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Old 01-11-2014, 05:35 PM
 
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We've been in New Jersey for far too long, and are looking to finally buy something. Between the inflated home prices here and the property taxes, NJ simply does not seem to be a good value. And we're kind of sick of the state in general. We're in Morristown, previously lived in Montclair (priced out) and Hoboken (also priced out).

Every time I have to drive upstate, I find that the whole Hudson Valley area is kind of attractive. But I really have no idea what's what and where we might find a slightly progressive but not totally hippy-dippy area. There are really a few things we're looking for, and I'm hoping other likes will follow if these are met. Ideally, we'd probably be in Brooklyn or Queens, but that's far beyond our reach, and we're considering a child, and I'm really not up to navigating that mess in the NYC area after a friend in Brooklyn was faced with spending an amount of money equal to a compact car for pre-K. So... compromises.

So my list, as it were:

* Affordable, a combined mortgage and tax payment of under $1400/month.
* Close enough to NYC that visiting once every few weeks isn't a total hassle, train preferred over car.
* As noted, a majority population that at least leans a little bit left, and being near enough to *something* to do that we can make friends, be social, etc. No offense to my conservative friends, but if we're moving, well, we're old enough at this point to be pretty set in our beliefs and such.
* Some type of town center nearby - I work from home, sometimes I need to just work in a coffee shop or something for the day to not go insane.
* Not crappy internet - incredibly huge deal, actually. No internet, no work.
* Prefer some sort of racially-mixed area, my wife tutors and has a strange and excellent skill with Indian and Asian kids, would love to find a similar area where there's a market for tutors. To explain this stereotypical bias a bit - in the area we're in now, the local "white" kids are lazy, the kids of recent immigrants are prepared to work like mofos. Again, pardon the stereotype, sometimes they are true.

So... yeah. I have no idea how to ask the Internet to help me narrow down places to live in such a large geographical area. And I've probably been vaguely offensive by stating that I don't want to be in Tea Party country. But one does have to ask for what one wants if they want it.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:34 AM
 
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Perhaps parts of the Cornwall and Monroe-Woodbury areas could work. Parts of the Spackenkill, Arlington and Wappingers Falls school districts in Dutchess County may work too.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Deep in the Woods
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To be honest, I'd go straight up to the Albany area. Its pretty diverse, you can easily catch a train to NYC, and some of the towns there like New Scotland, Altamont, Voorheesville, are really quite nice. Its cheaper than the area of NJ that your from (which I'm quite familiar with, $2k for a one bedroom in Montclair/Morristown is cheap). Politically, it probably leans a little left there, but not Woodstock / New Paltz left. I don't think internet would be an issue there as it might be in smaller Hudson Valley towns.

To visit the Hudson Valley, you'd be coming south and everyone else would be going north. On summer Sundays, this could mean the world to you, as it seems half of NYC is on the Thruway heading south.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:34 AM
 
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If you want diverse in Albany and good suburban schools, look into the North Colonie, South Colonie, Guilderland and Niskayuna. All are good with decent South and/or East Asian student populations.
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Woods
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^^ True. Those towns will be more diverse than the ones I mentioned. Niskayuna is nice too.
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VintageSunlight View Post
^^ True. Those towns will be more diverse than the ones I mentioned. Niskayuna is nice too.
To be fair to you, Altamont is in the Guilderland SD. Being the nerd that I am, I was thinking in terms of school district demographics.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:00 PM
 
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Another place that may work is New Paltz in Ulster County and you also have a SUNY campus there.
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:13 AM
 
Location: Auckland, NZ
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You'll probably have to head to the northern Lower Hudson Valley, such as Orange or Dutchess County, to pick up a mortgage in the neighborhood of ~$1400. Some places to check into in Orange: Washingtonville, Chester, Goshen, Town of Wallkill (Middletown), Warwick, Montgomery, Cornwall, and the Town of Newburgh. In Dutchess, have a look at Fishkill, Wappingers, and perhaps Beacon.

Plenty of train service to NYC near all locations I mentioned (http://web.mta.info/mnr/gifs/mnrmap.png)

Many locales mentioned have a decent racial mix, with Middletown/Newburgh areas being most diverse. Plenty of shopping to be done, sites to be seen, and good internet to be acquired. No issues there. Most of the Hudson Valley, excluding Putnam County, is liberal leaning.
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