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Five Best Towns For Renters In Hartford County

By Elizabeth Elstien

Hartford County is located in the north-central part of Connecticut and is made up of numerous towns and cities. The big city of Hartford, for which the county is named, is also the state's capital. Over 890,000 people make up this county comprised of mostly whites with about 15 percent African Americans, 16 percent Hispanics and a very small percentage of Asians/Pacific Islanders. Based a population of under 25,000, average rental prices, quality of living and crime rate, here are the top five towns for renters in Hartford County.

1. Rocky Hill

With ongoing programs for all ages, Rocky Hill's Parks and Recreation program welcomes families. A recent large renovation of Ferry Park is complete with handicapped-accessible piers for fishing and better boat launches. Described as "a caring community atmosphere," this town of nearly 20,000 has more apartments for rent than single-family homes. The crime rate is half that of Connecticut and two-thirds of the national index. Houses are mostly two bedrooms with two to two and one-half bathrooms renting for $1,100 for less square footage and up to $1,800 for those over 1,500 square feet. Apartments are more plentiful with one bedrooms averaging $1,150 and up to $1,775 for a three bedroom with lots of community amenities.

2. Suffield

With a population of about 15,000 and a better than average school system, Suffield is a nice place to get away from city living. The crime rate is quite low, too, with no violent crimes. Suffield has mostly homes for rent from a two-bedroom and one-bathroom, 1,237 square-foot home built in 1800 renting for $1,000 a month to a large four-bedroom home over 2,500 square feet for $2,700/month. Two bedroom single-family homes average about $1,250. There appear to be several new apartments for rent running about $1,000 for a one bedroom and $1,250 for a two bedroom.

3. Avon

This affluent town of over 18,000 has a low crime rate, a better public school system than Suffield and numerous large homes and a few apartments for rent. Avon has an excellent boarding school and in 2005 was named third on the list of safest towns in America by "Money". There are few apartments, but a one bedroom costs $1,100 and a three bedroom goes for $2,370 a month. Single-family homes average $1,500 for a two bedroom (one dating to 1870 at 800 square feet rented for much less) and $2,100 for a three bedroom with one extremely large four-bedroom home renting for $4,500 a month.

4. Simsbury

In 2013 "Connecticut Magazine" listed Simsbury the fourth best town to live in Connecticut. The town has a very low crime rate, a great school system and the largest tree (a sycamore) in the state. Single-family homes are the dominant rental property in this town of 24,000 residents. Apartments, when available, tend to be small and expensive. Larger houses are more common with three bedrooms averaging $1,900 and four bedrooms at $2,300 a month.

5. East Granby

The small, quiet town of East Granby has been around for over 150 years and is just 16 miles from Hartford. The 5,200 residents enjoy a great school system and the smallest high school in the state. As it's a small town there are few rentals, so keep your eyes open for new ones to come on the rental market. Houses here tend to be large and run $2,400 for a three bedroom and average $3,000 for a four bedroom.

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