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Old 07-08-2013, 02:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest_Hills_Daddy View Post
/\/\

OK I see. Then OP should decide whether they can make do with a 3BR apartment or if they want a house with a yard. If 3BR apartment then boroughs can suffice but if they want a house + yard, they should look to go suburban.

The villages of Hartsdale and Stewart Manor, and the neighborhood of Crestwood have many families sending kids to Catholic schools.
The main reason I'm open to both is my wife and I aren't in full agreement.

I like a bigger house with a yard. I also don't mind a longer commute.

My wife on the other hand, likes smaller places and would want me home as much as possible rather than sitting on a train. She could do without the yard.

I think "G-Dale" makes the best point. The school (and its related parish) is probably the most important. I know my wife would be happy living anywhere as long as she was happy with the kid's school and she can get involved with the local parish.
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mepsie View Post
I like a bigger house with a yard. I also don't mind a longer commute.

My wife on the other hand, likes smaller places and would want me home as much as possible rather than sitting on a train. She could do without the yard.

I think "G-Dale" makes the best point. The school (and its related parish) is probably the most important. I know my wife would be happy living anywhere as long as she was happy with the kid's school and she can get involved with the local parish.
Go to the Houlihan Lawrence website. It has sale and rental listings for Hartsdale and Crestwood. Both are around 45 minutes to Grand Central which gives you both a reasonable commute, chance to live in a house with a yard in good neighborhoods and easy travel to good parochial schools.

It can be a bit tricky to seach for Crestwood listings though since it is neither a town nor district (unlike Hartsdale). Either you would need to look at the map feature or call the HL office to help you find a home there.

Stewart Manor is a good Catholic neighborhood in Long Island with it's own fine parochial school (St. Anne's). However the train runs to Penn Station so you will need to transfer to Grand Central. I think Coach Realty and Daniel Gale Sotheby's corners the Long Island listings.

Another town in Long Island that's very much involved with their parish is Lynbrook, although I am not familier with their parochial school Our Lady of Peace.

Last edited by Forest_Hills_Daddy; 07-08-2013 at 02:48 PM..
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest_Hills_Daddy View Post
Go to the Houlihan Lawrence website. It has sale and rental listings for Hartsdale and Crestwood. Both are around 45 minutes to Grand Central which gives you both a reasonable commute, chance to live in a house with a yard in good neighborhoods and easy travel to good parochial schools.

It can be a bit tricky to seach for Crestwood listings though since it is neither a town nor district (unlike Hartsdale). Either you would need to look at the map feature or call the HL office to help you find a home there.

Stewart Manor is a good Catholic neighborhood in Long Island with it's own fine parochial school (St. Anne's). However the train runs to Penn Station so you will need to transfer to Grand Central. I think Coach Realty and Daniel Gale Sotheby's corners the Long Island listings.

Another town in Long Island that's very much involved with their parish is Lynbrook, although I am not familier with their parochial school Our Lady of Peace.
Thanks for the tips. The prices for homes in Hartsdale and Crestview seem much more reasonable than Scarsdale. Regardless, we'll check all of them out.

I've looked at Long Island, but it seems that living there would add quite a bit of time and hassle to my commute.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:57 PM
 
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Also note that Hartsdale, Crestwood and Scarsdale are near each other (Hartsdale is beside Scarsdale) so you can conveniently send kids to either Immaculate Heart or Annunciation whether you live in Hartsdale or Crestwood.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:08 PM
 
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Keep in mind that the LIRR is expected to start using grand central in the near future (so they say). Not sure what the timeline is.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by G-Dale View Post
Keep in mind that the LIRR is expected to start using grand central in the near future (so they say). Not sure what the timeline is.
According to this, it's not until 2019:

Report: LIRR East Side Access Project To Cost Twice As Much As Original Estimate CBS New York
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mepsie View Post
Not surprised. Next thing you know we'll all be retired.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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$500k for a single-family home in Lower Westchester will not afford too many options, even in areas like Hartsdale, Crestwood, or Valhalla. I would recommend looking more toward the north, such as Yorktown, or to the west in Rockland County, such as Pearl River or New City. I am assuming that you would like a 4BR house, with decent room for three children, not a mansion, but not a period 1920s cottage with small rooms in a converted attic. Don't forget to factor taxes in Westchester, too, where it is not unfathomable to pay $12k+ for a $500k house on a subdivision lot, not acres of land.

Yorktown would afford a house in the middle of the range for the area, likely in a subdivision built in the later 1960s to 1980s. You would find colonials and split-level houses in this price range in Yorktown. There is no train in Yorktown, but you would be 15-20 minutes from Croton-Harmon, which is an express stop on Metro-North's Hudson Line, so about 45 minutes to Grand Central. Since you work near GCT, you can walk from the station, meaning that there are no connection issues with subways and the like, so it might be thirty minutes longer than Lower Westchester, net commute time, door-to-door.

Nearby Somers should also have some houses in the same price range, though Somers does get more expensive than Yorktown, especially for newer houses and those on larger lots. Somers, too, is off the train, and many commute through Goldens Bridge or Katonah. Katonah does not have much in the way of non-resident parking as the Town of Bedford administers its own lots at the Katonah and Bedford Hills stations on the Harlem Line. Goldens Bridge is managed by Metro-North's parking contractor, and has meters and permits, though likely a waiting list for a permit.

Katonah, close to town, though it's a hamlet, not incorporated, has some houses around $500k, but you would be lookng at split-level, split-foyer, or capes at that price point. However, you would only be five minutes from the center of the downtown area, and the train, with guaranteed parking for Town of Bedford residents at Lot 3, about a three or four minute walk from the station platform. Katonah's zip code is not coterminous with the Town of Bedford border, and straddles both Somers and Lewisboro, though the same parking accommodation is not afforded to residents of the P.O. zone. This is similar to areas in Lower Westchester as well, that can be listed in Scarsdale or Bronxville, but are not within the municipality, so town services, schools, and parking are not available to non-residents. Katonah is more expensive than Somers, on the whole, if that's a factor, so you would be near the minimum price for a single-family home in the area if that's a factor.

One note, since you are moving from South Florida. Central air conditioning is not a given in Westchester, though I think you may find more houses with it from the later 1970s and 1980s in Yorktown and Somers as opposed to other areas. Some houses have been retrofit with central air, or ductless split air systems, but it is something to consider when making the purchase in this region. Part of the reason for this is electric baseboard heat which is very common in Westchester, as opposed to forced hot air systems that are found in newer construction.

Rockland County is less expensive, but there's a catch, and it's the commute. Crossing the Hudson is not easy during rush hour, so that adds considerably to the commute time. There is a bus that links Rockland to the Hudson Line train at Tarrytown, the TappanZeeExpress bus that serves town stops and park and ride lots in Rockland. Pearl River and New City would have construction similar to what you would find in Yorktown, around the same general age of house, too. However, you may pay slightly less, or have additional features, because of the Rockland location. Minimum commute times would be an hour and a half, realistically, door-to-door via bus to the Port Authority or TappanZeeExpress to Tarrytown, unless you lived right across the bridge in Nyack as that would shorten the bus length of the commute. Personally, I would tend to live a further distance in Westchester as opposed to having to cross the Tappan Zee with any regularity, as it can be very annoying to do so, but the area would meet the price point, and Pearl River, in particular, has a large Catholic population, particularly Irish-Americans.

The Archdiocese of New York has a school finder, which can help you narrow down areas to consider: Private Catholic Schools in NYC | PreK-12 | Archdiocese of NY
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:24 AM
 
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Katonah (and Bedford Village) is easily an hour from GC, sometimes more according to a co-worker who lives there. Yorktown to GC will definitely take an hour with car + train especially if one does not live near a main thoroughfare that leads to Croton. Somers is simply too far away. If OP is OK to commute for >1hr, then Yorktown and Bedford are definitely considerations. One thing to be careful with Yorktown and Bedford are that taxes on some homes can approach $20K/year depending on property (some have lower taxes). Always check estimated taxes with the listing agent. And if one is looking at >1hr commute anyway, might as well consider Stewart Manor and Lynbrook again. Taxes in $$ amounts are lower in these areas of Long Island. Crestwood taxes are some of the lowest in Westchester and you can find homes with $10K or less in taxes. Hartsdale, around $12K.

Last edited by Forest_Hills_Daddy; 07-09-2013 at 04:54 AM..
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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Somers can be 5-10 minutes from downtown Katonah, with a Katonah address, such that people who do not know the area very well assume it is Katonah, just as people assume that Lewisboro with a Katonah address is Katonah, which makes no difference for schools, but does for town services and parking at Katonah's lots. There are parts close to Yorktown Heights as well, and parts that are 5-10 minutes from Goldens Bridge. It's a larger town that spans several areas, so while there are parts that do take longer, there are areas that the OP may consider too. The train is about an hour, 55 minutes, IIRC is the scheduled time to Grand Central.

Bedford Village is not where the OP should look as it's too expensive, but Bedford Hills could work, with the caveat that he will have to drive to Katonah to park at the station. I would not fear exceeding the $12k-$15k mark for taxes on $500k as it will not be a house that has much in the way of acreage in the Town of Bedford. Since one has to drive to Katonah, I'd look at Katonah, personally, but Bedford Hills can be slightly less expensive than Katonah, in parts, near Town Hall and the police station, for example, since there are some housing developments with splits and colonials from the 1960s-1970s. And, parts of Bedford Hills has estates that are in the eight digit price category. Bedford, too, is a large and varied town.

One other thing to consider is the weather, as above 287 can have snow, whereas it will be raining in Midtown. Bedford does a very good job with respect to clearing the roads, but if you are not as experienced with winter weather, you may prefer not to have to drive a longer distance, i.e., being closer to the train at Katonah or Goldens Bridge (~5 minutes or so longer on the train) might be preferable to driving 15-20 minutes to Croton-Harmon.
__________________
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

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