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Old 02-09-2014, 02:37 PM
 
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I am new to this website and looking for some information on Croton-on-Hudson, Thornwood, Pleasantville, and/or Yorktown Heights. My family currently lives in Manhattan but we are looking to relocate to Westchester County. We have a young daughter so excellent school districts are a must. We also hope to find a close-knit community of educated and liberal-minded families.
You seem to get more bang for your buck in Yorkville Heights homes. Is that simply because they do not have a train station or is it a less desirable location in other ways? We can't find much information on Thornwood so any information regarding their community would be much appreciated. We've also looked in Southern Westchester, but Northern Westchester seems to have more of the right vibe for us. Thanks so much for any information on these areas.
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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I think it depends on what you're after. If you want a village setting, I'd go for Pleasantville or Croton. If you want more land and a rural feeling you should look in the Mt. Airy section of Croton and in specific hamlets of Yorktown Heights-- Teatown, Croton Heights, Huntersville, Kitchawan, and Crow Hill. You'll also find plenty of "educated and liberal-minded families" in those places, and in Pleasantville. Prices in both Croton and Yorktown Heights run a huge gamut from cheap up to not, and in Yorktown Heights will vary tremendously from one area to another.

I just wrote a post on Croton in another thread: It has lots to offer and is certainly worth checking out.
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:10 PM
 
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Thanks for your response. We've just started to look at Kitachawan but are concerned about the distance to the train. Pleasantville doesn't seem to have a lot of housing inventory at this point so we are leaning more towards Croton or Yorktown. What is the downtown in Yorktown like? Are there a lot of restaurants that deliver or do you have to pick up food? What about grocery stores in the area? We usually shop at places like Whole Foods or Fairway which we know are in White Plains, but if you need to pick up a gallon of milk do you need to drive 20 minutes to get it?? Also, are there community centers or activities for kids in these communities?
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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Downtown Yorktown Heights is not very attractive (it was lovely until the 1960s when it mostly bulldozed in a modernization effort) but it has good shopping and a handful of good restaurants. Turcos, A&P, and Mrs Greens are all good for basics. We get our meat and poultry at Hemlock Hill Farm and In season we do much of our shopping at Meadows Market and Hanover Hilltop Farm (which also has a csa). Restaurant-wise the best are the Jewel of Himalaya, Thyme, Peter Pratts Inn, Don Thomasos, and Hirami. Plenty of places deliver. If you're in Croton Heights, Kitchawan or Crow Hill you'll be 10 minutes or less to Mt Kisco, which has loads of restaurants. If you're in Huntersville you'll be 10 minutes to Peekskill which has lots of restaurants.
The town has two pools and a lake and lots of classes and activities for kids.

The areas mentioned in Yorktown Heights are either 10-15 minutes from Croton Harmon train station or from the Mt Kisco station. I commute via Croton Harmon. And I don't think there's anywhere in Yorktown Heights that's more 10 minutes from a grocery store.
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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Also: Croton has a great park on the Croton river for swimming and access to the Cortlandt town pool. The park on the Hudson river has great movies and bands in the summer (open to all). The town activities and groups are equivalent to other towns'. For shopping there's a Shop Rite and a great bakery (baked by Susan) but the good gourmet place closed recently. There are a handful of good restaurants, notably Tagine, Unami, and Ocean House. The downtown is very cute but small and the commercial amenities are more spread out.
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Armonk NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hastings13 View Post
I am new to this website and looking for some information on Croton-on-Hudson, Thornwood, Pleasantville, and/or Yorktown Heights. My family currently lives in Manhattan but we are looking to relocate to Westchester County. We have a young daughter so excellent school districts are a must. We also hope to find a close-knit community of educated and liberal-minded families.
You seem to get more bang for your buck in Yorkville Heights homes. Is that simply because they do not have a train station or is it a less desirable location in other ways? We can't find much information on Thornwood so any information regarding their community would be much appreciated. We've also looked in Southern Westchester, but Northern Westchester seems to have more of the right vibe for us. Thanks so much for any information on these areas.
Any reason that you are not considering Briarcliff, Katonah/Lewisboro, Chapp, Somers (since you are looking at Yorktown) ? Thornwood is in Mount Pleasant - Westlake schools. They are decent but not excellent by Westchester standards. Pleasantville is the best school district of the areas you are considering. Still not top notch.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:47 AM
 
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Pleasantville is the best school district of the areas you are considering. Still not top notch.
Curious about this - on this forum PVille school district isn't considered "the best" but the scores are pretty great - on par with Irvington and K-L, which are considered top-notch. I know there's more to the story than scores, but I wonder whether this district could be improving?
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:02 PM
 
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Enough nonsense with which school district is better and which is worse. This is how you choose a community:

- Find houses and neighborhoods that you like that offer something in your price range.

- Make sure the commute is within your time guideline. If you want 30 minutes one way, stick with it.

- Visit neighborhood playgrounds. Better yet, when the whether is warmer, go to an outdoor even at the elementary school where there are lots of parents. Try to determine if the parents are your kind of people, whatever your type of people are. Are they too high-brow? Are they too low-brow? Not enough diversity? Too much diversity?

- Once you are happy with the above, buy in that district and buy in that neighborhood. If your kids are smart and motivated, they will do fine in most districts (there are a few exceptions) and will go to great colleges. If they are not academic and are slackers, they will not go to great colleges, no matter how "great" the school district is.

I hope that helps. The school district obsession in Westchester County is beyond belief.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:35 PM
 
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Thank you for all the great feedback. We had been looking at greatschools ratings to get a sense of school districts, but I believe that is only based on test scores. We have recently started to look in Briarcliff. We don't know much about Katonah or Somers. Ideally we want to keep the train ride into Manhattan under an hour.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:23 PM
 
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The Pville school are a top notch program. Most of the schools in Westchester are excellent by any standards. Pleasantville housing stock is limited due to demand and size of the village. You can get Pville schools in certain areas of Mt Pleasant as well.

Westlake schools are on par with a Bryam Hills, so you may want to extend your search to include Armonk as well.
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