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Old 08-30-2009, 11:16 AM
 
23 posts, read 95,011 times
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Hello all!

So how tired are you of questions about "help, I'm moving to Westchester county?" Well, I've got a few more, and it would be so great if some of you smart and informed people could help... thank you in advance!

My boyfriend and I are flying to the area from Chicago in 2 weeks, with the purpose of finding a town we like and then finding a place to live.

We've got a week to do this (I know, I know, but it's all we can afford if we still want to be able to move Oct. 1st)

We're both writers, in our late '20s, and we work mostly at home, so would like a standalone house/cottage or a place above a business that's closed at night, as opposed to a high-rise, complex, or a multi-family house.

We also would like a town that's an hour or less commute to NYC - we'd probably go into the City 1-2 times each week, and don't want it to be a super-long ride or really expensive (I believe the train fees go up the further away you get from the City, right?); somewhere where there are decent restaurants and movies and perhaps a few other fun things to do without having to go all the way into NYC every time. We live a block from the lake now, so something by the Hudson or an inland lake would be great, as would parks etc. to bike or walk to.

We don't care too much about nightlife - neither one of us goes to bars or dance clubs - and we definitely aren't interested in "family" activities.

So many details! Hope we are not expecting too much from this beautiful area.

So far - from a distance, aka "looking at chamber of commerce sites and photos on the internet" - we seem to like Tarrytown, Pleasantville, Verplanck, maybe Bronxville, Katonah, or Larchmont.

Suggestions? Ideas? We've gotta start making a list, so your help, again, would be much appreciated!
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:18 AM
 
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Are you looking to rent or buy? What's your budget?
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:23 AM
 
23 posts, read 95,011 times
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Definitely rent - around $1500-1600 a month, and we were looking for at least 2 bedrooms as we each need an office.

Some people that I've mentioned that number to laugh; but we've found some listings via both realtors and craigslist that look pretty nice.

I guess we have to figure out the towns/areas we want to look in first, and then tackle that next. All in a week!
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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I'm not sure you're going to find what you're looking for with that price point. Craigslist is a very dodgy source - a LOT of bait and switch.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:50 AM
 
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Yes, we're aware of some of the sketchy listing on craigslist - but thank you. We are working with a couple of no-fee realtors, as well, so hopefully across all of these opportunities we'll find something - trying to stay positive.

The one thing that's been discouraging is how so many people seem so willing to say, "oh, forget it, you'll never find anything" immediately - maybe we're just talking to the wrong people or something, but it's a level of discouraging that we didn't expect.

Hoping to get more input! Especially about towns - thank you!
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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In commercial districts, over shops, and perhaps on a semi-busy road, you might stand a chance of finding something in Hastings, Dobbs Ferry, Tarrytown, or even on the Sound Shore in Larchmont/Mamaroneck.

Honestly, for what you want, I'd actually look in Rockland County, around Nyack, since it's more affordable and you do not have to commute to the city every day. The options to get to NYC from Nyack are to take the bus, TappanZEExpress, to Tarrytown and the train to Grand Central, or to take a commuter bus from Nyack to Manhattan. Piermont might also be a consideration, though it's not as inexpensive as parts of Nyack, and is a smaller town.

Off-peak, you'd still be within an hour to NYC in Rockland, depending upon mode of travel, so it might be worth a look.

Rockland County Transportation Links

ETA: Parts of Tarrytown might also be worth considering, but once you get into different zones on Metro-North, it's much more expensive for the train. I'd be hard-pressed to even think of an area in Katonah-Bedford that you could find an apartment at that price without a roommate, much less a cottage.

Metro-North Railroad Information
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Last edited by bmwguydc; 08-30-2009 at 01:27 PM.. Reason: Added information
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Old 08-30-2009, 02:13 PM
 
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I would look into Cold Spring. Beautiful, quaint town on the water. Its about 45-60 min from Manhattan but you can find something decent in your price range there.
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Old 08-30-2009, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Live in NY State, work in CT
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Those apartments over storefonts might not be as easy to rent as you might think. They are few and far between and do not get vacated often.
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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BMWGuyDC, yes, we've actually looked at photos of Piermont and Tarrytown, and we like both from what we've seen - do you have any more Piermont info? Thank you!

Jyyanks - thank you! Do you know any more details about Cold Spring? Again, we like what we've seen on the internet, but we weren't sure what the town itself had to offer, or how long/expensive a train ride it really is.

7Wishes, thank you for your input as well!

By the way - what is the importance of a credit score to landlords in the Westchester area? We've been asked for it by about half of the realtors/landlords we've corresponded with so far, and it seems strange, as no one ever asks for such a thing in the Chicago area; they just want confirmation of solid employment, personal references, and good references from your past landlord (all of which we have.) Our credit scores are marginal, although on the way to repair (rough times financially the past couple of years - hence getting the heck out of Midwestern Dodge to where we've already been offered better employment), so we weren't sure whether to mess with that, or just rely on our references instead. Opinions would be welcome -

And we're looking forward to hearing more about Piermont and Cold Spring! Thank you!
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Old 08-30-2009, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,830 posts, read 26,326,467 times
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Here are some more Piermont links that might be of use in your search:

City-Data's own Piermont, NY demographics page

Piermont Home Page

Culture Mob - Piermont Events (http://culturemob.com/piermont-ny - broken link)

Piermont Library

Piermont Rowing Club

Piermont Historical Society

The Turning Point - Restaurant & Music Venue (active folk music scene)



Piermont is a great little place, and being on the river has some scenic views that are very similar to Tarrytown. However, being on the west shore of the Hudson, one does not have train tracks that preclude river access along most of the east shore of the Hudson, with the exception being some villages like Irvington that have access to the river across the train tracks. Piermont has a pier on the Hudson and is a vibrant community that has much to like, and it offers proximity to the city as well.

You're close to major shopping at the Palisades Mall, Nyack, and Northern New Jersey, so you need not cross the Hudson for everyday necessities that are not in the immediate community. It's a relaxed place that is very much a waterfront community, and has the large Tallman Mountain Park right on the Hudson.

Piermont used to be a run-down working class enclave, but the era of the factories that close to NYC on the Hudson has dwindled on both shores, so the gentrification took root in Piermont that fashioned itself into more of an artistic community. IIRC, "The Purple Rose of Cairo" was filmed on the main streets of Piermont when it was still comparatively derelict.

Tarrytown went through a similar transformation, after GM closed its auto assembly plant in neighboring Sleepy Hollow. Both areas are very similar in that the renaissance in the downtown districts has attracted new residents who have helped to rebuild communities in towns that had been largely centered on factory life. Piermont is just a little smaller than Tarrytown. Tarrytown also has cultural offerings and parkland in the Rockefeller Preserve, but river access is more limited.
__________________
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

City-Data Terms of Service
City-Data FAQs
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