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Old 09-07-2012, 12:04 PM
 
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We are a couple in our mid-30s looking for a place to move to from NYC. We are looking for some place that would be a fast commute to NYC midtown and the Westchester area seems like a good option. But not being familiar with the area, it would be great if we could get some suggestions on possible towns.

In terms of what we are looking for, in order of priority: (1) fast (30-45 minutes), easy (no parking issues) and pleasant commute, (2) good school (young kid), (3) diverse and accepting (we don’t want to feel out of place), (4) charming town, and (5) good community feel (unpretentious). It would be great if there are good restaurants and things to do in the area. Even though we don’t go out a lot, we do enjoy having everything at our doorsteps in the city.

Based on previous threads, it looks like Riverdale and Pelham might be great for the commute but not sure about the other stuff. And it seems that places like Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, Tarrytown and Edgemont might also be a fit (but will be a longer commute).

We don’t need a lot of space since we are perfectly happy in an apartment right now. In places like the above, what should we expect in terms of home prices for, say, a 3 bedroom with a small yard? Listings seem to go around 700-800K but it’s hard to tell from an online listing.

Any suggestions as to possible towns or places (whether in Westchester or elsewhere) would be helpful, as would any advice on whether our budget is at all realistic for these and other suggested areas. Thank you.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:08 PM
 
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If by 30-45 minutes you mean door to door, that's not going to happen. ~1 hour is more realistic and could be substantially more. Even Pelham, which borders the Bronx, is a 30 minute train ride. Add in travel to time to the station, a couple minutes of buffer time so you don't miss the train and then however long it takes to get to your offices you might be able to make that happen in just around 45 and that's if you work right above or next to Grand Central.

For schools, peruse this list and sort by SAT score. That will give you a pretty good idea of the pecking order.

The overwhelming majority of people in the places you'll be looking will be white, Judeo-Christian (some non-believers), heterosexual married couples. How you are received will depend on what sort of minority you are. For example, if you are a gay American Jewish couple, I think you'd have a much better experience than an observant immigrant Muslim family.

You are looking in the right places, but you aren't going to fulfill all of those things at once. I think Pelham probably comes the closest (lacking in the diversity department), since you are OK with apartments means you can live near the main drag and walk to the station. The rivertowns are very close behind. Riverdale also comes into play, it is better in the diversity department, but the schools are probably worse. Plus NYC tax.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Bellevue, WA
1,496 posts, read 4,220,169 times
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Just to get this out of the way...no Westchester town with a true 'good' school district would ever be considered diverse by normal standards.

This question has been asked a thousand times though so you would do well searching the archives. Tarrytown's schools aren't great by Westchester standards, and Edgemont and Irvington are a stretch budget-wise (plus Edgemont is probably a miserable place to be for NYC expats...it is very spread out and not walkable at all). Mamaroneck might work, too, as would Tuckahoe and Hastings.
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