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Old 06-26-2010, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Kyle, TX
4 posts, read 3,746 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello, All!

My wife and I (31 and 29) have three kids (ages 1, 4, and 5) and another one on the way. When we were first married in 2000, we moved to http://www.city-data.com/city/Collin...ew-Jersey.html (10 minutes from http://www.city-data.com/city/Philad...nsylvania.html) and lived there for 10 years. In August, 2009, we wanted a "change of scenery" and moved to http://www.city-data.com/city/Kyle-Texas.html (just south of http://www.city-data.com/city/Austin-Texas.html). We've been here in Kyle for nearly a year and have decided that we want to move.

What we don't like about Austin area...

1. It's too hot and humid for our tastes.
2. Austin is full of tacos, amazing BBQ, some mainstream high-end restaurants, but none of the hole-in-the-wall Chinese places or Italian places we had access to in the Philadelphia area. Yes, this is a determining factor.
3. While in the Northeast, we got used to the New York/Philly pace (fast and smart). South of Austin, it slows down quite a bit, and it's a little frustrating (no offense to the South intended--it's just not our pace).
4. There is one grocery store that monopolizes the area (H.E.B.), and the selection is terrible. In Collingswood, we had Wegman's, Shop Rite, Whole Foods, and more, and the selections in each were excellent.
5. There is very little color throughout the seasons (in Collingswood, we had beautiful Autumns).
6. We had a hard time finding a church that fit our needs. We love and want reformed, conservative Bible teaching.
7. We now live in a subdivision with a Home Owner's Association... The restrictions are too much, and we'd prefer not to do that again.

What we love...

1. Snow. We understand the immense snow in the area; we love it and are more interested in dealing with the challenges of cold, snowy Winters than hot, sticky Summers.

2. Space. We don't want to reach out of our dining room window and touch the neighbor's siding (this was our experience in Collingswood). We live on an acre and a third now in Texas, and love that kind of land. We plan to do some backyard chickens and Spring/Summer vegetables, wherever we end up. However, we would like to be able to get to every day grocery needs within 20 minutes and we would like to be able to get to big-box/wholesale (Costco, Sam's Club, BJ's) within 45 minutes.

3. Scenery (Hills, Lakes...a view). We absolutely want to be able to sit on our porch (front or back doesn't really matter) and look at something beautiful, whether it's a lake in the distance, mountains in the distance, or something of
the like.

4. Seasons. In New Jersey, we enjoyed Autumn, Winter, and Spring. We did not enjoy the Summer (see #1 in previous list). However, we love the Seasonal changes.

5. Old Homes and Character. Now that we've lived in an older home (built ca. 1920) in Collingswood, and a brand new home (built ca. 2003) in Kyle, we've decided we would prefer older homes any day. Also, we love the older neighborhoods with character and diversity in architecture. The subdivisions here in Kyle are cookie cutter, or, at best, a collection of McMansions. We want character and maturity!

We can afford homes in the $200k-$275k range provided the taxes do not exceed $8k for the year. We have lived in 1500 sq. ft. and it's been a little too crowded. We currently live in 4800 sq. ft., and it's just too much. We're thinking 2500 sq. ft. would be our average, allowing for "a good layout" if the area is below that.

We plan to hit the following towns:
Skaneateles
Cortland
Ithaca
Newfield
Trumansburg
Geneva
Marcellus
Jamesville
Fayetteville
Manlius
Cazenovia
Lafayette

Here are our questions:

a) What should we specifically aim to hit within each of these towns? Is there a particular area within each that would be more or less ideal? (In Collingswood, New Jersey and in Kyle, Texas, we've found there are "good" parts of town and "not-so-good" parts of town).

b) Should we add or subtract from this list based on our above criteria?

c) Are any of the schools in these areas the type of schools you would recommend AGAINST?

d) Anything else we should know or be thinking about?

We'll be visiting from July 7th-14th, 2010.

Thanks, Folks. We've enjoyed reading so much already and hope we're not being redundant!

- Frank & Steph
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:32 AM
 
4,912 posts, read 4,488,901 times
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Be prepared for the taxes. Texas has no personal income tax and a sales tax that is slightly lower than NY (which is 8%+ everywhere). NY is also home to some of the highest property taxes in the country.

I find it hard to believe that you're expecting syracuse to have a better restaurant scene than Austin, arguably one of the best capital city/college towns in the country with a thriving restaurant and music scene.

Syracuse and CNY should fit the bill for everything else you've listed (seasons, snow, scenery, old homes and space).

Last edited by chopchop0; 06-27-2010 at 09:52 AM..
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Old 06-27-2010, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Kyle, TX
4 posts, read 3,746 times
Reputation: 11
Default Thanks for replying!

@chopchop0—thanks for the reply. Yeah, Austin has a lot of nice restaurants, but what we can't seem to find are good take-out places for Chinese or *real* Pizza or Italian. In Collingswood (home to 30+ non-chain restaurants), you had everything food wise you would want. So we're a little spoiled.

My sister graduated from Syracuse (quite a while ago, now), and had a job delivering pizza for a hole-in-the-wall pizza joint. So I'm thinking we'll get what we want in the Syracuse area, unless all the pizza places closed in the last two decades.

Anyone else have further information? Particularly on churches and schools?
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Old 06-27-2010, 03:25 PM
 
2,389 posts, read 3,097,483 times
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I think that Cazenovia or Pompey, NY would work well for you... tremendous views over the hilltops and, depending on where your future home is located, possibly over a lake.

It's possible to find views in Manlius as well, toward the Cazenovia direction, off of Seneca Turnpike/Rt. 173 (NOT a highway... just one of the main roads through town. lol) or up Rte. 92, toward Caz.

I'd look down Pompey Center Road and Henneberry Road in Pompey/Manlius.

There are several churches that sound like they'd fit your description, in Manlius... but really, there are churches everywhere. I mean it... everywhere. There are 5 churches within 3 blocks of our home in the village. If you can be more specific, I would be able to make a better recommendation.

When you're looking for homes and area information, a lot of the zip codes and town names interlap... so you could be IN Pompey with a Manlius address and Cazenovia school district.

Manlius 13104
Pompey 13138
Cazenovia 13035
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Old 06-27-2010, 03:29 PM
 
2,389 posts, read 3,097,483 times
Reputation: 1769
There are a lot of pictures posted in the Syracuse Forum itself. (Sub-forum of this general NY forum.) If you search for "Pictures of the Village of Manlius", you should be able to find some I took from the fall of '08, snow during this past winter and the recent Memorial Day parade. I spent my teenage years in Pompey and Cazenovia as well so if you have any questions about either, I'd be happy to answer them.

As you're looking for an older home, I don't think you'll find taxes to be much of an issue. The taxes trend toward, the older the house, the lower your taxed assessment. So a $200K new-build in a development might have taxes around $8K but a $200K 1920's home is likely to be more around $4-5K.

Good luck with the possible relocation! (And there are a TON of really great pizza places... but we're fortunate that Pavone's Pizza has a place right here in the village of Manlius too! lol)

Last edited by proulxfamily; 06-27-2010 at 03:37 PM..
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Old 06-27-2010, 03:31 PM
 
1,521 posts, read 1,940,849 times
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I would recommend the following communities:

Eastern Suburbs:
Fayetteville (13066 zip code) village located in town of Manlius served by Fayetteville Manlius Schools (FM). Many historical homes in village of varying sizes. Nationally recognized library in renovated Stickley furniture factory.

Manlius (13104 zip code) village located within town of Manlius served by Fayetteville-Manlius schools. Many historical homes in village of varying sizes. Grocery store in village.

Pompey (13104 zip code - northern section located in FM schools) - Exurban town with many newer upscale developments and historic homes on large lots.

Cazenovia (13035 zip code) - village and town in adjacent Madison County. Exurban town with nice lake and small college in heart of village. Lots of horse farms and properties on large lots. Commute to Syracuse will be about 30+ minutes. Grocery store in village

Jamesville (13078 zip code) - hamlet located in town of DeWitt. Large number of newer homes and some older homes on larger properties near Route 173 (East Seneca Turnpike) Located in Jamesville DeWitt School District (JD)

The eastern suburbs of Syracuse are the most upscale and tend to attract more people relocating from outside the area due to the close proximity to major medical centers, local colleges, and fairly sizable number of large homes (3,500 +). Don't let this be a determining factor, though, as Syracuse's excellent highway system enables one to reach many places of employment, medical facilities, and retail within 20 minutes from most suburban communities. Fayetteville-Manlius schools are the most affluent in the region and can be viewed by some as a "pressure cooker." In terms of academic performance, all of the schools in the afforementioned communities in the Eastern Suburbs (JD, FM, Cazenovia) score well and are viewed favorabaly..

Erie Boulevard is a retail corridor in nearby DeWitt and on Syracuse's east side that has the largest cluster of big box stores, restaurants, and other establishments servicing the eastern suburbs. BJ's, Sam's Club, Barnes & Noble and several supermarkets can be reached within 10 minutes from all communities sans Cazenovia. Just outside the village of Fayetteville is "Towne Center at Fayetteville" a shopping center with a supermarket, LL Bean, Target, Stickley Audi & Co, Starbucks, Panera Bread, and several other stores. Syracuse's flagship Wegman's store is located in DeWitt between Erie Boulevard and Fayetteville. DeWitt and Jamesville are near I-690. The villages of Fayetteville, Cazenovia, Manlius and the town of Pompey are further removed from local interstates, however are closer to recreation amenties like Green Lakes State Park, and Four Seasons Ski Resort (the nation's smallest downhill ski slope), among others.

Western Suburbs:

Camillus (13104) zip code - While Camillus is a fairly developed town with some sprawl in the eastern portions along West Genesee Street, the western sections of the community are more buccolic and have homes on larger lots. Ike Dixon Road, Munro Road, and the Pioneer Farms subdivision have some nice residences on treed lots. Shopping and big box retail is a few miles to the east. One of the area's nicer Wegmans is in the hamlet of Fairmount. Most of Camillus is served by the highly regarded West Genesee School district and has good highway access from I-690 and Route 695.

Marcellus (13108 zip code) - A small village in the town of Marcellus and served mostly by Marcellus schools. This is the most rural of the communities on your list, however there are some subdivisions along Route 175. There is a small grocery store in the village. Shopping is in nearby Camillus.

Skaneateles - Located at the shore of one of New York's Finger Lakes, the village is located within the town of Skaneateles. Like Cazenovia, the commute to Syracuse will be longer, about 30+ minutes. There is a large concentration of very upscale lake homes as well as historic homes in the village and neighborhing countryside. Like the eastern suburbs, a fair number of people have relocated to this community from other areas. The Skaneateles Community Center sports an olympic sized swimming pool and fitness center.

Northern Suburbs:

The northern suburbs house the largest share of Syracuse's suburban core and contain many subdivisions both newer and post WWII. There is a large amount of sprawl, however some villages like Liverpool and Baldwinsville have well maintained historical homes. Baldwinsville is situated on the Seneca River and is near Beaver Lake Nature Center, a popular destination for area residents. The town of Lysander (13027 zip code) has some older homes adjacent to newer subdivisions along Route 370.


Restaurants:
The area has some "hole in the wall" restaurants incuding a fair number of Chinese and Vietnamese places. There are also many Italian restaurants near Erie Boulevard and Carrier Circle in DeWitt, "Little Italy" on the city's North Side as well as the northern suburban communties of Cicero, North Syracuse, Liverpool and Clay.

Types of Churches:
Like most major and medium sized metros in the Northeast, Catholics make up the largest number of local Christians and are farily concentrated in the northern suburbs, first ring western suburbs and city of Syracuse, however the Syracuse area has a lower percentage of Catholics and higher number of Protestants (mainline and more conservative denominations) than some other metros in the Northeast.

Last edited by RollsRoyce; 06-27-2010 at 03:47 PM..
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:40 PM
 
1,521 posts, read 1,940,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RollsRoyce View Post


Western Suburbs:

Camillus (13104) zip code - While Camillus is a fairly developed town with some sprawl in the eastern portions along West Genesee Street, the western sections of the community are more buccolic and have homes on larger lots. Ike Dixon Road, Munro Road, and the Pioneer Farms subdivision have some nice residences on treed lots. Shopping and big box retail is a few miles to the east. One of the area's nicer Wegmans is in the hamlet of Fairmount. Most of Camillus is served by the highly regarded West Genesee School district and has good highway access from I-690 and Route 695.

Just one point of clarification on Camillus: The zip code is 13031, not 13104. Also, I wanted to clarify my description that there is "some sprawl in the eastern portion of the town." A better description is that this portion of the town is fully developed (as it was one of the earlier suburban communties in the area), meaning that retail is farily close together and well maintained cape and ranch houses are on smaller lots. This area does not have your typical signs of sprawl like plastic-like houses with no trees, nearly new vacant commercial structures, or recently cleared land. Another area with well established homes and good schools is Westvale. Most of this community is south of Route 5 ( Parsons Drive in particular) This area is in the 13219 zip code (same zip as Fairmount) and is in the Westhill School district.

As a general rule the Western and Eastern suburbs have hilly topography and are filled with drumlins (small glacier formed hills). The area becomes very flat once you drive north of I-90 (NYS Thruway). LaFayette, Onondaga and Pompey are probably the most hilly communities in the closet proximity to Syracuse, though the southern sections of Manlius and DeWitt (Jamesville) have similiar topography.


The other communities on your list including Geneva, Trumansburg and Ithaca would require a long commute to Syracuse. Geneva has some dicey areas and some upscale ones too; academic performance per standardized test scores is mixed.

Here is a website for Churches:
http://www.usachurch.com/new_york/syracuse/churches.htm

Last edited by RollsRoyce; 06-27-2010 at 06:53 PM..
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:58 PM
 
31,914 posts, read 37,911,515 times
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You might like churches like Believer's Chapel, Abundant Life, Church of the Living Word or the Vineyard church, among others. There are some Christian schools like Faith Heritage, Living Word Academy, Baldwinsville Christian Academy, Word of Life Academy in Baldwinsville and a few in the Cortland area as well.

Living Word Church
Home (Abundant Life Christian Center)
Believers Chapel - Cicero, NY - Home
Home - Vineyard Church
North Syracuse Baptist Church - Home
Liverpool Community Church | Liverpool, New York 13088
Northside Baptist Church - Loving God. Loving People.
MyRedeemer Home Page
Word of Life Assembly of God
Home


Home
The Church of the Living Word
Baldwinsville Christian Academy School with Pre-K 4 Year Old Preschool Program and Homeschool Extension Program located in Baldwinsville New York in the greater Syracuse, NY area
Word of Life Christian Academy and Preschool
Academy (Academy)

and much more....

As for communities, I agree with the Eastern suburbs including Cazenovia, some Western suburbs like Camillus and Marcellus; Baldwinsville and possibly Skaneateles too. Northern suburban villages like Liverpool and North Syracuse might have what you are looking for.

You might like some communities like Hamilton, Chittenango, parts of Auburn, parts of Oswego and perhaps Tully too.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Outer University - Syracuse
686 posts, read 858,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proulxfamily View Post
As you're looking for an older home, I don't think you'll find taxes to be much of an issue. The taxes trend toward, the older the house, the lower your taxed assessment. So a $200K new-build in a development might have taxes around $8K but a $200K 1920's home is likely to be more around $4-5K.
Taxes are not based on the age of the home - instead they are based on assessed market value. It's safe to assume that school and property taxes combined will be roughly 3.75% to 4.25% of the home's market value (i.e. the price you pay for it) per year. That works out to an average of about $8,000 per year in taxes on a $200K house.

It might be tad lower some places and a tad higher in others, but the taxes that the current owner pays should not be used as a metric. My Syracuse home is currently taxed based on a market value of $100K, and I paid $85K for it five years ago. In the current market, with the improvements I've made, it would sell for $150K, and the new owners would be taxed based on the price they paid for the house - not based on what my assessment was.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:09 AM
 
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Here's a good website that gives you an idea in terms of tax rates in NY State counties: Tax Rates (http://php.democratandchronicle.com/tax_rates/ - broken link)
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