Ready to move to Shelton? Not so fast! Here are a few questions to consider before you plan your next move:
How long is the average apartment search?
With a vacancy rate of approximately 5 percent, you'll need approximately six to eight weeks to finish your campaign to infiltrate Shelton. Have a dog, a parrot or other potential renting red-flag? Then plan on adding another couple of weeks to that time frame.Keep in mind that you'll also be competing with wily Yalies, Manhattan commuters, and other unsavory characters, so once you've found your new place, sign that lease.
What's a reasonable rental budget?
More than you'd think. Shelton isn't New York City expensive, but it's still in Connecticut. Shelton is one of the least expensive areas in Fairfield County, so relatively affordable options are available if you look in the right neighborhoods. Conversely, if you're a high roller, there's plenty of multimillion-dollar real estate around.
What makes a successful rental application?
Don't plan on looking at apartments until you have proof of income or a very generous co-signer/benefactor. Glowing references from a previous landlord will push your application to the top of the pile. You should also have a credit report that indicates that you can budget with the best of them.
Here is a rundown on some of the neighborhoods in Shelton:
Booth Hill Road: You have champagne and caviar tastes as well as the budget to match if this neighborhood strikes your fancy. Just know that most homes are owner occupied, which means you'll have to grease some palms just to look at rental houses in this area.
Bridgeport Avenue: If you love outdoor adventures, you'll never leave the neighborhood. Your biggest decision may be choosing between the Trap Falls Reservior or the Shelton Land Trust.
Downtown: A 2005 plan to spruce up downtown Shelton has yielded significant dividends. Look for the hipster apartment of your dreams in a converted factory or examine the newly built rental condos in the area.
Huntington Center: If old buildings are your raison d'etre, Huntington Center is your neighborhood soulmate. In the Huntington Historic District, there are 46 historic buildings, and some date back to the 18th century. Although the oldest houses are not rental homes, you can still enjoy the historical ambiance as you walk by.
Pine Rock Park: You'll find mostly small ranches on equally small lots in this community named after a forgotten amusement park. However, if you want to create your very own Wonder Years, this neighborhood is a great place to search for reasonably-priced suburban rental properties.
White Hills: Named for its high elevation and dogwood blossoms, White Hills still preserves rural living in suburban Sheldon. While it's become more crowded, you can still see fields of strawberries nestled between the standard Greek revival housing.
Shelton's location is its largest asset, but that doesn't mean it's devoid of other lures. Pubs, fancy restaurants, and boutique shops all serve the area residents.
Enjoying the Outdoors
With 15 percent of Shelton set aside for green spaces, there are plenty of trails for biking and hiking. Even your precious four-legged companion is welcome, provided you keep him on a leash and bring a bag to store any 'gifts' that he might leave. If you're more of a seafarer, the Shelton waterfront supports boating and fishing.
Getting Out of Town
Can't stand the picturesque vistas of small-town Connecticut for another second? Shelton is prized for its close proximity to New Haven and Manhattan, so there's no need to get stir crazy. Commuter rail in nearby Stratford will get you to the Big Apple in 90 minutes, and New Haven is a quick 30 minute drive.
Preparing for Hurricanes
Property along the Housatonic River may be less appealing when you consider the damage that Hurricane Sandy did to the shoreline. Luckily, the tough New Englanders of Shelton have plans in place for any flood, power outage, or wind storm.
If you're tired of the hassles of city living, Shelton could be the getaway you'll never want to leave. Spend a long weekend in this town, and you'll be searching the rental classifieds until you sign your lease.