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Old 11-03-2006, 11:58 AM
7 posts, read 43,730 times
Reputation: 17


I have been looking into Pelham, Bronxville and Rye Brook. Trying to balance the house price, commute to NYC, and the good schools is not easy. There is also the whole parking issue at the train stations. The commute is very important because it affects the quality of our family life every day. We eat dinner as family now and I hope we can do that once we move. It is important for the kids.... probably as much as good schools.

Have you been to any of the areas you are looking into? I did take a day trip to Pelham but I have been doing most of my research on the Internet and this site has been very helpful. But I probably have to take a trip up there for a few days in order to get a better feel for the area.

Where in DC area do you live now? When are you moving? We are in Potomac area and looking to move by summer.
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Old 11-03-2006, 04:12 PM
84 posts, read 526,547 times
Reputation: 48
I haven't visited the area yet. I did alot of research on the internet...particularly in Connecticut. Conn. Magazine listed towns and rated them based on several criteria, including schools. I've also looked at areas in Westchester primarily based on schools first and then housing market and our personal tastes. My husband currently works in Tysons, but has clients all over the area. We live in Centreville, Va. An hour commute is normal for him in the afternoons, less so in the mornings because he leaves early.

I really like Ridgefield and Redding Conn. But, Yorktown area and South Salem and Chappaqua are appealing as well.....we rarely get to eat dinner together......given his work schedule and the boys sports after school we almost always on the run....
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:28 PM
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Reputation: 11
I am life long resident of the area. Lived in Yonkers, Yorktown, North Stamford and now Ridgfield.

I have friends and family in most areas of Westchester and Conn. and I am pretty versed on most of the towns in the area.

Some towns in Westchester and some towns in Conn, are probably some of the best places to live in the country. After owning a home in Yorktown, I left because of the absured taxes. We owned a house valued at $350,000 (10 years ago) and the taxes were $11,500 on 1/2 acre property! That same home is now worth 700K, and I can't imagine what the taxes now are!!

This same scenario plays out in much of Westchester... totally outragous taxes. One state north brings you to Conn, where the schools are second best in the country (followed by Maine -- I think), and the taxes are more reasonable (although still high on a national basis) Also, the highest NY state tax bracket is almost 2.5% greater than Conn. Assuming your income is 200k or more, we are talking about a significant amount of $s.

If you choose lower Fairfield County, buy in Dairen or New Canaan (very expensive). Greenwich is OVER-RATED, and North Stamford has school issues due to the busing issues.

My preference (which is why I am living here), is Ridgefield. It is the most beautiful town in the area (including Westchester), it was just rated #1 town in CONN., by CONN. magazine, and it has the lowest crime rate. It has the 4th best schools in Conn, but the margin between #1 and #4 is very slim.

Bottom line, if you come to Ridgefield, you will fall in love with it. The only negative is that you have to drive about 15 mins to get to a major highway. This is one of the reasons the town stays pristine.

Good Luck!
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Old 11-05-2006, 04:13 PM
84 posts, read 526,547 times
Reputation: 48
Thanks for the info DDavid!! Ridgefield is on the top of my list if we do decide to relocate to the area. Seems to have a great balance of home value, good schools and amenities for my boys. Nice to hear someone who's lived there and in Westchester comment on the subject.
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Old 11-06-2006, 07:27 PM
1 posts, read 17,011 times
Reputation: 12
Default Expensive

Eveyone is right- the area is expensive. I grew up in Rye and recently moved back. The one GREAT thing about lower Westchester is that the resale value on the houses almost NEVER go down. I bought my first house in Rye for 430,000 and sold it three years later for 740,000. Which was great if I moved to almost anywhere else in the country, but I moved a couple of streets away and broke th eseven digit barrier. I pay about 18,000 in taxes, but the Rye City Schools are just as good as most private schools in the country. The top cities to live in in Westchester for schools (I am biased becasue I am a teacher in Harrison) are Rye City, Rye Brook, Chappaqua, Pelham, Harrison, Edgemont, Scarsdale and Mamaroneck- if you want to travel 20 minutes North- John Jay is a good district- in Katonah. Districts to avoid are Yonkers and Mt.Verson (just like the Bronx but higher taxes), Port Chester (I like the town- its growing, but the taxes are way too high for a subpar school system) and Greenbergh. Bigger cities like White Plains and New Rochelle have solid school systems (White Plains still has some great deals with wonderful schools- but you won't get that small town feel). Moving nest door to CT is great- BUT they will get you back on the taxes (they tax things like your car) and it is really expensive to find a good school system there (Greenwich is great but Stamford is not) and the other cities just keep getting farther and farther from NYC. To be honest, I always think about moving (like to NC) because I dream of turning a 2500 SQ house into a 4000 one, but once you leave it becomes expensive to get back in. Hope my rambling helped.
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Old 11-07-2006, 05:24 PM
84 posts, read 526,547 times
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What about Byram Hills school district? I saw at least one house in Chappaqua area that was nice and the district was Byram Hills not Chappaqua. From the looks of its school ratings, particularly SAT scores, they looked VERY good....any thoughts???
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Old 11-07-2006, 05:38 PM
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Reputation: 11
Default Also moved from DC to Westchester!!

I lived in the DC area for 12 years. DC near American University, Gaithersburg, Bethesda and Rockville. My husband and I moved to Scarsdale. We rent now, but want to buy a house soon. I like the area a lot. I too wonder where to live. We have a child who will go to school in several years. We are interested in areas you have mentioned, but also White Plains.
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Old 11-09-2006, 11:23 AM
16 posts, read 73,896 times
Reputation: 18
If you are rich enough to afford Westchester then it can be nice. All of the non-exclusive ultra-rich areas though are completely unafordable for anyone making an average salary. Most of the larger towns in Westchester such as White Plains, New Rochelle, and Yonkers are all overrun with illegals. If you plan on sending your kids to public schools in these areas you better make sure they are fluent in Spanish because they certainly won't be learning any English.
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Old 11-09-2006, 11:56 AM
1,529 posts, read 2,094,403 times
Reputation: -80
Avoid Yonkers and Mount Vernon and you should be fine. The schools suck and they have their own ghetto/low income areas along the Bronx boarder. Also avoid Newburgh, if you decide to go a bit further upstate.

Rockland county is really nice too (Better then Westchester to me), but it's tougher to get to Downtown/Midtown Manhattan without a car. A longer trip then from Westchester.
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Old 12-02-2006, 12:51 PM
1 posts, read 16,984 times
Reputation: 10
Default Relo to NY

Hi, I'm another one considering a move to NY from the suburbs of Boston. We have 3 teenage boys. College, sophmore, and 7th grade. Any experienced with moving kids in high school? They are really stubborn about not wanting to move. I am looking at Westchester county for its good schools and commute to Manhattan. Our rent budget is about $3000 a month. How far is the commute from Ridgefield, Ct? Thanks for any advice!
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