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Old 03-28-2011, 09:49 AM
 
223 posts, read 782,656 times
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The closer you are to the city, the less property you are going to get but higher cost. Homes in this range are not going to be in move in condition but the plus is you can tailor it to your needs over time. You should really consider looking a bit further north. Mid Westchester like Croton, Pleasantville, Briarcliff, Chappaqua, ect only have a 40-50 minute train ride. Its really not too bad. And its pretty easy to travel anywhere in Westchester in less than 30 minutes. Lot less traffic in Mid Westchester also.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:31 AM
 
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^^Agree with this. Although if you are willing to forgo the walkable town center (you could drive 10 minutes to Pleasantville and walk around there), you can look in Hawthorne/Thornwood and probably find more in your budget range than P-Ville, Briarcliff or Chappaqua. Mt Pleasant schools though not in the elite group are still very good and I know several families that are very happy there. They also have a nice new town rec center will pool and playground which is something Chappaqua lacks.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Southern California
56 posts, read 144,506 times
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Default No.

Short answer? No.
We live in Pelham and we're moving.
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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I think whats "worth it" is really a subjective thing that depends on what matters to you. When we bought, we happily paid more for the things that were important to us (old house with character, schools that don't emphasize testing and test results, great property, pretty area, etc) and we rejected houses that had things others might pay more for but that didn't appeal to us (new construction, granite counters, etc). "Expensive" is also subjective--600K for a vintage fixer sounds pretty good compared to what it would get you in a fringe part of Brooklyn or Queens, for example.

When picking a commute, you need to focus on length of the train trip and the number of trains avaialble at rush hour (multiple options is the most important thing!!). The train commute from Northern Westchester via Croton-Harmon is generally only 6 to 8 minutes longer than from southern towns such as Mamaroneck, and that difference really won't matter in day to day life. Based on your post, I don't think Croton is the right place for you, but the point is that you can go a lot farther north and still have essentially the same train commute.
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:20 PM
bg7
 
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What about Glen Ridge in NJ? Straight one-seat commute to NY Penn station. Excellent Schools at all three levels. And your money will buy you a decent place. Don't forget that you won't be paying the 3.9% NYC resident income tax anymore - so that will offset your Property taxes.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:11 AM
 
Location: East Millcreek
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Originally Posted by bg7 View Post
What about Glen Ridge in NJ? Straight one-seat commute to NY Penn station. Excellent Schools at all three levels. And your money will buy you a decent place. Don't forget that you won't be paying the 3.9% NYC resident income tax anymore - so that will offset your Property taxes.
But then you'd be forever condemning your kids forever after to refer to the beach as ''the shore." No school can overcome that.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:14 AM
bg7
 
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Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
But then you'd be forever condemning your kids forever after to refer to the beach as ''the shore." No school can overcome that.
Yes, one must also consider the awful downsides.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bg7 View Post
What about Glen Ridge in NJ? Straight one-seat commute to NY Penn station. Excellent Schools at all three levels. And your money will buy you a decent place. Don't forget that you won't be paying the 3.9% NYC resident income tax anymore - so that will offset your Property taxes.
I'd live in Mumbai before I lived in Jersey.
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:23 AM
bg7
 
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As many problems as NJ has, open-sewers isn't one of them (have you actually been to Mumbai proper?)
Its not for me, but if you're on a budget, want a safe neigborhood, blue ribbon schools and a direct commute to midtown, Glen Ridge is a good choice. Small houses starting at below 400K, mansions up to about 1.5 mil. Original gas-lighting on the streets if thats your thing. The main problem with the place is that while its pretty to look at with mature trees and plenty of grass, detched houses etc., there is no downtown area to buy anything.
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:25 AM
 
1,434 posts, read 2,397,468 times
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Originally Posted by minymom View Post
We just spent the last 3 months as first time NY/Westchester buyers, and went through everything that you are experiencing now. We are about to (hopefully) go under contract w/ a home in Chappaqua. Our budget was similar to yours, between $550-$650K b/c of taxes. We could afford more home, but not the taxes that went with them. We opted to forgo all the towns closer to the city, b/c you just can't find a decent SFH in that price range. We even looked into Fairfield county next door, but ultimately, it just came down to the house we could get. I agree w/the OPs; if you can convince yourself to move further up 10-15 miles, you'll be able to get train towns, great schools, a SFH w/a real yard and taxes...sadly, they're just a package deal. Amazing how fast you can accept that $12K in taxes sounds so much better than $20K/yr.

One thing to note is that you can look into reducing your tax ratio w/purchase of a new home on a typical buyer to buyer contract w/o having to go through the tedious tax grievance process that homeowner's have to go through. It was how we ended up re-considering the home in Chappaqua. You may want to also try researching school district lines schools are is a priority. ie: There were more SFHs in our budget in Mt. Kisco than Chappaqua but also were within the Chappaqua school district. We feel that the sacrifices that we are making are worth it to have the best options for a decent quality of life, our children's education and my husbands commute to work.

I wouldn't give up! The rates are still low and based upon our very brief experience w/home buying here, homes that are on the market for awhile are all open to reductions, which can help out with the tax base. Best of luck to you!


Could you explain how you were able to reduce your taxes thru "tax ratio." I didn't quite understand that? I am also in the market for a house in the $550's range but the property tax factor is really stopping me from moving forward on many houses. I can't believe how many houses cost $20,000 in taxes.
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