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Old 10-04-2010, 05:07 PM
142 posts, read 343,552 times
Reputation: 50


I have been using this site to search where to live. We decided on Westchester county a while ago and I just only realized there was a forum just for WC,oops.
So, I'm looking for somewhere where my hubs can commute to NYC(he will transfer next summer), and just somewhere family oriented with good people. I don't have a price range because I am not exactly sure what we're working with yet. But we will make it work, we always seem to manage, we're moving from a wealthy town(we didn't think we could afford but we have a super sweet 10 yr. old boy and we made it work for him). The schools are great and it's a very nice safe area. So why are we moving? There are many reasons but the top two are the HEAT and this town is very SNOOTY. I keep reading Westchester is VERY wealthy.

Should I expect a snooty town all over again? Every one here should be happy, but they walk around with their nose in the air and a cranky face. I walk around with a smile and do my best to give a helping hand, we teach our son to love every one no matter their race/religion/or how much is in your bank account etc. We chose NY for a # of reasons, one of them being diverse, but I keep reading it seems the diverse areas are higher in crime in Westchester, is this true or is it because the ones writing it have race issues?
I just want to live somewhere where people are kind to one another, no matter what. Nice family area, this is going to be a huge change for my kid, and he is super excited, I would feel so guilty if we did this and kids were mean and the people ended up being like they are here. I'm from Wisconsin originally-I KNOW people up north are nicer, how are they in Westchester? Where do we go?

So far I've gathered this: To stay away from: Mt.Vernon,Yonkers,New Rochelle,Port Chester, and Wt.Plains
Good schools are Scarsdale and Bronxville-(but those towns sound like they may be snooty like here).
I hear good stuff over and over about Pleasantville, Larchmont and Rye Neck.
Any advice would be incredibly appreciated, and good Karma will come to you! Thank you SO very much.
We are coming very soon to check it out, can't wait to be NYorkers!!
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:39 PM
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Where are you coming from? That will give us some perspective. If you are coming from West Palm Beach, I would say that the folks here are nicer. If you are having a problem with people in Raleigh, NC, for instance, you will absolutely not like it here.

Are you looking to rent? Buy? If it's the 2nd, there is no point in looking in Bronxville, Scarsdale, Rye or Mamaroneck if you are making less than $200K minimum (and even that is pushing it for the 1st 3). Rye Neck is doable for less than that, but certainly not by much. Do you have any kind of reference to start with?

Keep in mind, though, that Westchester is absolutely nothing like NYC...it is way more similar to the wealthier areas of CT than NY, in my opinion. If you are looking for down to earth, Jersey might rank higher.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:11 PM
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I dunno, jj, have you watched the Real Housewives of NJ?? LOL I'm kidding of course, but I do think that Jersey in general has more suburban sprawl (not unlike parts of LA) and the high pressure materialism and competition to go along with it.

If a 45-60 min commute is tolerable, you will have more options in central and northern Westchester where the snob quotient is generally lower than you'll find in the southern towns. Hawthorne, Thornwood, Valhalla, Pleasantville, Mt. Kisco, Croton-on-Hudson are all considered more easygoing and down-to-earth areas. Chappaqua, Armonk & Briarcliff are known to have more competitive schools and more relative wealth so these can be more clique-y especially if you're a stay-at-home mom, but there are plenty of friendly people in these towns too.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:20 AM
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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There are many good school districts in Westchester, not just Scarsdale and Bronxville, both of which can be very competitive and the town/village may not be what you're seeking if you want a more relaxed area.

There are three train lines to NYC from Westchester: Hudson (west side of the county), Harlem (roughly the central part of the county), and New Haven (east side of the county). Parking can be difficult at many stations, so that should be a factor in your decision, as some towns that are not on a train line may have limited parking opportunities at neighboring areas that are on the train. Even within some towns, like Rye, the waiting list for a spot at the station can be very long.

If you don't like snow, then you might want to stay south of 287, which is roughly the snow line in the county. It can be raining in Lower Westchester, for example, when Northern Westchester, around Bedford, Lewisboro, or Pound Ridge, has a couple of inches of snow on the ground.

There are many reasons why there are social problems in some of the Westchester cities/towns/villages that have higher diversity, but it's not so much a race issue as it is a consolidation of those of lower means living in specific areas of the jurisdiction, either through displacement from gentrification in Manhattan or The Bronx, or through public housing. For example, Yonkers is on your list as a "stay away," but that's only half the story as there are nice areas in Yonkers. Sarah Lawrence is in Yonkers, but has a Bronxville zip code, and houses near there can fetch seven figures. The problem is the school system, and in the case of Yonkers, it was a disparity along racial lines that prompted a federal desegregation order in the 1980s that remade the city's schools into what they are now. What many do who live in the more expensive areas of Yonkers, Mount Vernon, and New Rochelle is use private school system. For your situation, I agree that they would not work, as you want a good public school system for your family.

Tuckahoe is another consideration, and it's more of a diverse area, but has a good, though small, school district. Part of the area is in Tuckahoe, and part is in Eastchester, though Tuckahoe, like Bronxville, is a village within the Town of Eastchester. Eastchester and Tuckahoe school districts are good, and there are areas of each that overlap, despite being in Tuckahoe or unincorporated Eastchester.

In Scarsdale, there are two districts with a Scarsdale zip code, one is in the town/village (it's both) of Scarsdale, and the other is in the unincorporated area of Greenville (aka Edgemont). Scarsdale has the train, and Edgemont neighbors the town/village, and is in the zip code, with a tiny portion having a Hartsdale zip code, too, but you would need to travel to Hartsdale or Scarsdale for the train. Both districts are good, but Scarsdale has more of a pressure cooker atmosphere than Edgemont, though I don't know that I would characterize Greenville as being completely relaxed, but moreso than Scarsdale proper.

One way to search for houses is not by zip code or town, since those can be misleading, due to zip code overlays (referred to as P.O). You can search on the Westchester MLS site, operated by the Board of Realtors, by school district, so if you have identified districts that would work for you, it's much easier to see what's available in that area.
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 10-05-2010, 08:49 AM
506 posts, read 1,242,218 times
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Some basic facts, many which apply to anywhere.

Richer towns have better schools because (surprise!) they have more money to spend on them, and education is usually an important priority for the people there.

Richer people tend to be white and Asian.

People are status conscious. It's how they measure status that changes.

Also, in particular to Westchester:

Most school districts here are good compared to the rest of the country, a few are not.

Most places here are safe, a very few are not.

Westchester is expensive. Scarsdale and Bronxville (which you mentioned) are among the most expensive places in Westchester. Are some people there going to "snooty?" Yes. Is everyone going to be? No.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:15 AM
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I doubt people in Westchester are half as nice as people in Wisconsin. For that reason alone, I would recommend you stay out of scarsdale, edgemont, etc.

Personally, I don't care how other people act, my child will learn to act based on how I raise him. So if I could afford it, I would go to scarsdale, edgemont, etc. Then I would just smack (figuratively) common sense and decency onto him.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:26 PM
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Thank you all so very much for your helpfull advice, I'm getting the sense that the more north we go the more friendly. It really is my main concern-I'm pretty sure compared to FL the education wherever we end up will be better there. My kid is so nice compared to most kids here and he just keeps saying he hopes they're nice in NY, so it's all I care about. I think we'll check out Pleasantville and Tarrytown.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:48 PM
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Default Understanding the geography of New York

movinonuptotheeastside, in case you are unfamiliar with the local geography:

What people refer to colloquially as "towns" are actually villages and hamlets, which are within actual towns; and, because villages and hamlets are referred to as "towns", then, many times, the error is compounded when actual towns are referred to as "townships".

Also, many colloquially refer to a "downtown business district" in a hamlet as a "village".

NYS Geographic Glossary may be of some help to you in understanding the geography of New York.

You can get a fact sheet for any city, village or hamlet in New York by going here American FactFinder and input the name of the city, village or hamlet for "city/town" (leave out the ZIP Code) and New York for "State", and then click "GO".

You'll get a lot of demographic, and some economic, statistics for the city, village or hamlet you selected, and if you click on "Reference map" (it's on the right hand side), you'll get a map.

When you do find a house that you like, you can find out in which community (city, village or CDP) that house is actually located, which is oftentimes different from the community named in that house's mailing address, by using the Census Bureau's online address search function. (CDP, or Census Designated Place, is the Census Bureau equivalent for a hamlet in New York State.)

And, very importantly, among other things, the Census Bureau's online address search function also indicates in which school district an address is located.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:26 PM
142 posts, read 343,552 times
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Thanks Walter
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:30 PM
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i second BMWGUy-Tuckahoe is probably what you're looking for.
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