Home Buying in New Canaan>Question Details

Gizmo, Home Buyer in Westchester County, NY

Buying a house in New Canaan or Greenwich. My husband and I are considering buying a house in Greenwich or

Asked by Gizmo, Westchester County, NY Mon Mar 17, 2008

New Canaan but we both work in NYC. Are there big tax consequences as a result of living in CT but working in NYC? Why are property taxes in CT so low? Are there other taxes that we need to be aware of before deciding to look in CT? Thank you.

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Len Schwartz’s answer
BEST ANSWER
Hi, Soon-to-be-CT-Resident.
I can shed some light on a few of your questions.
I think you should look in both New Canaan and Greenwich as they each have distinct personalities, and the cost of living and quality of schools are about equal. New Canaan will give you more of the small town feeling while Greenwich is far more cosmopolitan.
No doubt the commute is easier from Greenwich but New Canaan does have a separate line that passes through Stamford. There is one train each morning that skips Stamford and expresses to NYC.
Living in CT and working in NYC you will pay non-resident income tax to NY -- I believe it's about 6%, but you should get someof it back as a refund.
One of the reasons property taxes are lower in CT than NY is that we pay property tax on personal property such as cars and boats. That's the one that's often a surprise to new residents. A late model car could run you an extra $500-1000 per year in taxes. An unpleasant surprise to the unexpecting.
On the positive side of the comparison equation is, CT does not have a mortgage tax (1.3% in Westchester, 2% in NYC) or a mansion tax (1% in NYS for homes over $1M). You can do the math -- I'd rather pay the personal property tax.
Best of luck hunting. You'll love CT (from a former NYer).
Len Schwartz
Agent for a New Age
Web Reference: http://www.LeaveItToLen.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 17, 2008
I have to weigh in here about Darien Ct. Our mil rate is 14.5 and this is one of the easiest commutes in Fairfield County. Much more casual than Greenwich,less spread out than New Canaan it is a great fmaily town,on the water,great schools and a STRAIGHT SHOT OF 55minutes TO nyc Been here for 25 years and love it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 18, 2009
Hi Gizmo

If you are commuting into NYC, you really need to be aware of how close your property will be to the train station. We loved Wilton, but my wife had the city commute and if she missed one train, it could be an hour or more before she could catch another. We currently live in New Canaan and love it. We looked at a nice home in North New Canaan, but it was 15 minutes to the train station (an additional 1/2 hour each day adds up to the 1:10 - express commute already). Same thing in Stamford, the train station is downtown and depending on where you look, there is local commuting time. We ended up 1/3 mile from the Talmadge Hill train station in New Canaan and it worked out great.

Steve Batchelor
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 19, 2009
Look at Southern Ridgefield or Wilton as well- westside close to ny borders. You can then shoot over via car to the the Harlem line- My husband commutes from Ridgefield- It's an 52 minute train ride from katonah- and a 15 min drive from the house.
Also- You do pay the city tax and ny tax for income- but as a non resident which is a different leve- and there is a credit rollover to CT. Yes you still have to pay CT income tax. My accountant states it winds up being an even wash traditionally, CT has lower property taxed overrall generally vs NY but slightly higher alternative tax rates for income etc.
Check with your employers- many offer pre tax advantaged programs in NYC for commuting expenses like trains and parking from the suburbs. It helps to manage cost a bit as well.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 27, 2008
You will have to pay both NY and CT income taxes, but weigh that against the much lower property taxes in either Greenwich or New Canaan and it might work to your advantage. As far as why are property taxes lower, there are many reasons, which would make it almost impossible to answer that question here. Call the city gov't and speak to them about it. You'll be able to get more specifics from them. NY has all the surprise taxes, not CT. Both locations are considered highly desirable, but Greenwich is a much easier commute into NYC. If I can be of further assistance please feel free to contact me. I also have a wealth of info on both locations that I can provide you with...just let me know. Thank you, Gary McIntosh, 203-979-2132.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 17, 2008
I would be happy to give you a tour of all three towns and know them all very well. I have three cousins all of which are brothers and purchased homes within 60 days of each other. One chose Greenwich, the other Darien, and the third New Canaan. The taxes in Greenwich are the lowest by far. The amenities Greenwich has to offer are second to none. New Canann & Darien can't compete when it comes to the amenities Greenwich has to offer including but not limited to our Completely renovated hospital, New library, New YMCA,,Todd's Point, Public and private Golf Courses, and Greenwich Ave. There is no other community on earth like Greenwich and that's why the demand to live here is so great. New Canaan is a nice community but a much longer commute to NYC. Why spend all that extra time on the train each way? Unless you live right downtown like my cousin does it's a hike to travel anywhere. The issue with Darien is that the majority of their resturants and shops are on a main road with lots of traffic.. It's not as fun or safe as taking a stroll down Greenwich Ave. with a Police officer on every corner and a variety of the best shops and resturants you could imagine. At the end of the day it comes down to preference and where you feel the most comfortable.
Web Reference: http://richardbreglia.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 1, 2011
Gizmo,
Your $ will buy you way more house & land in Pound Ridge, Bedford, Katonah & much of Westchester County. New Canaan, Darien & Greenwich homes are priced much higher per square foot.
You will pay a premium to live in lower fairfield County CT.
Yes your property taxes are higher in WC but the real estate deals in Westchester are amazing.
If you are working in NY ( your income is taxed in NY) the tax benefit of living in CT is minor. CT has luxury taxes (if you own cars or boats you are taxed on the value of those items every year) Consult your accountant for the specifics of your situation. Weigh all of the factors. Research each community.
Each town has a website New Canaan - Home
Find the best fit for you & your family (each town has pros & cons)
Call me if you want the real scoop for each town. I live on the Pound Ridge/New Canaan border. I am a real estate agent who covers Westchester NY & Farifield County CT.

Best of luck!!
Hannelore Kaplan 203-653-6619
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 29, 2009
Gizmo,
Your $ will buy you way more house & land in Pound Ridge, Bedford, Katonah & much of Westchester County. New Canaan, Darien & Greenwich homes are priced much higher per square foot.
You will pay a premium to live in lower fairfield County CT.
Yes your property taxes are higher in WC but the real estate deals in Westchester are amazing.
If you are working in NY ( your income is taxed in NY) the tax benefit of living in CT is minor. CT has luxury taxes (if you own cars or boats you are taxed on the value of those items every year) Consult your accountant for the specifics of your situation. Weigh all of the factors. Research each community.
Each town has a website New Canaan - Home
Find the best fit for you & your family (each town has pros & cons)
Call me if you want the real scoop for each town. I live on the Pound Ridge/New Canaan border. I am a real estate agent who covers Westchester NY & Farifield County CT.
Best of luck!!
Hannelore Kaplan 203-653-6619
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 29, 2009
As a resident of New Canaan for 12 years, I can tell you that property taxes are low because housing prices are a little higher. You can afford a bigger house payment with the lower tax rate. Greenich is the lowest in this area. The commuting cost should be factored into your decision as well. New Canaan has two commuter stations but you need to transfer in Stamford. Greenwich has several stations as well. If you would like to get a feeling for this area, come visit! I'd be happy to drive you around and show you some properties. Keep in mind that CT law requires a buyers agreement to be signed (you can sign for just that day) in order to see any properties. Check out the multiple listing service I can provide at the web reference below. You can get a feel for housing availability and pricing.

Judy Hendrickson
Weichert Capital Properties & Estates
Stamford, CT
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 21, 2009
I am a real estate agent in New Canaan. I have lived in New Canaan since 1980, my four kids go to school here and I would be happy to answer any questions you have about the New Canaan market, its schools, neighborhoods, activities and taxes. See the link I posted to property tax rates across Connecticut. The real estate taxes in New Canaan are much much lower than everywhere else around here except Greenwich. Your taxes are $14 per $1000 of assessed value in New Canaan or Darien, about $8 in Greenwich which is by far the lowest in the State. Contrast that to over $20 in Ridgefield, Stamford. You will pay even higher tax rates in Bedford or Pound Ridge.

The Connecticut legislature is currently considering two bills which would tax the buyer, on a real estate transaction. These are in addition to the current conveyance tax on the seller. I can send you more information if you are interested.

John Engel (203) 247-4700 and http://engel.postlets.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 16, 2009
Gizmo:

Regarding tax consequences, you really should consult with your accountant, CPA or tax attorney. Either one of those tax professionals are much better qualified than a real estate broker to answer that part of your question accurately.

Property taxes are a function of population, town services and budgets, the percentage of residential properties to commercial properties in each town, to name a few. Connecticut has, traditionally, assessed far lower property taxes than New York...taxation was the driving force behind many corporations leaving the state of New York, in the 80's and 90's, relocating to Connecticut, more specifically. to towns like Greenwich, Stamford and Norwalk. Likewise, residential buyers are attracted to Connecticut because property taxes are lower...but, keep in mind that housing might be more expensive in Connecticut than New York, so you really need to put pencil to paper in order to assess whether the savings in property taxes offsets a potential larger price tag when buying a home in Connecticut as compared to New York.

Regarding other taxes to be aware of in addition to personal property tax: 1) Ct. income tax, 2) Ct. inheritance tax and 3) Ct. estate tax. Again, please consult your tax professional as they are the experts in the area of state taxation and how one state will treat income from another state, as in your case, working in NY but potentially living in CT?

George Bakes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 15, 2008
New Canaan is beautiful. Good luck with the move.

Sonia Holmes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008
Hi,
I am a former Greenwich resident. I wrote on another CT thread today about Old Greenwich. It's a great place.....take a look there!
Deborah
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
MVP'08
Contact
Hello again, my friend Gizmo.
The answer to your question is no, sort of. CT and NY are reciprocal tax states, which means what you pay in NY you get credited in CT. For the most part. You will still pay some CT taxes but not alot. Your accountant can explain it alot better than me, but you will file in both states and your CT return will claim you've paid NYS taxes so "buzz off CT." Then CT will say "OK, but we're still taking a few bucks for your privilege of living here."
Your accountant will also tell you to keep track of business travel and work at home days. On those days you will pay CT taxes at 5% vs. NY taxes at 7%.
OK, now that I've completely confused you, on to the next topic...
All of those towns are absolutely lovely. You can't go wrong with any of them. BUT, make sure you compare property taxes because you may pay as much as double in NY. Yes, that's 2X. Also, the cost of closing in NY is significantly higher. I have a comparison sheet I can email you if you shoot me an email. No strings attached, of course.
One last thing. You may want to look at Old Greenwich, which is the small village part of Greenwich, which existed long before the commercial strip, and is still quaint.
Good luck!
Len
Web Reference: http://www.LeaveItToLen.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
Len, thank you for the detailed answer. I was wondering, if we have to pay non-resident income tax to NY, do we have to still pay Connecticut income tax? I decided that Greenwich is too commercial. We're interested in Bedford, Pound Ridge and New Canaan.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
Yes, you have to pay non-resident income tax to NY. If you're a New York State nonresident you must file Form IT-203, Nonresident and Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return, if you're a nonresident with New York source income

Do you have to also pay Connecticut income tax? Yes again.

For information about "non‐resident" vs. "resident" for CT income tax purposes:

Resident Forms ‐ Complete Form CT‐1040 if you lived in CT for more than 183 days during 2013. If you have filed in CT the previous tax year, you will be eligible to Webfile.

Nonresident or Part‐Year Resident Forms ‐ Complete CT‐1040NR/PY; this form is usually used by people who have lived and/or worked in multiple states or resided in CT for less than 183 days in that calendar year.
Flag Sat Mar 8, 2014
CT property are much lower than Westchester County. New Canaan is a longer commute into NYC than either Greenwich or Stamford. You might want to consider adding Stamford to your list of possible places to relocate. 45 minutes by express to Grand Central, a large inventory of available condos and houses, ranging from near the water to backcountry. Also, prices are considerable lower than either Greenwich or New Canaan. Pls call on me if I can assist you.
Les Gordon
Juner Properties
203-561-3042
lesg@optonline.net
Web Reference: http://www.juner.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 17, 2008
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