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Old 07-06-2010, 10:30 AM
 
17 posts, read 42,703 times
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My wife and I will be having a baby early next year. We've enjoyed living in my small 1BR condo in Battery Park City over the past 10 years, but plan to make a move. We're hoping to buy a large 1BR or 2BR all-cash for $300K or less.
We've already reconciled with the fact that in that range we won't have all the niceties we get in BPC.

That said, we're looking to make a move anywhere in between where we are, including Manhattan on up to Putnam County. We are currently not considering NJ or Connecticut.

Here are our must haves:
* Safety (low/no crime issues)
* Within 1 hour commute to midtown NYC, no or minimal connections. Will walk up to 1.5 miles to mass transit
* Historically decent absorption rate (shouldn't be too hard to sell in 3-5 yrs if we need to move)

Strongly prefer:
* Off street parking
* Good supermarkets
* Good restaurants / shops / bars
* Condo or house (not coop)
* Low taxes / CC
* Privacy
* Within 1 hour to drive to Wayne, NJ where in-laws live

Would be a bonus, but could live without in the near term:
* Good schools
* Homes less than 50 years old

Are there any neighborhoods or suburbs that fit most of these criteria?

Renting is not out of the question for us, but we strongly prefer to own.

Advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Parkway,The Bronx
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Riverdale,Bronx.
It might fit all of your criteria and it's still in the city with much lower taxes than suburbs.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedog2 View Post
Riverdale,Bronx.
It might fit all of your criteria and it's still in the city with much lower taxes than suburbs.
Much lower property taxes, but you have to pay NYC income tax. Depending on the income, that may well be higher than property taxes on a condo valued at $300,000 (or less).

OP-will you really walk 30 blocks to mass transit? That will add a lot of time to a commute.

You might also want to look in the river towns in Westchester (e.g. Hastings, Irvington, Tarrytown). Anything with easy access to the Tappan Zee will get you to Wayne without too much hassle.

If you look in central Westchester towns like Bronxville or Scarsdale, make sure to check if it's really in that village and school district, or just in the post office zone (zip code). There are plenty of places with "Scarsdale" address that are actually within Yonkers city limits and Yonkers schools. They tend to cost less. If you see anything that says "Scarsdale PO" or "Bronxville PO," that's what it means.
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:05 PM
 
17 posts, read 42,703 times
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bluedog and holden,
Thanks for replying.

Indeed, in my searching I had been kind of obsessed with the towns along the Hudson line (Westchster, Putnam, even Dutchess) and overlooked Riverdale- and it does seem to have a few decent sized floor plans within our price range. Obviously, we'd have to see the neighborhood to be sure of the quality of housing. We're a little spoiled with our current pad in BPC- and we can adjust, but not if it's extreme.

Bluedog, good point that NYC taxes offset a lot of the savings you'd get in Riverdale. This would probably be acceptable for us, since we'd be just within reach of the NYC subway system and therefore 24x7 access to the city when we need it without having to drive.

Indeed 30 blocks is a long walk, and we'd really only consider it in the case where all other factors are exceptional. I've bicycled up Broadway several times past Van Cortlandt Park on the way to Westchester, and know what the neighborhood is like right there. Is it any different as you get closer to Riverdale Park? Also, are there any decent Supermarkets in that area?

As for the Westchester towns, I'll also be looking at them a little closer. If it were entirely up to me, we'd take a modest condo in Cold Spring, but the wifey refuses to be that far from her Mom and the city
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Parkway,The Bronx
8,394 posts, read 19,676,738 times
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Riverdale definitely gets nicer further in (West) of Broadway so do check it out.
The area all around 235th Street and 236th St and Johnson Avenue and Netherland Ave is great because 235th and Johnson both have lots of stores and restaurants.It's probably the most urban part of Riverdale.The area around Manhattan College is nice too.
Both areas are within relatively short walks to the subway at either 238th st or 242nd st.
There are also areas of Riverdale that are more suburban if that's what you want.
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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Condos in Riverdale are relatively rare, and carry a premium. Co-ops can be a bit more of a hassle to sell, but have more reasonable prices, but can have high maintenance as well. It's just a consideration, since many in the $300k range are likely to be co-ops. Riverdale is a nice area, however. It is more aesthetically pleasing the closer you are to the river or Central Riverdale, by the monument.

In Westchester, you're not going to find anything in Bronxville that's $300k or less, same with Scarsdale. Anything in that price range will be in the P.O., but some are good areas like Tuckahoe or Eastchester, both of which are in the Town of Eastchester (same as Bronxville, but Bronxville schools are a separate entity, whereas Eastchester and Tuckahoe overlap). For example, there's a 1/1 listed in Bronxville on a street that starts in Bronxville proper, and ends just over the municipal line of the village. It's $275k, but you would not be able to use Bronxville Village schools, because you are a few feet over the line. Eastchester and Tuckahoe are not bad districts, but Bronxville is a sought-after district, not unlike Scarsdale, which tends to prop up prices at the lower end as people buy there just for the schools. The property in question, however, is in Mount Vernon, of which the Fleetwood section in which it is located has a great elementary school, but after that merges with the rest of Mount Vernon.

Pelham would be a consideration, especially if you are open to a co-op, though the village is not as comprehensive as a Bronxville, being spread out a little more. Similarly, Larchmont would be a consideration for a co-op, too, even some smaller 2BRs in your preferred price range.

Dobbs Ferry and Hastings-on-Hudson are nice areas, too, but very small. The downtown areas are not as comprehensive, so you might have to drive a bit more to get grocery shopping and the like accomplished.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:49 PM
 
17 posts, read 42,703 times
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bmwguydc, what you've said confirms what I've been able to see so far myself; it looks like the most attractive listings in our price range in Riverdale are coops. I've never owned a coop before and prefer to avoid them in general based on many things I've learned about them anecdotally from other people's experiences (generally speaking, not in Riverdale). My primary concern is absorption rate. I'm not particularly worried about schools at this point since we're having our first baby at the end of the year. However, I don't like the idea that if we needed to make a move a few years later a board could make it difficult, especially when the economy's overall direction is still uncertain.

Thanks for the lowdown on the lower Westchester towns.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:16 PM
 
17 posts, read 42,703 times
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I took a bike ride this past weekend from BPC up to Riverdale to tour the neighborhood. My initial impressions while going through the area around Riverdale ave. east of 9A and then up to Seton Park were that:
- the coops looked pretty much like they do in the listings
- getting to mass transit would probably be more of a trek than I'd estimated
- I saw no supermarkets and sparsely few stores, groceries and restuarants. I kept wondering where residents get their food.

Of course, I didn't go further north of 239th st. or west of Independence ave so I could have been missing a lot. On my way out, I was awed by the beautiful brownstone houses along Arlington and Johnson Ave nestled into the hills, which seemed to exist in stark contrast to the clusters of drab looking coops around them.

Maybe my impressions would change with a second visit, but from a practical point of view it didn't look like the area would work, due to the aforementioned scarcity of shops and services but more importantly because we'd rather avoid buying into a coop when we aren't sure of our time horizon.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:35 PM
 
343 posts, read 897,660 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by six50joe View Post
I took a bike ride this past weekend from BPC up to Riverdale to tour the neighborhood. My initial impressions while going through the area around Riverdale ave. east of 9A and then up to Seton Park were that:
- the coops looked pretty much like they do in the listings
- getting to mass transit would probably be more of a trek than I'd estimated
- I saw no supermarkets and sparsely few stores, groceries and restuarants. I kept wondering where residents get their food.

Of course, I didn't go further north of 239th st. or west of Independence ave so I could have been missing a lot. On my way out, I was awed by the beautiful brownstone houses along Arlington and Johnson Ave nestled into the hills, which seemed to exist in stark contrast to the clusters of drab looking coops around them.

Maybe my impressions would change with a second visit, but from a practical point of view it didn't look like the area would work, due to the aforementioned scarcity of shops and services but more importantly because we'd rather avoid buying into a coop when we aren't sure of our time horizon.
In Riverdale, they use express buses (BxM1 to the East Side and BxM2 to the West Side. They run every half hour like clockwork. There is also the Metro North at Riverdale and Ludlow.

I know you said North... but check into Bayside and Douglaston in Queens, (and anything on the Port Washington Line east of Aburndale on the LIRR. Commute is 30 mins or less.
I was just talking about it in another thread.) They have everything you ask for.

City Island should be explored as well. Check out the Boatyard Condo.

Westchester: Rye, Crestwood, Bronxville, Tuckahoe, Larchmont, The Pelhams

Checkout some of my other threads as well, you may find what you're looking for.

Last edited by TheBoros; 07-20-2010 at 04:47 PM..
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