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(Some Guy)   Farker contemplating job offer with his current company to relocate to Connecticut from the Twin Cities. Any CT are farkers have any advice or opinions about CT? LGT area we are looking to move to   (farmingtonvalleyvisit.com) divider line 48
    More: Advice, Twin Cities, Connecticut, LGT  
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274 clicks; posted to FarkUs » on 02 Feb 2013 at 6:37 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-02 06:09:29 PM
84 was designed by an evil genius civil engineer who had a pathological hatred of commuters, avoid it.
 
2013-02-02 06:20:58 PM
Connecticut has some really really beautiful places, and some real shiatholes. You could be more specific as to what area of the state you're thinking of relocating to.
 
2013-02-02 06:21:32 PM
Yeah.

WARNING!  You are moving to Connecticut.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-02-02 06:35:51 PM
If you move about 10 more miles away from Hartford it's a nice place.
 
2013-02-02 06:48:38 PM

EvilEgg: 84 was designed by an evil genius civil engineer who had a pathological hatred of commuters, avoid it.


ZAZ: If you move about 10 more miles away from Hartford it's a nice place.


Let's be honest.  If you don't have to rely on an interstate in Connecticut, you're in a good place.  If you do, then you're SOL.  There's just something about those highways which is just so damned wrong.

\had friends live in CT
\\any road trip west of NYC = driving through CT
\\\ya, I may have way too much experience with that little slice of hell
 
2013-02-02 06:50:06 PM
The middle 'c' is silent.
 
2013-02-02 06:55:09 PM
Got to be better than where you are.  NYC is at most an hour away, if you're in the eastern part.  Expensive as hell, for the same reason.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-02-02 07:10:20 PM
Is the job offer in the linked area (Farmington valley), or is the job in hell and you want to live in the linked area?
 
2013-02-02 07:44:25 PM
I heard maryjane and beastiality are legal...provided the cops don't find out.
 
2013-02-02 08:23:37 PM

LandStander: The middle 'c' is silent.


MehSB: When I was in HS band, we went to a competition in West Haven, and the announcer actually used that particular C.  It was weird as hell to hear it spoken.
 
2013-02-02 08:25:56 PM

ZAZ: Is the job offer in the linked area (Farmington valley), or is the job in hell and you want to live in the linked area?


The job is in Hartford proper, but the linked area has been recommended to us.
 
2013-02-02 08:35:23 PM

ZAZ: If you move about 10 more miles away from Hartford it's a nice place.


Really? Farmington Valley not all it is cracked up to be?
 
2013-02-02 08:39:02 PM

Equilibrist: Got to be better than where you are.  NYC is at most an hour away, if you're in the eastern part.  Expensive as hell, for the same reason.


Expense is one thing I am concerned about. Currently trying to negotiate more salary before I commit to the relocation. Is a six figure salary enough to be relatively comfortable in that part of the country?
 
2013-02-02 08:41:25 PM
Well, I'm in Madison and very nearly moved there about a year and a half ago.  Had a GF there and spent A LOT of time out there.  CT is a very cool and beautiful state, but all the crap stated above about the Interstates is sadly true.  As a midwestern boy, it was a bit much for me to handle.  Made the GF drive everywhere.  :)

I haven't spent a lot of time in Farmington but it's a nice area.  She had a house up on Birch Mountain outside of Glastonbury where I spent a lot of time.  That's a VERY nice area.  I'd still move to CT in a heartbeat given the right opportunity.  Eli Cannon's in Middletown itself would make the move worth it.

Also - hit up the towers.  There some killer views there.

if you have any specific questions, let me know.
 
2013-02-02 08:48:08 PM

Rex_Everything: Is a six figure salary enough to be relatively comfortable in that part of the country?


"Six figures" is a pretty broad range, man.  But, yea -  It's a lot more expensive there than here.  Especially housing.  At least lobsters are cheap - check out Stew Leonard's lobster days specials.  It's insane.
 
2013-02-02 08:57:25 PM

flood_guy: Rex_Everything: Is a six figure salary enough to be relatively comfortable in that part of the country?

"Six figures" is a pretty broad range, man.  But, yea -  It's a lot more expensive there than here.  Especially housing.  At least lobsters are cheap - check out Stew Leonard's lobster days specials.  It's insane.


$110k + bonus (about 10% of salary). That is a comfortable living in St. Paul but not sure how far that goes in Hartford.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-02-02 09:01:00 PM
I looked more closely at the towns listed on the web site. The south and east part is too close to Hartford to my taste. I could deal with the northwest part. Barkhamsted reservoir is probably out of commuting range but a nice place to visit.

Commuting from the northeast (Tolland) would give you HOV lanes, which I have never used because I always drive through solo. I don't know if they are worth using.

Avon keeps trying to get ticket cameras installed. The excuse is a truck that lost its brakes on a hill in 2005. They didn't get cameras yet but they did get roadside parking for police to run speed traps from.
 
2013-02-02 09:04:17 PM

ZAZ: I looked more closely at the towns listed on the web site. The south and east part is too close to Hartford to my taste. I could deal with the northwest part. Barkhamsted reservoir is probably out of commuting range but a nice place to visit.

Commuting from the northeast (Tolland) would give you HOV lanes, which I have never used because I always drive through solo. I don't know if they are worth using.

Avon keeps trying to get ticket cameras installed. The excuse is a truck that lost its brakes on a hill in 2005. They didn't get cameras yet but they did get roadside parking for police to run speed traps from.


cool. Thanks for the insight!
 
2013-02-02 09:04:37 PM

Rex_Everything: $110k + bonus


Well, you say "we", so assuming you're moving out with and SO and s/he brings in some additional dough, you'll be fine.

I'd estimate that most things are about 5% - 10% more expensive on a retail basis.  Housing, though, is about 20% - 30% more than here.
 
2013-02-02 09:06:38 PM

Rex_Everything: flood_guy: Rex_Everything: Is a six figure salary enough to be relatively comfortable in that part of the country?

"Six figures" is a pretty broad range, man.  But, yea -  It's a lot more expensive there than here.  Especially housing.  At least lobsters are cheap - check out Stew Leonard's lobster days specials.  It's insane.

$110k + bonus (about 10% of salary). That is a comfortable living in St. Paul but not sure how far that goes in Hartford.


Housing is more expensive, but $110k+ will keep you comfortable, you just won't get 4000sqft on 3acres.
 
2013-02-02 09:06:44 PM

flood_guy: Rex_Everything: $110k + bonus

Well, you say "we", so assuming you're moving out with and SO and s/he brings in some additional dough, you'll be fine.

I'd estimate that most things are about 5% - 10% more expensive on a retail basis.  Housing, though, is about 20% - 30% more than here.


We means my wife and two small kids. She currently works part time doing tech support from home for a local hospital. She likely wouldn't work (at least not right away).
 
2013-02-02 09:09:37 PM

EvilEgg: Rex_Everything: flood_guy: Rex_Everything: Is a six figure salary enough to be relatively comfortable in that part of the country?

"Six figures" is a pretty broad range, man.  But, yea -  It's a lot more expensive there than here.  Especially housing.  At least lobsters are cheap - check out Stew Leonard's lobster days specials.  It's insane.

$110k + bonus (about 10% of salary). That is a comfortable living in St. Paul but not sure how far that goes in Hartford.

Housing is more expensive, but $110k+ will keep you comfortable, you just won't get 4000sqft on 3acres.


Yah we aren't looking for anything massive in terms of housing. 3 or 4 beds, 2k or so sqf. School quality is very important to us.
 
2013-02-02 09:11:05 PM

Rex_Everything: We means my wife and two small kids.


Your most important consideration should be school district, in that case.  There are some complete shiat hole schools in and around Hartford.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-02-02 09:11:27 PM
School quality is very important to us.

Be aware that Connecticut has no county government, so school district boundaries may be surprising to you.
 
2013-02-02 09:13:23 PM

flood_guy: Rex_Everything: We means my wife and two small kids.

Your most important consideration should be school district, in that case.  There are some complete shiat hole schools in and around Hartford.


That is very important to me. Any school districts you advise I avoid? Thanks for all your help so far. I really appreciate it!
 
2013-02-02 09:16:27 PM
http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ct/schools/

That's a pretty good and accurate resource.
 
2013-02-02 09:49:06 PM
I live across the river in South Glastonbury, moved about 7 years ago from the DC area.  I love it, but it's pretty spendy.
 
2013-02-02 09:49:53 PM
Move to Florida.
May not be better, but at least its warm.

Oh, and those people from Connecticut think that that 'c' isn't pronouced. That gives you an idea on how good their schools are. They don't even know how to pronounce the name of the state that they live in. Connec-ti-cut
 
2013-02-02 10:00:52 PM
I would check various sources on cost of living differences to see if it impacts your ability to afford the move. You may like it as the climate may be milder and you'll be close to the ocean and major early American history sites. Once you commit to moving, don't whine about it if it's not to your liking. Just deal with it and move again if you want.
 
2013-02-02 10:01:31 PM

Babwa Wawa: I live across the river in South Glastonbury, moved about 7 years ago from the DC area.  I love it, but it's pretty spendy.


Oh, and 2 elementary school aged kids.  School system's fantastic if you avoid the north end of town.  I hear the same thing about Farmington, though too, but I rarely get on that side of the river.

Professionally, I like the area because as an IT guy, I can get to both Boston and NYC very easily, and there's a tidy industry around UTC, the insurance companies, and ESPN.  Not that it's doing all that much for me with a global job, but if I wanted to stay relatively local I could still make a damned nice living.  I've learned to love bradley airport.  Very quick and predictable to get through security, easy covered parking.  I have to connect for most of my flights, but it's more than offset by the fact that I don't have to factor an extra 90 minutes into my travel time to find parking and account for the TSA ball-cupping process.

Rex_Everything: That is very important to me. Any school districts you advise I avoid? Thanks for all your help so far. I really appreciate it!

They'll be obvious by home price and mill rate.  On the west side of the river, I'd go Farmington or Simsbury.  East side, probably Glastonbury or Marlborough.
 
2013-02-02 10:02:11 PM

Babwa Wawa: across the river


This is something you really need to keep in mind.  Here in the midwest, we're accustomed to having river crossings everywhere.  There are only like 8 bridges in the entire state that cross the Connecticut River.  Makes navigation a real pain in the ass.
 
2013-02-02 10:56:47 PM

Rex_Everything: $110k + bonus (about 10% of salary). That is a comfortable living in St. Paul but not sure how far that goes in Hartford.


'Co fortable?' Nothing personal but 'Fark you.'

you're part of the 1%.
 
2013-02-02 11:09:22 PM

douchebag/hater: Fark you.


Well, you've got an appropriate handle.  Way to live up to it!

douchebag/hater: you're part of the 1%.


Um, no.  The 1% comprises of those families making $516,633 and more.
 
2013-02-02 11:17:43 PM
Here ya go  subby

NSFW Guide to CT
 
2013-02-02 11:36:29 PM
Living on $121,000 depends on how much you have for a down payment for your house.  I trust that they're paying moving expenses, etc.  It looks like it's a fair bit cheaper than the Boston area where I live.  Be aware that most metropolitan areas in the NE weren't affected as much by the housing bubble.  I'd check realtor.com or some other site and mortgagecalculator.org to make sure that you can get something you can afford.

I never lived in CT, but I've lived in MA in proximity to CT and spent a fair amount of time visiting/driving through it.  Yah, the highways are messed up but pretty much all highways in the NE are messed up once they hit a city.

You won't have to worry about winters though, they're pretty tame in CT compared to the Twin Cities.  You'll have to stop calling carbonated beverages "pop" or whatever you call them there and call them "soda".  When you ask people how far it is to some place they'll tell you in time, not miles, because 10 miles in one direction might take you 10 minutes and 10 miles in another direction might take you an hour depending on traffic.
 
2013-02-03 12:44:14 AM
I recently moved out of central Connecticut. If you're planning to buy rather than rent there, the one thing likely to shock you is how outrageously high the property taxes are; depending on what you're looking to buy, your tax bill can easily be as high as your mortgage payment -- except the mortgage doesn't get higher every year.

If you have to drive into Hartford for work, definitely look into some route that doesn't involve the interstates.

West Hartford is reputed to have good schools, but it's expensive even by Connecticut standards. Don't even THINK of letting your kids go to public school in Hartford, East Hartford, New Britain, Bristol or Waterbury.
 
2013-02-03 12:55:58 AM
Was it -29 wind chill there recently or ever?  If not move, because Minnesota doesn't want humans living here.
 
2013-02-03 01:09:35 AM
I was born outside Hartford.  Taxes are high.  I hope you like Puerto Ricans.
 
2013-02-03 03:49:51 AM

Lumbar Puncture: Was it -29 wind chill there recently or ever?  If not move, because Minnesota doesn't want humans living here.


How am I reading your post? Isn't that the temperature at which electrons freeze?
 
2013-02-03 07:11:27 AM

Fo Shiz: I was born outside Hartford.  Taxes are high.  I hope you like Puerto Ricans.


Depends on where you are, I guess. I live 10 miles outside hartford. There are essentially no puerto ricans living or working in town.

Lack of racial diversity was a con to moving to this town.
 
2013-02-03 07:49:24 AM

Rex_Everything: flood_guy: Rex_Everything: Is a six figure salary enough to be relatively comfortable in that part of the country?

"Six figures" is a pretty broad range, man.  But, yea -  It's a lot more expensive there than here.  Especially housing.  At least lobsters are cheap - check out Stew Leonard's lobster days specials.  It's insane.

$110k + bonus (about 10% of salary). That is a comfortable living in St. Paul but not sure how far that goes in Hartford.


depends. Moving here from DC about 6 years ago, I overextended myself on a six figure salary to the tune of about 1000/month. I was looking at what I could afford based on home prices which compared favorable, evaluated gas prices also compared favorably.

But sh*t is just expensive. Electricity is double the national average, and more expensive than everywhere but Hawaii. And utility costs are insidious - they leak into everything from the price of an apple to taxes.

I also neglected to weigh taxes. I pay about 10K/year on a 2400 sq ft on 3 acres assessed at 400K. I don't mind it - my kids are getting a private school quality education, but it is something to factor in.

My recommendation would be to rent before you buy, get an idea of expenses before committing to a mortgage. Consider moving one town further out - home prices 15 minutes down the road in Marlborough are literally 20 pct less, and their education system is fine, but there's less to do in town.

Your wife not working for a bit is good - she can scope the cheaper places to shop. There's a normal grocery chain in town that is literally every bit as expensive as Whole Foods. You can shop there quite a while thinking that's normal before realizing that Shop Rite is a full 1/3 to 1/2 cheaper.

Don't get me wrong - I love it here, and it's worth the cost of living. It's just that I probably would have bought a different house at the time I moved if I had better educated myself on the cost of living.
 
2013-02-03 09:15:31 AM

flood_guy: She had a house up on Birch Mountain outside of Glastonbury where I spent a lot of time.  That's a VERY nice area.

L

ive about two miles from there in Bolton which is about 15 minutes east of Hartford.

Hartford is and has been a dead city for a generation or two so if you are looking for a city to live in don't take this job.  It is insurance companies and government offices and a ghost town after dark.  I've lived in Connecticut for over 45 years and most of that within a few miles of Hartford but I rarely have a reason to go there.

Connecticut has good schools compared to other states but we also have the biggest disparity between the achievement of white and nonwhite students.  This means that schools in urban areas are struggling.

Taxes.  We have local rule which means that towns pay for 50% of the costs of schools, on average.  Poorer towns get more and wealthier towns get less state funding which is always less than it should be.  I have a three bed room ranch valued at about $190k (Bolton has very good schools and the same house three miles away in Vernon would cost $160k) and I pay about $3700 a year in property taxes on the house, cars are taxed at the same rate too.

Transportation.  Buses and vanpools are about it for mass transit.  As long as there have been roads Connecticut has been gaming them.  A rural route might take a bizarre twist just so it would run past somebody's cousins business. Highways are undersized with left lane exits and entrances to keep things interesting.  We have NYC on on side and Boston on the other so to keep up we have adopted the worst of each driving habits.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-02-03 09:36:47 AM
Highways are undersized with left lane exits and entrances to keep things interesting.

I-84 is a lot better than it was 25 years ago. Most left exit lane drops are gone.
 
2013-02-03 09:42:28 AM

Cheron: Hartford is and has been a dead city for a generation or two so if you are looking for a city to live in don't take this job.  It is insurance companies and government offices and a ghost town after dark.  I've lived in Connecticut for over 45 years and most of that within a few miles of Hartford but I rarely have a reason to go there.


Hartford specifically yes - they've managed to avoid all efforts of urban renewal, and can't seem to hang on to any pro sports team.  Agreed on the mass transit and highways.  The 91/84/2/3 interchange near Hartford is the most screwed up interchange I think I've ever seen outside of Egypt.  I cannot fricking believe that in order to take the train to Boston I need to go through Springfield.

I moderately disagree on the nightlife.  Bolton's out there, but there's plenty to do in West Hartford, and even in Glastonbury there's no shortage of places to go in the evening.  If you really want the late nightlife (as I occasionally do), NYC is a short drive away, and I'm always glad to get home to a quiet town after a visit there.

I strongly disagree on the economy - at least those in the STEM fields are well taken care of.  My wife moved here from DC with no anticipation of working in her field as a geophysicist with proposal management experience.  In 2009, in the middle of the recession she decided to go back to work, and within a week had two six-figure job offers - one with a local environmental engineering firm, another with United Tech (that family of companies is a huge employer.  They're sending a lot of their manufacturing out of state, but a lot of the engineering and business development are still here).   And as I've posted upthread, I've got a lot of friends who live here because they consult and have easy access to both Boston and NYC.  Emerging resellers and tech companies target Hartford when building out their field personnel because they can pay one person to cover both cities and don't have to pay the premiums that come with an NYC or Boston employee.
 
2013-02-03 10:00:20 AM
Wait until you see the price of heating your home with "home heating oil".

Ask to see the last 12 months worth of utility bills, including the oil bill. Bring some smelling salts.
 
2013-02-03 11:06:05 AM
I grew up in Plainville, not too far from the Farmington Valley and about a half hour outside Hartford. Nice little town as far as the people go, but you need a permit to do just about anything aside from breathing and they're probably working on fixing that.

You've already got a good source for finding decent schools for the kids. I agree with previous post about avoiding New Britain, East Hartford and others for their schools and will add that avoiding them on general principle for any purpose is a good idea.

Yes, I-84 is a clusterfark, but if you're doing a straight shot into Hartford from the 'burbs you'll do fine. There are plenty of non-highway routes to use as back ups or replacements for that commute, though, in case you opt for that.

Last I used it about 6 years ago the transit system was workable but still lacking outside Hartford itself and not all that great in Hartford. Pretty sad when I can say the transit system here in the Phoenix area is so much better than CT Transit.

Lots of history, and education and recreation opportunities abound year round for all ages. Nightlife, depending upon what you're looking for, can be found. There's some damn fine dining in a variety of cuisines. Despite the lack of top pro teams, there are minor league and school sports all around.

Politically, CT is a nationally blue state, but statewide and local politics vary.

In the Hartford area you'll be far enough inland to avoid getting the brunt of storms coming in from the coast for the most part. Not to say you won't get slammed from time to time, but you shouldn't have to deal with the worst a hurricane can dish out. Tornadoes sometimes whip through. Snow storms and blizzards... well, you've probably had enough experience with that in MN that CT won't faze you. Summer humidity can be difficult to deal with, but you get used to it.

And, yes, utilities are high, taxes are high, and overall prices generally run above the national average from what I remember, but your salary ought to be OK for a family of four whether you're renting or buying. You won't be living the high life, but you'll have a roof over your head and food on the table.

If you really want the job and you're looking for a change of scenery, you could do a hell of a lot worse than Connecticut. Good luck whatever you decide.
 
2013-02-04 11:41:31 AM
Late to the party, but here's my two cents, having grown up in ct.

Here's a starter for highway info: http://www.kurumi.com/roads/ct/index.html The state needed a major highway infrastructure expansion 50 years ago, it got planned, and never happened. The traffic has only increased and there's nowhere new for it to expand to. You want to go out on a Friday night to have fun? Hope you like driving to get there, it's usually a minimum 20 minute drive to get anywhere that isn't the town you live in. If you happen to live in a town with a highway running through it, well, that helps, but CT doesn't take drunk driving lightly, and it's a good ways home from wherever you happen to be heading out to. Oh, yeah, State troopers are also notorious for giving out speeding tickets to the tune of 20+ dollars for every mph over the limit. 10 mph over 65? $239 speeding ticket. WIsh I still had the pic of that one. Small towns also typically suffer the same plot. Big enough town to support a large police force with tax monies... small enough town to not have a lot of crime... lots of free time for cops to have nothing to do.

Speaking of having nothing to do, you'll have nothing to do. Every time somebody references CT you'll see they point out that it's super close to NYC and Boston, that's because you'll want to be in either of those places, not CT. There's typically not a ton to do that's really interesting. That's not to say there's nothing to do, because you can always find SOMETHING to keep yourself busy with (personal hobbies, etc) but sure, there's historic stuff, that you may see once and call it done, and likely not repeat a visit. How many times can one person reasonably visit the Mark Twain house and not get bored? If you like urban decay you'll live Waterbury and Bridgeport, there's some sweet abandoned buildings around, but that's not really a "take the kids" kind of activity. If you and the fam are like most people, in that you like to occasionally go out for dinner, a movie, hit the mall, and go home kind of folks, CT is just like anywhere else on the earth. Suburban sprawl, towns geographically bounded by rivers and hills, making highways follow the topographical map means a small state like CT can take longer than you'd imagine to navigate.

CT also has the greatest disparity between its richest and poorest residents, greater than anywhere else in the US. The gap between the haves and havenots is pretty broad. Taxes are also pretty high in CT. Cost of living there is kinda silly in comparison to let's say... anywhere else on a coast... The state also has a serious attitude of entitlement. The "My shiat don't stink" attitude is prevalent, and you'll find a lot of people that are very two-faced. Friendly to your face, gossip behind your back. You'll walk around in public and find that people return frowns as often or more than they give smiles. Yes, this is my personal experience, no I don't have some kind of weird face. If you want your kids to grow up bored and self-entitled, CT is the perfect breeding ground for snobs.

Be forewarned, kids growing up in CT don't have a ton to do if they aren't into sports or civic activities, it's very easy to get into trouble. Not saying kids elsewhere don't have the same instincts, but when you're in a rural environment it's very easy to cause trouble without being caught. See the above bit about lots of bored cops and you'll see what I mean about the difference between causing trouble and getting INTO trouble.

Sure, it's all about what you make of it, just like anywhere else, but the winters here aren't all that warm (probably warmer than St. Paul), the summers aren't swelteringly hot (but probably hotter than St. Paul. Spring and summer are particularly nice, temperate times of year, and the fall color change is something special every year.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-02-04 12:28:47 PM
One thing Connecticut did almost right in traffic laws is limiting towns to making $10 per ticket. Everything over $10 goes to the state. Police can't get rich picking off commuters driving through. They may do it because they're bored, or the selectmen don't like foreigners on their roads, but a speed trap barely covers its own costs.
 
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