May 15, 2014 by Colleen Morris
It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted on Brooklyn to the Burbs. Partly because I had baby #3, which now feels like an eternity ago. She was born a week late on New Year’s Eve. Yes, that is quite a birthday for my little girl. And I’m pretty sure she’ll own it one day. Lol.
And the other reason I haven’t blogged in a very long time is because I am still totally consumed by my new life in suburbia. It’s been wildly wonderful to say the least. Honestly, I can’t tell you enough how much I love living here in Darien, Connecticut. Who knew.
This past weekend, my husband surprised me (after my many, many hints) with a paddle surfboard for Mother’s Day. I excitedly took it out on the Sound for a test ride last night. After I got my heart racing for fear the current was going to sweep me out to sea…we then played football with my son on the beach while my daughter collected seashells. And my 4-month old little angel took in the tranquil view of low tide coming back in on our rocky shore. Seriously. Life is good.
However, the real reason I am blogging today is to give a proper shout out to my good friend and realtor Caroline Hanley. For those who are contemplating the move to Fairfield County, please keep reading. You don’t want to skip this blog.
When we first moved to coastal Connecticut back in August 2012, I met Caroline a few weeks later at our son’s preschool. Right off the bat, you really feel her sincerity and warmth. She’s originally a Jersey girl like myself, and moved from NYC to Darien when she was pregnant with her second. She’s a super cool lady who knows a lot about all the things you need to know when you are new to town. Good friend to have.
About 6 months or so after our trial rental, I called Caroline to request her professional knowledge of the area. I told her we were ready to start looking but weren’t in any rush necessarily to buy. That weekend with 2 little kids in tow, we met her at Halstead’s office on Post Road here in town. She pulled up listings specifically with our likes in mind and in our price range. She’s not going to waste your time looking at dream homes you can’t afford or fixer uppers you are not interested in buying. She’ll also be very honest about the pros and cons of each listing while understanding your top priorities in a house.
Caroline happily drove us around Darien, and even stopped at Starbucks so we could get our morning lattes. She was such a huge help lugging kids in and out of car and houses all day. She offered them snacks and didn’t mind the mess they made in her car. And distracted them, when my husband and I needed to talk shop.
Caroline showed us short cuts that my GPS doesn’t even know. She told us about all the different pockets of neighborhoods. And gave us a ton of insight on the town’s offerings including swim, golf and boat clubs. Explained to me what Paddle Tennis was. (You’ll understand if you ever move here. It’s a culture, not a sport.) She’ll also fill you in on what permits and passes you need for train station, beaches, and town dump.
Caroline has a boy and a girl herself, and can go into detail about where to go for art classes, music, dance lessons, gymnastics, soccer, flag football, lacrosse, etc. She’s got the scoop on kid activities, town sports and the down low on all the preschools (and can also explain lunch bunch, another interesting suburban trend). We also got a quick tour of where Darien’s five elementary schools are sprawled out, as well as the middle school and high school campus.
She’ll share with you the info on community events like the Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival, the town’s tree lighting, Hindley Happening, OPUS Fundraisers, Push n’ Pull Parade, and the summer music and movies at Weed Beach. We actually have a lot of great stuff going on here!
Caroline told me about how to meet and most importantly socialize (i.e. drink vino) with other new moms. They do things a little differently here than the city. One recommendation was the YWCA Newcomer’s group which I reluctantly joined. But turns out she was right, and I met an amazing group of ladies all new to town like myself. And this year, my husband and I joined Winetaster’s. It’s just a more organized way of getting together with other couples with themed appetizer menus and wine pairing. Maybe one day, we’ll actually graduate to the town’s Gourmet Club, if I ever get my cooking skills to surpass scramble eggs. Lol.
And yes, by the way, the families here like to socialize and go out. There’s a lot of great restaurants and bars in Darien and in our neighboring towns including New Canaan, Westport, Stamford, and Norwalk. And multiple cab and car services to tote you around if you really want to have a good night. I love venturing outside my town, and have discovered some pretty palatable eateries. Thanks to my neighbor’s recommendation, I just discovered a place called South End in New Canaan last week that has live music every Wednesday, and Oyster’s that were probably shucked that same night.
Anyway, back on track with our home search. Caroline had tons of patience with us. And when we decided to make an offer, she handled all the negotiations like a pro. She’s very dedicated in making it all go as smoothly as possible for you. She did our walk through and closing with us, and helped with mover, painters, and interior designer recommendations.
I know all of this is typical of a realtor, but Caroline sincerely and happily wants to assist you and your family every step of the way. Even post the closing, she’s still there reaching out to you to see how the move went and how you are settling into your new home. I really appreciate all she has done helping my husband and I, along with our now three kids, find our dream home.
For anyone interested in moving to Connecticut, I highly recommend getting in touch with Caroline Hanley. Her Halstead office is located at 671 Boston Post Road in Darien. She can be reached there at 203-656-6546, or on her cell at 917-699-9713. Additionally, Caroline’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good luck to anyone thinking about moving to the burbs. Trust me, I can understand how big of a decision it is to leave the city. I hope you find your slice of heaven. I know I did.
Colleen, Brooklyn to the Burbs