Living In: Greenfield Hill, Conn.: For Nature Lovers

Living In: Greenfield Hill, Conn.: For Nature Lovers

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Nicole and Michael DeMattia moved to Greenfield Hill about four years ago because they wanted more land. Mr. DeMattia, 35, who works in property management, grew up there, and Ms. DeMattia, 36, a wellness advocate for doTerra, is from Wisconsin, and was “used to acres upon acres.”

The couple, who have three young children, paid just under $1 million for a five-bedroom colonial with a pool on two acres abutting conservation land. The price was about half of what the seller originally asked, Ms. DeMattia said, but they have gradually been paying for needed improvements, including adding a bath.

What You’ll Find

Greenfield Hill, north of downtown Fairfield, is bisected by the Merritt Parkway. Its historic district designation has protected many pre-Revolutionary War and 19th-century homes. A prominent landmark is the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church, with its white steeple rising above a spacious green. First established in 1725, the church’s current home dates to 1855.




Greenfield Hill

Congregational

Church

Greenfield Hill

Shopping Center


Houses are far apart, with many set back from the road at the end of long driveways. Dogwood trees color the countryside with pink and white blooms every spring.

The Greenfield Hill Village Improvement Society focuses on protecting the area’s rural character, said John W. Jones, the society’s president. Commercial development is minimal. A small shopping center on Bronson Road has an upscale restaurant, florist, day spa, liquor store and the Greenfield Hill Market.

The annual pumpkin festival at Greenfield Farms is a favorite. Horseback riders share the trails with hikers at Brett Woods, a 185-acre conservation area. The Audubon Center, on Burr Street, has a 155-acre wildlife sanctuary and summer camps.

What You’ll Pay

While the median sale price for a single-family home in Fairfield as a whole rose more than 10 percent from 2012 to 2016, the median in Greenfield Hill declined before rebounding last year to $960,000, a 1 percent increase over 2012, according to data provided by Ms. McAvey of Al Filippone Associates/William Raveis Real Estate. The median for the first two months of 2017, based on 10 closed sales, was $865,000, she said, adding, “It’s definitely a buyer’s market.”

457 DUNHAM ROAD A five-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath Victorian, listed at $945,000. 203-913-8744

Credit
Jane Beiles for The New York Times

About 120 homes were listed as of last week, said Vince McAvey, Ms. McAvey’s business partner and husband. Prices ranged from $535,000 for a four-bedroom antique colonial on 1.8 acres (smaller lots preceded the zoning rule) to $7.5 million for a 28-acre estate. Almost 40 properties were listed above $1.5 million.

As prices in the high-density beach neighborhoods rise, Greenfield Hill is beginning to offer more value, said Amy Waugh Curry, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. “For what you can get under $1 million, you’re getting so much more for your money,” she said.

The Vibe

A peaceful neighborhood that zealously guards its two-acre zoning, Greenfield Hill has held onto decades-old traditions, with a few big activities sprinkled through the calendar. Volunteers run the congregational church’s annual fair, the Dogwood Festival, which on Mother’s Day weekend draws thousands to its crafts’ booths, used-clothing sale and plant boutique. December brings a Christmas-tree lighting and carol sing on the green. The Patterson Club, opened in the 1940s, welcomes “kindred spirits” as members on an invitation-only basis, according to its membership policy. The club has a golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool and dining facilities.

The Schools

Elementary schoolchildren attend either Timothy Dwight (347 students) or Burr (417 students). Both schools are pre-K to grade 5. Depending on where they live in Greenfield Hill, middle-school students attend one of three schools: Tomlinson, Fairfield Woods or Roger Ludlowe. Each has about 780 to 800 students. High school students are divided between Fairfield Warde and Fairfield Ludlowe, each with an enrollment of roughly 1,500. The private Fairfield Country Day School admits boys in grades pre-K through 9. Tuition for the 2017-18 school year is $22,800 to $40,300.

The Commute

The peak-time commute on the Metro-North Railroad from the Fairfield station to Grand Central Terminal takes 75 to 90 minutes, depending on the train. A monthly pass is $388. The wait for a permit to park at the station is almost two years, according to the town’s Parking Authority website. The annual fee is $390.

The History

Dogwoods began to light up Greenfield Hill after Dr. Isaac Bronson, a Revolutionary War surgeon, planted them on his Bronson Road property. The improvement society started importing hundreds of dogwoods from Japan in the late 19th century. By the 1930s, the trees even drew Eleanor Roosevelt for a viewing, according to the society.

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