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Old 11-30-2014, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Westchester NY
73 posts, read 97,004 times
Reputation: 34

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I am thinking of moving to Bedford NY based on my extensive google maps search for a country region withing commuting distance of NYC.

Some other places I considered are South Salem, Pound Ridge, Chappaqua, and Brewster.

I think that Brewster is outside my commutable range, because I think an hour to Grand Central is as far as I want to go. But I am definitely looking for rural, complete privacy unless I want to go in to the town center.

I do not have kids but I heard that the schools in Bedford are great but not as good at chappaqua? What is the reason the schools are lacking in this area?

I am 21 and not sure how many young people live in bedford or other northern westchester towns?

I have had it with the crowds in the city, I am looking for peace and quiet in the country where I can golf and fish in peace.
I think the roads there look good for road biking as well.

Is there anywhere to play badminton there?

For anyone who lives in the Bedford / Pound Ridge / Katonah

1) what is the best thing you like about the town?
2) what is the worst thing about the town?
3) how busy is the metro north in the morning?
4) do people keep to themselves or are they always gossipy?
5) is the A&P grocery store decent or do you go to white plains whole foods?
6) is there good public golf in the area?
7) is there any streams that are good for fly fishing in the area?
8) how are the public schools? does their highschool send kids to top colleges?
9) are there other young people in the area (20s -30s)?
10) how is the catholic church in the town?
11) how are the taxes?
12) is there any crime in the area?
13) my girlfriend is chinese, are there other chinese living there? (or surrounding towns)


Thanks for the reviews!

Last edited by matlabmaster99; 11-30-2014 at 11:19 PM..
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:42 AM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,393 posts, read 5,200,688 times
Reputation: 2685
First things first.

Do you want complete privacy or not? If you do then that's very easy to achieve, but you need to absolutely clear about it. Second, it's virtually unknown for a young, single person to be living in these area by themself. For starters, [privacy]=[a single family house on 2+ acres]. COMPLETE privacy (which to me means never seeing a neighboring house , even in winter, or hearing them at all) takes more like a 4 acre lot surrounded by similarly large parcels. This will cost you $600+. Renting (which is extremely hard) will likely cost $3k/month and go up from there. Before responding point by point on all the other stuff please indicate if that's what you have in mind and can actually afford. Doesn't sound very realistic to me.

As for the Chinese question, no, very few Asians at all regardless of country and no Chinese community. But if it's just bias you're concerned about there's none of that, nobody will care at all.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:00 AM
 
273 posts, read 431,833 times
Reputation: 305
I just moved to Bedford, for many of the reasons you mentioned. (However I am a lot older, married, have 2 dogs and plan to have kids) I cant speak to many of your inquires as I have been in the area only a couple of weeks, but I can say that I have privacy (on a 4 acre plot surrounded by 4 acre plots). If you like the outdoorsy lifestyle within a commutable radius to NYC then its pretty hard to beat.

- So far the trains have been on time, and its easy to get a seat (whether departing from Bedford hills station or Katonah).
- The A&P is perfectly serviceable, however you could always drive 15 minutes to Stamford for a Trader Joes.
- Taxes vary from property to property, but are very reasonable when compared to Westchester as a whole.
- I would say crime is not much of an issue
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:19 AM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,393 posts, read 5,200,688 times
Reputation: 2685
Quote:
Originally Posted by matlabmaster99 View Post
A. I do not have kids but I heard that the schools in Bedford are great but not as good at chappaqua? What is the reason the schools are lacking in this area?

B. I am 21 and not sure how many young people live in bedford or other northern westchester towns?

C I have had it with the crowds in the city, I am looking for peace and quiet in the country where I can golf and fish in peace.

D. I think the roads there look good for road biking as well.

E. Is there anywhere to play badminton there?

1) what is the best thing you like about the town?
2) what is the worst thing about the town?
3) how busy is the metro north in the morning?
4) do people keep to themselves or are they always gossipy?
5) is the A&P grocery store decent or do you go to white plains whole foods?
6) is there good public golf in the area?
7) is there any streams that are good for fly fishing in the area?
8) how are the public schools? does their highschool send kids to top colleges?
9) are there other young people in the area (20s -30s)?
10) how is the catholic church in the town?
11) how are the taxes?
12) is there any crime in the area?
13) my girlfriend is chinese, are there other chinese living there? (or surrounding towns)
More time to respond now. In order:
A. It is as good/excellent. Chappaqua is homogeneous whitebread. Bedford school district encompasses Mt Kisco with huge Hispanic population. This drags down statistics. At elementary level best schools are Bedford Village and Pound Ridge.
B. Almost none. Maybe none at all. See my post above.
C. yes, absolutely
D. yes. The area is a destination for road biking. Outstanding.
E. ??? Set up a net in your yard and play.
1, 2. Search this forum more. Much has been written.
3. See above
4. Privacy is valued, but there are gossips everywhere.
5. BV A&P sucks. Scotts Corners Market is excellent but expensive. It gets a lot of traffic from fussy New Canaan people.
6. there's a public course in Pound ridge and private club in Bedford. Google is your friend.
7. I think so.
8. Yes. That is the norm for those who were college-bound to begin with. See above.
9. Very few. It's an area that young people tend to leave as soon as they can.
10. ?? How is it? Not sure what this means. it's catholic.
11. High. This is Westchester. But low compared to S Westchester.
12. Not really. violent crime is zero.
13. Practially none. See above.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Westchester NY
73 posts, read 97,004 times
Reputation: 34
Yea as much privacy and woods the better, I noticed that you can get a larger lot in Pound Ridge for the same money as in Bedford but you are kind of far from the metro north. That is definitely the trade off. Also I heard on here that Pound Ridge doesn't have guaranteed parking.

I don't mind seeing the other houses, I just mean that the houses are spaced out reasonably and not all built on top of each other. One thing that attracted me to bedford is that you can not subdivide lots less than 2/4 acres. I think if you are paying big money for a house you should at least have a few acres.

I might look to rent for a year or so and look for a nice lot, I was thinking of doing new construction anyway.

Thanks for the Reviews!
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:47 PM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,393 posts, read 5,200,688 times
Reputation: 2685
Quote:
Originally Posted by matlabmaster99 View Post
Yea as much privacy and woods the better, I noticed that you can get a larger lot in Pound Ridge for the same money as in Bedford but you are kind of far from the metro north. That is definitely the trade off. Also I heard on here that Pound Ridge doesn't have guaranteed parking.

I don't mind seeing the other houses, I just mean that the houses are spaced out reasonably and not all built on top of each other. One thing that attracted me to bedford is that you can not subdivide lots less than 2/4 acres. I think if you are paying big money for a house you should at least have a few acres.

I might look to rent for a year or so and look for a nice lot, I was thinking of doing new construction anyway.

Thanks for the Reviews!
PR does have more room and taxes are significantly lower than Bedford. But unless money is truly no object you will find it very very hard to build. It's very hard to find lots on the market. You might do better buying a tear-down.
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Westchester NY
73 posts, read 97,004 times
Reputation: 34
Yea it might be cheaper to just buy something that needs work, not sure what the market for wooded lots is there.
I am guessing I would pay taxes on the assessed value of the house, so if I sink money in to the house I could still get the lower taxes which would be nice.

Pound Ridge is more rural than bedford, lower taxes, but kind of far from the metro north is really the only downside, has anyone considered going to the right in to CT and taking the railway there instead of the bedford or katonah stops?

I think that either Bedford or Pound Ridge would be great, lower westchester seems too busy to me, everyone rushing around, all the houses built on top of each other, hyper competitive schools and parents, high property taxes...ect

Is Pound Ridge the most rural place within commuting distance?

thanks
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:05 PM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,393 posts, read 5,200,688 times
Reputation: 2685
Quote:
Originally Posted by matlabmaster99 View Post
3. Yea it might be cheaper to just buy something that needs work, not sure what the market for wooded lots is there.
I am guessing I would pay taxes on the assessed value of the house, so if I sink money in to the house I could still get the lower taxes which would be nice.

Pound Ridge is more rural than bedford, lower taxes, but kind of far from the metro north is really the only downside, 1. has anyone considered going to the right in to CT and taking the railway there instead of the bedford or katonah stops?

I think that either Bedford or Pound Ridge would be great, lower westchester seems too busy to me, everyone rushing around, all the houses built on top of each other, hyper competitive schools and parents, high property taxes...ect

2. Is Pound Ridge the most rural place within commuting distance?

thanks
3. That's relatively easy. What are you looking to spend? If you do extensive, permitted work or any expansion you'll be reassessed. And if you do an expansion also plan on a new septic system and make sure that the lot will support it. There are plenty of 10 acre lots that don't have space for an expansion because of wetlands, ledge, easements, well location, etc etc. Under no circumstances base your decision on what the realtor or a home inspector tells you. For that you need an engineer.
1. Some people do. Depends what side of town you're on.
2. Depends on what you consider commuting distance. People commute from Putnam and Dutchess. Crazy IMO, but people do it.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Westchester NY
73 posts, read 97,004 times
Reputation: 34
How is the well water there? Have you had to soften the water?

I think the house is only reassessed if I have to get a permit to do construction, Is it true that swimming pools and tennis courts count as taxable square footage?

Also how strict is the town about permitted construction and things like that. Where I grew up as long as its not visible from the road and nobody complains you did not have to go through a strict permit process. I don't want to have to get a permit to put cobble stones in my driveway.

Have you run in to any problems regarding permitting?

thanks
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:18 PM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,393 posts, read 5,200,688 times
Reputation: 2685
Quote:
Originally Posted by matlabmaster99 View Post
How is the well water there? Have you had to soften the water?

I think the house is only reassessed if I have to get a permit to do construction, Is it true that swimming pools and tennis courts count as taxable square footage?

Also how strict is the town about permitted construction and things like that. Where I grew up as long as its not visible from the road and nobody complains you did not have to go through a strict permit process. I don't want to have to get a permit to put cobble stones in my driveway.

Have you run in to any problems regarding permitting?

thanks
Here I speak only for Pound Ridge. Most people fing the well water is excellent. We do not have water softener and it isn't an issue for us, though water is moderately hard. I personally dislike softeners because the recharge dumps salt into the water table. As for permitting, let me put it like this: if you're doing more than repairs in the long run it's stupid to ignore it. Moving walls and anything structural should be permitted. If you ever make an insurance claim unpermitted work could invalidate your insurance. The town has strict regulations about fencing, moving or destroying ancient stone walls and tree removal. People have ignored this and regretted it. I just gutted our kitchen and replaced everything, including the floor, without a permit. But no walls were moved, it was just a massive "repair." This is common. When you add fixtures or rooms is when it come back to bite you. No idea about pool or tennis courts.

So how the hell are you contemplating all this stuff at the age of 21?
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