And a 15-minute walk to the YMCA and the library. Plus a fairly dense neighborhood where kids can hop on their bike, or just walk down the street, and find tons of kids to hang out with and play ball with. How good is that?
The train would be the New Haven line (NYC to Boston). Fairfield is around an hour and 15 minutes by train to Grand Central Station. Not too bad, especially if you can get work done on the train. A little less time to New Haven. It's part of the "Gold Coast," but this neighborhood is more like Silver. Pricey for what little you get.
The lad and I took our annual journey to the great Pequot Library Book Sale in Southport, CT on Sunday afternoon, then spent a few minutes scouting out the Fairfield real estate (south of the Boston Post Road, near Long Island Sound), just for giggles - but thinking as investors.
With all of the amazing amenities, one might think these neighborhoods near the beaches would be charming as heck. They are not. They are mostly post-war, poorly-built and poorly-designed with lots of split-levels and other charmless ticky-tacky stuff, built on small lots on marsh fill and thus subject to flooding during big storms. But that's the price you pay to walk to the beach. Laws would not permit such wetlands construction today.
My lad says that post-war neighborhoods are rarely gentrified, or spruced-up, due to lack of charm and construction quality. Because of the local amenities and conveniences, the land here is worth about the same with house or without. It's mostly 1/4-acre lots, some less. That means the houses are what are termed "scrapers": the house adds no, or minimal, value to the lot. In fact, the cost of demolition detracts from the value. Those lots are valuable with or without a functional house - around $450-800,000, and well over a million post-scraping and rebuilding. As a result of the near-zero value of the building, many of them are not well-maintained or improved up to modern standards.
Only a few of them have been scraped and replaced by 3-story houses of indeterminate, ungainly style. (Due to setback requirements, you have to build up to 3 stories to get the square footage people want today.)
When people realize their houses are hopeless scrapers, they stop putting money into them and thus make the neighborhood - and themselves - look scruffy, dilapidated, or dysfunctional. Often, they are best off renting the darn thing. Here's an example of one below, a snout house I suppose, which has had nothing done since 1958 except paint. Landscaping, I think, by Home Depot. With a little effort in that department, it could look like a fairly good starter house or retirement shelter. An American flag over the entry, and some interesting landscaping, would add a lot to this basic dwelling without scraping it off.
(By the way, I hate those set-back zoning rules. Stupid. Houses could have friendly porches right off the street, and larger back yards for gardening, etc., without them. People making zoning rules are usually idiots. These are not exactly grand estates with gracious lawns full of grazing sheep.And, speaking of annoying zoning rules, these post-war neighborhoods are zoned as single-family residential, so there are no corner stores to walk to for coffee, a newspaper, an ice cream, or to chat with neighbors over a beer. You have to drive when anybody would prefer to push the stroller a few blocks for a coffee.)
For an example, this pleasant Cape in the same neighborhood is for sale for around $750,000. More Fairfield listings here.