17 Reasons Not to Move to Stamford, Connecticut (Voted by the Locals!)

Aerial panorama of Stamford, Connecticut

Stamford is probably one of the best places to live in Connecticut for its abundance of cultural activities and central location. However, even very nice cities can have some major downsides. We have listed 17 of these downsides below.

1. Weather

While summers in Stamford are muggy, they are also fairly mild which makes them a little better. The winters on the other hand are both freezing cold and snowy. This means relatively high winter humidity and bitingly cold air from December to early March.

With an average nightly low of only 24 degrees FahrenheitOpens in a new tab., winter temperatures in Stamford are pretty cold. And with about two months of 7.4-inch snowfalls, deep piles of the stuff pop up all over the area, making travel difficult and thwarting any hopes to enjoy the cold air.

The only good thing about all this snow is that kids may have fun building snow forts or having snowball fights, and as we’ll get to later this may be needed enrichment.

2. Tropical Storms

While it may seem like Stamford is too far north to get hit by Hurricane season, this is in fact not the case. While Hurricanes rarely make it as far as Stamford, just this year the city has been hit both by tropical storm IsaiasOpens in a new tab. and tropical storm HenriOpens in a new tab..

While not quite as intense as a hurricane, these storms are no joke. They can cause millions of dollars worth of damage to the city as a whole and tend to require extensive cleanup.

While these storms may not be world-ending, anyone living in the area needs to always be prepared to deal with some seriously dangerous weather during storm season. If you think that you’re not up to the task in terms of preparedness, Stamford might not be for you.

3. Cost Of Living

Due in part to the city’s proximity to New York, Stamford has a very high cost of living. The cost of living in Stamford is 38% higherOpens in a new tab. than the national average, and these costs mostly manifest in increased housing prices and utility costs. While groceries can also be pretty expensive in the area, they aren’t that much more expensive than the national average.

If you plan to move to Stamford, you’ll need to have a high budget just to get by. If you’re moving from a part of the country with lower pay rates, it may be tough to save up what you’ll need for your first couple of months.

The reward for this, in theory, is access to the better-paying jobs that can be found in this area, especially considering the city’s access to New York. Whether or not this works out for you will likely depend on your field of work and whether or not you already have a job lined up in the area.

4. High Housing Costs

This may seem like it belongs under the last section, but the housing costs in the Stamford area are definitely high enough to belong in their own section. At the time of writing, the median home price in the United States was about $440,000Opens in a new tab.. This is a lot of money and is likely the result of increasing construction costs.

However, the median home price in Stamford was $614,000Opens in a new tab., which is an increase of nearly $200,000! This is an enormous amount for a city with barely more than a hundred thousand residents. Add to this the city’s average rent of $2,744Opens in a new tab. per month, and it seems like affordable housing is likely entirely out of reach within the city’s borders.

It’s usually a good idea to keep housing costs down to about a third of your monthly income, but in order to afford the average rent in Stamford at that rate, you’d need to be making nearly $9,000 a month! And that’s for a 916-square-foot apartment, which is actually lower than the national average size of 941 square feetOpens in a new tab. as of 2018, although it is a little higher than average for the mid-Atlantic region.

So, if you don’t think you can afford to spend nearly $3,000 every month on rent or spend $614,000 on a home, you might need to consider alternatives to Stamford.

5. Property Taxes

While the actual rate that people in Stamford will pay for property taxes varies based on the neighborhood, the base mill rateOpens in a new tab. in the city is 27.17 for personal property and 27.25 for motor vehicles. A mill rate is a unit of property tax with the value of one dollar in tax for every thousand dollars in owned property.

With property prices always on the increase, homeowners in Stamford will likely be spending a couple thousand dollars on their property taxes each year, not to mention the tax on any motor vehicles they own.

6. Roads

Poor asphalt pavement. Pit on the road.

TRIP (The National Transport Research Nonprofit) rates the roads in the Stamford-Bridgeport area of Connecticut as the worst in the state and the sixth worst in the entire countryOpens in a new tab..

TRIP estimates that the poor quality roads in the area cost drivers a combined $797 million annually, although, before you let that number get you down it does include both the city of Stamford and the nearby city of Bridgeport, both of which have similar populations and road management problems.

7. Parking

There are two problems with parking in Stamford. The first is the price, which can range from about $1 for two hours at the Town Center to $13 for two hours at the Metro Green GarageOpens in a new tab.. Considering that most parking in the city is closer to that lower number, that doesn’t seem so bad. It isn’t until you take into account the fact that parking is free in all the nearby towns that the cost of parking seems relatively high.

This is most likely a result of the areas high density necessitating more parking more carefully kept up, which can be quite a large burden on smaller cities like Stamford.

With the high cost of parking on top of the high cost of living and bad roads, it can be really expensive to drive around the Stamford area. This is definitely not a fun combination.

8. Lots of People Commute

Considering the number of major cities in the area around Stamford, it makes sense that a lot of people travel for work. Because of the bad roads and heavy traffic between Stamford and New York City, the best way to do this is by train. However, for many people in the area, this means driving to the train station, paying for parking, and then spending $10 to $15 for train fare.

How is this a downside? Well, for one thing, it makes traffic miserable. Enough people choose to drive that getting onto the road is generally not a great experience. For another thing, it makes the city feel a bit emptier than it really is during workdays, as a lot of the people who actually live there are in New York.

9. You Need a Car

Despite the misery of driving and the necessity many people have to use public transportation, most residents of Stamford will need to have a car to get around. While people living in the city’s well-developed downtown may be able to get around using public transit and it should be possible to get by without one elsewhere for a couple of months, it’s tough to live anywhere more remote without personal transportation.

Will this be expensive? certainly. Will it be pleasant? Probably not. Will it make getting groceries and running errands easier? Yes, and that’s what matters.

10. Population Density

The population density of the average American city is only about 1,600 people per square mileOpens in a new tab.. This is a lot of people, but Stamford’s population density of 3,601 people per square mileOpens in a new tab. is over double that. While this level of density isn’t nearly as high as it is in New York or Los Angeles, it’s still high enough to cause some significant stresses.

If you’re not used to having a lot of people around, the increased density can be a huge shock, especially since it makes it tough to find a quiet place to just sit and think.

11. Proximity to New York City

While many of the city’s biggest opportunities are only made possible by the city’s proximity to the Big Apple, it’s also the root of a lot of the city’s problems. From high density to the cost of living, it seems like a lot of these issues can be explained by the fact that Stamford is a nice city that’s close to New York but isn’t as expensive to live in.

Of course, there is no solution to this problem, as both Stamford and New York seem to be unwilling to change locations. However, if you don’t want to be living in the shadow of a huge city, Stamford might not be the place for you.

12. Politics

Stamford leans to the left politically.Opens in a new tab. If this is something that frustrates you, Connecticut might not be the right state for you, but Stamford in particular might not be the ideal place to live.

That is not to say that there is no conservative population in Stamford. While only about 35% of voters voted Republican in the most recent national election, that’s still a sizable chunk of people who share that belief system.

13. Beaches are Rocky

If you’re coming to Connecticut with the expectation of being able to spend a lot of time playing on the beach, prepare yourself for disappointment. The beaches in Connecticut are mostly rocky, and sandy beaches are the exception. Because of this, they aren’t really great for swimming or building sandcastles.

There are plenty of fun things to do at the beaches in the Stamford area. Picnics, searching for wildlife, and sunbathing can all be accomplished handily in these kinds of locales. Just don’t expect to be able to take a swim on a whim.

14. Beach Access is Expensive

Daily passes to the beach in Stamford cost $26.50Opens in a new tab. for residents driving vehicles registered in the city, while residents with registration from other cities will be paying a premium of $42.50. If you’ve never been to the beach before, you may be wondering whether that’s a normal amount. It isn’t really, as sandy beaches in New Jersey only charge about $5 to $10 per dayOpens in a new tab. even for non-residents.

Fortunately, residents with the proper registration can get a yearly beach pass for only a few more cents than the price of the daily pass. Unfortunately, residents without the proper registration will be spending over $100 for their seasonal passes, and non-residents will be charged a whopping $292.46!

This means that actually visiting the beautiful beaches in Stamford can set you back a lot of money, even if you live in the city. This is a frustrating policy for the city to take, and if you want access to the beach, you may want to move to a different city.

15. Limited Free Entertainment

With beach access behind a high paywall, it can be tough to find things to do in Stamford without breaking the bank. Aside from visiting local parks, there isn’t really anything else to do that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Of course, paid entertainment options in the city are stellar, with great live theatre and concert venues and all sorts of other incredible cultural activities. But with the beach costing so much money, there often isn’t much to do in the city other than go out to eat.

16. Limited Kid’s Entertainment

bored child, close up, portrait

Like with budget entertainment, the great adult options stand out but there isn’t much that you can bring your kids to. Aside from the movie theater, kids have to make their own fun in Stamford. While this will make the yearly snow feel special, it may be a good idea to plan other trips out of town to give the kids something to do.

17. It’s Illegal to Kiss In Public On Sunday

Partially because of the city’s extremely religious history, it is illegalOpens in a new tab. for two people who are married to kiss in public on Sunday. This puritanical law seems like it would make life a lot less interesting, but unless kissing in public on one specific day of the week is your thing, it probably isn’t a huge deal.

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