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Old 04-05-2011, 12:09 PM
3 posts, read 11,666 times
Reputation: 10


Hi. We're looking to relocate to Westchester County this summer and are hoping to find the following:

1) School district that offers great support for 2e (gifted + adhd/auditory processing issues) child
2) Great school district for non-learning disabled child
3) Friendly, family town with lawns, parks, etc.

I've been told Ardsley, Hastings on Hudson, Dobbs Ferry and Irvington are all great places to check out. Any thoughts on whether those would meet the above criteria (or if there are other towns you would recommend more) would be most appreciated.

Also, if anyone commutes to NYC from any of these towns, I'd love to hear the approx. time it takes to do so.


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Old 04-05-2011, 04:06 PM
Location: Chappaqua
79 posts, read 290,679 times
Reputation: 53
Irvington and Ardsley are the best regarded of those school districts (though the others are very good, too.)

Ardsley lacks a downtown worth mentioning, while the others all have nice ones, Irvington being the best, IMHO. Ardsley also lacks a train station, which means you would have to find a parking solution if you're traiing it in and not within walking distance. All of them are about the same length commute; Hastings (36-44 min) is shortest, then Dobbs (which you might use from Ardsley; 39-46 min), then Irvington (43-51 min).

Depending where you are in Irvington, you may be able to use the Tarrytown station which, though farther north, has more express trains running 40-45 min. (with locals running 54-55).

You could visit all of these towns in a single day, since they're all bunched together. For what it's worth, they're all great communities but if I had the option, I would choose Irvington for the mix of schools, views, facilities and community.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:56 PM
15 posts, read 70,330 times
Reputation: 13
Hastings has the best SAT scores of this group but is not high pressure.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:58 AM
Location: Bronxville, NY
58 posts, read 238,826 times
Reputation: 49
Irvington is the most expensive and Ardsely lacks a train station. Other than that, these are all safe, attractive places to live.
One warning: expect to pay astronomical property taxes. For an average house (say $600,000) you will pay at least $15,000 and maybe $20,000. The worst property taxes (in relation to property value) I'm aware of anywhere.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:54 AM
506 posts, read 1,308,944 times
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Most of Westchester has high property taxes, with a few exceptions. I don't think that the Rivertowns are the "highest." Do you have any data to back that up?
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:03 AM
Location: Bronxville, NY
58 posts, read 238,826 times
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What are you looking for as far as data? A quick perusal of any site showing available apartments, such as redfin or listingbook, will reveal pretty substantial differences in typical property taxes by neighborhood. Although of course if you prefer not to be convinced by facts, you can probably go ahead believing anything you like.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:31 AM
506 posts, read 1,308,944 times
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Well, ok, as you suggested I checked the site you mentioned, Redfin, and put in properties between 600k and 700k in Irvington, Pelham, and Larchmont.

Pelham and Irvington seemed similar tax wise. Larchmont seemed like everything that came up in that price range was under 2000 sqft and still had high taxes and there was one gem at 700k with a whopping 1600 sqft, .42 acres and estimated tax of $21,800.

Thanks for clearing it up for us with those facts!
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:46 AM
Location: Bronxville, NY
58 posts, read 238,826 times
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Wow, you found one case of a high property tax in Larchmont, at 700k.

Of course, it took me only a few seconds to find examples in Greenburgh that beat that. One in Hastings for 598. Taxes: $24,692. Here's on in Dobbs Ferry for 699. Taxes: $23, 452. Even in Irvington, where there are so many rich people to take the tax burden off, I find a 589,000 house with $18,464.

This is just a quick look. Of course my original point was only $15,000-$20,000 for a ~$600,000 property, and there are many more examples that meet that. Nowhere else is it so easy to find such outrageous tax requirements for such modest properties.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:01 PM
Location: Bellevue, WA
1,497 posts, read 4,440,129 times
Reputation: 639
The Rivertowns' taxes are astronomical, but not as bad as Pelham's. Here is the link comparing rates...http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html...PHIC/data.html

I will only say that just from our search, for about $20K a year in taxes on average, you can get a $700K house in the Rivertowns or Pleasantville, an $850K+ house in Larchmont or Scarsdale, or a $1M+ house in Rye and Harrison. And FWIW, .42 acre in Larchmont is HUGE...that is why the taxes are so high - the land value is probably more than the house.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:47 PM
132 posts, read 512,875 times
Reputation: 40
Default 2e kids

Based on my experience Ardsley is a great district for kids of all kinds (straight up LD, as well as 2e and typically developing kids). That said, the community is not a great to live in. We found it hard to meet neighbors and make friends. Elementary school is huge (4-6 classes on grade level) and it was hard for us to integrate into the system. But also keep in mind that lots of schools in the area bus kids with varying needs in and out of district. I know that Irvington and Hastings, in a particularly, do this as their schools are too small to house all appropriate programs in one place. Also, Dobbs Ferry (although not on your list) might be a good fit. Schools are just as nice, it does have a bit of a downtown area and train station and all it's classes are full inclusion of kids of whatever needs. This, in theory, leads the teachers and classmates to be more equipped and better trained on how to handle a larger variety of behaviors and academic needs. A good way to learn more is to contact the heads of the SEPTAs for all those districts. You can take more specifically about what kinds of needs your kids have and they can tell you more from a parent's perspective about how the school is doing and what programs they have available.
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