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Thread summary:

Moving to New York City, good public schools, commute within an hour to NYC, renting for a few years, rental prices, school zones, moving costs, relocation fees, Pelham, Harrison, Tuckahoe

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Old 08-14-2008, 09:06 PM
 
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I've looked and looked through these forums, but I don't know where to start to even THINK about living.

We need a good public school. Even on greatschools.net that's hard to find and it's easy to get overwhelmed b/c there are just SO many schools.

We want what everyone w/ kids seems to want: good school, commute within an hour to NYC, safe, we want to rent for 2-3 years (so buying is not an issue for now). We can live in the city, outside the city, in NJ, wherever.

I'm not necessarily looking for suggestions as to where to live, I want to know how to start paring down the gobs of info that's out there.

TIA,

alliecat
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:08 PM
 
50 posts, read 101,667 times
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It depends on your budget honestly. I lived in NY my entire life, and moved to Charlotte exactly one year ago, and trying my hardest to come back home. Rockland County is absolutely BEAUTIFUL, Stony Point has like a 1% Crime rate, but the school district isn't that good, North Rockland High School has a pretty high dropout rate. I would certainly reccomend New City though, I think you'd love it over there, Clarkstown has a great school system. If you want to try and avoid some taxes, Orange county is another beautiful part. Look at Monroe, Highland Mills or even Warwick. If you would like anymore information, feel free to send me a private message, good luck, and I know you'll love it over there!!!!!
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:16 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
9,411 posts, read 16,072,872 times
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A great way to start is with the basics. To where in Manhattan will you commute? How long of a commute is tolerable? Will the commute be by train or bus? Which is preferable? If you are going to be in Midtown, Grand Central offers an easy commute, whereas many who are in Lower Manhattan prefer New Jersey suburbs for ease of commute as the PATH goes directly to Lower Manhattan. Long Island suburbs go to Penn Station, which is also fairly convenient.

After determining the commute distance and method, begin to look for towns that offer what you want for your lifestyle. Schools are exceptionally important in NY-NJ suburbs as they tend to dictate the real estate market for many families. So, I would begin with the school district and look from there, after identifying the place, however, since looking at all of the information on schools in the entire NYC area can be daunting to say the least.

Then, I would look to the real estate market and determine if it is feasible to initially rent as you want to do for 2-3 years and eventually buy in that district, since you might not want to have to move and switch schools later. If the town does not have housing that meets your needs, then I would look to the next town on the train line or the next town over and begin to look for the same information. Start with the closest town you'd consider and work your way out to the furthest. Time schedules from MTA Metro North, the LIRR, and NJ Transit can give an indication of the expected commute time from station to city.

Break the task into groupings and make a list of the places you'd consider, check the schools, and move on to the next town. When you get a few that you'd like, look at the real estate in the towns and determine that element of the puzzle. Narrow it down to some final choices and do some final research, and you'll be all set. It is a lot of information to wade through, that's for sure, but the two most important factors for families with children in the area are commute and schools. Everything else can be balanced when those two elements are harmonious.

On the topic of living in the city, generally speaking, the city is okay in some districts for lower grades, but there are issues, even in good areas, when schools merge at the middle and high school levels. Some good districts do exist, and there are schools that are open by competitive examination in the city, but it might be easier to find a good suburban district and commute at the outset.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:43 AM
 
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Thank you, bmw. You breaking it down like that makes it seem completely doable. Now I'm not sure if it will even be necessary. The co. we've been dealing with had seemed like they were going to be easy to come to a deal with. Now they're sounding like they only want to offer a 10K moving allowance (we'd be moving in 2-3 weeks, have a house and are moving from GA!) and 140K to live. That's only 15% more than DH was just offered to stay here, lol. Don't get me wrong. I know we're talking gobs of $, but for NYC it isn't.

I need to go be sick again.
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
459 posts, read 1,631,359 times
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we (my wife and at the time 4 year old) moved here to tompkins county from CA on 10,000.00. That included the movers (we occupied half of his HUGE truck, and he also took one of our cars), the cost of hotels and food driving across the country, and had enough money to live on for a month or two while waiting for my job to start, and my wife to lock her position at Cornell.

People have moved on less, with less...it's about what's important to you..what really matters and what doesn't. Money isn't everything, and it shouldnt be a barrier.

we also went from making 120k combined in CA (which wasn't much there anymore, by the time we left) to making 60k now, and we are actually more comfortable than we were making double in CA. You're talking about NYC though, so thats a different beast. Though my wife's best friend is a chef making 10/hr and a husband who makes 60k...and they manage just fine..have a 2 bedroom big apartment in brooklyn, and don't want for anything.
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:02 AM
 
29 posts, read 76,903 times
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CBaillo - I say what I'm about to say b/c I find your input interesting, educational and it makes me optimistic. All I've had to go on is the info I've been able to accumulate over a small period of time (3 days).

When did you move?

The move itself would only cost us about 3K. We'd have only 2 weeks to do everything, so that's the cost of the UHaul, boxes and packing materials, movers who'd pack us up and help us load and movers to unload us there, gas, food, etc.

We have a house to sell in this market where homes are not moving quickly. To protect ourselves, we're adding in 1st and last month's rent plus 3 mos. rent while we wait until the house is sold. That gets us into a place (1st and last) and covers us for 3 months. After that 3 months we'd be paying 2 mortgages. And we're not looking to make ANY $ on the sale, we just want to break even.
*Not knowing how much $ rent would be, I figured 3K/month. This may be a number that is much too high, but I have NO idea how much a 2BR apt in a safe neighborhood w/ good schools and less than 1hr commute for DH would be.
*By good schools I'm talking about a school that gets an 8 or ablove on greatschools.net. And before anyone jumps on me about how all they go on is test scores, remember that I don't have a lot of time to research so I'm using what's easiest.
*By safe, I don't mean that I'd expect to send DD out alone to play and not think twice about it. I mean that I should be able to expect to walk to the store or park w/ my two DDs and not have to worry about being mugged/raped/pillaged.

How much are you paying for your 2BR, how do you define huge (to me "huge" in nyc would be 1K sq ft), what are your school scores and what are 2BR going for where you are now? Again, I'm not asking to argumentative or to say you don't have a point. I genuinely want to know so I can see if this IS possible. We've ALWAYS wanted to live in NY.

And getting back to how I came to our moving allowance: based on what I've outlined, 3K to move plus 5x3K for rent = 18K. The other 2K I was figuring was for deposits on phone, cable and crap I just might not have thought of We've had a couple of $ hits lately and have no savings. Being on the short side of wrong is not an option.

We'd have to sell 1 or both cars in the next 2 weeks also. Again, we're not looking to make any $, just to break even.

Any helpful advice, thoughts or hard numbers you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

alliecat
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:05 AM
 
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Rockland county wouldn't be high on my list if you want an easy commute to New York City. In NJ the river isn't an issue, but in Rockland, it really is.
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
459 posts, read 1,631,359 times
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i dont live in the city :P i hate the city, and only like visiting in small doses..tompkins county is in the finger lakes region in upstate ny. where life and living are 180 degrees from the city. my wifes BEST FRIEND and her husband live in Brooklyn. Last I heard they were paying 1800.00/mo for their 1100 ft2 2 bedroom/1ba. That's why I said NYC is a different beast, because the cost is higher.

For us it broke down this way:

Moving truck: 4k
Rent (3mos @700/mo for a 1200 ft2 4 bed/1ba house): 2100

Everything left over went to living expenses and utilities.

This was last July. We have sinced moved to a bigger house, but that was the cost when we moved.

But your figures are going to be diff. for the city.
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:28 PM
 
29 posts, read 76,903 times
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Forgive me, I got confused and thought that both you and the friends lived in Brooklyn. Thank you for the rental amount, that's helpful. And I would say their place IS huge, lol. Can you tell me about the school zone they're in?
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
9,411 posts, read 16,072,872 times
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Wow...that is a lot to get through in a short period of time, but it's entirely possible. Can you rent your house for near your mortgage payment and hold it until market conditions improve a bit? It might be a way to offset the expense until you can get it sold.

Selling cars is fairly easy, since you can go to Carmax and places like that where they will appraise and buy it on the spot. It's fine, as long as you're not upside down in the vehicles, since it's a quick sale.

If you're going to move to the city initially, you can always look to go to the suburbs when you get the old house sold. You can find rentals with fairly easy commutes to Midtown in the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. If you need good schools, Riverdale in the Bronx is a good bet, for example, and you could find a 2BR or even a 3BR for under $3k a month. You can spend more, yes, but you do have a supply available for between $2-$3k that are in great areas. The commute options to Midtown are express bus, MetroNorth train, and subway train. The subway will be the slowest, owing to the fact that Riverdale is separated from the subway in most of its locales. MetroNorth is a fast under 30 minute ride and the express bus falls inbetween. It is feasible to own a car there as well, so you'd be able to keep one car, as there is street parking and it's not always difficult to find a space, and there are also garages, but you don't have to go to the added expense unless it makes a significant dent in your insurance. Elementary schools are good and there are some mixed results with the middle and high schools in Riverdale, but much of it depends upon the track of the student.

I agree with ViralMD that Rockland is a remote commute, and closer-in New Jersey is a much more viable commute. Westchester is easy as well, especially Lower Westchester in terms of time. And, in Westchester and New Jersey, it's easy to have one family vehicle if you can be on a bus link or walking route to the train. And, you have more options in terms of higher ranked schools than you do in other areas.

You can find something in your price range in Larchmont-Mamaroneck with a 2BR being to the mid $2k-$3k range. Sometimes this will be a small house, but many times it will be an apartment in that price range, but it does offer good schools and a reasonable commute, especially on the express trains that run between Harrison and Grand Central Terminal that stop at Larchmont and Mamaroneck after Harrison and then are on to GCT. Pelham is also nice, but there are not many rentals there, and the downtown is not as developed as Larchmont. Tuckahoe is also a good area, but might not have much in the way of rentals. All of these towns are viable with only one vehicle if you do not want to bring two with you, and in particular, Larchmont offers much in the way of walking to shops, the movies, the parks, etc.

Hope that helps a little bit!
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