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Old 08-10-2009, 06:48 AM
 
163 posts, read 273,829 times
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Hi, all -

It's the "40's lesbian couple - no kids" inquisitor. The correspondence toward my last message was enormously helpful, and we're learning a great deal, so thanks to everyone who has written. We spent the day driving around upper Westchester yesterday, and fell kind of hard for the town of Mt. Kisco. We're a couple in our early 40s with no kids, looking for a place where there is a (non-snobby) social element, but where we can also afford a home on half an acre or more, and that's within 5 minutes of a train line and 45 (or so) from the city. I think we're going to like Tarrytown a lot, but I'm not sure we can afford either the land or the taxes in that area: realistically, I don't think we'll be able to spend more than $750k on a home.

Our intention is to rent someplace for a year so we can see if we like the area, and to be able to get to know it better and look for homes more locally.

We haven't yet seen Pleasantville or the towns surrounding Tarrytown, but we're getting there. Croton-on-Hudson and Ossining felt a little too diffuse and small, though maybe we missed something. Also, we prefer the "inland" feel to the slopes of the Hudson towns. Bedford's adorable but too far, too snobby, I think, and too pricey. What other towns do folks really like? If you were moving to a new town where you wanted to be able to find a community, good restaurants, and still be around lots of nature, where would you choose?

Thanks again, so much - this forum is wonderful.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:04 AM
 
395 posts, read 1,386,213 times
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We just moved to Pleasantville in June and absolutely love it. Wonderful, welcoming community with a cute and convenient town center, very manageable train commute (46 - 52 min), nice recreation amenities including town pool and solid schools (worth considering for resale value). It's also a little more diverse and down to earth by Westchester standards than other areas. On the downside, the housing inventory is currently pretty thin. We are in the same price point you are and ended up renting partially because we didn't find anything we were really excited about purchasing even though we loved the village. The lots closer to the village center tend to be on the smaller side, although you can find larger lots further out. Taxes seem to be all over the place without rhyme or reason - one house may be $20k and others $14k, but I think this is typical of Westchester in general. I highly recommend a visit - good luck!
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Peekskill, NY
95 posts, read 380,835 times
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I would second the recommendation for Pleasantville and you also should check out Katonah, though the prices there may exceed your range.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
1,316 posts, read 4,558,388 times
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Definitely look at Katonah, although you may have the same reaction to it that you had to Bedford--it is way too "precious" for many. Also, the commute is pushing your limit.

Pleasantville is very nice and great as a village, but it feels a lot more suburban and dense (to me at least) and I don't think it will fill your desire to be "around lots of nature."

Overall, I wouldn't stress too much about which town you pick. Other than the schools--which is not an issue for you--it doesn't really matter all that much. Northern Westchester is easy to navigate and you'll go to pretty much every village on a regular basis regardless of which one you end up in. That is one of the things I love about the area--we village hop all the time, going to libraries, parks, playgrounds, restaurants and stores in a number of towns. Other than neighborhood realationships and school-based friendships, our social life is also very much interest-based and crosses town boundaries. We have good friends in pretty much every town around. So, enjoy getting to know the area and pick a house you love in a spot you love.
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:50 PM
 
57 posts, read 217,425 times
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dma1250, you say katonah "is way too "precious" for many." i never hear that except on these boards. is that your feeling? it seems like you find it pretty snooty and a place to be avoided, except to shop and eat. please elaborate. do you have specific examples?
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
1,316 posts, read 4,558,388 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdf718 View Post
dma1250, you say katonah "is way too "precious" for many." i never hear that except on these boards. is that your feeling? it seems like you find it pretty snooty and a place to be avoided, except to shop and eat. please elaborate. do you have specific examples?
Gee, I hadn't realized that I was giving such a negative take on Katonah. I like the village a lot. We do go there often to the library and to enjoy the town and I certainly don't avoid it. It is about 10 minutes from my house and I consider it part of 'where I live' (if you know what I mean.) And I have reccomended it many times on this forum. In thise case, the OP said she didn't like Bedford and I do think that the two towns have a similar vibe.

Personally, I do find Katonah to be a little too perfect and Martha-ish for my taste, and I know plenty of others who share that sense. But that's what other people love about it. And any town is going to be too something--that's why having so many to choose from is important. I think of each town the way I thought of neighborhoods in the city--each has pros and cons and each is just what I want at one time or another.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,830 posts, read 26,360,162 times
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One thing to remember, Martha is not a native and the local culture ascribed to the phenomenon of her living in the area is actually less of a factor. True, some people might think that her phenomenon was the impetus behind many elements that are similar to her business model, but Katonah and the surrounding areas are pretty much the same as they were prior to her arrival. Katonah is not all window dressing and perfection by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I find it to be much more low-key than many parts of Lower Westchester, but my view is admittedly skewed by my experience with Katonah.

If you don't mind the downtown area, you could find a cute house in your price range, though it will likely be on a smaller lot. For a larger lot, you would need to look outside of the downtown, but more toward Somers since heading toward Bedford that would be a very tough price point on a larger lot, and the taxes are not going to be too low. However, if you don't mind being slightly out of walking distance, or just a longer walk downtown, look in the vicinity of Cherry Street.

If it were not for the arduous commute, I would suggest looking between Katonah and Ridgefield, CT, since you would stand a better chance of finding what you want either in the Town of Bedford or the Town of Lewisboro. Depending upon location, you would need to travel to Katonah or Goldens Bridge for the train, though there is a HART bus that goes to Katonah from Ridgefield, making a stop in South Salem. The region is great, though, so even if you find a place in Katonah, you're in easy proximity of Ridgefield.

Mount Kisco, itself, might have something to offer, especially off Croton Lake Road, where you can find a house on an acre in your range, though not too many, since that area does get expensive. Croton Lake Road connects Mount Kisco and Katonah, and it's back road that has everything from mid-to-late 20th Century splits to larger homes. Parts of Croton Lake Road do cross into Katonah, so check that as well for properties that might be in range. The vicinity of Millwood Road (Route 133) might also yield something in your price range on a nice lot as this area is the same general location as the Mount Kisco side of Croton Lake Road. It might put you closer to 10 minutes to the station, though in parts of this area, but some roads are very nice and semi-rural. There are not many through roads in this area because of the New Croton Reservoir, so it does tend to keep things placid with respect to traffic.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
1,316 posts, read 4,558,388 times
Reputation: 426
I do realize that Martha is not a native--but there is a reason she bought a house in Katonah and a reason she wanted to use "Katonah" as a brand name. The "Martha-ness" of the town is certainly a plus for many.

In addition to the areas BMWGuy mentions, you can probably find something smaller in your price range in the Crow Hill section of Yorktown, which would be just 5 minutes or less to Mt Kisco. Mod cut: no mention of specific properties for sale.

Last edited by Viralmd; 08-11-2009 at 05:23 AM..
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