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Old 02-19-2014, 01:46 PM
 
7 posts, read 14,032 times
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Definitely suggest Tarrytown. After 15 years in San Francisco and the last two in Manhattan, we recently moved with our two year old to an amazing neighborhood (Tappan Landing - right near the bridge) in walking distance from the train. The houses are probably a bit smaller than you are eventually looking for (cape cods/side hall colonials) but you can find all types in Tarrytown. I love it for all of the reasons you and everyone else listed above. It's a wonderful, diverse community with so much to offer. Plus, everyone I meet lately seems to have just moved to the area with their small children from Brooklyn, Manhattan...
I first only wanted Hastings/Irvington because the schools get ranked so much higher but after doing much research, came to the conclusion that these communities really offered no diversity and the actual education in Tarrytown is very good. The thing that brings down the test scores overall is the percentage of ESL students who attend the school. The curriculum and education is top-notch though. There are a bunch of college kids in my neighborhood who went through the Tarrytown school system and they are almost all at top-tier (including Ivy) schools.
One note, the trains don't really take 35 minutes. 41 minutes is the fastest trip available and the actual trips usually take a bit longer.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:50 PM
 
6,993 posts, read 9,535,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dma1250 View Post
FHD, I wasn't referring to building new schools, but rather to improving existing ones through increased funding and resources. There are loads of mid-range middle and high schools in Brooklyn that can be improved without too much trouble. If the mayor and new chancellor do a fraction of what they intend, there will be a lot more good schools for parents to choose from in a few years.
I believe many of the existing ones that can potentially be improved are not conveniently located from the residential areas being developed. That was the issue with Tribeca where the DOE's solution was to move the waitlist to Chinatown schools and angering parents who bought in and around BPC. A way to address this is to open these out of the way areas to further residential development like parks, transportation and shopping so that families like the OP can move there and partake of the local schools. I agree, I don't see a reason why NYC cannot make Bushwick's or Ridgewood's schools as good as Park Slope's. But as some people here have alluded, this is not high up on the mayor's and chancellor's priorities. They are preoccupied with other things and are at the moment reliant on whatever plans that were left by Bloomberg.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:57 PM
 
2,328 posts, read 5,059,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plepod006 View Post
Definitely suggest Tarrytown. After 15 years in San Francisco and the last two in Manhattan, we recently moved with our two year old to an amazing neighborhood (Tappan Landing - right near the bridge) in walking distance from the train. The houses are probably a bit smaller than you are eventually looking for (cape cods/side hall colonials) but you can find all types in Tarrytown. I love it for all of the reasons you and everyone else listed above. It's a wonderful, diverse community with so much to offer. Plus, everyone I meet lately seems to have just moved to the area with their small children from Brooklyn, Manhattan...
I first only wanted Hastings/Irvington because the schools get ranked so much higher but after doing much research, came to the conclusion that these communities really offered no diversity and the actual education in Tarrytown is very good. The thing that brings down the test scores overall is the percentage of ESL students who attend the school. The curriculum and education is top-notch though. There are a bunch of college kids in my neighborhood who went through the Tarrytown school system and they are almost all at top-tier (including Ivy) schools.
One note, the trains don't really take 35 minutes. 41 minutes is the fastest trip available and the actual trips usually take a bit longer.
Great post! And absolutely do not get into the trap of picking a school district with the highest SAT scores. All they do is reflect the wealth of the district.

There is no evidence that the typical Tarrytown teacher is inferior to the typical Scarsdale teacher. As this poster said, Tarrytown's are a function of a large Hispanic immigrant population.

Houses range from a new $2,000,000 development, to very modest frame multi-family houses that were built for immigrants that arrived in the late 19th century. And everyone seems to get along!
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Armonk NY
425 posts, read 954,863 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubygreta View Post
Great post! And absolutely do not get into the trap of picking a school district with the highest SAT scores. All they do is reflect the wealth of the district.

There is no evidence that the typical Tarrytown teacher is inferior to the typical Scarsdale teacher. As this poster said, Tarrytown's are a function of a large Hispanic immigrant population.

Houses range from a new $2,000,000 development, to very modest frame multi-family houses that were built for immigrants that arrived in the late 19th century. And everyone seems to get along!
Large Portuguese population.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,830 posts, read 26,410,486 times
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Tarrytown is a very good suggestion, and given the $2M and under price point, I would not rule out looking at Philipse Manor in Sleepy Hollow. There are good houses in that area around $800k-$1M, with a few a bit higher. It's a more suburban type of development, but the houses are of good size, and the neighborhood is just over a mile from downtown Tarrytown (but has its own train station that is walkable from the neighborhood), such that you could walk through residential streets west of Broadway to Tarrytown if you wanted to do so. Given the layout of Broadway in that area, it's not conducive to walking or bicycling with a family.

Taxes are high because there are many small villages and towns with multiple services: fire, police, schools, municipal offices, etc. as opposed to county level administration in other areas of the country that helps to keep taxes in check. Also, there is a lack of commercial sector in many areas, so the costs of the town/village are borne largely by the residential sector. In Westchester, the lowest taxes are in White Plains, owing to the large commercial and retail sectors in the city. NYC has comparatively low real estate taxes, too, but you pay city resident income tax, and it's anyone's guess as to the direction RE taxes will move under the new mayoral administration, though my own personal feeling is the direction is not toward holding current or lower RE tax rates.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:28 PM
 
12 posts, read 15,346 times
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Thank you all. We're heading up this weekend and probably next (if this weather holds) to check out a few towns. I'll most likely commute on Amtrak until my oldest son finishes up with school in June so we have some time until we move.

bmwguy: that makes sense regarding the taxes, but state income taxes are still relatively high. I'm just curious because I know that in South Jersey the property taxes are still high and there are fewer villages and a decent commercial property tax base in many towns. I'm not trying to start a political debate on taxes, but Jersey and NY state are really high compared to anywhere I've lived or even looked at by a factor of at least 2. For example, my brother lives in Media PA in a house that's appraised pretty similar amount as his mother in law's home who lives in Central/North Jersey and her taxes are 3x his. Similar towns with similar amounts of commercial property but just much higher in Jersey. And his income tax in PA is lower.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Toronto
815 posts, read 1,988,245 times
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I don't know why this thread got so side-tracked, and only one person mentioned Larchmont and it was dismissed??? It may not have the diversity of Tarrytown, but if you want a walkable neighbourhood with plenty of amenities/restaurants/parks, etc, look no further than Larchmont/Mamaroneck. Granted, Larchmont housing stock is generally old and the lots are generally small, but if you want side walks and the ability to walk everywhere it beats the very hilly Hudson River towns hands down.

And when the schools come together at the middle/high school level you have much more diversity than a lot of towns around here...

I hope you make it to this area while you're in Westchester!
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:21 PM
 
431 posts, read 961,986 times
Reputation: 208
It's SUBURBIA.
It's all the same damn thing.
The differences obsessed on are trivial.

Just buy the most expensive house you can comfortably afford, as close to the city as possible.
This entire forum can be replaced by this single sentence.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:45 AM
 
3 posts, read 3,855 times
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To the original poster - we recently bought a house in Tarrytown, after having rented in Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill, and disliked standing in a mob on the subways, and the claustrophobic feeling that every time you get on the BQE on the weekend to go somewhere with fresh air, it takes an hour just to get out of Brooklyn. To us, Tarrytown offers it all - nice people, the express train that is much more relaxing, mostly sidewalks to the cute village, close proximity to nature, the Rockefeller trails and state park, countryside, etc. and convenience - 10 minutes to the Westchester mall, 5 minutes to stores like Bed and Bath, Home Depot, etc, plus all the other Rivertown villages and Pleasantville are within a quick, ten-minute drive. Mrs. Green's, a great health food store, also just opened downtown, and new restaurants keep opening in Tarrytown as well as in all of the rivertowns. You have a beautiful view of the river and Hudson valley from most vantage points in the town. As far as the schools, no one has mentioned here that Tarrytown just got a new superintendent with an excellent reputation this year. My husband and I are college teachers and believe the quality of education is excellent and is only going to go up. Some of the houses in Tarrytown aren't as charming looking on the outside as Pelham, Larchmont, Scarsdale, and Bronville PO, but are gut renovated on the inside, and you can get a bigger house. As far as your kids growing up with diversity, it is a mix of working class and upper middle class white families, Europeans, Hispanic, Asian, and African American families. In Brooklyn, people "talk" about art. We moved here because we are working artists and needed the space, serenity, and time-saving efficiencies so allow us to spend more time on our art and academics. Feel free to message me with questions!
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:51 AM
 
6,993 posts, read 9,535,510 times
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/\/\

Is there some kind of Brooklyn style gentrification happening in tarrytown? I've seen this come up a few times in various discussions. If so are the new more affluent residents sending kids to the public school or to hackley and masters?
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