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Northeast CT mamas?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
We're probably going to move to NE CT sometime in the next year or so.

So I found this town, what do y'all think of Norwich and surrounding towns? Because I found THE perfect school in Norwich. I think. It's a charter school and you get in by lottery, but I'm down with that-- the public schools look pretty decent (according to Great Schools website) in the meanwhile.

I'm also looking at Moosup and Plainfield. I can't see anything that I'd hate about these places, and the rents look awesome, and the towns look quaint and safe, yet close enough by car to Do Stuff.
I would probably like to work in home health or retail or food service, or something where I can work during school hours.

Thoughts? Any of you mamas live in any of those places, or have you ever, that you can comment?

Storrs, I'm looking heavily at Storrs, too, and Stafford Springs.

HUGE deals for us: school quality and low-ish rent w/o being in a bad area. And jobs during school hours.

I crossposted this with another thread I started, but it seems to have died re: responses.

Thanks for any info, mamas!
post #2 of 15
I live in Uncasville bordering on Norwich, and my son goes to the charter school. We LOVE it there and you will find many like-minded families! Norwich is much more "city"than the surrounding areas, especially Plainfield and Moosup. I used to live there - I like the town, there is a lot of arts and culture, but it definitely is a more "urban" area. It is a little pricey in areas - being that we are so close to the casinos, and there are definitely better and worse neighborhoods. Feel free to pm me with what you are looking to spend, or streets you have found places on if you more specific info!!!
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, mama! That school sounds *so* cool. I wonder, though, why if it's so great, there's lots of turnover with the student population? A parent commented re: that, on the Great Schools site.Do people move away a lot?

Is it hard to get in?

Uncasville-- I saw a cute trailer (for a trailer...I'm not fond, but for the price I'd do it) for rent there, on Craig's List, for $625. I might be able to swing that depending on the utilities. How much does heat tend to run in the winter, there? What is the best kind of heat to have, or not have? I'll be trying to find a place that includes it, for sure, but just in case.

I'm looking for something between...oh, say $500 and $800, 2BR. A tub and not just a shower. A dishwasher would be divine, but if not...we'll deal. And a parking place off-street. It doesn't have to be a big place. My dream place we can walk to some grocery shopping and not have to use the car that much. It would have a place our son can shoot his bows and arrows and maybe skateboard a bit. It would have either a coin laundry or hookups.

And I think it has to be within 26 miles of that school for us to qualify to go to it? Yes?

I saw that about casinos. Are they good places to work? Or are they just bad-news areas? I would love to avoid crime, kwim? We're pretty sheltered Not at all used to unsafe places. Ever see that movie "The Butcher's Wife"? It's really old, with Demi Moore? That would be me

I would love to hear about the good vs. not-so-good areas. So when I look on Craigs List I can avoid certain streets and what-not.

post #4 of 15
I live in Norwich, I enjoy it for the most part... nice park, good places to eat, a museum... I'm not sure how the school are around here for little ones my dd isn't in school yet. I know they have a montessori school in town. The high school is wonderful! As far as crime goes it depends on where in the town/city you live, I have lived here for a while and know what roads you don't want to live on (sometimes I don't even like to drive on...) area's to avoid: Boswell Ave (parts of it), any of the "th" streets such as 8th street 14th street. central ave. good places are: most of the roads near the high schools, or community college. Broadway, Rockwell, Harland Road. there are allot of good places. other towns to look into are Preston, voluntown, salem if you like the country.

I myself haven't worked at the casinos but I know allot of people who have and they no one has anything to bad to say about it except that you need to park and take a bus to get there if you work there... if there is anything else I can help you with just let me know. if you have anyother questions feel free to PM me.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
What wonderful answers, mommadoula. Just the kind of thing I'm looking for! Is it a big city? How many people, do you know? Is the casino the major employer?

That so helps, knowing which streets or areas to avoid. I highly value feeling safe in my home
post #6 of 15

sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I wasn't used to the new layout of the site. No its not a big city, I don't think of it as a city at all actually.... I went to High School in this town but I grew up in another so there are allot of people who I know from there. But as far as people I have meet since then not to many, but there is a mom's group that is starting up in the area. Yeah, the casino's, Pfizer,and Electric Boat are the major employer. 

post #7 of 15

The casinos are a major employer, yes - they have amazing benefits packages and as far as i know are generally good employers.  They both have very strict standards, but if you are not the type to call out a lot and you are a good worker. there are many opportunities for advancement.  There are also a lot of human service jobs, if that is more your thing (that's what i do!) 


The streets mentioned by pp - I second those!  Anything in Norwichtown is nice, I would mostly just avoid the immediate downtown area. (and definitely not a big "city") 

Uncasville is fairly quiet, but still very close to Norwich.  There are several "trailer parks" - some of them are quite nice!  I used to live in Salem, and lovedit there!  Not so much as far as rentals there though...


We have oil heat - I think that's the cheapest way to go, but not positive.  We usually spend roughly $600-$800 a season on heat?  I think? 


I don't know about high turnover at the school.  It is a lottery system to get in for Pre-K - after that you are put on a waiting list.  I know some kids who have only moved up a place or two after 5 or 6 years.  My son is in the 1/2 class and I think they only have one, maybe two new students in his class this year.  And I know one of the boys from last year moved out of state.  I personally really love the school.  The Norwich high school is fantastic though - by far one of the best in the area.  And Norwich has a much-used skate park! 


I'll check out what's around and give you an idea of what your options look like!!!

post #8 of 15

hi. I've been out here in Norwich for at least three years since i left my ex and was on my own w my gurls. and because i was on my own w no car and taking the bus i was in those bad ares these other mams spoke about...i lived here as a kid till i was 14 and than we moved and i went to Jr high in montville and finished up high school in Waterford. personally i wanna get out of here the jail is to close and this town is where the people get sent when they get released. there is lot of half way houses for people getting out.

alot in the ave ares like another mama spoke about. there is also lot of sex offenders here. i believe some of them are in halfway houses here as well. shy.gif and my complex where we live rents to sex offenders i hear. i don't really know if it is true. i have yet to check watchdog.com. i should... the school are good. there is a huge involvement here w families and parents who are involved in the local policy's. which is very refreshing. they have loads of free activities at the local library for kids and families. its a gave and take like all towns.

post #9 of 15



I used to live in Norwich. Moved to New London and will never go back to Norwich...It has some kind of bad vibe, I wouldn't like to rise my kids there.

I used to work at casino and my husband still works there. The benefits isn't as good as it use to be but it could be much worse. If you aren't afraid of hard work, you will find something. It's a lot of residentials and they hire anyone. Anyways, most people in this area travels to work,,,I found job in Deep River so am driving 25min to work,,,

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well, so far no luck selling the house greensad.gif Hopefully in the summer? I surely don't want to move in the wintertime. Grrr. I'm still watching this thread for ideas, though. I really do appreciate all the answers! Thanks, mamas!

post #11 of 15

I lived in Norwich for 10 years and will NEVER move back.  I watched that town go down hill fast.  My kids never attended their public schools due to the school issues.  We had an excellent experience with the Charter School back when it wasn't so popular. My LO is on the list now as they only took 11 kids form the 100+ that were in the lottery because siblings have first chance and that was 2 years ago.  We are finally number 45 on the list so here's hoping.  When we moved there our neighborhood was older folks, safe and quiet but they all moved out slowly over the 10 year period and the day we moved out there was a brutal murder two houses away.  Glad we got out!  But that is just my experience.  We live in peaceful, VERY rural Scotland now and love it! There are quite a few foreclosed homes here you might be able to get a deal on if you go to the town hall and find out what bank owns them and go buy directly.  Infact the one next door is empty. The only issue is my daughter is full AA and is one of about 6 in the whole school however the class sizes range from 12 kids to 18 so they are smaller which is nice.  The HS sucks though so my girl will be doing vo-ag at E.O Smith since we have alpacas and chickens.

post #12 of 15

hey I went to EO smith :)   all my AP classes were actually on UConns campus..but that was a long time ago

mansfield/storrs is a very pretty area



I used to work for an ambulance service in Norwich...don't do it....the area has too many bad areas that most people never really see but theyre there anyway

I did a LOT of OD calls there and more than a couple of stabbings to give you an idea


I own real estate in Stafford Springs and know most of the its inhabitants..its a very small town mentality..if you weren't born and raised there you will always be an outsider and this is especially hard on kids also..the school system is not that great, no extras pretty much at all to speak of ..not even lacrosse, no field trips that are valuable, no SAT prep...really abyssmal

and the school system seems determined that every childs failing is clearly the parents fault

but, the rent and real estate is very low and there is an alternative private school there thats very nice and may very well be worth looking into if theyre waiting list isnt too bad

if you decide to go with stafford pm me..I can put you in touch with a fair landlord that will treat you well with my reference/name drop


we live in Canton,Avon, Simsbury area...I cant speak highly enough of it...very family oriented, very rich environment school systems, lots to do all summer on the farmington, lots of snow sports in the winter but very expensive..my taxes here are more than double what I pay in Stafford but to me worth every penny

lot of fun free things to do and people are shockingly pleasant around here ..police even tracked us down to return a blackberry my husband left on a gas pump

there is actually a LOT of employment here..in virtually every sector from retail to medical

all of those three towns great schools tends to rate them better than some of the very large private schools


less expensive options near here are suffield (beautiful town) granby (but not east granby) and barkhamsted

stay away from winsted and new hartford is just to expensive to justify living there (value v price)

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks! Where is the Canton, Avon, Simsbury area? I shall have to go look on mapquest. And thank you, SGVaughn, for the potential reference; I shall surely keep your name "on file" for future reference. Not really on file, but you kwim smile.gif


Scotland? I assume you mean CT and not the country? winky.gif I wish I could go move to the country!


We'll be looking to rent, not buy. So I'm sure that will narrow things down a bit.



post #14 of 15

canton simsbury is northwest, where norwich is more northeast.  I'd agree that having lived in CT the majority of my life that canton, simsbury, avon is much nicer for families.  not easily accessible, but it doesn't need to be as it's nicely self contained.  I'd pick it over norwich in a heartbeat.  however I'm not sure you'll find much in your price range....

post #15 of 15

sorry I missed this until now.


Yes, Panserbjorne is correct on all points except there is some reasonable rents in Canton, theyre just difficult to find.

It's not very accessible but is incredibly self contained. I really don't need to travel further than 5 miles from my home for pretty much anything including just about any kind of medical care you can imagine.

There is also a very vast amount or "all natural, organic, naturapathic" everything here too from food and clothing to again, medical care.

It is a very beautiful and comfortable enviroment and we've also found that children are generally welcomed everywhere except for some of the very high end restaurants that I wouldn't take a child to anyway.

craisglist has rents sometimes but the yankee peddler is a very good place to check (local publication).

New Hartford has some reasonable rents as well but I can't remember why I scratched that off my list when we were house shopping maybe I didn't think the school were great?

The offer stands if you should need it for a name to drop at the real estate company in Stafford, drop me a pm if you ever decide you'd like the info..they generally have various houses or apartments available and are very good about upkeep if you're a good tenant.

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