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Old 05-18-2018, 07:50 AM
 
1,199 posts, read 1,104,005 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demographer View Post
I don't think you're nitpicking. The basic question becomes: Is it worth it to live in close proximity to NYC and close to the beach?

In exchange you sacrifice a lot of daily quality of life, like:
-the constant headache of looking for parking
-train stations that often don't have enough parking, forcing you to either go early, pay for a cab or get a ride
-a lack of basic town amenities that are considered givens in most places in the U.S.: sidewalks, buried electrical wires, SCHOOL BUSES.
-homes that lack basic amenities that are considered givens in most places in the U.S.: first- or second-floor laundry rooms, mudrooms, lovely finished basements that aren't wet, decent garages, updated heat and cooling, updated, open kitchens and decent-sized bathrooms

You're paying more not just for your sub-optimal home, but also for everything you do just about every day: restaurants, camps, parking, entrance fees to the zoo.

You gain lovely surroundings, access to amazing theater and arts, interactions with interesting, highly-educated, well-traveled people.

worth it?
the cost, hustle and bustle and other annoying things (terrible roads, parts of many towns is disrepair, relatively poor weather, etc.) makes it a headache to live here - UNLESS you are in a high profile job or need to be here for some reason.

i grew up in a relatively well-to-do area in central NJ a few short minutes from the beach. you can get homes there for $400-500K. taxes are still high, but not as bad. and you could, theoretically, still commute to NYC, Jersey City, Princeton, etc.

there are areas in the metro area that can work for the true "middle class". Westchester isn't one of them unless you want to live in the North part of the county or the more undesirable areas of New Rochelle, Yonkers, etc.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:29 PM
 
1,568 posts, read 2,746,537 times
Reputation: 1547
Quote:
Originally Posted by demographer View Post
I don't think you're nitpicking. The basic question becomes: Is it worth it to live in close proximity to NYC and close to the beach?

In exchange you sacrifice a lot of daily quality of life, like:
-the constant headache of looking for parking
-train stations that often don't have enough parking, forcing you to either go early, pay for a cab or get a ride
-a lack of basic town amenities that are considered givens in most places in the U.S.: sidewalks, buried electrical wires, SCHOOL BUSES.
-homes that lack basic amenities that are considered givens in most places in the U.S.: first- or second-floor laundry rooms, mudrooms, lovely finished basements that aren't wet, decent garages, updated heat and cooling, updated, open kitchens and decent-sized bathrooms

You're paying more not just for your sub-optimal home, but also for everything you do just about every day: restaurants, camps, parking, entrance fees to the zoo.

You gain lovely surroundings, access to amazing theater and arts, interactions with interesting, highly-educated, well-traveled people.

worth it?
Yes.
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Old 05-18-2018, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
746 posts, read 252,453 times
Reputation: 1633
It would be inaccurate to call this thread a 1st world problem..as most of the 1st world would be very happy to have OP's problems. I guess it's fair to call it a wealthy man's problem. In summary it appears the OP's issue is that he cannot live in the most exclusive areas of his fairly exclusive suburban county with his mid six figure income - without ceasing to save sums that add up to more than the annual pretax income of most people in the country.



Well, there's thousands of people in the NY/NJ area that make 7 or 8 figures a year and those people tend to cluster together in the same areas. If you cannot afford to live there among those even richer folks then well try to make more money or stop coveting it.


One other thing though, what exactly do people think is the distinction between a top rated and a merely okay rated district and the schools therein? Do you think the teachers are sages there? Is it the smallest possible % of ethnic minorities that one covets? Are people so insecure about the talents of their kids that they think they'll only make it in life if their CV only features the finest of establishments from preschool onward? Do people fear that all the decent schools in OK rated districts are teeming with gang members eager to murder their offspring?
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Old 05-18-2018, 02:28 PM
 
72 posts, read 71,654 times
Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veritas Vincit View Post
One other thing though, what exactly do people think is the distinction between a top rated and a merely okay rated district and the schools therein? Do you think the teachers are sages there? Is it the smallest possible % of ethnic minorities that one covets? Are people so insecure about the talents of their kids that they think they'll only make it in life if their CV only features the finest of establishments from preschool onward? Do people fear that all the decent schools in OK rated districts are teeming with gang members eager to murder their offspring?
Becuase the taxes across all of Westchester county are insane -- the largest portion of your bill is for the school. If you're going to cough up that cash, might as live in the better districts.
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:01 PM
 
138 posts, read 59,779 times
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Higher taxes have very little to do with school quality. There are fantastically performing schools in areas where the taxes are low but the students come from families that value education. It is all about the students.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:10 PM
 
448 posts, read 378,260 times
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Speaking personally, and middle of the road for Westchester - 500k, with 75k savings/year, while living in a 3,000 SF full size house, paying 25-30k in tax, and sending kids to some of the best schools in the nation is not a bad place to be....although we are in our early 30s and know this is not retirement friendly. Will move when kids are through the schools.


But dont complain. The flip side is not as great as it sounds. Here’s a hypothetical — Want cheaper living? Let’s say this was forced upon you - Theres a big economic downturn. Your job market disappears in NYC and you move to the Midwest making a third of what you make in NYC, in a less powerful job role, but in a same size house in some boring suburban sprawl. The schools are good on paper but have little to no connections to great colleges. Would you want that? I bet 9 out of 10 say no. You save a couple grand a month instead of 5-7k. It’s okay because you need less for retirement. But does that sound more satisfying? No....So while we all say we have the option of moving elsewhere for less, be careful what you wish for...if the liberty were taken away, and you were forced to live that life, I bet you wouldn’t want it. Be grateful for your successes and where you live.

Last edited by JaRuss01; 05-18-2018 at 07:24 PM..
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:50 PM
 
448 posts, read 378,260 times
Reputation: 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironlex View Post
A 15 second search online returned this:

https://www.redfin.com/NY/Scarsdale/.../home/20056172

5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 car garage, in "good school district", under $1MM asking price. What is missing in this listing from the OP's list of requirements?
Maybe spend more than 15 seconds?

That house has a <4800 SF lot and a shared driveway. Could be the smallest lot I have ever seen in suburbia. That lot size is really more akin to Queens or Brooklyn. Basically just enough room to have a grass border around the house and a single car length driveway.

Last edited by JaRuss01; 05-18-2018 at 07:59 PM..
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:54 PM
 
1,199 posts, read 1,104,005 times
Reputation: 467
This thread is a cluster.


Westchester is a struggle for the middle class, plain and simple.
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:39 AM
 
978 posts, read 298,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefastlife View Post
This thread is a cluster.


Westchester is a struggle for the middle class, plain and simple.

Westchester IS a struggle for the middle class. In fact, it is nearly impossible for the real middle class -"$42,000 to $126,000 for a household of three people." Even with upping the household income to $150,000, it is still hard.

My kid worked at a Westchester coffee house during college summer breaks. It's permanent employees worked two or three jobs - over 60 hours a week to afford the basics. Two or three jobs is necessary as employers will only hire part-time workers so they do not have to provide benefits. Those people are closer to middle class than the OP.

Those workers are struggling in a very real way, the OP isn't.
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:57 AM
 
273 posts, read 436,956 times
Reputation: 305
This thread is a perfect example of why money cant buy happiness. The more you have, the more you think you need. Lifestyles adjust quickly to income raises, and what was once thought of as “luxury” becomes the normal.

NY is expensive, but it has a lot going for it, so I am satying put for now.

I like Northern Westchester. Less hustle, more space, same values.
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