediatrician - PHA (pediatric healthcare associates) is great as well. They are in Fairfield, with offices in Southport and Trumbull. We use Dr. Jalkut, who is an amazing doctor. She's very friendly and great with my son, very knowledgeable, and was very patient with the thousands of questions we'd fire off at her, especially at the beginning. I never feel rushed out of the appointment like I do with my own doctor.

8. Not the easiest thing to find, but the best way is to ask around your neighborhood when you get here. My wife works from home full time, and we have a few people that come to watch our 18 month old in the mornings and again in the afternoon after his nap. I do the commute into NYC, so I know where you're coming from in terms of hunting for help. Another option is checking with the local colleges (Fairfield U and Sacred Heart are in town), and asking for anyone in child development or education majors looking for some part time babysitting gigs.

9. There are probably other towns closer to NYC that you would also really like (Westport, Darien, New Canaan, etc.), but it all depends on your budget and the tolerance for commuting time. The train from Fairfield is about 70 minutes, on average, and each town closer shaves a few minutes off. But, each town closer also costs a lot more $$.

Hope this helped... feel free to DM me if you have more specific questions.

-- Todd
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-29-2010, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
220 posts, read 441,544 times
Reputation: 102
To follow up on Todd's answer to #8 - When I was at Fairfield U, there was a babysitting board in the campus center. It appears to have moved into a babysitting list (http://eidos.fairfield.edu/Jobs/Employer/index.cfm) managed by the student association, plus a phone number to call regarding childcare. A Google search for 'Fairfield U babysitting' also turned up a few results on babysitting websites. Many of my classmates were interested in babysitting to earn extra money.

Good luck with your decision!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-29-2010, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
15,741 posts, read 21,986,671 times
Reputation: 5277
Quote:
Originally Posted by toddb View Post
9. There are probably other towns closer to NYC that you would also really like (Westport, Darien, New Canaan, etc.), but it all depends on your budget and the tolerance for commuting time. The train from Fairfield is about 70 minutes, on average, and each town closer shaves a few minutes off. But, each town closer also costs a lot more $$.

Hope this helped... feel free to DM me if you have more specific questions.

-- Todd
Great post, Todd.

I just want to add that while the train is 70 minutes, one must take into consideration time to get to the station, waiting on the platform, and your walk/ride to the office. This can easily add another 40 minutes onto that commute.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-29-2010, 08:45 AM
 
27 posts, read 45,932 times
Reputation: 23
I love this forum and all of you very helpful people. I know I am being very "detail" oriented, or as my husband might say sometimes, a pain!, but I just want to have as much info as possible so we can make the best decision for our family. Your replies are VERY helpful and I very much appreciate the input.

I am concerned about the commute for my husband and what it will do to our family time, but I also want to be certain we live in a community that we are comfortable in and that is family friendly. The information on the drs, sitters and neighborhoods are all extremely appreciated. Todd, I will be in touch!

Thanks!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-29-2010, 09:02 AM
 
8,780 posts, read 16,240,408 times
Reputation: 5219
Quote:
Originally Posted by 123MA View Post
I love this forum and all of you very helpful people. I know I am being very "detail" oriented, or as my husband might say sometimes, a pain!, but I just want to have as much info as possible so we can make the best decision for our family.
I don't have anything else to add to the fine pointers that you've already received above. I just wanted to note that being "detailed" is appreciated. You wouldn't believe how many people come on here asking for info, but don't provide us with much pertinent information about their needs. It's like pulling teeth sometimes.

Good luck with your search, and don't hesitate to ask further questions.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-29-2010, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Fairfield
588 posts, read 1,626,585 times
Reputation: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by inetlom View Post
To follow up on Todd's answer to #8 - When I was at Fairfield U, there was a babysitting board in the campus center. It appears to have moved into a babysitting list (http://eidos.fairfield.edu/Jobs/Employer/index.cfm) managed by the student association, plus a phone number to call regarding childcare. A Google search for 'Fairfield U babysitting' also turned up a few results on babysitting websites. Many of my classmates were interested in babysitting to earn extra money.

Good luck with your decision!
Unfortunately it looks like they don't have anything with babysitters any more on that site...


We will no longer accept non-professional part-time and non-professional summer jobs on this forum. We also no longer accept Baby Sitting Jobs.

For child care positions please contact the Dept. of Student Life at 203-254-4000 ext. 3288. Their fax number is: 203-254-4267. For a list of students who participate in babysitting call FUSA (Fairfield University Student Association) after Oct.1st. The FUSA phone number is: 203-254-4000 x3872.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-29-2010, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Fairfield
588 posts, read 1,626,585 times
Reputation: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidyankee764 View Post
Great post, Todd.

I just want to add that while the train is 70 minutes, one must take into consideration time to get to the station, waiting on the platform, and your walk/ride to the office. This can easily add another 40 minutes onto that commute.
Very good point...I forgot that one! If you're walking distance from Grand Central, the overall commute from Fairfield isn't terrible. My wife was commuting to Tribeca for a little while, and it added 40 minutes to her commute after she got to Grand Central...a definite nightmare for long term.

My wife drives me the train every day (about 7-10 mins, depending on traffic), plus a few minutes waiting, then the trip in (lately even the usually reliable express trains are running 75-80 mins), plus a 3-5 minute walk to my office, turns into a 1h30+ commute. Round trip, that's a ton of time not being with my family. And with the trains so crowded lately, it's been difficult to get work done. So I end up reading, which is nice and relaxing, but still I'd rather be home already.

OP - if your husband was "just ok" with the 1 hr door to door commute up there, he will not be happy long term with the 1h30+ commute from Fairfield. It's draining over time (I don't know how people do it for 20+ years). Personally, if we could afford it I would try to pick up a little less house/land to shorten the commute time. If you have some flexibility in your budget, look into some of the town closer to NYC. The MTA site - mta.info - will give you the train schedules and length of the trip.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-29-2010, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
220 posts, read 441,544 times
Reputation: 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by toddb View Post
Unfortunately it looks like they don't have anything with babysitters any more on that site...


We will no longer accept non-professional part-time and non-professional summer jobs on this forum. We also no longer accept Baby Sitting Jobs.

For child care positions please contact the Dept. of Student Life at 203-254-4000 ext. 3288. Their fax number is: 203-254-4267. For a list of students who participate in babysitting call FUSA (Fairfield University Student Association) after Oct.1st. The FUSA phone number is: 203-254-4000 x3872.
Right - I was referencing the number, sorry for the confusion.

There is a member of the student association who handles the babysitting list as part of their responsibilities so I would advise the OP to check back with them in October.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Connecticut
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top