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Old 04-12-2007, 02:29 PM
 
84 posts, read 427,789 times
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We are making our first house hunting trip to CT next week, mostly to narrow down to living in either Fairfield county or New Haven county. (Husband will be working at Sikorsky, right on the line.) So far, we are strongly considering the towns of Fairfield and New Haven and our budget tops out at 600K. There's just the two of us along with the furry kids (basset hound and lab), so square footage is not quite as much of an issue, although we do want to own more than a closet. A few factors we will be looking at:

1. Diversity: of people, entertainment, restaurants, culture, etc.
2. Access to outdoor activities and the beach (I know New Haven loses to Fairfield when considering the beach.)
3. Job possibilities for me: I've re-invented myself several times, but right now I am a columnist with 2 local magazines and own my own event planning company. My degree is in accounting, and I've worked in a university environment in the past as an IT Trainer. Where would I have the best possibility for securing satisfying employment? I do NOT want an hour commute. See #4.
4. Commute times: For him. For me, depending on that fabulous job I'm looking for (See #3).

Although we do want a great house, we are looking first at the neighborhood and town. I'd rather have an average house in a fantastic place, than a McMansion in dudsville. Also, I enjoying being able to leave the house and walk places, shops, restaurants, etc. Sidewalks for dog walks are pretty much a must.

Any words of wisdom or advice for making the most of this trip? Places to check out? Specific neighborhoods or streets? Usually my husband researches and prepares for our trips, but I'm in charge this time. I'd love to blow him away with all of my information.
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Old 04-12-2007, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Tolland County- Northeastern CT
4,461 posts, read 7,317,266 times
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Good luck in your home search and new life Maggie in Connecticut- and of course WELCOME!!

Me up here near the 'quiet corner' I am not familiar with the many offerings the area has; except- The British Museum of Art, The Yale Art gallery, and The Yale Campus. Downtown New Haven has an incredible amount of great places to eat. The Shubert is great for performing arts- as is the Long Wharf and Yale Repertory.

Last edited by skytrekker; 04-12-2007 at 03:54 PM..
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Old 04-12-2007, 08:46 PM
 
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I love New Haven..the area around Yale anyways I think it would be fun to live in that area or Norwalk
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Old 04-13-2007, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
32,453 posts, read 51,265,526 times
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Hi Maggie - There is a big difference between Fairfield and New Haven. New Haven is a large city (large by CT standards) with lbig city problems. Fairfield is an upscale mature suburb that is very desireable and very expensive. $600,000 in New Haven will buy you a lot of home, while in Fairfield you will just get a modest home. The advantage of Faiirfield is that when you go to sell, it will be easier than NH. It is closer to NY and Stamford and is a modestly diverse community.

I grew up in Fairfield and still have a LOT of family there (my family has lived there about 90 years). I also have business there all the time, so I know it very well. There is a great downtown (locally called Fairfield Center) and lots of shopping, restuarants and walking options. They have great beaches, libraries and schools (of course you don't need that for your dogs). There is great access to New York City via Metro North Railroad and there are a lot of employment options in town and nearby. I (and my wife as well) would love to move back but our careers are in Hartford and we could not afford to buy a comparable home (4 bedroom, 2.5 bath colonial with 2 car garage on 1/3 acre) to what we have here.

I will advise you that the eastern part of Fairfield is a little less expensive than the western side of town. The eastern side is closer to Bridgeport so the property values have been historically lower there, even though that side of Bridgeport is some of that city's nicest neighborhoods. Also, there will be a new train station on the east side of Fairfield in a couple of years (going to start construction later this year) that will be a big boost to that side of town.

I understand the market in Fairfield is a bit softer right now than in the last couple of years, so you should be able to get a decent buy. For $600,000 you should get a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in a nice neighborhood. If you have any specific questions, please do not hestiate to ask. Good luck. Jay
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Old 04-13-2007, 08:23 AM
 
5 posts, read 17,494 times
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Did you consider looking in Milford? There are a some towns between Fairfield and New Haven and Milford is one of them. You'll find lots of shopping, entertainment, restaurants, and beach. Generally speaking, it is less expensive than Fairfield, but more than New Haven. Not to mention, Milford borders Stratford.
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Old 04-13-2007, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
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Samantha is right. Milford is a great town and offers a lot of the same amenities as Fairfield but at a lower price. Also, now that the Sikorsky Bridge (Route 15/Merritt Parkway) has been rebuilt, crossing the Housatonic is much easier than it use to be. I do know though that Milford has some questionable areas. A friend who is a cop there is always talking about these areas but I do not know where they are. If you do decide on Milford (or any town really) you should research the neighborhoods you are considering by going to the town hall and talking with the Planning Department. They will tell you where there are problems and where things are changing. you could also stop by the Police Department and ask. Good luck, Jay

PS - Even Stratford itself has a lot of nice homes at better prices than Fairfield.
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:32 PM
 
67 posts, read 199,352 times
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Look in Guilford
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Old 04-13-2007, 06:20 PM
 
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Thanks for all of the good information, and especially the warm welcome. I have looked a bit at Milford, so I'm sure we'll at least drive through to see if our interest is peaked.

I've heard good things about Guilford, but worry about the commute for my husband at Sikorsky, and the job market for myself. Any more information on that community?

I know Fairfield is much more expensive than New Haven, but isn't that offset by better appreciation and resale? I'm running on that assumption so please set me straight if that isn't true. Deciding on the location is much more of a quality of life factor for us than a strict price per square foot issue. From reading the posts it appears that Fairfield feels more suburban and New Haven much more urban. True?
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:36 AM
 
82 posts, read 270,896 times
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Fairfield to Sikorsky isn't that short of a commute. Have you looked at Trumbull? The Nichols area of Trumbull is very nice. Another suggestion would be Orange which I like better than Milford.
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:54 AM
 
84 posts, read 427,789 times
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We are trying to stay as close to the beach as possible. What is it that you like about orange? How long do you think the commute to Sikorsky would be? It's a "reverse commute" so we were hoping traffic wouldn't be as much of an issue.
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