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Old 12-20-2008, 01:16 AM
 
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My family and I are moving to Schenectady for a job next March and are trying to determine where to live. We have two small children, one starting kindergarten next fall.

Not really interested in living in Sch'dy.

From my readings here are the top contenders so far.
We are very intrigued by Saratoga Springs, but wonder how bad a commute that would be.

Niskayuna and Clifton Park both seem very suburban, good schools, limited town centers with Clifton Park having more developed commercial and services than Niskayuna. Anything else that differentiates the two?

Scotia and Ballston Spa seem to be smaller towns and perhaps more of a town center. Scotia is closer, what else is unique to each?

What other towns am I missing, what are the commutes for some of these towns to Schenectady and what are good sources for tracking down house rentals? Not sure that we want to buy as soon as we get there.

Thank you very much for your help and have a happy holiday season.
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Old 12-20-2008, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Old Forge, NY
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We live in Ballston Spa and it takes me about 30 minutes to get to Schenectady. Traffic gets pretty bad going across the Mohawk at the Rexford Bridge, it's a big bottleneck. A commute from Saratoga Springs would probably add another 10 minutes min.

Ballston Spa isn't a bad little village. There's usually always something going on and from what I've heard it's come a long way. In just the past year two new restaurants opened up downtown, one of which is a really good wine bar. The other is a decent pub.

I don't know much about Scotia. The downtown seems less appealing but it seems like a nice community and a short commute to Sch'dy.

Clifton Park is a big suburb without any town center. It just as the mall and a bunch of shopping areas. Niskayuna has nice older neighborhoods but is right next to Sch'dy.
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:01 PM
 
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What about the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake area?
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
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I would avoid Schenectady city schools. My parents took me out of them before I reached middle school. Niskayuna is nice and I've heard the school is good. Its close to Schenectady so it would make for an easy commute. Have you looked into Rotterdam? Its basically a suburb of Schenectady. It has its not so great areas, but a lot of nice ones as well. Plus a different school district.
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeebean330 View Post
I would avoid Schenectady city schools. My parents took me out of them before I reached middle school. Niskayuna is nice and I've heard the school is good. Its close to Schenectady so it would make for an easy commute. Have you looked into Rotterdam? Its basically a suburb of Schenectady. It has its not so great areas, but a lot of nice ones as well. Plus a different school district.
Actually, there are two school districts in Rotterdam in Mohonasen and Schalmont. Not sure which is better, but I don't think either one is "bad". Check out school districts in Schenectady County here:https://www.nystart.gov/publicweb/County.do?year=2007&county=Schenectady (broken link)
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:29 AM
 
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Thanks for the info so far and Happy New Year!
Could you describe the Burnt Hills/Ballston Lake area, is there a town center, suburban, rural or a mix of all three?
Great website on the school districts, I have also used SchoolMatters - Home and Great Schools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community for quick snapshots.
Any thoughts on Guilderland? It seems to fit much of what we are looking for.
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:49 AM
 
Location: Old Forge, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghoulbabes View Post
Thanks for the info so far and Happy New Year!
Could you describe the Burnt Hills/Ballston Lake area, is there a town center, suburban, rural or a mix of all three?
Great website on the school districts, I have also used SchoolMatters - Home and Great Schools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community for quick snapshots.
Any thoughts on Guilderland? It seems to fit much of what we are looking for.
Burnt Hills/Ballston Lake are a mix of rural and suburban. They don't have a town center to speak of but have several streets with older and historic homes.

Sorry, I'm not familiar enough with Guilderland but I'm sure someone will chime in.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Columbia County
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BB/BL schools are good. Cute area. Nice for families. Guilderland I think is getting some of the city influences into the schools. Clifton Park is nice-shopping, lots of family developments. If you are in Shenendahowa schools though-- its an OUTRAGEOUSLY huge district. Good, but HUGE. The commute down the Northway (87) sucks- well, both ways, AM and PM. If you can stick to Routes 9 and/or 7 its not so bad. Def stay out of Schenectady- esp w/ kids. Oh, Niskayuna is an excellent district- and that would be close for you. Easy commute. Just make sure you're in the Nisky district and not Schen.-- they border. Parts of "Niskayuna" are really Schen- but people there don't want to say they live in Schenectady!! LOL
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Tennessee bound...someday
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I agree with the post about the Rexford Bridge over the Mohawk being a bottle-neck during rush hour. Maybe you wouldn't have to commute that route though. Route 50 &/or parts of the Northway & 890 could be used depending on where you settle.

Don't know much about the schools you mentioned except for Guilderland & Mohonasen. LOTS of school spirit at both & I tend to think that's a good thing - means the kids are involved & connected (for the most part). Relative of mine lives in Guilderland w/ Guild. schools, but her zip is Schenectady. Takes her less than 20 minutes up 146 to get to Schenectady.

Close friends w/ 3 school age children are in the Burnt Hills/ Ballston schools & they are also very happy. They do have the Rexford Bridge to deal with, but @ 25 minutes door to door in spite of the bridge; they are satisfied. I also think Ballston's main street strip is very walkable with a nice "community" feeling.

But I think Saratoga would give you the most potential for all other factors. Just my opinion, but it would be worth it for me to have a 30-45 minute commute (depending on where in Saratoga), to have all the cool things that come with it. There is just so much to do there. Even on a day when you're broke, or the weather is miserable, the Springs has something for everyone. I think the property values for Saratoga Springs are just going to keep increasing, albeit slowly, while almost every town around it will barely be hanging on.
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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Thanks again for all the help, I will be taking a househunting trip in February. All of your comments help in narrowing done places to focus our search.

We are torn by moving to Saratoga, that is one place in the area I have visited and thought it was great. Definitely think that we would enjoy living there, but we have been spoiled in the past 6 years with ten minute commutes and the flexibility in life that affords. I know that commute time is probably unrealistic unless maybe moving to Niskayuna or Scotia perhaps. So commute is but one of the many factors in the decision.

Wish us luck on the househunting trip.
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