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Old 11-30-2007, 12:54 PM
 
353 posts, read 1,321,632 times
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The best advice I have for you on the town and schools is to look at greatschools.net and sperlings best places for info. on town demographics, crime, income etc. They are pretty spot on and there really are not many towns in Westchester that all the schools - elementary/middle/high are great with ethnic diversity. I know there is more of that in other parts of the country, but not in Westchester county. My girlfriend/husband are Jamaican and she chose to live in White Plains because she wanted a black neighborhood - but I think she will be putting her daughter in private schools soon because the middle/high schools are not too good.
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:21 PM
 
490 posts, read 1,718,757 times
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Default GreatSchools.net

Hi Lisaz,
greatschool.net is a great advise. I forgot about it. That website had a big influence in me moving to Fairfield, CT-which has wonderful schools. White Plains primary schools are pretty good but you are right: middle and high change and then they are not so good.
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:43 AM
 
12 posts, read 46,314 times
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I'm going to disagree about White Plains public schools. I think they do a great job with the demographics they have, which in the public schools includes a high number of low income families and immigrants without professional backgrounds/education levels/English schools. We're not happy with our school district and are considering moving. I was wondering if White Plains might be a hidden gem because there is some very impressive stuff going on at the high school. I spoke to a friend whose oldest child is in 1st grade. They moved out of White Plains (to Rye) last summer after having her son in what was supposed to be the best public elementary school in White Plains. She said pretty much all the families with professional/middle class to upper middle class backgrounds were either moving or putting their kids in private school. Because so many of the kids in the school are disadvantaged it effects the nature of the education. She was sorry to lose the diversity, but wanted the better education in Rye.

I agree with the advice about greatschools.net.

For the question about what rentals cost, I'm going to send you to my favorite Westchester real estate site Houlihan Lawrence Real Estate. There's multiple listing in Westchester, so all the RE broker sites have all the same listings. I like Houlihan Lawrence because you can search by school district. This is important. Local government in New York is seriously odd. You can have a Scarsdale address and be actually living in the Village of Scarsdale and thus be in the Scarsdale school district (excellent) or be living in an unincorporated area of the town of Greenburgh and be in the Edgemont school district (excellent) or be living in the Village of Ossining and be in the Ossining school district (no where near the same level). You can live in the Village of Rye Brook and be in the Blind Brook school district (has an excellent reputation) or be in the Port Chester school district (you don't want that if you can afford better.) It's all seriously weird. So look by school district. Be very, very, very clear to real estate agents about which SCHOOL DISTRICT you want. If, like me, you're a little neurotic about these things, before you rent a house or make an offer, call the district and make sure the house in actually in the district you want.

Note: There is no Larchmont school district. Children who live in Larchmont (a village in the town of Mamaroneck) go to school in the Mamaroneck school district, as do some of the children in the Village of Mamaroneck (located partially in the Town of Mamaroneck and partially in the Town of Rye, which is not to be confused with the city of Rye). Are we having fun yet? This is why I advise that you focus on school district above all. There are 4 elementary schools for the Mamaroneck school district; Mamaroneck Ave. School is the one you might want to avoid. It's scores are much lower than the other 3, a reflection of the difference in the population.

(Wouldn't it be nice if all schools produced really well educated kids and how much the kids learn weren't so closely tied to socioeconomic background?)
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Old 12-10-2007, 08:17 AM
 
490 posts, read 1,718,757 times
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Default WP schools

Quote:
Originally Posted by miriam2 View Post
I'm going to disagree about White Plains public schools. I think they do a great job with the demographics they have, which in the public schools includes a high number of low income families and immigrants without professional backgrounds/education levels/English schools. We're not happy with our school district and are considering moving. I was wondering if White Plains might be a hidden gem because there is some very impressive stuff going on at the high school. I spoke to a friend whose oldest child is in 1st grade. They moved out of White Plains (to Rye) last summer after having her son in what was supposed to be the best public elementary school in White Plains. She said pretty much all the families with professional/middle class to upper middle class backgrounds were either moving or putting their kids in private school. Because so many of the kids in the school are disadvantaged it effects the nature of the education. She was sorry to lose the diversity, but wanted the better education in Rye.

I agree with the advice about greatschools.net.

For the question about what rentals cost, I'm going to send you to my favorite Westchester real estate site Houlihan Lawrence Real Estate. There's multiple listing in Westchester, so all the RE broker sites have all the same listings. I like Houlihan Lawrence because you can search by school district. This is important. Local government in New York is seriously odd. You can have a Scarsdale address and be actually living in the Village of Scarsdale and thus be in the Scarsdale school district (excellent) or be living in an unincorporated area of the town of Greenburgh and be in the Edgemont school district (excellent) or be living in the Village of Ossining and be in the Ossining school district (no where near the same level). You can live in the Village of Rye Brook and be in the Blind Brook school district (has an excellent reputation) or be in the Port Chester school district (you don't want that if you can afford better.) It's all seriously weird. So look by school district. Be very, very, very clear to real estate agents about which SCHOOL DISTRICT you want. If, like me, you're a little neurotic about these things, before you rent a house or make an offer, call the district and make sure the house in actually in the district you want.

Note: There is no Larchmont school district. Children who live in Larchmont (a village in the town of Mamaroneck) go to school in the Mamaroneck school district, as do some of the children in the Village of Mamaroneck (located partially in the Town of Mamaroneck and partially in the Town of Rye, which is not to be confused with the city of Rye). Are we having fun yet? This is why I advise that you focus on school district above all. There are 4 elementary schools for the Mamaroneck school district; Mamaroneck Ave. School is the one you might want to avoid. It's scores are much lower than the other 3, a reflection of the difference in the population.

(Wouldn't it be nice if all schools produced really well educated kids and how much the kids learn weren't so closely tied to socioeconomic background?)
________

Hi Miriam2,
Agree with you 100% about the Houlihan site. They assisted me in buying my first property and provided excellent service. Westchester's towns are kind of confusing so extra attention is needed.

My son attended a White Plains primary school from K-5. We had our issues but overall, I think they help us a lot. I know that it would have been much worse in the Greenburgh schools and having lived in the Bronx, I thought the school was paradise. I guess the WP schools can be viewed in different ways depending what is being used as a comparison. I think middle school changes because they pack way too many students in one campus (they have two but most go to Highlands) and I heard reports about fights and smoking.

One of the things I'd say the school district of WP is pretty bad about is involving the high school students into helping and working with the younger students. All the primary schools (and middle) schools in WP have an afterschool program but it is staffed with people that come from outside WP, some from the Bronx, instead of high school students which would be much better (who can provide better help that someone who is been there and done that recently?) Certainly an area of opportunity that they should develop.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:32 PM
 
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Default What's wrong with an easy 20 minute commute from Great Neck?

Commuting will make or break your experience in New York.

If I had to work in Long Island City and my wife worked in Midtown Manhattan and were looking for a beautiful, diverse area with an easy commute with your budget, I'd be looking at Great Neck Long Island. The Long Island Railroad isn't as good as the Metro North, but I suggest you look up the train schedules from Great Neck since some LIRR trains stop in LONG ISLAND CITY before stopping in PENN STATION. Also check out towns due east of Great Neck to get more for your money.

I'm not from Long Island or Westchester but I think there's a Yankees/Dodgers or Macys/Gimbels thing going on between those two areas. I am from Miami, which would make my pick Long Island because the climate's more temperate. Though since you're coming from Chicago, perhaps the climate difference would be inconsequential to you.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:50 AM
 
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New Rochelle is nice, but there is crime there, it is more like a city then a town. Either way the commute to Long Island City from Westchester County is not going to be an easy one.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:21 AM
 
77 posts, read 416,860 times
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My advice:

1. Rent for awhile first. You should get a feel for the type of people that live in these communities. I think you'll be glad you did.
2. The added commute from Grand Central to Citi in LIC is no big deal. Guaranteed, it's easier than getting to Wall Street. Add another 15-20 min from the time he gets off Metro-North in GC. The train your husband would take is the #7, which is one of the busiest lines in the city. During rush hour trains come every couple minutes (barring problems which are infrequent, believe me). And because your husband's subway commute is a reverse commute (most commuters will be going the other direction), subways won't be overly crowded.
3. You really should reconsider Nassau County. Look into Garden City, Rockville Center. These are very nice towns.
4. I frequently drive to Queens from Westchester during rush hour. It's not as bad as has been represented here. Can you get to LIC from, say Larchmont or White Plains in an hour? Absolutely. But the train would be much easier on the stress level...
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Old 01-07-2008, 07:35 PM
 
11 posts, read 27,542 times
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Default Moving... part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghguy View Post
My advice:

1. Rent for awhile first. You should get a feel for the type of people that live in these communities. I think you'll be glad you did.
2. The added commute from Grand Central to Citi in LIC is no big deal. Guaranteed, it's easier than getting to Wall Street. Add another 15-20 min from the time he gets off Metro-North in GC. The train your husband would take is the #7, which is one of the busiest lines in the city. During rush hour trains come every couple minutes (barring problems which are infrequent, believe me). And because your husband's subway commute is a reverse commute (most commuters will be going the other direction), subways won't be overly crowded.
3. You really should reconsider Nassau County. Look into Garden City, Rockville Center. These are very nice towns.
4. I frequently drive to Queens from Westchester during rush hour. It's not as bad as has been represented here. Can you get to LIC from, say Larchmont or White Plains in an hour? Absolutely. But the train would be much easier on the stress level...

Thanks a lot for the advice all.... Will defintely rent first.. Maybe in Larchmont or Scarsdale.. IF we can deal with diversity issues there then we know we can just buy in 09.. Hubby will be doing the train in to LIC.. switching at Grand Central...
. Putting house on market in chicago next month...
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:16 PM
 
19 posts, read 106,285 times
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I used to work in Long Island City for years.

Truth of the matter is that getting to LIC is really not that bad. Tolls are expensive - about $10 / day. Parking is a big problem in LIC. If the company has a parking lot - then great for him.

White Plains is a great city, diverse with lots to offer. You have metro north right there for you (to get in NYC easy). Your husband can take the parkway to the Whitestone bridge (much better to get into LIC than the tri-boro - which does have bad traffic).

White plains also has a very good school district as well, with plenty of places for worship. Plenty of shops, parks, etc - everything a family could need.
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:38 PM
 
80 posts, read 295,064 times
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I guess your husband doesn't mind commuting. Personally, I'd never put a spouse through that if I had alternatives. But that may be just me, and perhaps you have extenuating circumstances.
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