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Old 09-20-2008, 06:08 AM
 
51 posts, read 145,934 times
Reputation: 43

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I am an Ameircan that has been living in Asia for the past six years, I am being assigned back to the U.S. next summer for a two year stint and it's looking like Cincinnati or Rochester.. I've researched Cincinnati quite a bit (Rochester was just added to my list of possibilites) and it seems very nice, I don't know much of anything about Rochester. I have four kids, two of whom will be in elementary school, we have lived in California and Washington, DC before living in Asia. I was hoping you good folks could answer a few questions;

Where would a good place be to live, realitvely large houses, good schools, good grocery stores etc. We will probably rent as we are only there for two years but if it makes sense to buy I am open to that as well.

Weather, are winters unbearable for non-natives, I like snow but have never lived in the real north.

Car tax, does NY have one, is it expensinve to transfer titles?

Public school v. Catholic schools, are there good public schools available, are the Catholic schools high quality?

Small town feel? I assume yes and that's mostly a positive but will we stand out as former expats?

Any tips from non-natives that moved to Rochester, surprises.

Thanks to any and all that take the time to read and respond.
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:01 AM
 
118 posts, read 608,866 times
Reputation: 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by rinojg View Post
I am an Ameircan that has been living in Asia for the past six years, I am being assigned back to the U.S. next summer for a two year stint and it's looking like Cincinnati or Rochester.. I've researched Cincinnati quite a bit (Rochester was just added to my list of possibilites) and it seems very nice, I don't know much of anything about Rochester. I have four kids, two of whom will be in elementary school, we have lived in California and Washington, DC before living in Asia. I was hoping you good folks could answer a few questions;

Where would a good place be to live, realitvely large houses, good schools, good grocery stores etc. We will probably rent as we are only there for two years but if it makes sense to buy I am open to that as well.

Weather, are winters unbearable for non-natives, I like snow but have never lived in the real north.

Car tax, does NY have one, is it expensinve to transfer titles?

Public school v. Catholic schools, are there good public schools available, are the Catholic schools high quality?

Small town feel? I assume yes and that's mostly a positive but will we stand out as former expats?

Any tips from non-natives that moved to Rochester, surprises.

Thanks to any and all that take the time to read and respond.

Hello rinojg,

Glad to hear that you are researching the possibility to make Rochester one of your choices.

If you know you are only going to be living here a couple of years, I definitely would suggest you renting a home. That said, and the fact that you need a larger home to rent, I would suggest looking at renting in Pittsford. There seems to be more of a choice of large homes to rent in that area, which by the way is one of the most desirable places to live in the Rochester area. I am not sure what you're looking to spend a month, but a home to rent in Pittsford probably ranges from $1800-2300 month.
Here is a website to check out...just click on advanced search and choose 'rentals' and 'pittsford schools'. MLS listings of Homes for Sale, Property, Commercial Real Estate and Townhouses in Rochester NY, the Finger Lakes region and Upstate NY

Smalltown feel is EVERYWHERE in this region...it is one of the benefits of living mostly anyplace in the northeast....established roots, character, etc. and you will not feel like an outsider either....there are many people who trasfer in and out of Rochester with a lot of our major corporations here.

As far as schools go, we have wonderful schools all throughout the Rochester suburbs....no need to go to a private school, but if you are considering Catholic schooling here is the link to the Diocese of Rochester:
Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, NY
There is a large Catholic population here and many involved parents.


Grocery Stores....you haven't got a problem there....Rochester is home to the national phenomenon of WEGMANS grocery stores, which are now located around the northeastern US. If you have never been in a Wegmans, you are in for a treat! Wegmans

Winters....hmmm...this is a tough one. Since you have never lived in a northern state, it might take a bit to get used too. However, if you have a decent car, with good tires, drive slower when the weather isn't too nice out, you WILL BE FINE! It truely is no big deal. The highway dept. does a fantastic job keeping our roads clear. Except possibly on the RARE occassions when it is snowing heavier than they can keep up with. All you really have to do is allow slightly more time to get to a destination and drive slower. There is A LOT to do in the wintertime here...you just have to try. You'll also need of course the essentials like warmer coats, hats, gloves, boots.....If you can make it through January and February, you're good to go. Those seem to be the 'longest' months of the year as far as winter weather goes. We have 4 beautiful seasons here....it is spectacular.

Another good point about Rochester...you can get anywhere within 20 min to a half hour. Compared to other places that you have lived, this will be a big benefit I am sure!

Car Tax....I don't believe is any big issue here at all...here is the link to the DMV..... New York State Department of Motor Vehicles - NYS DMV - NYSDMV - Driver - Vehicle

Good Luck to you....if you have any specific questions, please post them here...there are a lot of friendly folks on the Rochester forum that will help you as best they can.
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:08 PM
 
51 posts, read 145,934 times
Reputation: 43
Default Thank you!

This is excellent information, snow tires sounds intimidating but everything else sounds great. Thanks for taking the time for such a comprehensive response, much appreciated.
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:22 PM
 
118 posts, read 608,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinojg View Post
This is excellent information, snow tires sounds intimidating but everything else sounds great. Thanks for taking the time for such a comprehensive response, much appreciated.
You are more than welcome, and I am sure others will respond as well...must all be busy today....it was a beautiful day here in Rochester...Sunny & 77 degrees....don't let people tell you that it's cloudy here ALL the time...it isn't we get days like today quite often well into October......It really is a great place to live!
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Old 09-21-2008, 08:04 AM
 
25 posts, read 101,030 times
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I hope you choose Rochester it is a great place!
-First of all, with four kids, I would maybe consider buying a house. Real Estate is very cheap in the Rochester region (although taxes can be a bit high) and you mostlikely get ripped off trying to rent a large house. However, if you are interested in renting rentrochester.com is your best bet to find one.
-The Actual City is very nice (in particular park ave area) but not to live in with children. City schools have a poor repuation. I would say the best area schools are brighton, pittsford, and fairport. Webster and Penfield are great too. Those are all east side schools. West of the city has cheaper houses but I am a bit bias towards the east side because I think they have better schools and a more quaint feel to the towns.
-I think the snow here is manageable. The driving is easy to adapt to its not as scary as it sounds. Generally a few times a winter we get a really really heavy snow fall and its super annoying and its over before you know it. The rest of the winter just has a moderate amount of snow.
-There definately is a lot of towns with small town feel (the villages of pittsford and fairport have beautiful old houses) but its not like your around a bunch of creepy townies where the population is <500. If you really like the farm town feel some good places are Mendon and Honeoye Falls which are still close to the city and major things but has a lot of farmland, big houses, etc. Or if you go out a little further east of Penfield there is the walworth/gananda area where a lot of houses are in Penfield Schools. The small town feel is what makes Rochester so great!
-Victor is also a nice area!

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask me any more questions you may have!
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:19 AM
 
118 posts, read 608,866 times
Reputation: 73
If you know that you will be here for only two years...I would consider renting, not buying. As someone who has moved a lot (hence my user name)...I can attest that if you only live someplace two years....you will most likely lose money if you buy.....especially in this region of the country where we have literally no appreciation on homes in under 5 years of owning.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:45 AM
 
51 posts, read 145,934 times
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Thanks again for all of the information, it is really appreciated. We did have a Wegmans in the DC area when I visted last and yes it is fantastic, nice to know you good folk are the orginatros.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
897 posts, read 2,392,317 times
Reputation: 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by rinojg View Post
I am an Ameircan that has been living in Asia for the past six years, I am being assigned back to the U.S. next summer for a two year stint and it's looking like Cincinnati or Rochester.. I've researched Cincinnati quite a bit (Rochester was just added to my list of possibilites) and it seems very nice, I don't know much of anything about Rochester. I have four kids, two of whom will be in elementary school, we have lived in California and Washington, DC before living in Asia. I was hoping you good folks could answer a few questions;.
I would like to welcome you to one of the poorest cities in the nation. Good luck making it through another recession period in Rochester. Rochester economy consistently does below average when the state and the country are in recession. Some people have yet to recover from the last one. But again I welcome you to the land of mediocrity, which is very accepted.

This time around New Yorkers are going to foot a huge bill that will result in much higher sales, income, and property taxes. They will see many programs and pet projects being cut. New York State just lost about 3 billion in tax revenue in one week. The State tax revenue is 56-63 billion a year with total revenues with federal money being 120 billion.

Now to answer your questions:
Quote:
Originally Posted by rinojg View Post
Where would a good place be to live, realitvely large houses, good schools, good grocery stores etc. We will probably rent as we are only there for two years but if it makes sense to buy I am open to that as well.
Pittsford/brighton area is very nice. Brighton and Fairport are the best schools in the area. Wegmans is the best grocery store. Pricey on some items but very good quality. If renting the City side of of east ave to highland area are nice. *** My personal opinion is not to buy a home. The house market no matter what anyone tells you it is complete overrated. They will tell you it is cheap and a good buy. I will tell you please do your homework. Rochester area home values appreciate about even with inflation, so you will never see a return on value in a short period of time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rinojg View Post
Weather, are winters unbearable for non-natives, I like snow but have never lived in the real north..
Weather if you love winter you will like it here. Winter can be 7 months long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rinojg View Post
Public school v. Catholic schools, are there good public schools available, are the Catholic schools high quality?.
Public schools are mostly good on the east side of the city. Private/Catholic schools are having enrollment problems so they consolidated them. Aquinas is very good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rinojg View Post
Small town feel? I assume yes and that's mostly a positive but will we stand out as former expats?.
Some areas feel small town. The villages in most towns help with that atmosphere. Most people do not like to travel in the north side and parts of the southwestern area of the city proper, due to high crime and murder rates in those neighborhoods.


***Disclaimer, I am considered as naysayer by some of the respondents on this forum. My personal opinion is that I just speak about the issues people do not like to bring up.
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:46 PM
 
5,265 posts, read 16,008,091 times
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btw...Shibainu is head of the Rochester welcome wagon..He's been trolling on this forum for a while now whining about how horrible Rochester is and how stupid anyone would have to be to want to move or stay here...yet he's still here. Apparently his ankles are chained to Liberty Pole or something.
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:50 PM
 
118 posts, read 608,866 times
Reputation: 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by I'minformed2 View Post
btw...Shibainu is head of the Rochester welcome wagon..He's been trolling on this forum for a while now whining about how horrible Rochester is and how stupid anyone would have to be to want to move or stay here...yet he's still here. Apparently his ankles are chained to Liberty Pole or something.

I agree completely with I'minformed2....no matter what city forum you may be on, there is always a NEGATIVE person who has issues with their life and likes to put an entire city into their poor perception of the world in general...so sad.
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