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Old 02-19-2013, 07:11 AM
 
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Hello,

we are looking to relocate a budding family of four to SE Weschester, and I'm itching to solicit feedback here. We are looking at: (in this order) Bronxville, Pelham, Rye Neck, Larchmont. For us the most important things are: schools, commute, community and lifestyle/walkability.

We've done tons of research in Bronxville and would like to know more about the others? Any thoughts on community, diversity, activities, schools, lifestyle? Bronxville might be a bit too pricey for the amount of space we need. We are a family of four looking to grow, need space for a live-in and the grandparents spend lots of time with us...

Looking forward to your input.

Thank you,
George
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:35 AM
 
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George,

All four of the areas you mentioned would probably fit your needs. Pelham and Larchmont would be more like Bronxville than Rye Neck.

Rye Neck: excellent schools, and from what a I know a strong community, but it comprises sections of Rye and Mamaroneck, and doesn't have it's own town. Now, both of those are great, walkable towns, but the Rye Neck section, aside from those homes closest to Mamaroneck, doesn't have the same walkability. Housing stock is varied, and you could probably find what you need, although you didn't mention pricing parameters, and the larger homes in the Rye section of Rye Neck or near the water in MMK are certainly pricey. Lots of nice, more modest homes in the part near village of MMK - smaller and more densely populated.

Pelham: Also has great schools - neighborhood elementary schools that almost all students can walk to, and the middle school and high school are in the same building in the middle of town, also walkable for many. The commute can't be beat - similar to Bronxville, most can walk to train and 29 minutes to GCT. All this walking affords many opportunities to meet your neighbors. The newcomers club is very active, as are other community organizations. New people are welcomed, and quickly abosorbed into the fabric of the community. I've known people to leave after only a few years who keep in touch, rent homes in Pelham for the summer, etc... because they've made life long friends in a short period of time. Compared with some of the other affluent towns in Westchester, Pelham seems to have really down to earth people. (disclaimer: I know this town better than the others you've asked about.) Also, housing stock - most reasonably priced, best architecture/space I've seen in Westchester. Taxes are high, but probably on par with Larchmont/Rye Neck, and probably lower than Bville.

Larchmont: the quintessential walking village, with great shops and lots of foot traffic (at least on weekends, which is really the only time I've spent there.) Absolutely charming. The schools are great, more diverse at the high school level which leads some to speak negatively about them (think lower-income mix tends to lower test scores, and that's basically what those people are looking at. Personally, this would be a plus for me.) You will not get much more space here than in Bronxville. The commute is also very quick into the city. The train station is walkable from many neighborhoods, as are elementary schools, but middle/high school less so, depending on where you live.

Really, you can't go wrong with the selection. Do you have time to spend in each town? As I said, I am most familiar with Pelham, and would be happy to answer any specific questions if you want to send me a message. Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:52 PM
 
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Thank you for a thorough reply! We are taking a closer look at Pelham, I'll most likely drive in tomorrow, look at the town and a few properties. Good lunch place?

How do you feel about these towns in terms of fitting in and corporate vs. creative jobs (we are a mix). We value walkability, it seems that a house in Pelham right around the HS would make it walkable to all schools and the train. We are of an international background and speak several languages in the house, so hope that there are other similar families.

In terms of schools and based on internet research we are partial to Siwanoy Elementary but it looks like there are no 'better/worse' streets/areas of Pelham in terms of schools and safety, is that correct?

Thank you, and we'll send a message with specific question after we visit the town.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:43 AM
 
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Sorry, just seeing this now! The lunch spot I would have told you about is closed for renovations this week while school is on vacation. I hope you found something decent!

I would look at Colonial and Siwanoy elementary schools - you wouldn't get the walkability with Prospect Hill (though there is a great house on the market there on Edgewood) and you won't get the size you need in the Hutch district.

Make sure you see 128 Monterrey in Pelham Heights. It is a GREAT street and a large house for the money. 36 Benedict Pl., 316 Loring, 96 Cliff, 37 Clifford, 525 Manor Lane, 39 Sherwood - all great houses in the Colonial and Siwanoy school zones, a mix of prices and sizes.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:50 AM
 
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Oh, and with regards to corporate / creative, Pelham is definitely a mix. Pelham has lots of writers and publishers, in addition to the typical corporate lawyers, bankers, etc... A great thing for a dual-income family is that there are many in Pelham - I think because of the short commute. In terms of international, I don't really know - definitely some brits - but it's a very welcoming community. I do know that because of the French American School (that has the IB curriculum), there are lots of international families in Larchmont.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Harrison
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French American School does not do the IB, they do the French Bac. Just an FYI.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:38 AM
 
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Got it - thanks!
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:32 AM
 
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hi, sorry for the late reply & thanks for the list. i was there yesterday and will go again tomorrow. due to high taxes few homes you listed are probably too steep right now but we will look at 128 monterey and 525 manor. i've seen 39 sherwood (huge old stately home that needs lots of work), 37 clifford (very nice and has an offer already), and 570 colonial (lovely home).

any thoughts on 570 colonial and the pros and cons of its position? it faces the school and flanks a large street on one side, but it's also right across from the school and close to train? i could not judge how busy/ not busy it was since the school is on recess now.

also there are two homes on pelhamdale ave. 485 & 497. they flank that green walkway to the siwanoy school and seem like a nice option since our kids would be at that school for the next 5 years...

i got a bottle of wine at the store on wolfs lane (owner also an ex-brooklynite) and got a sandwich at the pastry store next door. lovely downtown.

thanks!
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:47 AM
 
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elementary school / kindergarden question:

any visible or known difference between the three schools? would you know if kindergarden classes have one or two full time teachers in them. we are looking to visit the schools on tuesday but can't get any info now due to the recess.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:33 AM
 
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So glad you had a good visit! I'm going to write you a private message as I have some very specific responses, but in case I don't get to it this afternoon, given what appears to be your size/price range, you should definitely look at 75 Young Ave (if you haven't already). One block from Clifford - those are highly sought after family streets.
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