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Old 06-03-2011, 12:56 PM
 
15 posts, read 43,600 times
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I know similar things have been asked before but we are thinking of moving out of manhattan and are looking for an area with about a 45 min commute to midtown (public transport). Ideally we'd like good elementary schools, nice downtown/town center and be able to buy a 3 bed place for a little under a million (max budget 1 mill but also depends on areas taxes etc.). A small house would be nice but also would consider large apartments. We're on the UWS at the moment but need more space... Looked at Brooklyn (cobble hill, park slope etc.) but not sure we can get a 3 bed in a good school district with our budget. Can anyone recommend other areas to consider as well? We don't know the suburbs at all so are not sure where to start there. Long Island? Westchester? NJ? Also we are from England (London) so a somewhat international community would be nice but not critical.
Thank you!
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:37 PM
 
Location: New York NY
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One of the old jokes among many people I know is single=Upper West Side, baby=Park Slope, house+schools=Montclair NJ. Montclair is easily within your budget, its diverse racially, ethnically, and economically, has good schools, is a 45 minute commute by train or bus to Midtwon, and has a large populatuion of creative types (the successful ones, not the poseurs) and journalists. Its got a nice walkable main street (Bloomfield Ave.) with lots of interesting shops, restaurants, movie houses, and is defintenly child-friendly. My friends who live there joke that Montclair is "the Upper West Side with lawns." There only complaint they have is high property taxes. But though you pay a lot, in Montclair you definitely get a lot.

Another suburb you might consider with similar characteristics is White Plains, up in Westchester. It has many of the same characteristics of Montclair, but also has a more developed high rise feel to it in some places, with offices, a mall, high rise condos etc., as well as plenty of high-end suburban type single family housing, racial diversity and good schools. But while Montclair is pretty much a low-rise bedroom community, White Plains is what you might call an "Edge City" because it has enough business activity that many people there dont commute into NYC or commute into White Plains from other suburbs. Still, the residential areas away from the "downtown" are very pretty, calm and relaxed.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:36 PM
 
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I suggest Forest Hills in Queens.
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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For a good school district and a bit of an international population, I would look to Larchmont in Westchester. It is only 30 minutes scheduled time to Grand Central, though you should factor commute to the station and from GCT to your office, so the 30-minute commute would be about 45-60 minutes, depending upon how far from each you are. Top-tier schools in Westchester are generally not in the cities, which is why I might not be inclined not to look to White Plains as the school district tends to be a bit more to the average performance standard; however, the taxes are significantly lower on comparable houses because of the large commercial and retail sectors in the city. Village/town school systems in Westchester tend to be smaller, so there is more of a local focus with respect to administration.

Larchmont has a great downtown area, and is a friendly community, without the pressure of performance as some other school districts have in the county. The village is also very walkable, so it's feasible to walk to the shops, restaurants, and even the train. You would be able to find a house in the village for your price point.
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:57 AM
 
15 posts, read 43,600 times
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Thank you, both Larchmont and Montclair sound good, we'll take a trip and check them out. Any places in Long Island that might work as well or is Westchester/NJ a better bet?
Thank again!
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
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Many towns in Bergen County (NJ) will give you the easy commute, good public schools, but HIGH taxes. Taxes aren't quite so onerous if you rent. NJ also saves you that 4% (or so) New York City personal income tax.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:21 AM
 
215 posts, read 502,592 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kefir King View Post
Many towns in Bergen County (NJ) will give you the easy commute, good public schools, but HIGH taxes. Taxes aren't quite so onerous if you rent. NJ also saves you that 4% (or so) New York City personal income tax.
Easy commute? You mean 1 and a half hour one way?
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