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Old 10-26-2009, 12:40 PM
 
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Hello. I am looking for suggestions on which area to live. We're relocating to Westchester County before the end of the year with kids and a husband who will be working out of Grand Central Terminal. (Only my husband has been to the east of the Rockies.) We'll be applying to Catholic schools and renting. We'd like to pay less than 3K for a 3-4 bedroom home as well as live in close proximity to the train line so that we can get by with one car. Since I am unfamiliar with the climate out east - I'd prefer not having to drive too far away from the home to get to good Catholic schools. We've zeroed in on the Ursuline school, Ione Prep & Holy Name of Jesus in New Rochelle, Maria Regina & Sacred Heart in Hartsdale as well as Immaculate Heart of Mary in Scarsdale. There are slim pickings in our price range on Craigslist in the areas of Scarsdale and Hartsdale (We're leaning toward the schools in those areas - which is why I started there.) New Rochelle seems more affordable. So my question is, where is the best area for for raising kids? They love being outside - so a yard is important. It'd be great to plug into a good CYO program for track and soccer. Travel soccer and futsal are activities they'd like to continue - but they're open to new sporting activities as long as the gear is not too expensive. (Very active kids.) We're totally down to earth, yoga pants and jean wearing people who sport flip flops well into the winter months - so I am expecting the climate might be a bit of a challenge for us. Any suggestions on must haves for clothing in the Westchester area (long underwear, raincoats? etc. Don't really want to freeze to death or stick out like sore thumbs. Probably fortunate that the kids'll be wearing uniforms to school.) Thanks!
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:07 PM
 
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As you plan on sending your kids to private schools, you don't need to consider the various school districts. Hartsdale has a very poor school district, which depresses the property values. Still, there are nice neighborhoods (where people send their children to private school), and you can get far more value for your money than a place like Scarsdale. New Rochelle similarly has some very nice areas. You can also look in White Plains (there is an urbanized downtown area, but the outer parts of White Plains are entirely suburban). Finally, you might want to add Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow to your list, for similar reasons.

You will need a winter wardrobe. Not everyone has thermal underwear, but you will need good wintercoats, boots, gloves, hats, etc. And they key to surviving winter is layers.
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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layers is key. There is no rain in the winter so rain coat is not necessary. Get water resistant boots for snow shoveling or hire someone to shovel your snow. Remember it is usually not too cold when it snows. It's cold when its windy (usually before the snow). If the place you rent is not environment controlled, invest in a good humidifier and keep the living areas at 40-50% humidity. Good luck.

I am proud of myself for not asking why on god's earth are you leaving good weather.....
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:26 PM
 
Location: East Millcreek
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Ursuline and Iona Prep have all the usual high school team sports. Soccer is very popular, but you'll have a hard time finding futsal (I never heard of it and googled - never, ever heard of it being played around here).

As for clothes, it absolutely DOES rain in winter. Cold, raw rain in Jan and Feb isn't unusual at all, so you do need a rain barrier layer, whether a raincoat or Gortex shell over a fleece jacket or whatever. All you need to do is walk into a few stores to get an idea. If you're jeans and flip-flop enthusiasts I suggest visiting Eastern Mountain Sports (aka EMS, check their website). This is pretty typical of people's weekend and cansual wear here. (FWIW, I'm still in flip-flops and I'm starting to get odd looks. Or maybe it's not the flip flops? )

Finally, do you need to be walking distance to the train? That would have a major bearing on what's viable for you, especially if you want to avoid 2 cars. Know too that one car families at Ursuline and Iona would be a rarity if that's of any concern to you.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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You might also want to consider Eastchester and Tuckahoe, since they're in the same general area of the county and are convenient. Pelham is also convenient to the schools you're considering, and offers a short commute to the city as well. I would also consider Harrison and Mamaroneck, and West Harrison is close to White Plains and Harrison, so it would be feasible to have one vehicle, especially if you are close to the Bee Line Bus route.

Layers are key on raw days as others have said, and even if you don't need thermals from the outdoors store, you might consider getting some silk base layers as they are warm enough without the overheating that can come from thermals indoors.

Bee Line Bus Information
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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Thanks everyone for all of this very helpful information. Currently, my husband is able to bike to work - but we do have a second car that we can have shipped out if necessary. We were hopeful to simplify life a little more - but will wait on getting rid of the extra car. (Aside from that, it looks like my husband will have an opportunity to exercise in the morning while he's shoveling snow.) Does anyone bike or walk to work in these areas? If not, please explain why.

Please explain why a one-car family is a rarity at the Ursuline school? Never been to the area, and I'm probably making assumptions that maybe I should re-think. I've contacted a relocation specialist and am trying to iron out the details before our house hunting trip. I appreciate all of your good help!
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:07 PM
 
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These are residential communities. A huge number of people work in Manhattan or other areas of NYC and cycling there (and, of course, walking) is not feasible.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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A growing number of people bike to the train station. But very few could live close enough to work to do so. Though one of my neighbors works in the IBM facility in Yorktown and he does often bike to work-- so it is possible.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCFamily View Post
Please explain why a one-car family is a rarity at the Ursuline school? Never been to the area, and I'm probably making assumptions that maybe I should re-think. I've contacted a relocation specialist and am trying to iron out the details before our house hunting trip. I appreciate all of your good help!
It's also due to the relative affluence of Westchester where multiple vehicle (3-4+) households are not uncommon. Many times, with the parents working in the city, students at private schools that do not have bus service are dropped off by a nanny/housekeeper who is in the third or fourth family car.
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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)

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Old 10-27-2009, 03:06 PM
 
6 posts, read 10,999 times
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Thanks again. Can't tell you how much I appreciate your posts. My husband will be working within Grand Central Terminal - so there was a hope to at least bike or walk to the train station from wherever we situate. I am so glad to hear that a growing number of people are biking to the train station! Are there trails that we should be aware of?

How eye opening the explanation was on the multiple car owners in Westchester. No nannies in this household, just a tired stay-at-home mom. But, people are people - and we look forward to taking advantage of the educational opportunities that Westchester has to offer nonetheless. Our oldest is in eighth grade, so there's time to figure out which high school is best suited for her. We're flying them out with us to do a couple of "sit ins" at the K-8s to get their opinions before we make a decision. I really appreciated this heads up, bmwguydc! How common would you say our situation is in Westchester? (Single income family.) This hasn't been the easiest life-style choice (though well worth it) and it has been helpful to me to live in areas where our situation is not unique. Thanks!
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