U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > Westchester County
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-17-2009, 12:03 PM
 
69 posts, read 294,425 times
Reputation: 38

Advertisements

I am specifically referring to the Chateaux Circle coops near the train station, a 2BR 2BA (dining room convertible into 3 BR) can be bought for around 400-500K and gets our family into one of, if not the best school districts in the entire country. The maintenance fee is also very reasonable at around 1200 a month.

It is like paying middle end Brooklyn coop prices (my current zip code with an average income of 40K charges that much for a similar sized coop in worse condition, same maintenance fee) but living in one of the most desirable areas of the entire state. I did some homework and realized grocery is not THAT much more expensive than my current zip code either. It is actually very comparable. Easy commute too.

Of course I am also aware a family of three with household income just above 100K is considered poverty in Scarsdale, and we are Asian (although I did notice a growing number of Asians according to the demographics, about 10%).

Will my child be harassed/bullied because his family can not afford a million dollar house? Or will she use this as motivation to work harder and take us to the very top someday? Any family in a similar situation can share their experience? I don't care for snobbish attitudes as long as it doesn't turn into actual confrontations.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-17-2009, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,827 posts, read 26,291,812 times
Reputation: 6890
Scarsdale is not uniformly wealthy, despite pretensions to the contrary. There are relatively modest homes in Scarsdale that sell for well under $1M, as well as larger houses that are over $5M, but the majority of the area is upper middle class/affluent. The schools are good, but are a bit of a pressure cooker, in that the pressure to perform and succeed is part of the culture of the town. Also, there is a prevailing trend toward appearances and while your child may find normal people who do exist in Scarsdale, it can be a challenge when other children are indulged to a large degree.

Would I call it foolish to live in a good area and provide the best that you can for your family? No. In that, I think that it would be a good consideration to find a nice co-op in a good neighborhood, but it may take more work to fit in with a middle class income in a town such as Scarsdale where the prevailing trend is toward conspicuous consumption. Wealth in Scarsdale is not as quiet as in parts of Pelham, for example, also with a great school system and a highly educated population.

Nearly everyone in Scarsdale is trying to land their child a spot in the ivies, which is fine, but it comes at great expense and pressure. Tutoring, enrichment, overseas trips, etc. are all part and parcel of the experience to get the grades and scores to the top of the heap, in order to grab top spots at top-tier colleges.

Bronxville also has good schools and co-ops in the village, which is a must for the schools, and they are somewhat less of a pressure cooker than Scarsdale, but there is a competitive nature among people in Bronxville as well, though it's not to the same degree as Scarsdale. Both towns can be a bit insular, however, so it might be difficult to make friends initially.

If I were in your position, before committing to Scarsdale, I might look into Bronxville and Pelham to see if either of those areas might be a better fit as well. Good luck in your search.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2009, 05:16 AM
 
701 posts, read 2,917,972 times
Reputation: 178
I find most of what was said by BMW to be fairly accurate. Scarsdale schools are known to be high pressure. Some families and students do thrive in that atmosphere, others don't.

But I would probably not seriously consider Bronxville. To me, Bronxville is the older money equivalent of Scarsdale. Just as much pressure. But no demographic diversity. Not saying there would be prejudice or bullying, but more likely to feel like an "outsider.".

I really know very little about Pelham.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2009, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Live in NY State, work in CT
8,992 posts, read 14,732,557 times
Reputation: 3343
Quote:
Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
I find most of what was said by BMW to be fairly accurate. Scarsdale schools are known to be high pressure. Some families and students do thrive in that atmosphere, others don't.

But I would probably not seriously consider Bronxville. To me, Bronxville is the older money equivalent of Scarsdale. Just as much pressure. But no demographic diversity. Not saying there would be prejudice or bullying, but more likely to feel like an "outsider.".

I really know very little about Pelham.
Pelham is tricky to say. It held on to being "old money" a lot longer than Scarsdale (when I was a kid in the 70s Jews and Asians were avoiding it much like they did Bronxville but not Scarsdale), but it has changed somewhat, though still more "old money" than Scarsdale. Maybe a "Larchmont lite" of sort (part "old money", part "nouveau"), though one interesting piece of diversity is it is the one small village in Westchester that is actually over 10% African-American (I think it's like 10.1% and an upscale population at that), so there's definitely some diversity there and it is definitely a very nice town.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2009, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
1,316 posts, read 4,548,784 times
Reputation: 426
With 3 or 4 possible exceptions, the school districts in Westchester are all excellent. Depending on what measure you use and how you rate them, each could be in the top tier. So pick an area you like and enjoy being in and where you can afford something you'll be comfortable in.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-20-2009, 04:47 AM
 
Location: Live in NY State, work in CT
8,992 posts, read 14,732,557 times
Reputation: 3343
Quote:
Originally Posted by dma1250 View Post
With 3 or 4 possible exceptions, the school districts in Westchester are all excellent. Depending on what measure you use and how you rate them, each could be in the top tier. So pick an area you like and enjoy being in and where you can afford something you'll be comfortable in.
Finally, someone who agrees with me on here on this point. It's amazing how people nitpick about schools districts around here. For most of them, if any of them were in almost any other county they would be the top school district of that county.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-20-2009, 12:23 PM
 
5 posts, read 24,994 times
Reputation: 12
I am in the process of buying one of the 2BR 2BA Chateaux apartments. I share your same concerns about racial and socioeconomic diversity but decided it was worth it for the schools and easy commute to manhattan. I guess I will know more in a few months.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-20-2009, 01:19 PM
 
69 posts, read 294,425 times
Reputation: 38
Do you mind sharing you experience with these apartments? I am sure you looked at a lot other apartments/neighborhoods before. How is the noise from train tracks (if any)? Do you consider maintenance reasonable (what does it include)? Are the apartments well maintained (some of the older coop buildings use carpets and the hallways look/smell very depressing).

I was looking at Great Neck Plaza (11021) of Long Island before, which is more in-line with our income. The average SAT score there is second only to Scarsdale in any NY metro area of reasonable commute time (25 min to Penn Station on express trains). However the coops there I have looked at so far, felt very old and crappy. We can't afford a house there either so we had to keep looking.

There is a very big difference between old yet classy (think Upper East/West Side Manhattan) vs old and depressing. No I am not looking for a brand new luxury condo type of experience like the ones in White Plains, I am just hoping the building doesn't feel like a project or senior home.

I will be taking my wife to see Scarsdale soon, thanks!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-20-2009, 02:24 PM
 
33 posts, read 134,453 times
Reputation: 21
Just my opinion, but with a income just above $100K, unless you have a lot of money in the bank for a downpayment, I don't see how you can live comfortably in a coop that costs $400-$500K while paying $1200/month in maintenance (which will increase over time). Paying the mortage alone will be a strain, and what will happen if someone loses their job?

I'm sure you know living in NYC your children can go to Bronx Science or Stuyvesant if they test well, both feeder schools for the Ivys and top 20 colleges.

Spending all that money for a coop in Scarsdale is no guarantee your child will "take you to the top."

How old is your daughter?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-20-2009, 03:09 PM
 
69 posts, read 294,425 times
Reputation: 38
We own a coop 80% paid for (can be sold for 250-275K easily even in this market) and over 100K in cash, plus additional financial resources (100K should be no problem, since I soloed our first coop before I met my wife, with no down payment assistance from my parents) from both of our parents if possible. We Asians save a lot, so we put more in the bank at month end than people with 1.5x our income

My daughter will be born next month, this is thinking way ahead so to speak. By the time we actually make an offer in 1-2 years, I expect my coop to be worth around 200K, the Scarsdale coops we are looking for should be around 400K.

I also expect to increase my income by 10% by then, my wife should also be out of maternity and working which should bring us over 150K (minus baby sitter / day care, of course, but she should make more than the cost of baby sitter easily with her Master's from one of the top 100 schools worldwide).

I went to Brooklyn Tech myself so I am familiar with that process. The elementary school in my current zip code is rated 7 of 10, so we do have a backup plan if I lose my job.

Last edited by hitmantb; 07-20-2009 at 03:20 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:




Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > Westchester County
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. | Please obey Forum Rules | Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top