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Old 01-25-2012, 09:44 AM
 
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Hi, my husband is taking a job transfer in Watertown, CT and we have been looking for a house in surrounding towns, We have looked in Plymouth, Terryville, Southington and Harwinton and havent found a house we love yet. We have a budget of about $200,000 and a daughter in 7th grade so we are looking for a place wth a good school system. We thought about starting to look in Bristol. We are from Indiana so we know almost nothing about CT. What is Bristol like? Are there good, safe areas of the the city? What are the schools like? Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for any help you can give
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:15 AM
 
Location: New London County, CT
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I would guess that Bristol schools underperform. Bristol has some typical urban problems. My biggest problem with Bristol is that it's just unappealing. I like Southington a lot more. If you can afford a house there, I think you'll find it's a vast improvement over Bristol.

Others have more expertise on this area of the state and-- I'm sure-- will chime in soon.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:41 AM
 
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Bristol is not the best town in the area, hence it's affordability. With a budget of 200k, you might have a tough time finding a house.

In the Watertown area, you might be able to find something in Southington, Wolcott or Prospect, but still, the homes would be small and not updated. Stay away from Waterbury and Naugatuck if you want good schools.

Have you considered a condo or townhouse?
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Central, CT
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If you asked me last year my impression of Bristol might have echoed that of the previous. Today I strongly disagree. It's an old industrial town that is currently experiencing a new vibe. It really depends on what YOU like in a city. As a fairly large city there are pockets which can be vastly different so it's important to look at the whole neighborhood and the surrounding neighborhoods. At a time when things are on the decline there is economic and industrial development in Bristol (albeit after several years of non), a major highway project recently completed (rt 72) and plenty of new homes springing up. My niece is in public school here and she has compassionate teachers who are smart and capable. There is investment to the shools, chippens hill elementary is new ther are plans in one of the 2 highs but i forget which one now. Beyond that I can't comment to the schools but if you're concerned in any town, attend school board meetings and remember to vote.

You can find new developments in Bristol but 200k won't buy much more than it would in other ct towns. A newer raised ranch or a small colonial in an older neighborhood. Look for homes like that on the plainville and southington borders. You could maybe find and older cape or colonial on chippens hill for that price. Look around as prices are so weird now.

The price of real estate is lower due to its proximity to Hartford and other employment hubs. It takes about 45 minutes to get back and forth to Hartford in traffic. CNNMoney magazine ranks it as it as one of America's top 100 cities along with west Hartford (altho not near Watertown) for 2010. Both fall off in 2011 but ct is listed as the 5th safest state.

I like Bristol, I'm happy to recommend it as a hometown.

Last edited by TobinJ; 01-25-2012 at 03:50 PM..
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
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Bristol schools perform around the state average on the Connecticut Mastery and Connecticut Academic Performance Tests. Also class sizes are reasonable. You can find more information on the schools at the link below.

As for the town having a new vibe, I agree that they are trying to improve their image. They are not quite there yet but if they keep it going they will get there one day. In your price range you can find a nice but modest home there. Jay

State Department of Education - CEDaR
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
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Why not look in Watertown itself? It is a nice, yet not expensive, town with good schools.
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:47 AM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
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I think Bristol would be fine school-wise. I also am not a huge fan of the city, but some people like it.

You could also open yourself to more towns. Warren, Morris, Thomaston, Watertown, Middlebury, Oxford, Seymour. Beacon Falls gets a bad rep on here sometimes, but I don't think it's that bad - especially with a limited budget. Unfortunately $200,000 is limited for CT, especially for a house, but a very modest house or decent condo is possible in a lot of areas.

New Milford is a another good affordable area that has a lot of options in the $200,000 range. Not a terrible commute, just ~20 miles on backroads with little traffic.

The best thing to do is to check prices in various towns on Realtor.com. EG: New Milford Real Estate - New Milford, CT Homes for Sale - Realtor.comĀ® Please consider another towns as there are many good commutable towns in your price range. Look at Google Maps. As long as it's not a city with issues like Waterbury or Naugatuck, the schools will be fine in most towns.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:05 AM
 
21,135 posts, read 28,920,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stylo View Post
Middlebury, Oxford
Some great suggestions, but 200k won't get you much in the above towns. You might be able to find a bank owned or short sale for that price, but other than that you're looking at a house that needs a lot of work ($$$). I looked at zillow and even in Prospect you won't get much for 200k.

I'd stick with the area north of Waterbury, or open up your search to include condos. Seymour was a great suggestion as well.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Atlanta & NYC
6,616 posts, read 13,262,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indytoct View Post
Hi, my husband is taking a job transfer in Watertown, CT and we have been looking for a house in surrounding towns, We have looked in Plymouth, Terryville, Southington and Harwinton and havent found a house we love yet. We have a budget of about $200,000 and a daughter in 7th grade so we are looking for a place wth a good school system. We thought about starting to look in Bristol. We are from Indiana so we know almost nothing about CT. What is Bristol like? Are there good, safe areas of the the city? What are the schools like? Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for any help you can give
I lived in and went to Bristol public schools up until I was 10 years old. The schools aren't bad in my opinion and it was much better than my middle school and high school education I received from my NY schools that I attended.

Also, my friends lived in Terryville, very wealthy people there from what I see.

My father is from Southington and says nothing too good about it.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:44 AM
 
Location: New England
8,155 posts, read 20,222,994 times
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Your best bet is Wolcott. Good schools, more affordable, easy commute. You might also find something in Plainville as well. Both are much better than Bristol.
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