The Higgins Group

Westport, Connecticut

Westport is a beautiful coastal town located approximately 47 miles north of New York City. Originally an artists’ colony, the town has held strong to its cultural roots while expanding into an affluent community. Connecticut Magazine ranked Westport the #1 town by in their Rate the Town 2011 issue for populations 25,000 to 50,000. Westport’s small-town atmosphere provides residents with a quaint haven away from the bustle of larger cities. Of course its proximity to New York City means you’re still only an hour away from enjoying the big-city benefits! The downtown area offers a robust shopping experience with everything from one-of-a-kind boutiques to international luxury retailers.

The thriving arts community offers outstanding performances at the Levitt Pavilion and The Westport Country Playhouse. Of course the quality of life extends past award-winning entertainment and shopping…. a first-rate public school system. Westport’s public high school was ranked in the top 10 Connecticut high schools by US New in 2013.

Westport also has amazing parks such as Compo Beach and Sherwood Island State Park, located on Long Island Sound for picnic areas and beach, and Longshore Country Club is available to residents for golf, swimming, sailing and fine dining.

Photo Courtesy of Thrutheeyes Photography

Westport has easy access to Interstate 95, the Merritt Parkway, and U.S.1 as well as the Saugatuck River, which runs right through the town. Green’s Farms and Westport have train stations on Metro-North railroad with service to Grand Central terminal in New York City.

Many famous entertainers have called Westport home, most notably actor Paul Newman. Many corporations make Westport home such as Bridgewater Associates, Canaan Partners, dLife, Terex and the global non-profit organization Save the Children.

There are unique real estate opportunities in areas such as Compo Beach, Greens Farms and Old Hill, from new construction homes to luxury condos in many price ranges. Westport is a thriving and creative community – come take advantage of all it has to offer!

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Fairfield County Connecticut “The Quiet Confidence”

Photo courtesy of  Matt Hintsa

As a lifelong resident and veteran Realtor in Fairfield County, I have been drawing comparisons between New York and Connecticut for over 20 years. Monumental Manhattan makes Fairfield County all the more magical and meaningful, particularly because of the vibrant contrast between the two. Although Fairfield County is more than half the size of Manhattan it enjoys arguably less than one percent of the fanfare—and we in Fairfield County wouldn’t have it any other way.

I, personally, know of no other county in the United States that is as celebrated and as bustling as Fairfield County, and yet still maintains a compelling constellation of country-towns, small cities, quaint suburbs and seashore communities. While nothing can compare to the blessings of living directly in Manhattan, for the millions who desire either a primary or secondary residence outside of Manhattan, Fairfield County is just the place.

While we cannot boast of reality shows, NFL teams, or bridge and tunnel access, the absence of these is a compelling reason that Fairfield County maintains its alluring characteristics. We gladly trade loudness for quiet confidence. The approximate hour commute from Manhattan transports rail commuters to a diverse state replete with

Photo Courtsey Of Doug Kerr

Photo Courtsey Of Doug Kerr

culture, education, and recreation–all of which is submerged in breathtaking pastoral views. Few wonder why Fairfield County, beyond its countless satisfied citizens, is known as a mecca for hedge fund executives, artists, entertainers and world-renowned celebrities. These savvy folks, after traveling much of the world, realize that Fairfield County is the ideal haven for either a full time residence or for a quick getaway.

Born out of a New England tradition of independence, it is clear that each town, hamlet, village, borough or city is absolutely distinguishable from the rest. Fairfield County’s quintessential charm is contrasted with its high-industry aspects: it is also a regional hub of several world-headquartered financial and high-tech firms. Few places can boast of such progressive diversity while still preserving its heritage and old world charm.

CTAlthough Fairfield County is known by many for its Great Gatsby-like estates (which are also linked to Connecticut’s favorable tax structure and storied topography), there is an impressive range of housing available that can satisfy all price ranges and lifestyles. One thing you will not find though, unlike much of the U.S., is a preponderance of cookie cutter developments. I have buyers from all over the world, including seasoned corporate transferees, who constantly remark: “I can’t believe how every home seems to be different from the next.” Connecticut is not where homes and developments, or people for that matter, are viewed as interchangeable widgets—yet another testament to our independence.

Given the emerging importance of peer reviews and recommendations, I am encouraging “Real Recommendations from Real Residents” on the “Homes in Your Town” websites that the Vanderblue Team will be creating for towns throughout Fairfield County. Over the years, I have learned that consumer-to-consumer recommendations actually influence purchasing decisions much more than traditional marketing and advertising.
Manhattanites familiar with their city’s distinctive neighborhoods will value learning of the nuances of Fairfield County – from our urban planning to our pristine horse properties and farmlands, from our exceptional seashores to our bustling cities – there is literally something for everyone. My experienced team is prepared to consult with anyone seeking to learn more about Fairfield County and other areas within the beautiful state of Connecticut. We invite residents of Manhattan to experience the wonders of Fairfield County this fall season.

Visit Julie Vanderblue, CEO, The Vanderblue Team President, The Higgins Group