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Old 06-24-2013, 02:40 AM
 
7 posts, read 8,031 times
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Hi all,

I've been lurking the past few months in anticipation of a summer move to the Hartford area, and I'm writing now that it's getting closer and we're getting our act together for an apartment-hunting visit the week of July 8th. So hello!

Some background: my husband and I are in our late 20s, and he just got a faculty job at UConn (main campus in Storrs). For my industry (international development), central CT doesn't really have any opportunities that I know of, but I've got some job leads in New Haven (for which we'd ideally split the commute) and Boston (for which I'd probably rent a small apartment for weekdays, and come home to CT for weekends with my husband). That's just the vague plan for now, with the knowledge that things may change once we actually move and get to know the area. We've enjoyed living in lively cities the last several years (Chicago and Oakland CA) and are accustomed to diverse urban environments, but we're getting excited about quieter suburban communities in CT.

We're aiming for a year-long lease starting around Aug 1st, ideally 2Bed/2Bath under $1,800. We're thinking about Manchester as a top option for now, but also considering W Hartford, Hartford, E Hartford, Glastonbury Center, Wethersfield, and Newington... based much on other threads in this forum. Thanks to Chicago and Oakland, we're fine with some grit but would obviously like to be safe. I would still prefer walkable (and perhaps even bike-able) neighborhoods with younger demographics but am trying to stay open minded. We'd like to maybe buy after a year or so if I can settle my work situation, so we're not too anxious about getting it perfect this first year.

I'm curious to hear thoughts on how to approach our apartment hunting trip. We've been looking on Padmapper (including Craigslist listings) and Trulia. In another thread I saw recommendations to work with an agent if you're new to the area -- and we're open to that, but have no idea on how to find an agent and would appreciate recs. Would agents have access to a lot of listings that we can't find on Padmapper, Trulia, Zillow, etc? Any other sites we should be checking? Any other general or specific advice??

Thanks so much in advance!

Last edited by vyzl; 06-24-2013 at 02:42 AM.. Reason: proofreading after the fact, whoops
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
20,272 posts, read 25,268,343 times
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I think it really depends on where your job winds up. That's a huge spread between New Haven and Boston.

If you wind up in New Haven, Middletown might be a good option. Cheap rent, nice downtown, and pretty central to New Haven and Storrs.

Otherwise, West Hartford is the most walkable downtown in the area - however, the traffic going through Hartford to Storrs could be an issue.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:06 PM
 
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I would check out locations by the shore (Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, Madison). I would say stay away from Hartford, unless you want to be shot, robbed or take a busway.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
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That really is a big spread. It is hard to give you advice. A lot of UConn faculty do live in Manchester and Vernon. There are a number of apartments there that you could look into. Because you are looking to possibly work in New Haven, you could consider something further south.

The next step would be Glastonbury which has a couple of apartment complexes in the center of town that could work for you. New Haven is about 45 minutes from Glastonbury and about 40 minutes to Storrs. There are shops (including Whole Foods) and restaurants and a nice feel to the town. Glastonbury is an affluent suburb of Hartford and you will pay more for an apartment there than you would in Manchester or Vernon. Still I think you should find one that is within your price range.

Middletown is also a possibility but it is further from Storrs (almost an hour). There is a nice downtown there but not a lot of nicer apartments in or near the downtown. There are however a lot of nicer apartments away from the center of town. I hope this helps. Jay
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_250 View Post
I would check out locations by the shore (Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, Madison). I would say stay away from Hartford, unless you want to be shot, robbed or take a busway.
Really??? The commute to Storrs from the shore would be well over an hour. It is just not worth it.

As for your comment on Hartford, you obviously do not know the city or any city for that matter. Thousands of people live there without a problem. Most of the violence is limited to a couple of neighborhoods while places like downtown and the West End are generaly safe.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
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Glastonbury is a nice option, just be aware it's very much suburban and doesn't offer much as far as walkability. Super nice town though.

As far as the above opinion on Hartford, just ignore it.
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:03 PM
 
2,691 posts, read 3,233,105 times
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Jay, I am very familiar with Hartford (my family owned businesses and many property in all sections of Hartford) and I work in Hartford. It was a funny comment. I live in New Britain and have for my entire life and also in Providence, so yes I do know city's. I have a cousin who live in Old Lyme and commute to Storrs on a daily basis. It takes a little less than an hour with no traffic. Plus, drive from there into Boston is a haul, but much better than the center of CT. I understand that people live in Hartford, but the downtown area is walkable, and safe, just a bunch of drunk kids on Friday and Saturday's.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:47 PM
 
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A couple with one UConn faculty and one working in Boston can live centrally and commute. Faculty don't have to go in every day. Consider Auburn/Worcester area. That would be about fifty minutes for each of you.

I have lived and I have seen. If you want to stay married to a person teaching at a college, you'd better be living together.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:04 AM
 
7 posts, read 8,031 times
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Hey all! Thanks for all the feedback and advice... it really is helpful, since I haven't visited CT before and know nothing about the geography, housing stock, etc., so am relying on this and similar threads to get informed. I realize I'm considering a huge spread (and now extending into MA... hah, parentologist, duly noted), so will try to get more certain about which basket to put my job-hunting eggs into, and then take some of your tips into consideration for our visit. Hopefully if I come back asking for more advice I can be more specific! Many thanks again.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:50 AM
 
8 posts, read 19,756 times
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Single airline employee thinking of transferring to Hartford, CT. Planning on renting an apartment, not buying a home at this time. Have read some threads stating Hartford is a great place to live with easy access to NYC and BOS. Co workers and friends also love Hartford and recommend it highly. What are some safe neighborhoods with a decent commute to Bradley? I have a pretty good income and no debts so cost of living is not a big factor in my decision making. Please, help with suggestions. Thank you.
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