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Old 12-06-2013, 10:03 AM
 
55 posts, read 83,804 times
Reputation: 64

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I'm planning to buy my first home soon with my husband and our 1-year-old, and I'm focusing on White Plains because it seems more affordable (both home prices and taxes) and more convenient to Manhattan than other cities/towns in Westchester. Our budget is $400k and we're looking for something with 3 bedrooms or more and a yard (doesn't have to be huge).

I've spent hours on this forum looking for information about schools, quality of life, and safety in the area, and the sense I got was that White Plains as a whole is a pretty decent place to live. Never saw any "stay away from this neighborhood" type of comments. So I'm confused...

I'm seeing a lot of 3br homes in North White Plains between Bronx River Pkwy and N Broadway that are selling in the mid-$300s. And the area just west of the main WP train station - roughly between Central Ave and the Bronx River Pkwy - also has a lot of affordable places (under $400k).

Exciting to see, but I'm suspicious. Is there something wrong with those neighborhoods? I think N White Plains kids go to Valhalla schools, which I've read are good, and the western enclave is technically in WP, not Greenburgh (which I understand has crummy schools). So what's the deal? Sinkholes? Wild packs of dogs?

Are there any areas within or around White Plains that have big drawbacks I should know about?
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:04 PM
 
345 posts, read 662,258 times
Reputation: 276
I think one of the areas you are describing may be the Battle Hill neighborhood. I don't think it is unsafe, I have friends that grew up there - but it's just not considered one of the more desirable areas to live in in White Plains. I'm not sure what the other area is you're referring to.

Check out the Highlands neighborhood which is a great area for younger families and first time home buyers. It's not as expensive as some other areas, but is definitely pricier than Battle Hill. I'm not sure if you can find something in your price range there but it's worth checking out.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:16 PM
 
218 posts, read 545,926 times
Reputation: 162
Some neighborhoods are just "nicer" than others. Go check out the houses. What you see is pretty much what you get in both areas...so if you like the block, the neighborhood, and the house then you're good to go.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Tarrytown, NY
9 posts, read 33,054 times
Reputation: 10
Hi Squishface, There are many nice affordable homes in White Plains. But White Plains is the largest city in Westchester County & like any city it has it's great parts & parts that may be less desirable to one buyer but OK to another. I am a real estate agent that handles the area & I suggest you view the different homes in the various neighborhoods. The only way to get a feel is to drive around with someone that know the area. Remember in Real Estate it is all about location, location, location...
I believe that if you are investing in the largest purchase of your life, you should like the street you live on. You can always tear down a house & rebuild, but you can not take a home & move it to another street or neighborhood.
If you are not already signed up with a Buyer's agent, please feel free to contact me: audrey.moore@randrealty.com.
Good Luck to you, Audrey
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:43 PM
 
Location: on the Hudson
175 posts, read 366,696 times
Reputation: 117
(Note: I'm a big White Plains booster and visit the city a couple times a year, but I haven't lived there full-time since 2003, so take these impressions with a grain of salt.)

As the previous poster pointed out, the area between Central Avenue and the Bronx River Parkway is called Battle Hill. I lived on Harding Avenue a decade ago and have fond memories of the neighborhood. It's a quiet residential neighborhood with early-20th century housing stock (a mix of single family homes and small apartment blocks.) The current population is mixed but is primarily working class immigrants from Latin America and the West Indies. There are a couple of nice neighborhood parks with kids' playgrounds, and it has easy access to downtown WP and the shopping strip on Central.

My impression is that the neighborhood has continued to see commercial development as part of the general revitalization of downtown, with a new condo complex and several office/retail buildings going up on the first few blocks of Central, but I can't speak in detail as to how else it might have changed. When I lived there I was a renter just out of college, so I can't advise you on things like schools, potential tax/infrastructure pitfalls, etc.

I don't know if the neighborhood west of Broadway has a name, but it's a mix of early-20C suburban homes west of Church Street and '70s-era garden condos between Church and Broadway. I don't know it as well as I do Battle Hill. It seems like a solid middle-class neighborhood for the most part, but my main concern would be the fact that it's right up the hill from Ferris Avenue. (It's hard to see this on a map, but a steep hill separates Ferris from the rest of the neighborhood.) Ferris is a rough block, with a large public housing project and several older tenement buildings. It's one of the few places in White Plains I wouldn't feel safe walking around after dark.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Armonk NY
425 posts, read 1,093,417 times
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There are some small pockets of not so great areas with with a large Hispanic influence, such as the Battle Hill area, but they are by no means bad areas....just more diverse.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Virginia
475 posts, read 787,348 times
Reputation: 429
Someone using New York and cheap homes in the same sentence? Wow
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:06 PM
 
581 posts, read 1,166,422 times
Reputation: 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by steven r. View Post
Someone using New York and cheap homes in the same sentence? Wow
Why do you post here? Move on with your life. There is nothing here for you.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:19 PM
 
2,306 posts, read 2,063,159 times
Reputation: 1538
Quote:
Originally Posted by steven r. View Post
someone using new york and cheap homes in the same sentence? Wow
:d
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:47 AM
 
Location: on the Hudson
175 posts, read 366,696 times
Reputation: 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by john70 View Post
There are some small pockets of not so great areas with with a large Hispanic influence, such as the Battle Hill area, but they are by no means bad areas....just more diverse.
I'll admit to being biased because of my personal connection to Battle Hill, but unless it's truly gone downhill since I lived there, I wouldn't even call it "not so great." It's an immigrant neighborhood, true, but it's still a nice older suburban neighborhood with several parks and a good vintage housing stock, physically if not demographically similar to the closer-in parts of the Highlands.

I agree with your general point, though. White Plains does have neighborhoods that are more unattractive and run down, like Battle Hill's sister neighborhood on the other side of Central Ave., but for a city its size it has very few truly bad areas. FWIW, the roughest parts of White Plains are the areas with large concentrations of public housing: Ferris Avenue, Lake Street around 287, and the blocks immediately adjacent to the Fisher Court projects downtown. But even these are more "don't walk around alone at night" than "stay out at any time of day."
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