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Old 11-21-2016, 01:13 PM
 
10 posts, read 8,766 times
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I've been reading lots of threads comparing the different Westchester towns to one another, but my husband and I still can't seem to settle on where it's best to narrow our search, so here goes:


- Soon-to-be family of three (1st child due in February), H will be commuting to NYC every day (to GCT and then a couple subway stops that total an extra 15-20 minutes from when train pulls in to GCT) and I'll be working PT from home, wherever that ends up being. Ideally we'll keep his door to door commute at 80 minutes and he'd prefer to be able to live within a walk (~1 mile on a safe road) of the train.


- Looking for a home and community we want to stay in for the long term, ideally a 3 bedroom/2-2.5 bathroom house we can grow into even with another child, a pet, etc. in a town where we like not just the house but the people, the schools are good all the way through (I know many places you get a decent elementary in certain areas but then the MS/HS isn't as great)


- Prefer a walkable town where people can actually walk from home to train and shops, even if you do get in your car for grocery shopping, bigger stores, etc. It would also be nice to have a community of parents who are involved in the schools (we don't need or want Scarsdale-type pressure, but good education is a top priority for us) and ideally there would be other SAHMs, work-at-home moms, etc who are involved in the day to day life type stuff and not everyone has a nanny and extra help. And we'd like to live close to the town and the train station, but be in an area with a more countryside feel in general, not a mini city (something I was used to in southwestern-but-not-too-southwestern CT).


- Budget around $600-700K, the top is a stretch for us but doable - taxes being so high make it hard to stretch further!!


We were loving the idea of the Rivertowns, but it doesn't seem like we'd find much in our price range there even looking at condos and townhomes. So now we're looking at a couple of areas we think may fit the bill - on the Hudson, Croton; on the Harlem Line, Pleasantville/Hawthorne/Thornwood/Valhalla; and on the New Haven Line, not a lot seemed to be either in our budget or the type of town we're looking for. I grew up in central CT over by Trumbull/Fairfield and we were considering Greenwich or Stamford since they're closer - but the schools are an issue where we can actually afford a home, and we can't find something within our budget in the Old Greenwich/Riverside areas, mostly just Byram where the elementary schools seem not to be so great. And North Stamford is a hike to the train, even though it's a lot quieter up there than near the coast. Any tips for where it might be best to focus given our budget and wants?

Last edited by Sweetpotatofries; 11-21-2016 at 02:16 PM..
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:36 AM
 
170 posts, read 285,649 times
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Hi! Good luck in your search, I am sure you will find something. Here is where I recommend you look:

Harrison/West Harrison, Downtown Harrison is all walkable to the train, and West Harrison would be the North White Plains train station which is minutes away.

Rye Neck (area between Harrison/Rye/Mamaroneck with own schools)

Katonah - wonderful town nice train station area

Hawthorne is still an option.

I base this criteria on what you are looking for - don't let ANYONE tell you that the schools above are less than. We have owned homes in Harrison, Rye Neck, and Rye. Community and schools are great, there WAS that "Scarsdale / nanny vibe" in Rye, which is why I would recommend Rye Neck as a more low key option.

The river towns and towns on the long island sound are great, but there is a high price to pay and not worth it, depending on your lifestyle and budget.IMHO

Look at 10604, and get with an area realtor. Silver Lake is a close knit community and a hidden gem for a commuter, but you have to know a good realtor.

Good luck
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:12 PM
 
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Rivertowns may be doable if you search hard and are willing to fix. It is definitely walkable. Of the central Westchester towns mentioned, only living in the village of Pleasantville is moderately walkable.
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:38 AM
 
170 posts, read 285,649 times
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Not true! It depends upon what you want to walk to!! Downtown Harrison area, you can walk to banks, restaurants, parks, and most importantly train. - Same with Hawthorne and Katonah. Silver Lake (west harrison) - you may need to drive to the station, but you can walk to the little town for everything else including schools - for bigger things you can even walk to the Westchester mall from just about any location - my sister does it all the time and she's in her 60's!

Truth is we all originally look for the "Mayberry" or"urban Mayberry" vibe, and then realize how rare and expensive that facade is in the Manhattan suburbs. And then we settle for either the features we must have, or a much longer commute... I always was in love with Irvington - still am. However, for half the price of an in-town home there, we found a house in Shrub Oak in an area with good schools, sidewalks, close to Taconic. I raised my children WALKING to preschool, library, pizza,church, ice cream. My kids still walk to their high school! My neighbors are involved in the schools and parents know each other. It is like a miniscule slice of a country hamlet in a much larger area - I would have highly recommended it, but alas - NO TRAINS.

Silver Lake still has an affordable "hamlet" like my area does - but you can get to the North White Plains station (a hidden gem really because the commute times are short, and if you get stuck for time you can always get off in White Plains and get picked up)
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Old 11-25-2016, 01:31 PM
 
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I can't say enough nice things about Pelham. We moved here about a year and a half ago, and love it. Wonderful community, great schools, and the Village of Pelham (Fifth Avenue/Wolfs Lane) is very walkable. A $700K budget is doable, although there won't be many options and you might have to be willing to sacrifice size/updates to make it work, but you can do it. If the town is the primary consideration, and the actual house is secondary (for that price range), I can't suggest Pelham enough.

Here are a few options available in your price range that are walkable to the main downtown/train area:

219 Boulevard, Pelham, NY, New York 10803, Pelham real estate, Pelham home for sale

51 Storer Avenue, Pelham, NY, New York 10803, Pelham real estate, Pelham home for sale


211 Carol Avenue, Pelham, NY, New York 10803, Pelham real estate, Pelham home for sale


228 Fourth Avenue, Pelham, NY, New York 10803, Pelham real estate, Pelham home for sale
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:39 PM
 
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Thanks for all the responses. We originally jumped on the idea of Pelham as "more affordable" than Bronxville but though there are homes within our budget, the taxes are just astronomical (all over 20K/year). We're willing to pay the higher Westchester taxes to a point for the better commute to NYC than from lower Fairfield County, but I think 20K is probably our far upper limit. We've been searching high and low in the Rivertowns, but I think this might just be a bad time of year for inventory. We've seen a lot in Pleasantville/Mt. Pleasant and actually really loved one Pleasantville house right in town but our best offer was turned down (owners hoped to get higher than asking, outside our reach!) I think we're going to keep looking in P'ville come the new year.


As for Katonah, it's just too far for the one of us who has a commute not just to GCT (doable) but then subway to Wall St (not so much). Otherwise we really love the Katonah/Bedford area!


Will look into Harrison as well...not much in our budget in Rye Neck either at the moment!
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:55 PM
bg7
 
7,196 posts, read 6,600,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetpotatofries View Post
Thanks for all the responses. We originally jumped on the idea of Pelham as "more affordable" than Bronxville but though there are homes within our budget, the taxes are just astronomical (all over 20K/year). We're willing to pay the higher Westchester taxes to a point for the better commute to NYC than from lower Fairfield County, but I think 20K is probably our far upper limit. We've been searching high and low in the Rivertowns, but I think this might just be a bad time of year for inventory. We've seen a lot in Pleasantville/Mt. Pleasant and actually really loved one Pleasantville house right in town but our best offer was turned down (owners hoped to get higher than asking, outside our reach!) I think we're going to keep looking in P'ville come the new year.


As for Katonah, it's just too far for the one of us who has a commute not just to GCT (doable) but then subway to Wall St (not so much). Otherwise we really love the Katonah/Bedford area!


Will look into Harrison as well...not much in our budget in Rye Neck either at the moment!
Always a very small inventory there - its a small district (1 sq mile approx.?) and any move-in condition places tend to go quickly.
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:04 PM
 
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Just responding as the OP: I think we're narrowing our search to Pleasantville and the Rivertowns, pending what inventory might come on in the busier spring season. It seems like our money will go further there than on the New Haven Line and we just liked the towns more. Harrison it doesn't seem there's a lot in walking distance to the train, but I could be wrong!
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:19 PM
 
423 posts, read 208,912 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetpotatofries View Post
I've been reading lots of threads comparing the different Westchester towns to one another, but my husband and I still can't seem to settle on where it's best to narrow our search, so here goes:


- Soon-to-be family of three (1st child due in February), H will be commuting to NYC every day (to GCT and then a couple subway stops that total an extra 15-20 minutes from when train pulls in to GCT) and I'll be working PT from home, wherever that ends up being. Ideally we'll keep his door to door commute at 80 minutes and he'd prefer to be able to live within a walk (~1 mile on a safe road) of the train.


- Looking for a home and community we want to stay in for the long term, ideally a 3 bedroom/2-2.5 bathroom house we can grow into even with another child, a pet, etc. in a town where we like not just the house but the people, the schools are good all the way through (I know many places you get a decent elementary in certain areas but then the MS/HS isn't as great)


- Prefer a walkable town where people can actually walk from home to train and shops, even if you do get in your car for grocery shopping, bigger stores, etc. It would also be nice to have a community of parents who are involved in the schools (we don't need or want Scarsdale-type pressure, but good education is a top priority for us) and ideally there would be other SAHMs, work-at-home moms, etc who are involved in the day to day life type stuff and not everyone has a nanny and extra help. And we'd like to live close to the town and the train station, but be in an area with a more countryside feel in general, not a mini city (something I was used to in southwestern-but-not-too-southwestern CT).


- Budget around $600-700K, the top is a stretch for us but doable - taxes being so high make it hard to stretch further!!


We were loving the idea of the Rivertowns, but it doesn't seem like we'd find much in our price range there even looking at condos and townhomes. So now we're looking at a couple of areas we think may fit the bill - on the Hudson, Croton; on the Harlem Line, Pleasantville/Hawthorne/Thornwood/Valhalla; and on the New Haven Line, not a lot seemed to be either in our budget or the type of town we're looking for. I grew up in central CT over by Trumbull/Fairfield and we were considering Greenwich or Stamford since they're closer - but the schools are an issue where we can actually afford a home, and we can't find something within our budget in the Old Greenwich/Riverside areas, mostly just Byram where the elementary schools seem not to be so great. And North Stamford is a hike to the train, even though it's a lot quieter up there than near the coast. Any tips for where it might be best to focus given our budget and wants?
Do you still have family in CT? If so, have you considered the Noroton Heights area of Darien or the Cos Cobb area of Greenwich? Both will give you that walk-able town feel with trains, and the taxes will obviously be almost negligible compared to Westchester (I think a $750k budget would make either town more attainable). The school pressure would probably be on par with any good district in Westchester. If no family in CT, then I would target Katonah, it has more of a New England feel than most of Westchester in my opinion and a nice balance of town/suburb/rural with city access.
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:20 PM
 
423 posts, read 208,912 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allanny13 View Post
Do you still have family in CT? If so, have you considered the Noroton Heights area of Darien or the Cos Cobb area of Greenwich? Both will give you that walk-able town feel with trains, and the taxes will obviously be almost negligible compared to Westchester (I think a $750k budget would make either town more attainable). The school pressure would probably be on par with any good district in Westchester. If no family in CT, then I would target Katonah, it has more of a New England feel than most of Westchester in my opinion and a nice balance of town/suburb/rural with city access.
Ignore my Katonah suggestion- missed your response on it being too far!
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