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Old 05-21-2015, 10:55 PM
3 posts, read 7,812 times
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Hi all,

We are looking to buy a home in Weschester and are considering Scarsdale. Scarsdale has a lot going for it - excellent schools, nice amenities (pool, tennis courts, etc). It's a pretty town. In addition, and somewhat ironically, the taxes are much lower than the river-towns we've been looking at (Hastings, Irvington), and we could afford a nice house here for under $800K. It'd be a solid investment.

However, some of the things we've read about Scarsdale have us concerned. I am an engineer, my wife is a teacher, we have a combined income of around 200K, and we have a 2-year old daughter. Russian Jewish immigrants. We aren't flashy or showy, don't plan on buying more than a Toyota Camry. I understand we'd be on the low-end in Scarsdale, which I guess is fine, but I worry about fitting in. More than that, I worry that our daughter will feel poor growing up and will feel out of place, surrounded by rich a**hole kids whose parents like throwing money around.

This is obviously very subjective, but I must ask - is it as bad as they say it is? Has anyone had a positive experience in Scarsdale, in the income level similar to ours?

Thanks in advance for any insights.
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Old 05-22-2015, 04:22 AM
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You will find the same materialism issues in most southern Westchester towns with good-performing schools, especially the ones with few SD budget problems. They tend to manifest themselves in subtle ways like your kid one day asking you to buy one expensive item or another because a rich friend has it. A lot of young women there have designer handbags and shoes! You'll just have to deal with it when you get there. If you want to live somewhere where the people aspire for less expensive objects, look further north like Yorktown Heights or Katonah.
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:49 AM
Location: Westchester County, NY
227 posts, read 244,071 times
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My feeling is that this kind of behavior impacts everybody. The family making $1 million gets snubbed by kids of families with >$100 million. I would rather not choose away from a town I like just because this can happen, but teach my kids that they don't want to engage that behavior. I could see avoiding a town like Scarsdale because you might believe that the school is too much of a pressure cooker for your child's personality (which could really impact the way your child learns), but not because there are some snobby materialistic people. I would rather teach my kids to pity those people, because they have much to learn.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:41 AM
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Just move to the Scarsdale section with Eastchester schools. It's just as nice and you wouldn't have to worry about that element (or at least not to the same degree) for your daughter in the schools.
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:56 AM
729 posts, read 604,007 times
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I'm not a fan of Scarsdale at all. Between the reputation for rampant materialism and pressure cooker schools, who needs it? Yes, as Forest Hills Daddy said, you're going to find some materialistic people in any southern Westchester district with relatively well off people and high performing schools. But why move your family to the one that's especially known for this? I'd choose Hastings, Dobbs, Pelham, Mamaroneck/Larchmont or Eastchester over Scarsdale 100 times out of 100.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:43 PM
Location: Harrison
826 posts, read 2,112,737 times
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We lived in Scarsdale for 3 years, then moved to Mamaroneck. We moved to Scarsdale simply for the "great schools" and because we found a house that we liked, and we didn't know much of anything about Westchester. I met some very nice, down to earth people through a book group, but that is probably a self-selecting group of like-minded individuals...

Scarsdale has a vibe - it's hard to describe, but you definitely feel it when you live there. Just as one example, all summer long the town is EMPTY. Walk around on a nice summer day and do you see or hear kids playing outside, people walking/jogging/biking? No. They are all "summering" in the Hamptons or Europe. And basically, any kid over the age of 7 who isn't traveling all summer is at sleep-away camp ALL SUMMER LONG. It's pretty much a requirement. There are plenty of summer day camps but that is not what the "in" kids do, only the ones too young for sleep away camp.

It's a town full of highly educated, very wealthy families who can and do provide the BEST for their children. Trips all over the world, over the top bar/bat mitzvahs, lessons of every sort, the newest of everything, BMWs for sweet sixteen presents... Is that wrong? Not necessarily. But when you have a whole town full of families like that, it can get a little stifling. Plus, I don't think Scarsdale has great amenities at all. What, a town pool? Big deal. If you have to drive into White Plains or go to Central Park Ave for all of your shopping/dining/entertainment it gets old really quickly. White Plains traffic is a pain and Central Park Ave is a dump. I had to drive nearly 20 minutes to get to a gas station for crying out loud. I have to say that living where we do now has made me realize how utterly inconvenient Scarsdale is.

Long story short, we much prefer our new neighborhood...
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:32 PM
91 posts, read 160,969 times
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It is impossible to say how your 2 y.o. daughter will feel as she gets older. But I think that girls generally do worse with this kind of materialistic pressure than boys do. Boys don't check out each others clothing and jewelry. And boys can distinguish themselves in sports. I grew up in Scarsdale a long time ago. But based on what streetsmart has written and what I have observed in my friends who moved back, the town has not mellowed. The school system is outstanding, undoubtedly. Westchester is blessed without about a dozen excellent school districts, and only a few of them are as uptight and socio-economically homogenous as Scarsdale. Your $750,000 house in Scarsdale may carry lower taxes than a $750,000 house in Dobbs Ferry, but it's likely that the $750,000 DF house has more square footage ($600/sf vs. $400/sf) and is on a bigger lot. Also, I disagree with the poster who wrote that Scarsdale-type materialism is rampant throughout Southern Westchester. In Scarsdale, it's different -- many of the people who live there (not all) are law firm partners (earning $2M+/yr.), financial industry executives who make those law firm partners look working class, and there's lots of inherited wealth. People of that caliber of wealth don't move to Eastchester or Ardsley -- two nearby towns with very good schools. Scarsdale has a different mindset, a different culture and reality. But back to the schools, they are great in Scarsdale and likely to remain that way. You can't go wrong with the schools.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:43 PM
Location: Westchester NY
73 posts, read 111,804 times
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I don't mind type A high earning professionals like wall street and tech people. They know the value of hard work, and most likely started out in a middle class household. I can't stand people who inherited their money and don't know the value of hard work.

As far as buying luxury cars, I think its good to see that kind of consumption, it means the economy is healthy. And if you work hard you should buy whatever car you want. There are a lot of jews in that town but idk why so many people dislike the jews, they seem like nice people to me.
I don't think anyone can spend the entire summer on vacation, they have to be back at the office by monday. Maybe the women and children go to vacation? idk.
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Old 05-23-2015, 04:54 AM
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Russian Jewish immigrants moving to Eastchester may not be a good idea.
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Old 05-23-2015, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Forest_Hills_Daddy View Post
Russian Jewish immigrants moving to Eastchester may not be a good idea.
Why is that?
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