Submitted by martinisk t3_zwtufq in StamfordCT

Hey good people of Stamford,

looking for any good advise and/or opinion for my situation- I am father of family of 4, 2 married adults, 2 kids (7y and 9y) moving to US... to Stamford. Now in January. Never lived in the states before so zero credit rating. I appreciate any feedback but my most pressing dilemmas are:

  1. What area is good to live in/avoid... especially if I plan to commute to NYC 2-3 times a week (fortunately my employer building is right at the Grand Central station). I would therefore like to be in walking distance from Stamford train station (I consider anything up to 30min as walking distance).

  2. Kids (fluent in English) will go to one of the elementary public schools- kind of related to the above question- any preferable district I should be looking for to get the good school?

  3. I know hard to consider as everybody has different demands, but what is the minimum income threshold we should reach to have a decent life? Obviously, with contract signed not much I can do right away but would like to get a feeling how good/bad I am positioned at the beginning. Especially when my spouse will not work right away so for the first few months we will be with one income only. We don't do crazy things, no need for luxury goods or luxury vacations. I would say bau middle class with normal spending (sometimes eating out, sometimes arranging fun for kids, sometimes going for weekends to somewhere out of the town but mostly cooking at home and doing things outside which are for free, no serious illness that would require drugs or treatments, one small dog)



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mellamandiablo t1_j1wxxfl wrote

You could also consider looking for apartments/houses in the Glenbrook or Springdale area where you get more for your buck and you’d be near the two train stations. Springdale has a parking lot. It’s two stops right after the main Stamford stop and these areas might be better for children.


DLFiii t1_j1wrwvo wrote

Welcome! I think Stamford is a great place for families and it can be what you want it to be. You’re close to NYC but still feels far enough away when you want it to. We moved from Manhattan last spring and love living in downtown. We’re a 5-10 minute walk to the train station and in a great newish building. It’s a big mix of people. Lots of singles, families and retirees. As you mentioned, a “decent life” is relative and variable, but what I can tell you is that our building ranges from $3800 to about $4400 for a 2 bed/2 bath apartment. Generally speaking, I think that’s what you’ll pay in the downtown or Harbor Point areas. Harbor Point seems appealing for families because it’s not downtown proper, but there aren’t really any grocery stores or much to do. Personally we found the buildings there to mostly be the same. BLT properties are generally cheaply and very quickly built. The buildings in the downtown area definitely have higher end finishes and such, and you can feel the difference. But again, it all depends on what matters to you and your family.


martinisk OP t1_j1ww0tk wrote

Thank you u/DLFiii
How big are the apartments in your building so I can just make some compare to places I lived before or living right now. And also, based on that range do you happen to have personal range for the households income per year? to make it easier- in gross value so before any taxation. Like is decent life starting somewhere at 180k a year. Or 200k a year?


DLFiii t1_j1wwl63 wrote

The apartments are fairly large. Our 2 bed/2 bath is around 1100 square feet with lots of closets and storage. One thing to add is that life in Stamford will be easier with a car, so consider that as well. I think with $200K gross income, you could have a decent life in Stamford.


MightyMason t1_j1x83uf wrote

Lots of good information here. Only thing I can add is that stamford public schools are rated low for the area. Try to get the kiddos into a magnet school program like toquam, rogers, Scofield.


martinisk OP t1_j1yiqx2 wrote

This is what we noticed too... any opinion why that is? From where I am coming from the bigger towns have usually better schools as they have more choices for teachers.

Also, magnet is what we are looking for too- Hart magnet school or Strawberry magnet school is what were discussing as potential choices.


[deleted] t1_j1zig33 wrote



martinisk OP t1_j1znq9m wrote

>I have the same feeling in general. Unless it is clearly a school in rough neighborhood there should not be a big deal when talking about elementary school as such. To be honest, from where I am from, there are no ratings on elementary schools. As essentially there are maybe 4-5 basic things that each school can teach you and as a parent you are able to course correct.
Yes, magnet is what we will try, just because everybody talks about them. But it maybe that we will find apartment in Harbor Point as I like the area a lot based feedback and internet and I don't think that area is within magnet school district.


Pinkumb t1_j1zx44x wrote

When considering Stamford's school rating you need to consider the context of Stamford. This is a city next to many phenomenally wealthy suburban towns. Our neighbors are Greenwich, New Canaan, and Darien. Average home in Greenwich is $2.4M, New Canaan is $1.7M, Darien is $1.6M. Stamford? $600k. The wealth is a good indicator for other factors. Stamford is the most diverse city in Connecticut. Our neighbors are uniquely not diverse.

Lower incomes and more diverse student demographic means you need more educational services with less money. If your kid is average in Greenwich you may get a ton of services to help them out, but if they're average in Stamford they might not. Additionally, Stamford may not have as much funding for extracurricular activities these parents care about more. These are reasons they may call the school "bad" but that's not really the situation.

That's not the whole story. Stamford schools are not immune to criticism, but the ratings are not an accurate picture.


pizzainquiry t1_j1zeo08 wrote

From reading FB mom groups it seems like the vibe is that if you as a parent are attentive and what not kids can do really well in SPS (even not in a magnet school). A lot of "dont let the scores fool you" because of how diverse Stamford is a lot of non english speakers taking the same tests bring down the scores

I would also suggest joining some of those Stamford mom facebook groups they have lots of opinions on things and suggestions for things to do with kids in the local surrounding areas!


martinisk OP t1_j261cr3 wrote

u/pizzainquiry can you share names of those groups pls? My wife tried to browse facebook today and could not find anything. Thank you in advance


MightyMason t1_j1z1tbv wrote

Lots of factors play into a schools rating, as I’m sure you are aware. It would be the opposite here though, whereas big cities typically have lower school ratings.


freckleface2113 t1_j1z4u36 wrote

There's no guarantee that your kids will be accepted into the magnet schools.

New Canaan and Darien have better schools and have train stations that can get you into NYC. However, they're more expensive. But are probably worth looking at for the sake of your kid's education.


jduff180 t1_j1xhsse wrote

Are you looking to buy or rent? The Glennbrook And Springdale neighborhoods are good for kids, and have their own train stations with express trains to grand central in the morning. Express trains are usually about 58 mins from Springdale. As far as affordability, the price of housing has gone up significantly since the pandemic. So for a mid sized house (between 1500-2500 sq ft, about 3 bed 2 bath), could cost between $600k and $750k. I haven’t looked at the rental market so I can’t speak to that. What you can afford all depends on your down payment, how what your salary is, spending habits, etc.


martinisk OP t1_j1yj3l7 wrote

we go for renting... with zero credit history and no knowledge of local market whatsoever I would be worried to go for straight buying.
Thank you for Glennbrook location, will have a look. I assume there is some convenient train connection to Stamford main station where I can change for the train to NYC, right?

We will have a car for sure, but just one, so don't want to take it for whole day from my wife just to park it in front of Stamford train station. Thus looking for something doable for commute where I can avoid using car and still get to NYC.


existingisstrange t1_j1z4fd4 wrote

Just want to second the Springdale/Glenbrook area. You can just get on that train and it will take you straight to NYC so you don't need to transfer. It's more of a family area as well.


The-Magic-Sword t1_j1wzljv wrote

7 and 9? You could see if you could get them into Westover Magnet, i went there and its quite good.


Shortchange96 t1_j1xs8az wrote

I live in the Springdale section of Stamford and took the train pre-pandemic from Springdale and it was 60 minutes express train door to door.


martinisk OP t1_j1yj5ol wrote

u/Shortchange96 was it Springdale to NYC for 60min?


Shortchange96 t1_j1ysy6d wrote

It was. Express train from New Canaan. Starts at New Canaan, picks up at Talmadge Hill, Springdale, Glenbrook, Stamford then straight into Grand Central where I worked as well


calamaio t1_j1ygec7 wrote

Hi and welcome, In Stamford you will need a car in few months, for the zero credit you can ask somebody in the states to be your “guaranteer” ( I may misspell it but it means they allow you to have somebody use their credit score.) Good luck !!


gadama8248 t1_j1wt4m2 wrote

Watch any investments you may have. Many funds and stocks overseas are non registered investments and you may be forced to sell which could (maybe if you're one of the few that had a good year ???) tigger tax consequences.


martinisk OP t1_j1wvmlj wrote

hah, I think I had the same miserable year as most of the people... but yes, looking forward for my tax return discussions ;-)


LiamBrad5 t1_j20exwg wrote

I would say Glenbrook/Springdale, both are near smaller train stations but a lot more family friendly


pelliosophelus t1_j1ywleq wrote

Take a look at Fairfield if the extra train time doesn’t bother you. Much better for schools and families generally imo


ajpiko t1_j1yth84 wrote

> (I consider anything up to 30min as walking distance).

in winter???

> - any preferable district I should be looking for to get the good school?

thats why most ppl move to a suburb town on the same train line, but nnot stamford


martinisk OP t1_j1zfan2 wrote

ohh yes, winter is just another season. I can be hateful towards summer heats the same as to winter freeze ;-) So I am rather indifferent to both.


ajpiko t1_j1zh79x wrote

/r/stamford getting super mad at my shade at the schools but it's true, it's just the houses there are beyond expensive


PikaChooChee t1_j1zoayw wrote

“For the schools” is the polite way of saying “I moved to Darien because I am racist.”


ajpiko t1_j1zt94q wrote

riiiiiiight it totally has nothing to do with the schools