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Top 10 Things to Know Before Moving to Fairfield County, CT

Lori Auerbach|May 24, 2024
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Top 10 Things to Know Before Moving to Fairfield County, CT 

Moving to Fairfield County, CT, is an exciting adventure that comes with a unique set of benefits and considerations. As local realtors and longtime residents who relocated here from out of state, we've fallen in love with this charming area and want to share our insights with you. From understanding local taxes to enjoying diverse seasonal activities, there’s a lot to learn about this vibrant community. Whether you're eyeing a move for the excellent schools or the commuter-friendly access to NYC, here are the top 10 things you should know before making Fairfield County your new home. 

  1. Top-Ranked Schools

Education is a highlight in Fairfield County with top-ranked public schools from elementary through high school. Websites like US News and World Report, GreatSchools.org, and Niche.com regularly recognize the area’s schools for their excellence, making it an attractive destination for families.  

  1. Property Tax

Property tax rates in Connecticut are expressed in mills (thousandths of a dollar). The mill rate determines how much tax is levied per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value. For instance, if the mill rate is 30, you’ll pay $30 for every $1,000 of assessed value. Property assessments are based on 70% of the fair market value. Given Connecticut’s high property tax rates, ranked 5th in the nation, understanding this calculation is key.  

  1.  Car Property Tax

In Connecticut, including Fairfield County, you’ll need to budget for an annual car property tax. Besides the initial sales tax when buying a car, every year you own it, you’ll pay a tax based on 70% of its clean retail value. This applies to vehicles registered as of October 1, with taxes due the following July. If you register your vehicle between October 2 and August 1, you’ll see a supplemental tax in January. Remember to inform the local tax assessor when you trade in or sell your car, as the DMV won't do it for you. 

  1.  Proximity to Airports

Living in Fairfield County means easy access to major and regional airports. For big trips, JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark International are within reach. If you prefer smaller airports, Westchester County, Tweed New Haven, and Bradley International offer direct flights to destinations like Florida, DC, and even Ireland. This makes both business and leisure travel convenient. 

  1.  Commuter-Friendly County

Fairfield County is a commuter’s dream with several Metro North train lines offering easy access to NYC. Amtrak also serves the area, providing routes as far north as Burlington, VT, and south beyond Philadelphia. Whether you’re heading to the office or exploring, commuting is straightforward. 

  1. Navigating the Roads

Fairfield County is well-connected by major highways, though traffic can be heavy during rush hours. Key routes include I-95, Merritt Parkway, I-84, US Route 7, Route 8, and Route 25, facilitating easy movement around the region. Despite the occasional traffic jam, these roads keep you moving. 

  1.  Enjoy Four Full Seasons

Fairfield County experiences all four beautiful seasons. Fall brings stunning foliage, winter offers a snowy wonderland, spring blooms with flowers, and summer is perfect for beach outings. From crisp autumn days to warm summer nights, there’s always something to enjoy. 

  1.  Diverse Activities and Landscapes

From coastal beaches along Long Island Sound to lakes and hiking trails, Fairfield County offers a diverse range of outdoor activities. Small towns host charming events year-round, while cities like Stamford and Norwalk offer vibrant nightlife, dining, and shopping options. There’s always something to explore. 

  1.  No Professional Sports Teams

While Connecticut lacks its own professional sports teams, residents are passionate fans of nearby teams. You’ll find loyal supporters of the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, New York Mets, and various other teams from neighboring states. The sports culture here is diverse and enthusiastic. 

  1. Higher Cost of Living

Connecticut’s cost of living is higher than the national average, ranked 10th in the US. With proximity to NYC, it’s one of the wealthiest states. This means higher prices, especially for housing, which is 34.6% above the national average in Fairfield County. Utility costs are also notably high, so plan accordingly for these expenses. 

Moving to Fairfield County offers a blend of natural beauty, top-tier education, and convenient commuting options, despite some higher costs. As longtime residents, we can attest that the charm and opportunities here make it a wonderful place to call home.

Welcome to the neighborhood! 

  

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