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Old 01-25-2013, 11:12 AM
 
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Hi, What would you choose?
Live in a Westchester town near NYC with great schools or would you live in Houston in a neighborhood like West U?
Private school in Houston will even out more or less the property taxes in the Westchester towns. It sounds great to live near a big city but I am wondering if with school aged kids & their activities, I feel we tend to become more 'local'.... after the inital excitement, it is not that easy to just take off every weekend to a city 1 hour away. I love to hear your opinions.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Knob Hill
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Houston isn't NY but it is the 4th largest city in the US. I've only been to NY on business so I'm not sure what NY has that I want and can't get in Houston cheaper.

In short, without any other information I doubt you're going to get anything useful. I'm sure Westchester is nice but I'm not giving up my commute here and the winter weather in Houston without something more compelling then 'nice' and proximity to NY.

p.s. property tax in West U will run you $20k/yr.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:57 PM
 
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Schooling is personal, but HISD has some excellent public schools - so you may be able to forego the public school. I'd definitely research the ones that would fit your criteria for your family and look into application requirements (if you're not zoned).

However, what exactly are you looking for in your living experience? Certain expectations? More info would help. Overall living experience is what I'd primarily base my decision on. Have you been to Houston before?

I went to uni in NY but after graduating, moved back home to Houston. (I grew up here, then family left for a stint overseas, then I went to uni, and then I came back to the South!)
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:39 PM
 
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Thanks. I lived in NYC for 9 years as a grad student and I would love to go back. But in my 'grown up stage of life' with kids, I realized in my relocation research that famly living in NYC comes with so many issues-even if we get past living in a small apartment, public schools are a mess at the middle school level (the G&T programs are crazy competitive) and private schools are not an option for us with 2 kids. One possibility is to move to the suburbs like Westchester with great schools (DH will be working in NYC). Very pretty towns with great schools (comes with a $40K property tax bills). I do love the urban feel so I was wondering if how folks (esp. those who know about both places) feel about whether it is better to live inside a city like Houston (large city but less of a urban feel mostly due to lack of public transp. and walkability)) or be in a small town but close to a big city like NYC. We did visit Houston last year, had great food, and loved the West U area in our drive around.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:52 PM
 
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I lived in NY for two years. I would say if kids were not involved, I would choose Westchester. But having kids in NY, even in the burbs is crazy. The schools are either really bad or really competitive and outstanding. When I lived in NY I was shocked that parents spend 40k a year to get their kids into the "right" pre-school. Pre-school!!!!! And that's if they get accepted. They better know 3 languages and calculus. LOL.

I think the pressure of growing up there as a kid must be horrendous. If I was a kid, I think I would enjoy my childhood much more in TX then NY.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAS909 View Post
Thanks. I lived in NYC for 9 years as a grad student and I would love to go back. But in my 'grown up stage of life' with kids, I realized in my relocation research that famly living in NYC comes with so many issues-even if we get past living in a small apartment, public schools are a mess at the middle school level (the G&T programs are crazy competitive) and private schools are not an option for us with 2 kids. One possibility is to move to the suburbs like Westchester with great schools (DH will be working in NYC). Very pretty towns with great schools (comes with a $40K property tax bills). I do love the urban feel so I was wondering if how folks (esp. those who know about both places) feel about whether it is better to live inside a city like Houston (large city but less of a urban feel mostly due to lack of public transp. and walkability)) or be in a small town but close to a big city like NYC. We did visit Houston last year, had great food, and loved the West U area in our drive around.
I would never freely move to NYC and subject my kids to that life. NYC lacks many the great things that Houston has to offer...the outdoors, youth sports, green space, there is just so much that you can't get there for even close to the same amount of money that you get it here.

About the only thing NYC has that Houston does not is 4 seasons and public transportation....And while I would love to have 4 seasons, Im quite content not planning my life around a bus route or a train schedule.

Nah - Ill stay in Houston have a nicer house, drive a car and afford to park it where/when I want, put my kids in better schools in West U or Memorial and still have money for retirement....

I never did understand the appeal of NYC....its a city obsessed with shopping/dining/nightlife - which is great, for a weekend, but that is not a viable long term life, unless you have huge sums of expendable cash, which you apparently do not....I'd stick to city life in Houston...its far more rewarding. Unless of course your anti-gun, in which case you may want to goto NY, b/c they wont ever take your guns in Houston.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:56 PM
 
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I think West U would be a good option for you, and I'm glad to hear that you visited Houston and had a chance to check out the neighborhood. At your budget, have you looked into comparable neighborhoods? Montrose, various parts of River Oaks/Upper Kirby, Museum District, and the Heights have beautiful homes where you can raise a family. I believe most of those neighborhoods are zoned to Lanier MS and Lamar HS. Schools are competitive anywhere, but I don't think anything here is as cutthroat as Stuy lol. Anyway, those neighborhoods have a lot of "charm" with restaurants and shops that you can walk to (think Brooklyn, not Manhattan); we also have the Heights bike trail that connects you to various neighborhoods inside the loop.

If you pick any of those neighborhoods, you'll be close to a lot of the culture Houston has to offer. The Museum District is only a short drive away (and if you take the streets, you can drive around and look at some of the pretty neighborhoods!), the Theatre District is in the heart of Downtown... Huge perks. Plus, on the way back, you can check out restaurants or stop and pick up groceries before heading home.

I'm sure you know that you'll get more bang for your buck here. Houston isn't my first choice, but I am honestly quite happy living here. It isn't perfect, and we have our flaws. I am thrilled that Harris County has gotten more progressive vs when I was growing up, and I love how there's a nice mix of political beliefs, backgrounds, and diversity.

Do you/your partner have a job offer here?
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:16 PM
 
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If I were moving to Houston with kids and had that kind of budget, I wouldn't hesitate to buy in the Memorial Villages (I believe it's the 77024 zip), that is it's own municipality and zoned to Memorial Middle & Memorial High. Unfortunately, that's not in the cards for us anytime soon. It's a lovely area.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:58 PM
 
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Thanks for many helpful responses. Yes, my spouse has a job offer in the TMC and I will be working from home. We could not explore too much in the 3 days we were in Houston so I had a question. If we live in West U, is there a light rail station reasonably close that we could drive to that would take us to the Museum District? I could not figure out from the maps online. I keep reading the LR is expanding in the next two years, is there a place which shows the expansions.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:19 PM
 
Location: classified
1,680 posts, read 3,183,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAS909 View Post
Thanks for many helpful responses. Yes, my spouse has a job offer in the TMC and I will be working from home. We could not explore too much in the 3 days we were in Houston so I had a question. If we live in West U, is there a light rail station reasonably close that we could drive to that would take us to the Museum District? I could not figure out from the maps online. I keep reading the LR is expanding in the next two years, is there a place which shows the expansions.
No light rail but there are several bus lines that go from West U to the TMC.

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