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Old 05-20-2010, 12:57 PM
 
13 posts, read 45,961 times
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My husband has just received a job offer in the Wall St area of Manhattan that would require us to relocate. We would like to be in CT, but our concern is that an affordable community in our price range would be too far of a commute to work for my husband.

Ideally we would want:
- a commute time of no more than 1 hour(ish) door to door
- a 3-4 bdrm home less than $650,000 with decent schools for our 2 young children

I am aware of Stamford as an option, but have heard the schools are not that good. Everything else in lower Fairfield seems too pricey.

I would love to hear any opinions on any aspect of our situation. Is Stamford worthwhile? Are there any affordable areas I haven't considered? Are there any people currently making the commute who can offer some insight? Are there any other commuting options outside of Metro-North to the subway?

Thank you in advance for any comments or suggestions!
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:40 AM
 
Location: The brown house on the cul de sac
2,081 posts, read 4,120,151 times
Reputation: 9305
[quote=Luckyduck88;14262872Ideally we would want:
- a commute time of no more than 1 hour(ish) door to door
- a 3-4 bdrm home less than $650,000 with decent schools for our 2 young children

I am aware of Stamford as an option, but have heard the schools are not that good. Everything else in lower Fairfield seems too pricey.

[/quote]

Norwalk has some very nice neighborhoods in your price range and the commute would be about an hour. Norwalk has some issues with schools predominantly at the high school level so at that age you would probably want to send your kids to private school.

Ridgefield and Westport would be two other towns to consider. Schools are excellent. I don't know about the commute times, though.
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Fairfield
588 posts, read 1,626,585 times
Reputation: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckyduck88 View Post
My husband has just received a job offer in the Wall St area of Manhattan that would require us to relocate. We would like to be in CT, but our concern is that an affordable community in our price range would be too far of a commute to work for my husband.

Ideally we would want:
- a commute time of no more than 1 hour(ish) door to door
- a 3-4 bdrm home less than $650,000 with decent schools for our 2 young children

I am aware of Stamford as an option, but have heard the schools are not that good. Everything else in lower Fairfield seems too pricey.

I would love to hear any opinions on any aspect of our situation. Is Stamford worthwhile? Are there any affordable areas I haven't considered? Are there any people currently making the commute who can offer some insight? Are there any other commuting options outside of Metro-North to the subway?

Thank you in advance for any comments or suggestions!
Commute from Grand Central to the Wall Street area could easily be 25+ minutes (plus walking, depending on how far the office is from the train). From Stamford to Grand Central is at least 30, more like 40, minutes in the morning rush. Then you have to factor in time to the train, parking, waiting, etc. All in, 1h20+.

There are no other options that I know of - there are some Amtrak trains, but that wouldn't help you at all. I had heard rumors a long time ago of a ferry coming from Bridgeport to the East side of Manhattan (E30-something has a ferry dock) and to Pier 11...but I think that's a pipe dream at this point. Too bad - even if it wouldn't cut down on commuting time, riding a boat to work is so much more enjoyable than sitting on a train.

You could probably find a decent home at that price point in Stamford, but the schools from what I hear are terrible.

You might have more luck looking at towns in NJ such as Chatham, Summit, Millburn, Maplewood... you can get a very nice home in a town with great schools, and there are direct trains to Penn Station (transfer to subway) or to Hoboken (transfer to the PATH or the Ferry). Total commute times would be about an hour. Looking in NJ would also protect your husband in case his job gets moved to Jersey City (a very popular option for financial firms as Wall Street real estate prices are so high).
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:20 AM
 
11,151 posts, read 13,791,023 times
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If your heart is set on Connecticut, I'll second Ridgefield as a good location -- a quick MLS search gave me 115 homes priced at <$650,000, and the schools are highly regarded. The commute will be more than an hour, though.
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:10 PM
 
13 posts, read 45,961 times
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Thanks renovating, toddb and Dark of the Moon. So, are the schools in Norwalk better than Stamford? I had sort of thought they were on par with each other.
I had not considered Ridgefield, but will look into it.
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,570 posts, read 40,120,453 times
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Scores for both Stamford and Norwalk on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test are comparable. Both cities score below the state averages. you can find mor einformation on schools in Connecticut at the web sites below.

Strategic School Profiles by District

Strategic School Profiles by School


Though a beautiful community, Ridgefield would be over an hour to Wall Street. You would need to look in Westchester County, on Long Island or in New Jersey to be that close to your husband's new job. Jay
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Darien ct
129 posts, read 348,135 times
Reputation: 53
You would almost certianly need to consider a slightly longer commute for that money.In Darien for example while there are a couple of homes on the market in the 600-700K range they would probably be too small.Would you consider say 1400 sq ft. It could work if the layour were right.Also Wilton and Fairfield are great towns with great schools...a litle longer commute bu as I said you should adjust your expectations a little bit. It will make the hunt easier
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:07 AM
 
258 posts, read 746,728 times
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Stamford is an 47-55 minutes to grand central and than you would have to take a train to wall street so your commute would be at least an hour. Ridgefield has no direct train so your commute would probably be at least an hour and half but probably longer. You would have to drive or take a train to Westchester and than take Metronorth for an hour and than get on a subway to Wall street. Ridefield is a beautiful town but it very out of the way and inconvenient. It is very hard to find good commutes and less expensive housing. You may be able to afford a smaller house in greenwich but I don't think any commute from CT to Wall street would be under an hour. For that, you would have to go to Westchester.
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:24 PM
 
Location: SI, NY
74 posts, read 240,723 times
Reputation: 20
Lucky -

Ridgefield, New Canaan, Westport and Easton all have top rated elementary schools based on scoring from the 08-09 school year. Fairfield and Trumbull also have great schools - Trumbull is north of Fairfield so your husband would have to drive to Fairfield to take the train every day - adding 20-25 minutes onto a commute. Same with Easton, even though part of town is only six-tenths of a mile from the train station. Fairfield is probably the furtherest north you'd want to go for a commute to NYC. I've been researching schools quite a bit for our move to Fairfield County (coming up by the end of this summer, I hope) and Norwalk, Stamford, and Greenwich public schools aren't all that spectacular - from what I have read, not from personal experience.

If your husband takes the express, not the local, from Stamford on Metro-North it's a straight 40 minutes, not 55. That is from my personal experience!

Just know that in Fairfield County the towns on the shoreline/train line don't give you as much bang for your buck. That's okay for us - but if you're looking for 2500-3000 s.f. in move-in condition, you may have to adjust your expectations a bit. You can make it work; just be diligent!
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:39 AM
 
Location: The brown house on the cul de sac
2,081 posts, read 4,120,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTNYCT View Post

- Trumbull is north of Fairfield so your husband would have to drive to Fairfield to take the train every day - adding 20-25 minutes onto a commute.

Greenwich public schools aren't all that spectacular
Trumbull residents would use the Bridgeport station and those in Nichols might also use Stratford. It still would add 20 minutes to a commute.

There is nothing wrong with Greenwich schools. They perform well above the state average with the majority of high school graduates going on to prominent 4 year colleges.
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