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Old 07-04-2009, 02:20 AM
119 posts, read 375,022 times
Reputation: 81


I'm from KY & AZ and I'm living in the suburbs of Paris with my Parisian wife. We've been contemplating a move to the US. My wife went to school at UConn and loves New England. I'm more of a country boy and I'm starting to dislike big cities with all the stress, dirtiness, pollution, noise, traffic, crime, etc. I really dislike Paris. Don't get me wrong, it's great for vacation but living here with 2 toddlers is not easy.

I work from home so we can live anywhere on the east coast - I need to be in the Eastern time zone for my work and we would like to be "close" to Paris so we can come back to visit.

We have considered lots of places:

- San Diego - I'd have to start work around 6am and it's far from Paris so that's out.

- Florida - too hot

- North Carolina - Raleigh - This is my pick although I don't know the area, we visited once for a few days that's it. But I'm worried it'll be too hot. I really don't like hot weather. My wife thinks it's not international enough for her.

- Virginia - Far from DC would be OK

My wife really wants New England so now I'm researching this area. I'm afraid if we go some place like North Carolina it'd be too much culture shock and she'd want to move back to Paris. She liked Storrs but that was when she was a college student.

- New Hampshire - Some place in between Manchester, Boston, and the coast. Seems nice, not as expensive as other areas. Being 1 hour or less from Boston would be nice. We don't go out much because of the kids but it's nice to have the option. And I think they have direct flights to Paris. Concerns are the winter but I'm not sure it's much colder than CT. Houses look new and modern and less expensive than other areas.

And then Connecticut.

I looked up some home prices on homes.com and from what i see they look really old and they're really expensive. North Carolina has beautiful modern homes and it seems New Hampshire has some too although more expensive but from what I see in CT they're no where near as nice but are much more expensive. I am probably looking in the wrong areas so that's one reason I'm posting here. Maybe living farther away from the coast would make it cheaper? So far Milford seems to be less expensive but I have no idea if that's a good place to live or not.

We think we want to be near a big city but in reality we very rarely go to Paris as it is so I prefer to live outside a medium sized city and drive 30-45 minutes to the city when we need to. Being able to go to NYC for the day would be really great too.

Here in Paris school for our 3 year old is free and the daycare is around $700/month. We don't pay anything for our health insurance or doctor visits. So those two will be big costs for us in the US.

My plan is to rent a place in CT and find out what we like and where we want to live. Maybe after 6-12 months we could look at buying a house.

Well that's my story, I'm hoping to get some advice on how to go about this. And if there are other places in New England we should consider. I love the ocean and would love to live near (20-30 min drive max?) the coast if possible.

thanks in advance.
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:11 AM
2,853 posts, read 9,980,720 times
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All I have to say when comparing CT to other states you have considered and the high housing costs is...You get what you pay for.
Connecticut's public schools are among the BEST in the whole US and the quality of life is GOOD IF you can afford it. Since you have children whom likely will be using public school, it will cost you a bit to live here but it's all a matter of what you can afford.
What is your rental price you can pay and what do you expect for this price?
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Old 07-04-2009, 07:12 AM
Location: Farmington Valley, CT
502 posts, read 1,328,413 times
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We are "Nutmeggers" currently renting in the Raleigh area. We sold our house in CT two years ago and were renting while looking to upgrade or build, but discovered mold in our rental home. We could not find a suitable place in time in CT so we are here in NC in a new construction rental, until our lease is up and we resume the plan up in CT. It was a tough decision, because we love CT, but time ran out.

Originally Posted by cunparis View Post
- North Carolina - Raleigh - This is my pick although I don't know the area, we visited once for a few days that's it. But I'm worried it'll be too hot. I really don't like hot weather. My wife thinks it's not international enough for her.
When we arrived here a couple of months ago we said to ourselves, "it's kind of nice here like people always say, maybe we'll see how it goes". But I soon discovered it's way too hot for me. I love gardening and outdoor activities. Instead, I'm inside here with the a/c on doing things I'd normally be doing in the winter indoors in CT.

We lived in the Farmington Valley in CT. Even though here in the Triangle area, there are probably a lot more people from abroad than in CT, it doesn't feel "international" here to me, just "southern". (Although you may enjoy social activities that would bring you into a more international circle of friends in the Raleigh area than I ever would... so I guess an "international feel" is relative). It felt more "international" in CT to me for some reason. Depends on what exactly you are looking for that is "international"... a diverse population, or the physical look/feel of the place, etc. I live in a diverse neighborhood here of intelligent, professional and friendly people. So in that respect, it's "international". One of the plus points here are the neighbors. The people in the Triangle seem more approachable/friendly and easy going than up in NE. That is a plus that makes the wait more tolerable for me until I can return to CT.

Also, you are "spot on" about rental prices in CT... expensive for what you get. (Another reason we're here in NC). Although we are finding out quickly that the new house here is not without problems. We have been in the house two months and already have issues that the builder is reluctant to acknowledge or correct. We also had a fire ant episode in the master bedroom. I was not exactly validated for complaining about it, even though these can be deadly. (Mention fire ants and one will say, "Welcome to NC!")

I probably would have been a "happier camper" with the rental we almost chose in CT, and should have just put in our own a/c window units, parked one of the cars outside, and been done with it.

Even if you visit an area, there's no real way of telling exactly what it will be like... and you risk trading one set of problems for another. We stayed in the Raleigh area for a weekend this spring and thought it was great. I think your interest in renting for a while in CT is a good plan, provided you can find that rental that will be in your price range and acceptable... it can be like finding a needle in a haystack, but worth it if you don't have a time constraint. Hopefully we will find that "needle" in CT when our own lease is up here! If I had the time/$$$ I would visit all options once more and then decide? Raleigh may have changed since you were here last...

One thing I will never do again if it can be helped is purchase right away in a new area. (Like we did in CT in '05... nice house/wrong neighborhood) I'm extremely thankful we do not own the house we're renting here in NC also. I hope CT hasn't changed much by the time I get back

Best Regards.
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:27 AM
Location: The brown house on the cul de sac
2,080 posts, read 4,657,994 times
Reputation: 9309
Bon jour,

Look at the seacoast (Portsmouth, Hampton, Exeter) area of New Hampshire. Boston and beaches are close. Schools are good and real estate and taxes (no state income tax) are considerably cheaper than CT. Charming New England area with a ton of outdoor recreation.

As for CT, you have your pick of charming shoreline towns along the coast. Madison, Guilford, Clinton, Old Saybrook. Going to UCONN, I am sure your wife wife will have some knowledge and preference of the wonderful towns here.

I agree with the PP who said you get what you pay for. The best of the towns come with a high price tag, but really that can be said for anywhere in the US. It will certainly be cheaper than living in Paris.

Who can hate Paris? Stock up on chocolate! Au revoir!
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:31 AM
Location: Connecticut
32,782 posts, read 51,861,059 times
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I agree that the shoreline towns east of New HAven are good. You could have access to both median and large cities (New Haven and New York) yet still be in an area that is somewhat quiet and beautiful. Towns like Guilford, Madison, Clinton, Westbrook and Old Saybrook would be good choices. Even consider the very charming lower Connecticut River towns like Essex, Deep River, Chester, Lyme, Haddam and East Haddam. New Haven is the home to Yale University which has wonderful cultural amenties and offers some international influences.

If you want to live in an area a bit more like KY (meaning lush hills and countryside), I would suggest living inland closer to Hartford. Hartford is a great small city which I find to be easy to live in or near. Within 30 minutes you can be in a very rural area. There is a good sized airport there (Bradley) but for better international flights Boston and New York are about 2 hours in either direction. The Farmington River Valley northwest of Hartford is wonderful with a more rural character but all the conveniences of a nice suburban area. Consider twon like Farmington, Avon, Simsbury, Canton, Burlington and Granby.

If your wife really wants to be closer to Storrs for some reason, consider towns east of the Connecticut River like Bolton, Hebron, Marlborough. There are so many great towns in Connecticut it is hard to choosee. Good luck, Jay
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