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Old 04-17-2015, 07:53 PM
 
60 posts, read 15,391 times
Reputation: 78

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Hey thanks for reading!

We are moving to the tri-state area from Torresdale in NE Philadelphia. We are a young family of seven people, I'm 33, my wife is 31 and we have five boys ages 13, 11, 8, 5 and 10 months old. We are moving to the area mainly so my wife and kids can be near her parents in Riverdale, Bronx where she grew up.

Besides Long Island, we are considering Union, Essex and parts of Passaic and Bergen counties in NJ, as well parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties in CT...also vaguely considering White Plains and Staten Island (the latter would be a much bigger consideration if not for the tolls and bridges to get anywhere!!!! The property taxes are so low it evens out the NYC income tax!)

Where we like the most is Babylon, but we cannot afford it sadly. We sre just looking for a small 3 bedroom rambler/cape cod style home. We see quite a few in and below our budget in Wantagh, North Massapequa, East Massapequa, Massapequa, Merrick and North Merrick.

What's the difference between these places? Taxes? Schools? Crime? LIRR access?

We do not need the best schools, just safe schools where my kids don't have to go through metal detectors, there isn't a gang issue and I can be confident that they are safe and getting an education at school and not being beat up for being white which is what we are dealing with here. If there is a significant taxation difference between these towns, why? I see that East Massapequa is adjacent to Amityville and the Merricks are adjacent to Freeport and Roosevelt which are bad areas, right? Is there any crime spillover? Any of these areas in decline?

We won't be using the LIRR as daily commuters thank god but it would be nice to have it accessible for day trips to Brooklyn and Manhattan for our family, but it is important for us to have some kind of local bus service or at least semi-walkable because my wife doesn't drive..so I do not want her to be stranded if I am gone with the car. Like I said we have 5 boys so we go through tons of food, toilet paper, soap/shampoo etc. so it would be ideal to be able to walk to a corner store/bodega, a pizzeria, Chinese restaurant, a cvs etc. and by walkable I mean 5-10 blocks away, we are moving to the suburbs so we aren't expecting (or even wanting) everything on our doorstep.


Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Inis Fada
14,297 posts, read 18,332,373 times
Reputation: 5142
What is your budget?
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Old 04-17-2015, 11:43 PM
 
60 posts, read 15,391 times
Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhBeeHave View Post
What is your budget?
Excuse me?

Did you read the question? I specified in it that I'd already found homes online in these talents, so my budget is obviously enough. Regardless, the question of budget is irrelevant to this question because I was asking specifically about the nature of these towns. I wasn't asking for a recommendation, or anything like that I was simply asking if anyone knew the differences between the Massapequas, The Merricks, and Wantagh.


I don't see how my budget is relevant to questions about which town has the highest/lowest property tax rate, whats the differences in regards the schools, if crime is higher in any of these towns and also the perceived difference between the towns to Long Islanders, and yeah every LI town seems to have a reputation (just ask anyone from LI what their opinion of Freeport, Mastic or Brentwood is and you will see!).

Can someone tell me the differences between these towns? Also add Levittown and Massapequa Park to that.
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Old 04-18-2015, 12:19 AM
 
1,863 posts, read 539,667 times
Reputation: 3429
My guess is that copping an attitude over a very normal, benign question will not work in your favor. There can certainly be differences in school districts and therefore taxes and real estate prices within a block of each other. Just because a postal address indicates one place, there is no guarantee the fire district, school district or any other district shares the same boundary. What you're looking for may be hard to find; no sense making it harder.
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Old 04-18-2015, 12:50 AM
 
60 posts, read 15,391 times
Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokonutty View Post
My guess is that copping an attitude over a very normal, benign question will not work in your favor. There can certainly be differences in school districts and therefore taxes and real estate prices within a block of each other. Just because a postal address indicates one place, there is no guarantee the fire district, school district or any other district shares the same boundary. What you're looking for may be hard to find; no sense making it harder.
I was just confused as to why the question was asked when I made no mention of money to begin with. I was I was asking specifically about the talents listed above.of course when buying a home I would do my due diligence and make sure that it is in the school district, fire district, water district etc. that I would want but that isn't the question so I hope I'm not being misunderstood.


I was asking for someone who is a knowledgable long term resident of Long Island to simply fill me in about the aforementioned towns a little bit more. Before making this post I did a bit of research on each of these towns and I liked what I read (at least enough to consider them) but I was just mostly looking for the kind of info you can only get from a non-realtor area local. For example things like "town A is only nice south of 1st Street", "town B has very high taxes.", "Town C is nice but shares schools a bad area", "Town D is known to be snobby", "Town E has a large population of Hasidic Jews" "Town F is going downhill"" etc.

Do you get what I am looking for? The kind of stuff that locals know from just living somewhere but cannot be put onto a City-Data page. I didn't intend to be rude but the question that poster asked was pretty much completely unrelated and out of left field.
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Old 04-18-2015, 01:30 AM
 
1,863 posts, read 539,667 times
Reputation: 3429
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueeyes1982 View Post
I was just confused as to why the question was asked when I made no mention of money to begin with. I was I was asking specifically about the talents listed above.of course when buying a home I would do my due diligence and make sure that it is in the school district, fire district, water district etc. that I would want but that isn't the question so I hope I'm not being misunderstood.


I was asking for someone who is a knowledgable long term resident of Long Island to simply fill me in about the aforementioned towns a little bit more. Before making this post I did a bit of research on each of these towns and I liked what I read (at least enough to consider them) but I was just mostly looking for the kind of info you can only get from a non-realtor area local. For example things like "town A is only nice south of 1st Street", "town B has very high taxes.", "Town C is nice but shares schools a bad area", "Town D is known to be snobby", "Town E has a large population of Hasidic Jews" "Town F is going downhill"" etc.

Do you get what I am looking for? The kind of stuff that locals know from just living somewhere but cannot be put onto a City-Data page. I didn't intend to be rude but the question that poster asked was pretty much completely unrelated and out of left field.

There are houses which are in "Wantagh" but in the Levittown school district, for example. They may be $100-150,000 less than the same house two blocks south. Price matters in finding the right place and factors into a lot of the advice you may find here. The more information you share, the more valuable will be the help you are looking for.
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Old 04-18-2015, 03:27 AM
 
582 posts, read 368,629 times
Reputation: 773
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueeyes1982 View Post
Hey thanks for reading!

We are moving to the tri-state area from Torresdale in NE Philadelphia. We are a young family of seven people, I'm 33, my wife is 31 and we have five boys ages 13, 11, 8, 5 and 10 months old. We are moving to the area mainly so my wife and kids can be near her parents in Riverdale, Bronx where she grew up.

Besides Long Island, we are considering Union, Essex and parts of Passaic and Bergen counties in NJ, as well parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties in CT...also vaguely considering White Plains and Staten Island (the latter would be a much bigger consideration if not for the tolls and bridges to get anywhere!!!! The property taxes are so low it evens out the NYC income tax!)

Where we like the most is Babylon, but we cannot afford it sadly. We sre just looking for a small 3 bedroom rambler/cape cod style home. We see quite a few in and below our budget in Wantagh, North Massapequa, East Massapequa, Massapequa, Merrick and North Merrick.

What's the difference between these places? Taxes? Schools? Crime? LIRR access?

We do not need the best schools, just safe schools where my kids don't have to go through metal detectors, there isn't a gang issue and I can be confident that they are safe and getting an education at school and not being beat up for being white which is what we are dealing with here. If there is a significant taxation difference between these towns, why? I see that East Massapequa is adjacent to Amityville and the Merricks are adjacent to Freeport and Roosevelt which are bad areas, right? Is there any crime spillover? Any of these areas in decline?

We won't be using the LIRR as daily commuters thank god but it would be nice to have it accessible for day trips to Brooklyn and Manhattan for our family, but it is important for us to have some kind of local bus service or at least semi-walkable because my wife doesn't drive..so I do not want her to be stranded if I am gone with the car. Like I said we have 5 boys so we go through tons of food, toilet paper, soap/shampoo etc. so it would be ideal to be able to walk to a corner store/bodega, a pizzeria, Chinese restaurant, a cvs etc. and by walkable I mean 5-10 blocks away, we are moving to the suburbs so we aren't expecting (or even wanting) everything on our doorstep.


Thanks in advance for your help!
Massapequa and Wantagh are very similar. I really can't think of any differences except North Wantagh is the only area btwn all of the areas with a lot of Levitt capes. And East Massapequa is the only area with diversity. Crime is a very low concern in all of those areas, even in the parts bordering Amityville so you have nothing to worry about. Generally, lots tend to get bigger as you go east so Massapequa tends to have slightly bigger property sizes than Bellmore&Merrick...
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:17 AM
 
5,411 posts, read 4,725,317 times
Reputation: 2087
Without knowing anything else about the budget, I would say West Islip which would give you a lot of financial cushion and decent schools. Forget walkability/semi-walkability. You will need a car anyway in LI and it's a pain to be walking around while dining and doing groceries w/ 5 kids. But in terms of proximity to parents, you might want to look somewhere in Northern Westchester or Putnam County like Somers, Yorktown, Mahopac etc. which would be an easier drive to Riverdale via the Taconic w/o having to pay tolls.

Last edited by Forest_Hills_Daddy; 04-18-2015 at 04:53 AM..
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Old 04-18-2015, 05:23 AM
 
60 posts, read 15,391 times
Reputation: 78
Hey. Thanks for your reply. Budget wise we are looking at the mid $300s. In lower tax locations we can go up to $400k but with LI property taxes being so ludicrous that's as far as we can go. As for walkable, I think I am being misunderstood. We only have one car and even if we had more than one my wife doesn't have a license and isn't going to get one lol. We run a wholesale restaurant supplier business and the majority of time I am at home. However my two largest clients are in the DC area so twice a month (one for each) I usually have to drive out there and I wind up having to sleep at a motel 6 or a rest stop and return the next morning. However throughout the month I might have to go back down to PA, or up to PVD or Boston for my customers. Those are day trips usually but several hours away of course. I'm not saying that she needs to be able to tote all the kids and run errands on the bus, that would be ridiculous and embarrassing. By walkable I mean that if I am gone with the car she will be able to send our 13 year old a few (less than 10) blocks walking to a bodega to milk or toilet paper or diapers etc. or absolutely worse case scenario she will be able to take our youngest (10 month old) and hop on a bus and go go to Target or Stop and Shop or Walmart etc. and leave our 13 year old and 11 year old to watch our 5 and 8 year old. Do you see what I am saying?

Here are some properties we found in Nassau that are what we are looking for. A few were in Wantagh and E. Massapequa (which we have ruled out) but the majority were in Levittown. You guys said stuff about how bad the schools are, but compared to the inner city schools we are coming from Levittown Union seems great as does Island Pines Middle and HS.



2339 Riverside Drive, Wantagh NY For Sale | Trulia.com

15 Ridge Lane, Levittown NY For Sale | Trulia.com

8 Pasture Lane, Levittown NY For Sale | Trulia.com


Also however I did some research and there are a ton more homes in our price range in Suffolk County. I was advised originally to stay away from Suffolk because of illegal immigrant crime and issues in the schools which we don't want to deal with. However, it seems as if the Town of Smithtown has largely missed that stuff thank god, cause the schools seem awesome from what I have read. We aren't Manhattan commuters so the longer ride into the city doesn't matter at all really. The reason we are moving to the NYC area as opposed to South Jersey by Philly is because we want to be closer to my wife's parents who live right in the border of the Bronx and Yonkers so that our kids can know at least one set of grandparents and also so my wife can have better access to her parents since they are getting up there age wise. I am hoping that these areas like Nesconset and St. James will fit our needs because I like the look of these communities and there is a much larger selection for us!

Besides LI we are looking at New Haven County in CT around Milford so if you think that area might be a better fit than your advice would be greatly appreciated.

380 Browns Road, Nesconset NY For Sale | Trulia.com


211 Northern Boulevard, Saint James NY For Sale | Trulia.com

Also, do you know where I can find the list of property tax millage rates?


EDIT: just saw your post about Westchester. We were looking at some places in the nicer parts of White Plains and Yonkers but the school system there is really a bear. In Yonkers we would have to pay 1% extra on taxes and either send the kids to Catholic past 6 grade or try and live in the Bronxville district and send our children to school with millionaire kids who have private tutors etc. and then my boys will always be behind. Westchester doesn't really have many decent and safe areas for middle or working class folks like us. It's either rich or terribly poor except for a few parts of White Plains that I wouldn't feel comfortable buying in because they are too close too some bad neighborhoods and we don't want to have to move in 5/10 years when the hood creeps up. Have been doing that in Philly every few years moving north and we are sick of that and want a "forever home". Only other spot we checked out was Pearl River and Nanuet in Rockland County which I liked but my wife thought it was too far in the middle of nowhere.

Last edited by blueeyes1982; 04-18-2015 at 05:40 AM..
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Old 04-18-2015, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Nassau County
1,324 posts, read 888,251 times
Reputation: 787
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueeyes1982 View Post
Hey. Thanks for your reply. Budget wise we are looking at the mid $300s. In lower tax locations we can go up to $400k but with LI property taxes being so ludicrous that's as far as we can go. As for walkable, I think I am being misunderstood. We only have one car and even if we had more than one my wife doesn't have a license and isn't going to get one lol. We run a wholesale restaurant supplier business and the majority of time I am at home. However my two largest clients are in the DC area so twice a month (one for each) I usually have to drive out there and I wind up having to sleep at a motel 6 or a rest stop and return the next morning. However throughout the month I might have to go back down to PA, or up to PVD or Boston for my customers. Those are day trips usually but several hours away of course. I'm not saying that she needs to be able to tote all the kids and run errands on the bus, that would be ridiculous and embarrassing. By walkable I mean that if I am gone with the car she will be able to send our 13 year old a few (less than 10) blocks walking to a bodega to milk or toilet paper or diapers etc. or absolutely worse case scenario she will be able to take our youngest (10 month old) and hop on a bus and go go to Target or Stop and Shop or Walmart etc. and leave our 13 year old and 11 year old to watch our 5 and 8 year old. Do you see what I am saying?

Here are some properties we found in Nassau that are what we are looking for. A few were in Wantagh and E. Massapequa (which we have ruled out) but the majority were in Levittown. You guys said stuff about how bad the schools are, but compared to the inner city schools we are coming from Levittown Union seems great as does Island Pines Middle and HS.



2339 Riverside Drive, Wantagh NY For Sale | Trulia.com

15 Ridge Lane, Levittown NY For Sale | Trulia.com

8 Pasture Lane, Levittown NY For Sale | Trulia.com


Also however I did some research and there are a ton more homes in our price range in Suffolk County. I was advised originally to stay away from Suffolk because of illegal immigrant crime and issues in the schools which we don't want to deal with. However, it seems as if the Town of Smithtown has largely missed that stuff thank god, cause the schools seem awesome from what I have read. We aren't Manhattan commuters so the longer ride into the city doesn't matter at all really. The reason we are moving to the NYC area as opposed to South Jersey by Philly is because we want to be closer to my wife's parents who live right in the border of the Bronx and Yonkers so that our kids can know at least one set of grandparents and also so my wife can have better access to her parents since they are getting up there age wise. I am hoping that these areas like Nesconset and St. James will fit our needs because I like the look of these communities and there is a much larger selection for us!

Besides LI we are looking at New Haven County in CT around Milford so if you think that area might be a better fit than your advice would be greatly appreciated.

380 Browns Road, Nesconset NY For Sale | Trulia.com


211 Northern Boulevard, Saint James NY For Sale | Trulia.com

Also, do you know where I can find the list of property tax millage rates?

Levittown schools are fine. Some on LI consider them on the middle to lower range compared to some others, but compared to inner city schools there would be no comparison. As for Island Trees (I think you referred to as island pines) they are fine as well and bit more highly regarded than Levittown schools.

Suffolk you will get more land and sonewhat lower property taxes the further east you go. You will also get more house for your money. Don't worry about "illegal immigrant crime", Suffolk is a huge county and the vast majority of it is safe. Avoid Central Islip, Wyndanch, Brentwood, copaigue, and amityville as they are (or have sections of) high crime areas and awful school districts. Suffolk however is a lot less 'walkable' than parts of Nassau, many areas don't even have sidewalks.

I can tell you it will be tough to find a decent home in smithtown for that budget, I didnt check your links but I can see the st James location is on northern blvd, which is a main road with heavy traffic.

In Nassau as well you may be able to find a smaller cape in certain areas for 350 (Levittown is one), but your options will be more limited.
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