Top Reasons to Live in Hartford CT
Housing Statistics Hartford, the city, lies in Hartford County, which is home to nearly 900,000 people as of the 2010 census. Hartford-proper is much smaller, with only 125,000 residents. Although Connecticut was ranked last in the country in terms of states' recovery from the recession--it was the only state to post a decline in Gross State Product in 2012--things have been rapidly improving as we go through 2013. The median list price for homes in Hartford for July 2013 was $245,000, which is a 4.3 percent increase over July 2012. There was also a 3.57 percent decrease in housing inventory year over year, and a 13.54 percent decrease in the median age of the inventory; both signs of an improving market. Also of note, in Hartford-proper, not including East Hartford, West Hartford, or other neighborhoods, only 25 percent of housing units are owner-occupied, which is consistent with it being an urban area. Hartford has a good mix of purchasable, rent to own, and rental options
Shopping It may not be home to any outlets, but if you're looking for some good shopping, there is no place like West Hartford. Many people think that the vision of idealistic American town centers--families strolling down red brick streets in a few-block radius lined with shops and cafes--have long since disappeared and been replaced with "Levittowns" that came around post-World War II. However, those people would be wrong. West Hartford is comprised of four streets that can sate a foodie's dreams, while appeasing those looking to spend a few dollars. From big-brand stores like Lululemon and Ann Taylor Loft, to smaller boutiques like Charming Charlie's and Penzeys Spices, there is plenty to splurge on.
Arts and Culture Did you know that Noah Webster was born in West Hartford, and that him and his father were both instrumental to starting the local public library? Well, now you do. In addition to visiting the library and his house (which is now a museum), other famous denizens of the city whose homes you can visit include Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe, who were next door neighbors. Besides seeing ancient homes there is an amazing hands-on children's museum called the Hartford Science Center; tours of the state's capitol building; and the Wadsworth Atheneum, the first American museum to have Surrealist art from Dali and other painters and Renaissance art from Caravaggio. If performing arts is more up your alley, take in a play at The Bushnell Performing Arts Center or the Hartford Stage, catch a concert at the Hartford Civic Center arena or the outdoor Comcast Theatre ampitheatre, or listen to some live musicians at Elizabeth Park all summer long.
Neighborhoods Although West Hartford and East Hartford are not part of Hartford-proper, if you're moving to Greater Hartford don't forget to look at those areas, as they provide a lot of benefits of the suburban life, while still essentially being a part of the city. The neighborhoods in Hartford have rental homes, houses for purchase, and apartments to rent, so there's something for everybody. In terms of Hartford-proper, there are 17 distinguished neighborhoods, so here are just a few to consider: