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Old 01-23-2009, 10:42 AM
 
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Hi, we are moving from Michigan to Connecticut. I will be working in Danbury and my partner in New Haven. We have 3 young children so we would like a great school district. We have a budget of $300,000 and we're not familiar with how much that would get us. Ideally we would like to spend less. In MI we can get a new 8 room house, but am assuming CT to be less for the dollar. Can anyone name some good towns with great schools about halfway? Thanks for any help
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:39 AM
 
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I think you will be disappointed at how much $300k will get you in that area. It would be very difficult to find something in Fairfield County for less than $300k that wouldn't be a small fixer-upper, and likely several decades old. Monroe is halfway between Danbury and New Haven, and has great schools, but you probably wouldn't like any homes you found under $300k. Housing prices have dropped, but under 300k there still isn't much. Housing is generally a little cheaper closer to New Haven, (and further from NYC) but will also lengthen your commute to Danbury. You might try looking at towns such as Stratford, Milford, Orange, and Woodbridge. Orange and Woodbridge have very good schools. Also possibly North Haven, although I'm not sure about their schools.

Here is one link that compares towns, cities, and districts to one another. There are a number of similar sites that give you information on a school's performance.

Connecticut State Cities - CT City School Rankings
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andthentherewere3 View Post
I think you will be disappointed at how much $300k will get you in that area. It would be very difficult to find something in Fairfield County for less than $300k that wouldn't be a small fixer-upper, and likely several decades old. Monroe is halfway between Danbury and New Haven, and has great schools, but you probably wouldn't like any homes you found under $300k. Housing prices have dropped, but under 300k there still isn't much. Housing is generally a little cheaper closer to New Haven, (and further from NYC) but will also lengthen your commute to Danbury. You might try looking at towns such as Stratford, Milford, Orange, and Woodbridge. Orange and Woodbridge have very good schools. Also possibly North Haven, although I'm not sure about their schools.

Here is one link that compares towns, cities, and districts to one another. There are a number of similar sites that give you information on a school's performance.

Connecticut State Cities - CT City School Rankings
Thank you. I knew CT was very expensive and I dont see too much under 300. How is Black Rock?
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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Black Rock is a section of the city of Bridgeport. It's probably one of the nicest areas of Bridgeport, but it's still Bridgeport, which has numerous urban issues. It has a high crime rate. In recent years Bridgeport has been trying to make a come-back, but it still has a long way to go. Try a search of Bridgeport in this forum to get a sense about what the city is like. The schools are among the worst in the state. Of course you might consider private schools, but they can still run several thousand dollars a year per child.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by andthentherewere3 View Post
Black Rock is a section of the city of Bridgeport. It's probably one of the nicest areas of Bridgeport, but it's still Bridgeport, which has numerous urban issues. It has a high crime rate. In recent years Bridgeport has been trying to make a come-back, but it still has a long way to go. Try a search of Bridgeport in this forum to get a sense about what the city is like. The schools are among the worst in the state. Of course you might consider private schools, but they can still run several thousand dollars a year per child.
Do you know anything about living in Bridgeport and having our kids attend school out of town? I cant believe in a populated area we can barely find a house under $300!

Woodbridge seems really expensive. All of the towns there are. I only drove through CT so I dont know anything about the area.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Need Advice 2009 View Post
Do you know anything about living in Bridgeport and having our kids attend school out of town? I cant believe in a populated area we can barely find a house under $300!

Woodbridge seems really expensive. All of the towns there are. I only drove through CT so I dont know anything about the area.
If you want to send them out of town, you would need to pay for a private school. Public schools are only open to the students living in that town's district. However, many cities do have one or more "magnet" schools, which are privately run; however students are only allowed in by lottery. Only a small percentage of students are chosen for the magnet schools, so if they didn't get in you would be forced to send your child to a private or public school.

Some other towns you might consider would be Derby, Ansonia, or Seymour. You might find something in your price range there. Or possibly Shelton, too. These four towns are in what is referred to as "The Valley", bordering the Housatonic River. They are working class towns, although in the case of Shelton it's a small city. And as I previously mentioned, look into Milford and Stratford, too.

Unfortunately Fairfield County is one of the most expensive areas of the country, due to it's close proximity to NYC.
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:42 PM
 
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As has been said you are really out of the general price range for that area. I'd say you'd have to start around $400K to get in the door in some of the towns with many in the 500-600's for the nicer parts of town. I have friends that live in Redding and Newtown and the prices are crazy.

Your best bets if you want a fixer upper may be Trumbull which has great schools and a nice proximity to both 15 and 95 and perhaps Shelton. I know the other towns surrounding it such as Derby and Ansonia have much lower property values but their schools are among the bottom in the state.
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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Some great suggestions. I would also look into the Waterbury area - a little far from the Routes 34/25 corridor but a little more affordable. Prospect is alright, but I think you'd be looking at a starter home there as well. Maybe Wolcott or Watertown, but again, starter homes. You won't find a brand new 8 room house for your price range - southern and western CT has very high real estate.

Have you considered a condo/townhouse?
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Old 01-23-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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Not a RE agent, but looked online:
Seymour has 13 houses under $300K with 4+ BedRooms
Oxford has 1 house under $300K with 4+ BedRooms
Ansonia has 15 houses under $300K with 4+ BedRooms
Derby has 5 houses under $300K with 4+ BedRooms
Prospect has 2 houses under $300K with 4+ BedRooms
Naugatuck has 34 houses under $300K with 4+ BedRooms

My personal opinion is that all the above towns listed are doing better school-wise vs. Black Rock Bridgeport, mainly because the city of Bridgeport has been devastated by budget deficits, more so than the suburbs.
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Old 01-23-2009, 03:14 PM
 
21,516 posts, read 30,916,542 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seymourct View Post
Not a RE agent, but looked online:
Seymour has 13 houses under $300K with 4+ BedRooms
Oxford has 1 house under $300K with 4+ BedRooms
Ansonia has 15 houses under $300K with 4+ BedRooms
Derby has 5 houses under $300K with 4+ BedRooms
Prospect has 2 houses under $300K with 4+ BedRooms
Naugatuck has 34 houses under $300K with 4+ BedRooms

My personal opinion is that all the above towns listed are doing better school-wise vs. Black Rock Bridgeport, mainly because the city of Bridgeport has been devastated by budget deficits, more so than the suburbs.
Nice info for the OP. The houses under 300k in Seymour, Oxford and Prospect will probably be major fixer uppers though.

I wouldn't compare Derby and Ansonia to Bridgeport either. Just my opinion
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