This densely developed town abutting Connecticut’s capital city is a ‘little bit of a liberal enclave,’ equidistant from Boston and New York.

When Jonathan and Sarah Hammer began looking for a house in West Hartford, a bustling suburb abutting Connecticut’s capital city, it was immediately clear that they were in a fiercely competitive market. Early in March, they submitted an offer for $16,000 above the asking price for a five-bedroom colonial. Their offer was rejected, and the property later sold for closer to $90,000 above list.

The couple tried again several weeks later, having become smitten with the town during visits there to see Ms. Hammer’s sister and her husband.

“West Hartford reminded me of Ann Arbor, where I grew up,” said Ms. Hammer, 32. “There’s a similar vibe. A cute downtown. And it’s a little bit of a liberal enclave. Plus, it’s two hours from both Boston and New York, which is a huge win for us because we have friends in both places.”

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