Not only has the Journal posted an opinion about Bridgeport, CT but so have Business 2.0 and Money Magazines. They have all said that Bridgeport is the most undervalued property in Fairfield County and that property owners can expect to see a 50% increase in value in their homes. I have taken to investing in pre-construction property. And while my first venture is not in an A+ neighborhood, I have made about $50K or 42% in two years and have contracts on two other properties in the downtown area.
With that said there are a number of great areas that you can look to own in. I am not sure if you have a family but even if you don't Brooklawn is an incredible area in which to reside. I believe the zip code is 06604. I would stay around Brooklawn Avenue, Park Ave, West Taft area (I think that's a triangle on the Trulia map). Just stay away from the high school and all of it's traffic.
There are plenty of condos available which will afford you the opportunity to possibly live in a townhome in the downtown area. Those are about $399k- a little expensive but the others start in the low $100s. There are plenty of opportunities to see good profits. Buying preconstruction with a tax incentive will surely yield a nice financial cushion. I believe that Blackrock is slated to break off from Bridgeport, CT itself and is most definitely getting another stop for Metro North (first new one in 20 yrs). The prices there are a bit high because of it's proximity to Fairfield, CT but you may still be able to find something affordable in the area. It's a bit more nice because it is more family oriented. Ice cream shops, walking at St. Mary's by the Sea and the like.
The rest of this message is my own personal prediction:
The North End of Bridgeport is good now, but won't be in the future. If you're looking for large profits head south toward the water. Most redevelopment is happening there. Do not buy on the north end unless you are looking by Lakeside.
Check out the South End. It's not tree lined, and there are no small pets on the streets in fact it's pretty run down but this is where you will make all of your money if you are willing to buy and hold for about three to five years. I believe the area code is 06607, but if you are looking at the Trulia.com or google maps it will be by the University and Bridgeport and Newfield Park. Check out http://www.bridgeport-econ.org/, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940CE4DA1139F and http://www.bportliving.com/ web sites before you make your final decision.
Hope that helps,
What an insensitive opinion of bridgeport. Your answer loses all validity by admitting you lived in one of the Avalons, a gated community. Yeah the lower east side of bridgeport is a lot on the poorer side, but are you hanging out on the street corners at 2 in the morning? I doubt you ever left the confines of your area...and if you did you probably spent most of your time in "lighter more affluent" areas of Fairfield county.
The fact of the matter is that redevelopment in downtown keeps facing setback after setback. Nonetheless, the city has come a LONG way in bringing some new life into a downtown capable of being far hotter than Downtown Stamford and dare I say, Norwalk.
The north end, lake forest, brooklawn and treeland areas are just as nice as any other middle class neighborhood. The hardest part of ownership in Bridgeport are the property taxes, but in order to make this a hopping city, the city needs to get the money from somewhere. The house I am in the process of buying is in Treeland on the Trumbull/Stratford border. 10 years ago, the current owners paid 110,000 and are now asking well over 250. Yeah, Bridgeport is a horrible place to live.
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Are you still just looking or closer to buying. I live in Lake Forest and I'm also familiar with Brooklawn and Black Rock. Since you first inquired about buying, the prices have come down quite a bit and there are many good buys out there in all these areas.
I would love to earn your business and help you find a home close enough to your mother in law.
Annie Lae Forest Resident ( By Choice) of 17 years