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Old 06-03-2011, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Bellevue, WA
1,497 posts, read 4,439,345 times
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I know several of you live up there and after seeing how much more you get for your money than southern Westchester we are tempted to move up there. However, we have a few concerns that I'm hoping you can clarify:

- Why do homes sit on the market for so long? Down here, if something is priced well, it's gone quickly. Almost all of the listings there are 250+ days, and there is a lot more inventory sitting around.

- How bad is the commute? Like others have mentioned before, almost everyone in my area has at least 1 person commuting to the city. I know PVille is 17% (very low) but never saw the numbers for Chap. Is it because it is that bad? Anyone think they could handle it and got burnt out quickly?

- How do you meet people? Larchmont is so small that you sort of see the same people everywhere once you get into your groove (gym, park, activities in the community, etc.) It seems so much more isolated there. Is it?

- What are people like? I've heard it called Scarsdale north, which is troubling. No offense to anyone but the only area here I've felt distinctly uncomfortable in is Scarsdale.

- What do utilities (oil in winter/electricity in summer) run? The homes in our range are around 3000 sq. ft, which is actually bigger than we even want or need ideally. I shudder to think about it, but I can't really find nice homes in the 2400 range close to town.

- Is there a coveted area there that is easier for resale? Anyone favor particular elementary or middle schools?

If anyone lived in lower Westchester and moved up there or strongly considered it and later regretted it, please chime in or PM me. I'd hate to end up in a great house, but be completely miserable. Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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It's a great number of reasons working together, but the main culprit is demographics.

Less people are choosing to get married and start families. Those that do prefer to have less children (sometimes just one child) or no kids at all. These families are also more likely to have both partners working, making it less practical to maintain a bigger home with a longer commute.

And most critically, they are choosing to live within or closer to urban areas. You are seeing now pent up demand for young families who want to live in Battery Park City, Long Island City or Park Slope. Those are the people who would've gone to the distant suburbs like Chap.

Lower Westchester is still somewhat appealing because of its proximity to NYC, and convenience to amenities that are within walking distance.
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:12 PM
 
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Have you actually seen the houses in person? We moved to Pleasantville and there were houses that didn't sell but when I actually visited there was usually a reason. That was true in Eastchester where I also looked. The house was near a gas station or had a weird layout or something like that.

I love it here. I always did everything in Southern Westchester but I would never go back. There is less traffic everywhere. People are nice and more laid back. The supermarkets, movie theatres, target, etc are so much nicer. Chappaqua is beautiful with a cute town center.

As for commuting. We are a five minute walk to the train and a 48 minute ride to GC. My husband works right near GC so his commute is exactly an hour. I believe Chappaqua is the next stop.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Live in NY, work in CT
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I'm not sure Chappaqua is an example of "getting more for your money", as you noted it is often called "Scarsdale north", I mean the Clintons have a big house there for one thing.

Chappaqua is about as wealthy a town as there is in northern Westchester (except for a few places well east near the CT border like Armonk, Bedford and Pound Ridge). Unless you're set on this town (you mention Larchmont, if by "Mamaroneck" you really mean you live in Larchmont you can probably afford Chappaqua), it's probably not the best example of what "northern Westchester" is like.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Bellevue, WA
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From the listings we've seen, the market has fallen much more up there than here so in our range at least, the house you can get for $900K+ is about 30-50% bigger than in Larchmont (and the lot sizes, there is no comparison but honestly to me coming from the CA coast anything over 10K is huge).

Right now we are in the 'somewhat rural' part of Mamaroneck and it really doesn't feel much different than some of the more dense areas we've seen in Chappaqua. And even though everything is close down here, it takes forever to get anywhere with all of the traffic and lights that seem to be timed against each other.

You are probably right, Ian, that the layouts may be whacky. Down here, it would still get multiple offers though! I've never seen so many crazy layouts in my life before I moved here (split bedrooms, bedrooms on floors with no baths, 4 bedrooms and 1 bath in the whole house...oh I could go on!).
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:09 PM
 
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Having lived in Chappaqua for a full year now, I think the lower prices are based somewhat on pre-concieved notions of the "Northern Westchester Commute" that are not necessarily the case in reality. Chap has peak hour express trains (42-46 min) that only stop in White Plains or Harlem/125th in between, so those trains are actually faster than to/from P-ville, Hawthorne, Valhalla, etc. In the middle of the day and on weekends, the train is 55 min. My house is on the Roaring Brook Elementary side of town, about a 10 minute walk to the station, which is also a huge plus. The community is great and my daughter's classmates and their parents have been very welcoming and friendly. It's a nice cross-section of people, from lawyers and doctors to artists and self-made business owners. At least half of the families in my daughter's class have professional working moms. The schools are all comparable and I think the district makes a distinct effort to allocate resources equally and provide a consistent curriculum. If any distinction is to be made I would say the area served by Grafflin Elementary tends to be more uniformly wealthy than those for Roaring Brook and Westorchard, and the same probably holds true for Bell Middle School (more $$) vs. Westorchard, but not by much.

I don't feel isolated here at all since the Pleasantville downtown is a 3 minute drive away, Mt. Kisco 5-10 minutes, Briarcliff 10 minutes, etc. The difference is those drives are through gorgeous meandering roads and not gridlocked traffic.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:20 AM
 
7,296 posts, read 11,805,547 times
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/\/\

Except that in the past, there weren't as many urban options for young, urban families. Nowadays, there are large developments in BPC, LIC, Park Slope and Hoboken sucking up some of the demand. Even up to now, these places are still expanding and that will have an effect on prices.

I agree, there is still value to living in N. Westchester, but the price has to be right.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
1,316 posts, read 5,171,686 times
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From what I've seen and heard, prices in Chappaqua have actually crashed a good deal more than those in most of upper Westchester. This is mostly due to the fact that prices there increased by a lot more during the boom than they did in most surrounding towns so they have a had lot farther to fall. A few years ago there was practically nothing for sale in Chappaqua for under a million, and now some houses sell in the 500's.
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:01 AM
VRV
 
73 posts, read 221,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lan3 View Post
Have you actually seen the houses in person? We moved to Pleasantville and there were houses that didn't sell but when I actually visited there was usually a reason. That was true in Eastchester where I also looked. The house was near a gas station or had a weird layout or something like that.

I love it here. I always did everything in Southern Westchester but I would never go back. There is less traffic everywhere. People are nice and more laid back. The supermarkets, movie theatres, target, etc are so much nicer. Chappaqua is beautiful with a cute town center.

As for commuting. We are a five minute walk to the train and a 48 minute ride to GC. My husband works right near GC so his commute is exactly an hour. I believe Chappaqua is the next stop.
Another factor is the usability of the land. You might have 4 acres, butt hey may be very sloped and wooded- so it may seem cheap to you online until you see it.

We're moving to Chappaqua ourselves and after researching and visiting all the towns including Larchmont, I have to say I didn't get the pressure cooker feel from Chappaqua schools. It felt more like that to me in Larchmont - if that helps at all.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:15 PM
 
395 posts, read 1,611,781 times
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VRV - congrats, and welcome!
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