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Old 12-22-2011, 05:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lan3 View Post
I am always surprised that people find New Rochelle or White Plains plus private school cheaper than taxes for other school districts. I can totally understand wanting private school for your child. If I wanted private school no matter what, I would try to pay as little taxes as possible. If I wanted public schools, I don't think NR plus Catholic school saves money. Maybe with one kid and a very inexpensive Catholic school like the one New Yawker mentioned (which is based on price is on par with the Catholic schools in the Bronx where there are 40 kids in a class and teachers with no credentials) you would save a bit. If you are getting small classes and great teachers for $4900, that is an amazing deal and I could see why you would be happy there. That is very rare.
It's actually not rare for parochial schools to have reasonable class sizes. You're example of 40 kids/class is actually what's uncommon outside the boroughs. Parochial schools in upper middle income areas have 20 - 25 students max. While not a small number, it's turning out to be better than some public schools in high tax districts where class sizes are approaching 25 to 30 students. When you consider that taxes in some neighborhoods are hovering around $20K/year - with budget constraints putting pressure to increase them further - it can come out cheaper.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest_Hills_Daddy View Post
It's actually not rare for parochial schools to have reasonable class sizes. You're example of 40 kids/class is actually what's uncommon outside the boroughs. Parochial schools in upper middle income areas have 20 - 25 students max. While not a small number, it's turning out to be better than some public schools in high tax districts where class sizes are approaching 25 to 30 students. When you consider that taxes in some neighborhoods are hovering around $20K/year - with budget constraints putting pressure to increase them further - it can come out cheaper.
I am sure your right about class size. I am just surprised that for $4900 a year, one can get a class size of 20-25. That is less than catholic schools in the Bronx and the class sizes are 35-40 and the teachers often do not have degrees in teaching.

NR's taxes on a $500,000 house are around $15,000. WP's taxes are around $10,000 on a $500,000 house. My taxes in Pleasantville are 12,000. How would it cost me less to live in WP and pay for tuition than I pay in taxes. I also looked in Eastchester as well and the taxes were similar. I am sure your homeowners insurance will be way higher in WP than mine in Pleasantville. If you have more than one kid, how would taxes plus private school be less than taxes in better school districts.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:39 PM
 
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I don't know about the $4,900. The ones I've checked out charge in the $6K range so I think $4.9K is in the low end.

And I also don't know how you pay $12K in taxes for your house in PV. The ones I can search for in realtor websites in the $500K to $600K range estimate taxes >$15K to $20K. Maybe it's something that's specific to your circumstances. And you must consider that taxes are moving higher.
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:49 AM
 
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I thought that tuition seemed low as well. I looked at so many houses in Eastchester, Pleasantville, and Ardsley in that $500,000 range and all of the taxes were between 12-15. Eastchester and Pleasantville at the lower end and Ardsley at the higher end. These were all 1500-1700 square feet houses (not huge obviously). Even if my taxes go to $15,000, I still don't get how paying $10,000 for taxes and $5000 for Catholic school saves money. If one wants Catholic school, it makes sense to pay as little taxes as you can. If one is indifferent, than even with one kid it is a wash. With two or three kids you are losing money. If you factor in car and home insurance which is so cheap in my town and more in WP, you would definitely be losing money. I think most people who are paying $20,000 in taxes are living in larger homes and I really doubt many people in those price ranges are going to send their kids to a $5000 per year Catholic school. They are going to be looking at pricier alternatives.

I still stand by my statements. I can understand living in WP and using the schools and saving yourself some money. I am sure many kids in these areas are quite successful. I can see being somebody who prefers private school and looking for a home in an area with lower taxes. I can see someone trying to find the best value in the best school district that they can afford to send their children to top quality public schools. I just don't see paying WP, NR or even Yonkers taxes and paying for Catholic school as a money saver. It doesn't save you money.
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:27 AM
 
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A couple of quick thoughts:

- I'm not sure the comparison between Pleasantville, White Plains, NR, and Eastchester is relevant. I for one drew my line at WP and didn't want to go north of there. Some folks may view Pleasantville as too far north.

- The comparison of equally priced homes is misleading; focus should be on equally sized homes. For example, we wanted a house of a minimum 2750 sq ft. In northern NR, that costs ~$300 sq ft, while in Larchmont it costs ~$400 sq ft. That differential is $825K vs ~$1.1K. Going with NR you save $55K for a downpayment and ~$1200/ per month in mortgage costs or $14K per year. That annual mortgage savings pays for Catholic school for 2 kids. There could be some tax savings too that I have not taken into account.

- People choose schools obviously for more than just financial reasons--culture, curriculum strength, diversity. These other reasons tip the scale when the financial score is close or tied. For example, we looked at Tuckahoe and we worried that the district was too small. Financially Tuckahoe had more expensive homes/sq foot and taxes were high. Financially, Eastchester was a good choice and has good schools, but the community fit wasn't right for us.

Last edited by FoHi11375; 12-23-2011 at 06:30 AM.. Reason: typos
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lan3 View Post
I still stand by my statements. I can understand living in WP and using the schools and saving yourself some money. I am sure many kids in these areas are quite successful. I can see being somebody who prefers private school and looking for a home in an area with lower taxes. I can see someone trying to find the best value in the best school district that they can afford to send their children to top quality public schools. I just don't see paying WP, NR or even Yonkers taxes and paying for Catholic school as a money saver. It doesn't save you money.
It does save you money.

Consider though that at a $500K price range and >1800 sqft in places like P-Ville or Ardsley, one would likely get a home that needs work. Unless one is ready to undertake renovations, you would be looking at homes in the $600K to $800K range and that would put you in the >$15K tax bracket today. If you renovate your home, your taxes will go up anyway. Remember taxes are going up and in the more affluent districts, they are going up at a higher rate than say, WP, which has businesses to absorb some of the tax burden. When people buy homes, they think of the next 10 to 20 years, not the next 12 months. For a family with 1 - 2 kids as the TS has, they will eventually end up spending less. I can't comment on other items like insurance because premiums are affected by an amalgamation of different factors and not just geography.

Just look at P-Ville's budget next year. It's almost 4 times projected revenues. Do you still think your taxes won't go up by much over the years?
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Bellevue, WA
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"For example, we wanted a house of a minimum 2750 sq ft. In northern NR, that costs ~$300 sq ft, while in Larchmont it costs ~$400 sq ft. That differential is $825K vs ~$1.1K. Going with NR you save $55K for a downpayment and ~$1200/ per month in mortgage costs or $14K per year. That annual mortgage savings pays for Catholic school for 2 kids. There could be some tax savings too that I have not taken into account."

It looks like you've thought it out quite well, but you should factor in the tax deduction and the fact that when you sell the house, you should get the principal back under most circumstances - and even more so in a better school district (unless you are in an up and coming area, which NR is not IMO.) And with few exceptions, Catholic schools are great for a cheap education when you live in a not-so- great district, but I would bet that most of the better schools in Westchester beat these $5K schools hands down. Private schools, like most of life, adhere to the 'you get what you pay for' principle.
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Old 12-24-2011, 05:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest_Hills_Daddy View Post
It does save you money.

Consider though that at a $500K price range and >1800 sqft in places like P-Ville or Ardsley, one would likely get a home that needs work. Unless one is ready to undertake renovations, you would be looking at homes in the $600K to $800K range and that would put you in the >$15K tax bracket today. If you renovate your home, your taxes will go up anyway. Remember taxes are going up and in the more affluent districts, they are going up at a higher rate than say, WP, which has businesses to absorb some of the tax burden. When people buy homes, they think of the next 10 to 20 years, not the next 12 months. For a family with 1 - 2 kids as the TS has, they will eventually end up spending less. I can't comment on other items like insurance because premiums are affected by an amalgamation of different factors and not just geography.

Just look at P-Ville's budget next year. It's almost 4 times projected revenues. Do you still think your taxes won't go up by much over the years?
Now you are talking about home value. That is a a different discussion. Of course, you will get more for your money in less desirable districts. That is different than taxes. We were discussing tax savings. We really do not know if tax values are going up in certain districts over the years. If NYS changes the pension laws, everyone's taxes will change.

My taxes in the Bronx tripled in the past few years and we certainly have stores paying taxes. In fact, we have more of a commercial base than ever before. Houses in the Bronx went from $1200 in taxes to $5000 in a few years.
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lan3 View Post
Now you are talking about home value. That is a a different discussion. Of course, you will get more for your money in less desirable districts. That is different than taxes. We were discussing tax savings. We really do not know if tax values are going up in certain districts over the years. If NYS changes the pension laws, everyone's taxes will change.
It's not a different discussion. If you buy a house, you must consider what it takes to make it livable. Unless you're really lucky, what you buy in Pleasantville for less than $600K with more than 1800 sqft will likely need work or you'll be living house poor for years. But you already knew that.

I'm not surprised with tax increases in the Bronx. It doesn't have a good mix of big and small businesses to absorb spending needs. It doesn't have enough big retailers (in addition to midrange mom and pop stores), high end residential developments or office buildings. WP does but I'm not sure about New Rochelle.
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