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Old 04-06-2011, 10:50 AM
 
8 posts, read 21,359 times
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my husband and i are looking to move to westchester from the uws. just out of curiosity, if you had $1m to spend on a home, would you buy in irvington or croton? basically, the two houses are very similar in size (although the irvington one would need more work), price, and property taxes, but the main difference is the yard size (.3 of an acre in irivington as opposed to 1.3 in croton). we do not yet have kids, but are looking to start a family in the next year. obviously, i know that irvington schools are ranked higher than croton, but to me, croton schools seem very good as well. i would probably lean more towards the privacy croton lends, while my husband would say irvington. then again, i am from apple country in the hudson valley and my husband is from yonkers and went to a prestigious private school in the bronx! i am just curious to hear any advice from those of who may have had to make a similar decision when leaving nyc...thanks in advance!!
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Chappaqua
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It's a tough call, because you have essentially the same commute time (assuming you have someone commuting to the City) due to Croton's express status. So, unlike the typical case, you're not giving up time for space.

I agree that Croton schools are good (though you should check which Croton school distirct you're in, there is a difference).

Still, I'd incline to Irvington, partly for the better schools but even more for the greater sense of community. Croton, though certainly not without community, has a much more "away from it" feel. WHich is a plus for many people, but with kids potentially in the equation, I'd go with the less diffuse community feel you get in Irvington. (And even without them, Irvington offers much more in terms of dining, culture and the like, which I'm guessing you'll want, coming from the UWS.)
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:57 PM
 
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I don't know all that much about Croton, but I live in Irvington so I'll put my two cents in.

Irvington is a beautiful village with a very involved, tight knit community of people that care about the place and the schools. People all know each other, because it's pretty small. It's close to the city, close to the Tappan Zee bridge, and close to White Plains. Within 5 minutes I can be on 287, 87, the Saw Mill Parkway or the Sprain Brook Parkway, or at the train station. There's a 37 minute express train to GCT. We have tons of trails and parks in the area. We are right on the river and there are many ways to enjoy it whether it's on a boat, at a riverfront park, or having a bite or a drink at one of the many restaurants on the water in the chain of villages called the Rivertowns that are sort of an extended community for most of us.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:31 PM
 
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Just wanted to throw a pitch for Croton in the mix. Croton has an amazing sense of community. We moved here from the Dobbs Ferry/Ardsley area where there was little to no community. We lived there a year and barely even got to know our neighbors, despite having four kids, three of them in school and reaching out to playgroups etc.

Now 6 months into living in the Croton area we are a wash in friends, neighbors and a fabulous community. We are in the town just north- Cortlandt which is fairly closely connected to Croton with a joint moms google group and lots of cross over (We go to church in croton, library events there, and my daughter is in preschool there etc.) I think this area has the perfect blend of feeling like you're in nature and away for the weekend but still surrounded by a strong, caring community. I would seriously consider putting Croton at the top of the list. And certainly 0.3 acres may not seem too small now but once you have kids you'll really appreciate having more than a full acre.

Don't get me wrong, I really like Irvington, too. You really can't go too wrong either way. But I'd say the only benefit of Irvington over Croton* would be being closer in terms of driving into the city. But really the train is nicer

*technically the schools are ranked higher but really the rankings have a bunch of flaws in them and they are comparable districts and Croton would give your as yet unborn kids a great education so that's really not a factor.
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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We looked at both Croton and Irvington (as well as loads of other towns) when we were moving from the city 10 years ago. My wife and I are both born and bred Brooklynites, so we very much wanted to get something different if we were going to give up the city. Irvington and the other river towns are lovely, but it is much denser and more developed than northern Westchester and we didn't feel like we'd be getting that much from the move. But that is a totally personal decision.

What the Croton area offers that you won't get farther south is immediate access to nature--tremendous preserves and wonderful places to hike and bike. The riverfront parks are nice and you're very close to lots of other parks and preserves nearby (Teatown Lake Reservation in Yorktown is amazing and has great events and kids camps). At the same time you are close to all the "urban" amenities--films and live music in Peekskill and Tarrytown, a great art museum in Peekskill, good food shopping, and a number of good coffee houses. Croton's big negative is a lack of restaurants--people travel to other nearby towns a lot. (One of the reasons we ended up selecting Yorktown Heights was the easy access to restaurants and amentities on both sides--Mt Kisco has a great and growing restaurant scene).

This blog has info on events and places in the area:

Northern Westchester Home
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:50 AM
 
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Whatever you do, do not base your decision on the schools. If your kids are academic and motivated, they will get into great colleges going to either Croton or Irvington. If they are not academic and are lazy, they will not get into great colleges.

I know Irvington has higher test scores than Croton. But your kid will not become any smarter if he/she goes to Irvington (or Scarsdale or Chappaqua or name the other "best" districts) than if they go to Croton.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:08 AM
 
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wow, thank you all SO much for your responses! i really appreciate everything each of you had to say. both towns really sound like great places to live. i have been leaning towards croton since we started our search (ugh, a year ago!) and what you have said has really solidified my initial thoughts. we really do want to get away from it all, and the space, privacy, and nature croton provides definitely resonates with us. i think we got cold feet after realizing that we could afford to be in one of the "elite" school districts, but at the end of the day, being in our backyard and not seeing any other neighbors is really appealing to us, especially if we are going to give up living in our beloved nyc. i'm just glad to hear many of you say that being in one of the top 3 or 4 districts should not be the motivating factor when buying a home. now we just have to get over the mental hurdle of moving to westchester before having kids...feels a bit like putting the cart before the horse, especially since all of our friends live in nyc. but, starting a family in nyc and our 1BR apt is not something i want to contemplate. and we both work in nyc so we'll be there plenty...i have to remember it's not like we're moving to kansas or something!

thanks again, i really appreciate everything
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:31 PM
 
2,406 posts, read 5,713,108 times
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Again with the schools. I live in the Eastchester School District, which is considered a good district, but vastly inferior to nearby Scarsdale, Bronxville and Edgemont. Meanwhile, out of a class of just over 200 this year, two kids got into Harvard. Not too shabby.

I know three kids who graduated from New Rochelle High School and then are attending Vassar, Wesleyan and the University of Chicago. Again, not too shabby.

I'm sure plenty of kids from Croton also get into the top schools.

The nice thing about Croton is that there is much less parental pressure. Nobody moves to Croton because it has the "best" schools. They move there for a variety of reasons (getting a lot more house and land for your money is one of the reasons), yet they know the school district is just fine.
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:15 AM
 
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"What the Croton area offers that you won't get farther south is immediate access to nature--tremendous preserves and wonderful places to hike and bike. The riverfront parks are nice and you're very close to lots of other parks and preserves nearby"

We have that in Irvington as well. The Old Croton Aqueduct trail goes through the center of the village, there is close access to both the South County and North County bike trails, and the 2000 acre Rockefeller State Park is a few minutes away in Pocantico Hills. I have two nature preserves (200 and 35 acres, respectively)within a .5 mile of my house. Irvington has two waterfront parks. I like the fact that I'm 25 miles from Manhattan, yet I have deer and foxes and turkeys running through my backyard on a regular basis.


It really comes down to lifestyle choices. I grew up in Northern Westchester with 4 acre zoning and lots of land around. I loved it as a kid, but as an adult, I like the fact that I don't have to drive 15 minutes to go anywhere and that I can actually walk or ride my bike places. I like the fact that I see my neighbors and talk to them often and that everyone isn't out of sight. I like the fact that we have walkable village and that we have good restaurants and cultural resources in abundance within a ten minute drive in several directions.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
1,316 posts, read 4,908,104 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDNY View Post
"What the Croton area offers that you won't get farther south is immediate access to nature--tremendous preserves and wonderful places to hike and bike. The riverfront parks are nice and you're very close to lots of other parks and preserves nearby"

We have that in Irvington as well. The Old Croton Aqueduct trail goes through the center of the village, there is close access to both the South County and North County bike trails, and the 2000 acre Rockefeller State Park is a few minutes away in Pocantico Hills. I have two nature preserves (200 and 35 acres, respectively)within a .5 mile of my house. Irvington has two waterfront parks. I like the fact that I'm 25 miles from Manhattan, yet I have deer and foxes and turkeys running through my backyard on a regular basis.


It really comes down to lifestyle choices. I grew up in Northern Westchester with 4 acre zoning and lots of land around. I loved it as a kid, but as an adult, I like the fact that I don't have to drive 15 minutes to go anywhere and that I can actually walk or ride my bike places. I like the fact that I see my neighbors and talk to them often and that everyone isn't out of sight. I like the fact that we have walkable village and that we have good restaurants and cultural resources in abundance within a ten minute drive in several directions.
I think one of the great things about the Croton area, and Northern Westchester in general, is that you can easily have either lifestyle you describe. If you live in the center of any of the towns you can have the walkable, close to neighbors, walk to everything lifestyle. Living in the center of Croton provides everything you describe (with the exception of multiple "good" restaurants in walking distance). Or you can choose to live outside of town and have land and privacy and feel like you're in the country.

Which lifestyle you pick is totally personal. We moved up from the city so we really wanted to get what we couldn't have in the city. We bought a place outside of town on a lovely road with over 4 acres surrounded by woods and a horse farm. I totally adore the lifestyle and love being able to take long walks on the road or in the woods behind the house. The area is excellent for bike riding, too. I love not seeing the neighbors unless I want to, but at the same time we have a very close-knit community with an active association. And every cultural amenity we could want is within 15 minutes.

As for nature preserves, I know the ones in Irvington and they're nice. But honestly I don't think they compare to the quantity or quality of what Northern Westchester provides. (Rockefeller State Park is essentially equidistant from the towns we're talking about--according to google its 7 miles from Irvington and 9 from Croton.) But more important than the number of parks, is the general feel of an area. Overall, the Croton area has a more country feel, whereas the Irvington area has a more suburban feel. It's really a question of which feels right to you.
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