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Old 07-22-2013, 05:58 PM
 
6 posts, read 9,701 times
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Here's a twist on an oft asked question: Does it really matter which town you choose in Southern Westchester? My husband and I drove thru Dobbs Ferry up to Tarrytown and over to Hartsdale, and I was surprised how close each village is. And I gather that people have to make use of all towns, there isn't just one where you might meet all of your needs. Is that the case? And then what gives each town its personality?

We're a childless couple from NYC considering a transplant, so we're clueless and without even school districts to guide us...
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:05 AM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
293 posts, read 836,387 times
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Yes towns are close together in southern westchester. But, based on my experience now living in two towns, one on the Harlem line, one on the New Haven line, my regular radius for doing things tends to be fairly tightly centered around my home town, and the towns directly north/south of me. Traveling east west in westchester can be difficult on surface roads, so that often keeps me from doing much exploring over by the Hudson (I'm in larchmont now). I occasionally go to dobbs ferry for dinner for example, but its kind of an event for me - then again, i have a toddler, so anything more than 5 min away is an event! The three towns you mentioned are all Hudson line towns, so they fall in that north south configuration.

So I guess even without schools as a consideration, I would try to pick the town that had the most things you are looking for - knowing that you can still easily hit other towns when you want to.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:33 AM
 
Location: East Millcreek
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What she said. This forum owes it's existence to the differences. Your tour included rather similar towns. If your tour included Bronxville, Rye, Scarsdale, Eastchester and Larchmont I think you'd have a different impression. And the visuals from a drive-by tell you little about prevailing community culture and values, which differ even more. Please do some searching on the respective towns to gain insights and then pose specific questions.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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To some extent, you've uncovered the big lie of this forum and of Westchester real estate. When you remove school districts from the equation, the differences between towns in any particular area are quite subtle and mostly tonal, and without a doubt you will find yourself going to all of them no matter which one you live in. Now, there are certainly differences between areas and people tend to stay within a certain radius most of the time (a relatively small one in southern Westchester since driving is a nightmare and a rather huge one in upper Westchester since driving is a pleasure), but no one stays in their town. Obviously, if you are buying an in-town house that is walking distance to Main Street, the specifics of that Main Street will make a big difference. But if you are buying in an area in which you will drive to most things then the specifics of the town you are officially in don't really matter. Your neighbors will matter, and if your kids are in school the types of people in the district will matter--although even then you will find that your kids make lots of friends in other towns through camps and activities and playgroups, and you'll make friends from all over through the groups you participate in and places you hang out. One of the things I love about living in upper Westchester is the ease with which we can get to a good number of towns, each with different pluses and minuses. In any given week we hit 3 or 4 different towns for shopping, restaurants, coffee houses, and parks.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Southern Westchester to me is like one big city. I go to most of them regularly, and none of them are very far from each other, which is nice. From what I've heard, property taxes can be the biggest difference because some towns have more businesses than others, which can offload the burden of taxes.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:55 PM
 
581 posts, read 1,221,134 times
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The big lie is that it's all the same BS in the end.
Be real. You need a grocery store, a take-out place or two, and a gym.
You will spend your free time at home with your Netflix account.
And you'll go to NYC maybe once a year.

Doesn't matter where you live. Move on.
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Armonk NY
425 posts, read 1,139,480 times
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Moved to Mid- Northern Westchester about a year ago and prefer it much more. Getting around lower Westchester can be such a pain. Much less Bronx/Yonkers folks to be concerned about -- car breakins, road rage, aggressive drivers...etc..

Huge difference up here.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:43 AM
 
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Thanks, guys, this is really helpful. I grew up in the city but with friends and family in White Plains, Harrison, Mamaroneck, Rye, so I know a little about those places, or I did 15 years ago. In the present tense, I like the laid back walkability of the river towns, but I'm also looking for a real big yard for my big dog to run around in. Am I barking up the wrong tree thinking I'll find a great deal of >.75 acre yards, level and unwooded in Southern Westchester? Northern does appeal to me, but I'm just not sure I can handle the daily slog into midtown west.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Ossining, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBird42 View Post
Northern does appeal to me, but I'm just not sure I can handle the daily slog into midtown west.
Hi BigBird. I see this thinking a lot as I am lurking about here. I for one hate long commutes, but I always wonder why people treat North/South as so much of a binary when it comes to the NYC commute. In reality, the train ride is just one component of the commute, and where your home/work are relative to the train plays a huge role in things. Obviously, distance is a huge deal when comparing say, Bronxville and Katonah, but I'm sort of amazed that people who look around Scarsdale but want to have some property would make such a big deal about going a couple stops further to Pleasantville or Chappaqua.

Just my .02. I'd be happy to hear thoughts otherwise, or hear from people who have done both commutes.

Having said all this, midtown west will be annoying since the trains all go to grand central and you need to shuttle across. If you are far west, I almost want to say look into driving from Hastings but WSH traffic may squash that notion quickly. I'm sure that's been discussed here somewhere. Best of luck!
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:01 PM
 
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Thanks a lot for saying so; we've started to consider Pleasantville which I like quite a lot. Is it common for residents in these towns to commute into Manhattan (and not just to Grand Central vicinity) five days a week, 9am-7pm? Does the commute become exhausting? In the city I'm used to a 20 min commute each way, and I'm still always late...
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