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Old 12-30-2012, 07:57 PM
 
284 posts, read 441,132 times
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My husband and I have been house hunting in Fairfield County (we currently live in Stamford), but are now thinking about expanding our search to Westchester as well. I am hoping that maybe the prices in Westchester will be better and/or we'll more easily find the kind of town we're looking for. We are a young couple seeking a town with good schools, safe, walkability (town center and/or sidewalks on the streets where you could see people walking, some sense of a "city" feel). It'd be an added bonus if the town had nice parks, a train station to NYC, shopping/amenities, and possibly/maybe some kind of Russian community (I know that last one is hard to find outside of Brooklyn). We are looking for someplace relatively dense, neighborhood/community, not rural, not woodsy. Our budget is about $750k. We are not very familiar with Westchester at all, so any advice on specific towns & neighborhoods would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elinyc View Post
My husband and I have been house hunting in Fairfield County (we currently live in Stamford), but are now thinking about expanding our search to Westchester as well. I am hoping that maybe the prices in Westchester will be better and/or we'll more easily find the kind of town we're looking for. We are a young couple seeking a town with good schools, safe, walkability (town center and/or sidewalks on the streets where you could see people walking, some sense of a "city" feel). It'd be an added bonus if the town had nice parks, a train station to NYC, shopping/amenities, and possibly/maybe some kind of Russian community (I know that last one is hard to find outside of Brooklyn). We are looking for someplace relatively dense, neighborhood/community, not rural, not woodsy. Our budget is about $750k. We are not very familiar with Westchester at all, so any advice on specific towns & neighborhoods would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Keep in mind our taxes are 3-7 times CT taxes.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Bellevue, WA
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3-7x? Greenwich has the lowest mil rate in CT and their taxes are only about 40% of ours. Plus you have car taxes there, too.

At any rate you'll need to be more specific about what you expect for that $750k. Our prices are better than Darien and below since our taxes are higher, but not really beyond that as you are paying for a short NYC commute here.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jjinla View Post
At any rate you'll need to be more specific about what you expect for that $750k. Our prices are better than Darien and below since our taxes are higher, but not really beyond that as you are paying for a short NYC commute here.
We have not been considering Darien at all since it's above our price range. We've been looking more in the Fairfield area since we can get a newish 3-4 bedroom home for that price range. Right now, I'm trying to get a recommendation of some towns in Westchester that match (hopefully most) of our criteria and then we can assess the pricing impact after that. I'm sort of familiar with White Plains and that's about it, which is why I'm reaching out to get some specific town recommendations based on our family's needs. Thank you!
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Bellevue, WA
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You won't get a new 3-4 br house in that range anywhere in lower Westchester except some parts of White Plains, New Rochelle, Yonkers and Mt. Vernon but the schools wont be as good as in Fairfield. There aren't really any new developments around here.

In that range, you'll generally get an older 1600 ft. 3 br with taxes of about $14k in the best school districts. As the schools get less coveted your house will get larger and newer.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:11 AM
 
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Thanks for the input. Any thoughts on which towns would meet our criteria? We might be willing to extend our budget if we found a town that has most things/everything we're looking for.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Larchmont, Pelham, Bronxville, Pleasantville...but I have no idea about Russians in any of those.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:01 PM
 
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Have you looked into Pelham at all? You can definitely find a 3-4 bedroom in that price range, but most likely it won't be new! (Occaisionally new homes on the market, but mostly housing stock in the area is older.) Pelham has some of what you're looking for, walkability, town center, good schools, safe, etc... but is lacking on the park front, and doesn't have as much shopping as the centers of Larchmont or Greenwich (though lots of easy access to big-box: Target, Best Buy, Petco, BJs, Fairway, Models, etc...) Small plots of land, with a real neighborhood feel - block parties, neighborhood holiday events, great newcomers club and lots of other ways to get to know people.

The taxes in Westchester are FAR higher than in CT, even with the car tax (jjinla, our friends in Greenwich pay $3k/year in taxes on their $1 million home, 5br home in pristine condition - I'd like to see a home in Larchmont for which that's 40% of the property taxes - or anywhere in Westchester!) It can really cause sticker shock.
Good luck in your search!
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:08 PM
 
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Oh, and there are definitely some Russians in Pelham, though can't say it's a huge population!
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Your friend is incorrectly assessed....have them look it up...the mil rate isn't that low.

We looked there exhaustively and that was our price range. The lowest taxes we found on a $1M home was in the $8000ish range. Still much cheaper than Westchester, but the home prices are at least 40-50% more as a result and the commute is about 45 minutes RT more a day from Old Greenwich.
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