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Old 04-06-2018, 08:15 AM
 
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Hello! Need advice on where to live - we're relocating to NYC this summer from out of state, both of us will be working in financial district (one of us near Battery Park, the other by the Rector St. station). Have 2 young kids, looking for suburbs with great schools and community feel. Budget is flexible. I've read the various forums and can't get a real sense on the door-to-door commute time from Maplewood/Montclair/Glen Ridge NJ vs. Pelham/Larchmont. What do those commutes really look like? Is there a measurable difference between the 2 commutes? We'd like fastest commute possible (just like everyone else ) with great schools. Thank you!
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Old 04-06-2018, 06:59 PM
 
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We had the same exact search in 2016. Pelham/Larchmont/Mamaroneck vs Montclair/Glen Ridge. We bought in Glen Ridge.

No commute downtown is easy. My wife commutes downtown from Glen Ridge and the true door to door is 1 hr and 15-20 minutes. 15 minute departure prior to train via jitney to 30 min train to Hoboken to ferry to eastern downtown. Pelham/Larchmont would be 10 min departure to 35 min train to 20 min subway and probably a good 10 min quicker door to door. The train from Pelham also is sometimes standing room only. Unlike Westchester, NJ towns allow you to bisect midtown, and take a train to Hoboken w access to the PATH or ferry. But all in, may be a bit longer than lower Westchester towns.

We had a 1mm budget and 25-30k tax budget. That landed us a full size house in Glen Ridge. Same w Montclair. And equates to at Best a starter house in Larchmont. But similar size house in Pelham considering the taxes are higher. All in, the tax rate on a percentage basis in Pelham is one of the few Westchester towns comparable to Montclair and glen ridge at roughly 3% as nice homes in Pelham manor subsidize other areas of Pelham. Larchmont like the rest of Westchester is way more costly say easily 25%+ more, but a lower effective tax rate at 2.5%.

Keep in mind that homes in Montclair and Glen Ridge have bogus teaser asking prices. Look at sales prices. Many homes sell 20% over ask. It is a weird brokering tactic. Ie 850 asking, 10 bidders go Best and final with one chance and the Home sells for 999k. Although you still get slightly more house than Pelham and definitely more house than Larchmont. A renovated 3000 SF 5 bdrm in Montclair Glen Ridge could be won at 1mm with 28k in tax and would be say 1.2mm in Pelham with 32k tax, and 1.5mm in Larchmont with low 30k tax.

Westchester is a traditional market where you bid under ask and have an opportunity to come up. Montclair schools are not as good as Glen Ridge. Pelham schools are good. Larchmont schools are thought of to be excellent but converge with Mamaroneck schools
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:26 PM
 
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This is so helpful, thank you! And interesting - I thought NJ would be the slightly faster. With both of us doing it, the faster commute is a bigger draw than size of house, assuming schools are all good/comparable.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:54 PM
 
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The distance is deceiving. Nj trains run slower to NYC due to tunnel limitations and Amtrak. Without question, Westchester towns have a more reliable commute. I grew up in Westchester.

Just know that working downtown is a suburban commute plus a NYC commute one to subway to downtown. You’ll still be looking at a 70 plus min commute door to door. And it will come with a price tag for a few 100k more in home price over a comparable NJ town w similar schools.

Lastly keep in mind that NY towns have a 1-2 year waiting list to park at the train. NJ towns like Montclair have 5 stations you could hopefully walk to. Glen Ridge has a jitney. That’s what ultimately sold us. When you up the ante to dual income / dual commuters you may want a guaranteed commute without a wildcard to get train station parking. Montclair and Glen Ridge were a sure thing, with more affordable housing. But came with a bit of a penalty on door to door commuting time

Last edited by JaRuss01; 04-06-2018 at 09:14 PM..
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:22 PM
 
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Again, thank you. For the Westchester towns with the wait list for station parking, what do people do?
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:25 PM
 
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Not sure. We didn’t want to take on that risk. I suggest posting on the Westchester forum on this website. Many well off people in Westchester May be single income and rely of SOs to drop them off if need be. We budgeted on dual income and didn’t want to be at the mercy of being on the waiting list to park, as that is a huge hamper on things
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:41 AM
 
Location: NYC area
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I have a friend from Hoboken who moved to Bronxville 3 years ago. They bought for a bit over 1.5 and their taxes are 52k a year. I think 52k taxes is insane, but I'm chiming in here about the commute and not the taxes. Our husbands work in the same building in midtown. They were on the wait list for 25 months before they got the call that they had station parking. She is a SAHM now. The first two years, her husband got to the station in any one of 3 ways: She dropped him (annoying with a baby and a toddler with schedules), he Ubered, or he rode his bike. His original plan was to always bike because they lived only 2.5 miles from the station, but when you factor in all of NJs bad weather days (too cold, too hot, too rainy, too snowy), he ended up biking way less than he imagined and he had a pretty big Uber bill. My friend would usually drop/pick him up at least once a day but he'd Uber the other time.

Bronxville is one of the best commutes to Manhattan. Of course, it's super expensive. Schools are great though!
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Old 04-11-2018, 10:20 AM
 
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thank you!
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annikan View Post
I have a friend from Hoboken who moved to Bronxville 3 years ago. They bought for a bit over 1.5 and their taxes are 52k a year. I think 52k taxes is insane, but I'm chiming in here about the commute and not the taxes. Our husbands work in the same building in midtown. They were on the wait list for 25 months before they got the call that they had station parking. She is a SAHM now. The first two years, her husband got to the station in any one of 3 ways: She dropped him (annoying with a baby and a toddler with schedules), he Ubered, or he rode his bike. His original plan was to always bike because they lived only 2.5 miles from the station, but when you factor in all of NJs bad weather days (too cold, too hot, too rainy, too snowy), he ended up biking way less than he imagined and he had a pretty big Uber bill. My friend would usually drop/pick him up at least once a day but he'd Uber the other time.

Bronxville is one of the best commutes to Manhattan. Of course, it's super expensive. Schools are great though!
Woh, I knew the taxes in Westchester were higher, but 52k on a $1.5 mm house is crazy. Speaking of that, what’s the best way to lookup the taxes on a house in Westchester? It seems that Zillow does not show the actual taxes due on houses in Westchester like they do for NJ.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:49 AM
 
Location: NYC area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nnjguy View Post
Woh, I knew the taxes in Westchester were higher, but 52k on a $1.5 mm house is crazy. Speaking of that, what’s the best way to lookup the taxes on a house in Westchester? It seems that Zillow does not show the actual taxes due on houses in Westchester like they do for NJ.


Not sure. Usually it's public info, but i'm not sure if Westchester offers a search by address function.
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