Everything You Need to Know When Moving to the Shoreline CT Area
Shoreline, Connecticut isn't one town; it's a string of small villages and towns along the Long Island Sound on the state's southern border. The Shoreline begins just north of Manhattan, in swanky Greenwich, and goes all the way up to the Rhode Island border. If you love small town charm, coastal living, and proximity to big cities, the Shoreline might be your next home.
Shoreline Demographics, Housing and Education
We looked at four Shoreline towns—Guilford, New Haven, Old Saybrook, and Wallingford. They represent a good cross section of the coastline towns and are closely aligned with the rest of Connecticut.
Connecticut is overwhelmingly white—79.7% according to the US Census bureau. Shoreline communities are even less diverse. Guilford is 92% white, but Old Saybrook is an astonishing 95.3% white. New Haven is the most diverse city in the area; 32.6% are Black, and 31.2% are Hispanic. If diversity and a multicultural environment are important to you, New York is close by.
The population in this area is older; roughly 64% are in the 18-65 range, which is typically considered the workforce. The national average of population in this age range is 63%.
New Haven has the greatest population density in the Shoreline area; 6,948 people per square mile. The rest of Shoreline is more spread out, about 1,595 people live in that square mile. This is still a densely populated area, since the national average is 86 people per square mile.
Median Home Prices
The median home value in the Shoreline area is about $312,275. Comparatively, the median Connecticut home value is $275,400, and in the US it's $217,500. Guilford has the highest home ownership of the towns we surveyed, at 86.6%; followed by Old Saybrook at 80.7%.
The average rent in the area is $1,361, as opposed to the national average of $1,062.
The median income in Connecticut is $78,444. Shoreline residents make a bit more money, $79,504 is the median salary. The national average is a little over $62,800.
Shoreline is an extremely well-educated area of the US, 95% of residents have at least completed high school. It's no surprise, then, that almost half the population has at least a bachelor's degree. In Connecticut overall, 39.3% of the population has a college degree.
The Shoreline Economy and Job Market
The Shoreline economy is stable. Over 976,000 people work in the area, although some of those are seasonal summer workers. Collectively, they earn over $66.6 billion, close to $166 billion in GDP.
Since the area encompasses so many towns, it's difficult to find hard numbers on the Shoreline job market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics did find that Connecticut added 11,000 jobs in July 2021, up from the initial count of 9,400 new jobs. Overall unemployment, 7.1%, is high compared to the national average, 7.2%, but it is dropping. Nationally, unemployment was at 5.2% in August
New Haven is the center of Shoreline industry, with a booming biotech industry, aerospace and technology, and medical manufacturing.
Connecticut as a whole is adding jobs in some sectors; government, construction, hospitality, and professional services are growing industries. Many Shoreline residents are seasonal or commute to other cities, so it's something to keep in mind when you're thinking of moving to Shoreline.
CTrail runs the Shoreline East line, both trains and buses, from Union Station in New Haven up to New London. The New Haven station has connecting Amtrak service. CTrail has a mobile app so you can get train or bus tickets from your phone.
Fares vary, depending on the types of service, stations, and whether it's a one-trip ticket or a monthly pass. Seniors and people with disabilities do get discounted fares.
Climate and weather
Coastal areas have milder weather than their inland neighbors. The waters of the Atlantic Ocean maintain temperature so that the air on the coast is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Shoreline doesn't get as much snow as the rest of Connecticut, but coastal areas do get more rain.
Summers here are cool, averaging about 80 F in July, and winters are pretty cold, averaging 26F in January. Expect about 26 inches of snow, and 48 inches of rain.
Two things Shoreline residents worry about are increasing weather disasters, like Hurricane Sandy, and the rising sea levels along the coast.
Things to do outdoors
Life along the Shoreline revolves around the water. Private yacht clubs and public marinas dot the coastline, and all kinds of boating are popular. If you prefer dry land, there are lots of parks for hiking, bicycling, fishing, horseback riding—there's something for everybody. One of the coolest places to spend a Saturday is the Gillette Castle State Park, where the medieval-type fortress is the centerpiece for camping and other activities. The Castle is closed, but will reopen in May 2022.
Where to live in Shoreline
Old Saybrook is the oldest town on the Shoreline. It's a classic New England village, with a charming town square, 17 miles of coastline, and lots of historic sites. A highlight of Old Saybrook is the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, a small theater named for the iconic actress and local resident. Current residents may be seasonal, commuter, or full-time people who live and work in Old Saybrook. Although there are some multi-million dollar estates for sale on the water, you can buy a home in the Knollwood neighborhood for under $500,000.
A few miles north and inland of Old Saybrook, Wallingford is a commercial hub for the Shoreline. The town has a large health care and medical business presence, and several industrial parks afford the town a diversified tax base.
Like many New England towns, Wallingford boasts that George Washington dropped in a couple of times. The town's history goes back farther than that; the Center Street Cemetery dates back to 1673. There are lots of historical buildings in Wallingford throughout the town's 400 years, so it's not all saltbox houses and white-spired churches, there are several architectural styles represented.
Choate-Rosemary Hall, a top-notch boarding school is located in downtown Wallingford.
Wallingford has a broad range of real estate options. A small condo lists for under $100,000; a large Victorian near Choate lists for $837,000.
Elm City is New Haven's nickname, and when you visit, you'll see why. New Haven introduced civic tree planting in the US, and they planted a lot of elms. Yale University is the town's claim to fame, as it's the biggest employer and biggest tax payer here. New Haven is a city, and the most urban and diverse of the Shoreline towns.
It's big on culture, with a local symphony, and a Jazz festival every year. The New Haven Green is the hub for local activities.
In New Haven, a tiny penthouse can be yours for a really great price, or you can dream about an historic estate for a few million. Most real estate is in the middle, with houses listing in the mid-$200s.
Like Old Saybrook, Guilford has a mix of summer and year-round residents. The shoreline here stretches for 12 miles, so beach and boat lovers flock to Guilford, a suburb of New Haven. The town has more historical homes than any town in New England.
All these old homes give Guilford a rustic charm that carries over to local boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops. The town Green is a vibrant gathering spot, and several historical museums surround the Green. If you're a history buff, Guilford is a great place to live.
Guilford has a higher price tag for housing than some of the other Shoreline towns. The median listing price is $470,000, which will buy you a condo or a single family home, depending on the size and location. The closer the water, the more expensive the real estate is a good rule of thumb.
Schools—Public or Private?
Connecticut prides itself on great public education, and they should. The system is one of the nation's best, with test scores significantly higher than the national average, and a graduation rate of almost 88%.
Some of the nation's finest boarding schools are in Connecticut. Aside from Choate in Wallingford, there's the Hotchkiss School, Kent School, Taft School, and Loomis-Chaffee. None are close enough to Shoreline for day students.
Culture and Entertainment
Shoreline may not be culturally diverse, but restaurants here represent a broad range of cuisines. Almost every town has a craft brewery and coffee shop, or a winery. Vegans and vegetarians can find lots of options here, if you're not into a burger and a beer.
There's not a wild nightclub scene along the Shoreline, but live music is a huge draw in New Haven, and there are plenty of pubs and local watering holes.
Live theater is back in Shoreline, and there are several venues if you enjoy concerts and plays. The Kate in Old Saybrook, the Garde Arts Center, and the Discovery Museum and Planetarium are examples of the wide variety of entertainment here.
Pros and Cons of Shoreline, CT
If you're looking for multicultural living on a budget, keep moving—Shoreline overall is a bastion of WASP propriety. Here are the pros and cons of living in the area.
- Beautiful scenery
- Well-educated population
- Fabulous dining and entertainment
- Lots of history and culture
- Cost of living is high
- Traffic is heavy
- No diversity
- Hot, humid summers
College HUNKS Makes Moving Easy
Any time you're considering a move, it's easy to let the logistics overwhelm you. There's a house to pack up and belongings to move, lots of paperwork to get your insurance, driver's license and other documents updated, registering kids for school—it is a daunting task. College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving takes the stress out of your move by providing professional services for every aspect of the move itself. We also offer junk removal and donation delivery, so you can focus on your new house in Shoreline