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Old 05-22-2016, 12:04 PM
 
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We are looking at moving to Westchester and are confused about some of the differences between the sound shore towns. We are interested in moving to a town with a sense of community that is tolerant, down-to-earth and friendly, even though the properties might be considered expensive. We can afford to spend a fair amount but are not looking for a trophy home. Just a safe, friendly neighborhood with nice neighbors and kids, with access to the sound. It seems that many of the towns are defined by what religion you are, how much money you make or what club you belong to. We were looking at Larchmont but the prices there seem to be extremely high for the properties listed. Rye has outrageous prices in some parts, but others like the Greenhaven section (which I think is Mamaroneck but says Rye?) offer much more for the money, even though they are expensive. But compared to Milton Point prices, Greenhaven is much less. Why? And why are so many homes for sale, especially by the water in Greenhaven? Is there a flooding problem? Also, we are not religious but have heard that if you are not jewish, you will have a hard time fitting in in Greenhaven or Orienta. Or that there are beach and yacht clubs that mainly accept members based on their religion, whether it's jewish or christian. Is there any religious diversity or tolerance of other beliefs in any of these towns? We are not interested in living somewhere where you have to be one religion or another to fit in.
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:09 PM
 
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Hello lilymom5,

You asked a lot of questions here, so I think the best approach I can give is to list the towns with brief descriptions

Port Chester: Port Chester I the most northerly of the sound shore towns and lies on the CT border. You were somewhat vague about your budget but if you are looking at places like Milton point, PC probably won't interest you. It's heavily working class and has a massive immigrant population. While this makes for a vibrant town with fantastic food, you may not fit in here.

Rye: Preppy, mix of old and new money and with a few exceptions, extraordinarily rich. New Englandy feel. Areas like Milton point are waspy while greenhaven is very jewish. Schools are fantastic but I would not call Rye a down to earth town. Jews, white, and Asians are probably comfortable here. Blacks and Hispanics less so. To answer your question about greenhaven vs MP pricing, Greenhaven is in the ryeneck school district. While RN performs quite well and prides itself on individualized attention, the majority of kids come from middle class backgrounds, meaning that it's stats aren't as impressive as those of Rye SD. Another reason Milton point is so expensive is it because it's absolutely beautiful. Greenhaven is a nice neighborhood, but to many people it doesn't have the same charm as MP, meaning lower prices. Additionally, the homes lack the NE charm of those in MP.

Mamaroneck (Ryeneck): Heavily italian, mix of white and blue collar, somewhat diverse with some but not many jews, large Hispanic population. Mostly older colonials, some tudors, capes, and ranches. No issue with religious tolerance. Down to earth and friendly people. Kids attend aforementioned ryeneck SD.

Mamaroneck (Mamaroneck): This section attends Mamaroneck SD. Larger than Ryeneck. More economically diverse with some poor sections and some fantastically wealthy ones too. Orienta has flood issues but I would not worry about religious or ethnic tolerance issues there. Plenty of jews, christians, and nonreligious people in orienta.

Larchmont: Upper middle class to rich. Even divide between jews and Christians so no issues there. Larchmont, particularly the manor, is EXTREMELY expensive. Unlike most wealthy sections of WC, the houses in Larchmont are very close together, there is a strong neighborhood feel, and everything's walkable. This contributes to the million dollar 1300 square foot house you probably just looked at. People are down to earth compared to people from most wealthy towns and are very friendly.

New Rochelle: Full sized city. South section is mostly working class, north is very wealthy and large jewish pop. Significantly cheaper than most other towns mentioned bc schools perform only decently. This reflects mainly socioeconomic situation of the populace and not quality of schools.

Pelham: To be honest I don't know a ton about Pelham!

I hoped this helped. I wouldn't worry too much about the religious thing. The only place where I know this is a legitimate issue is Bronxville, and I'm not even sure religious tolerance is still and issue there.
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Old 05-22-2016, 06:28 PM
Status: "Rough start to 2021 I was hoping it would be better" (set 27 days ago)
 
Location: Where my bills arrive
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A very impressive overview of the communities, well balanced and unbiased... +1
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:44 PM
 
720 posts, read 729,649 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j8p123 View Post
Hello lilymom5,

You asked a lot of questions here, so I think the best approach I can give is to list the towns with brief descriptions

Port Chester: Port Chester I the most northerly of the sound shore towns and lies on the CT border. You were somewhat vague about your budget but if you are looking at places like Milton point, PC probably won't interest you. It's heavily working class and has a massive immigrant population. While this makes for a vibrant town with fantastic food, you may not fit in here.

Rye: Preppy, mix of old and new money and with a few exceptions, extraordinarily rich. New Englandy feel. Areas like Milton point are waspy while greenhaven is very jewish. Schools are fantastic but I would not call Rye a down to earth town. Jews, white, and Asians are probably comfortable here. Blacks and Hispanics less so. To answer your question about greenhaven vs MP pricing, Greenhaven is in the ryeneck school district. While RN performs quite well and prides itself on individualized attention, the majority of kids come from middle class backgrounds, meaning that it's stats aren't as impressive as those of Rye SD. Another reason Milton point is so expensive is it because it's absolutely beautiful. Greenhaven is a nice neighborhood, but to many people it doesn't have the same charm as MP, meaning lower prices. Additionally, the homes lack the NE charm of those in MP.

Mamaroneck (Ryeneck): Heavily italian, mix of white and blue collar, somewhat diverse with some but not many jews, large Hispanic population. Mostly older colonials, some tudors, capes, and ranches. No issue with religious tolerance. Down to earth and friendly people. Kids attend aforementioned ryeneck SD.

Mamaroneck (Mamaroneck): This section attends Mamaroneck SD. Larger than Ryeneck. More economically diverse with some poor sections and some fantastically wealthy ones too. Orienta has flood issues but I would not worry about religious or ethnic tolerance issues there. Plenty of jews, christians, and nonreligious people in orienta.

Larchmont: Upper middle class to rich. Even divide between jews and Christians so no issues there. Larchmont, particularly the manor, is EXTREMELY expensive. Unlike most wealthy sections of WC, the houses in Larchmont are very close together, there is a strong neighborhood feel, and everything's walkable. This contributes to the million dollar 1300 square foot house you probably just looked at. People are down to earth compared to people from most wealthy towns and are very friendly.

New Rochelle: Full sized city. South section is mostly working class, north is very wealthy and large jewish pop. Significantly cheaper than most other towns mentioned bc schools perform only decently. This reflects mainly socioeconomic situation of the populace and not quality of schools.

Pelham: To be honest I don't know a ton about Pelham!

I hoped this helped. I wouldn't worry too much about the religious thing. The only place where I know this is a legitimate issue is Bronxville, and I'm not even sure religious tolerance is still and issue there.
I am just curious. Why would you not call rye a down to earth town? Everyone I know from there, which I admit is not a ton of people, are very down to earth. Very rich, yes. But very nice, pleasant, helpful, smart, logical, clean cut, ect.
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:40 PM
 
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Thanks for a very thorough overview j8P23 - sounds like the place we want is the manor, which is what we thought. However, it's very difficult finding a home right now, which is why we looked at Greenhaven, Mamaroneck and Rye - more selection and price ranges. We may have to rent. Milton Point struck me as a much bigger gap between rich and everyone else. Even the sections that looked like they would be a nice neighborhood in a borough like Queens had houses that were $3mil. I guess that's the lower end in Milton Point, considering the homes there seemed to be $7-10 mil. Not what we are looking for - want a good mix of home prices, people, religions, diversity etc so the manor might have all of that but not the home prices. Maybe other areas of Larchmont like the village might work. Also, one more question -- does anyone know why the taxes in Larchmont/Mamaroneck are so high? I know Westchester is the highest in the US, but Larchmont is higher than Rye - I think only Pelham might be higher. Thanks again!
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:46 AM
bg7
 
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Couple of additional points to the very informative post above. Larchmont kids attend Mamaroneck SD (as is pointed out above the Rye Neck portion of Mamaroneck has its own separate small SD. The Town of Mamaroneck is connected with Larchmont, the Village of Mamaroneck is not. And the village shares a SD with part of Rye Town. Or perhaps its Rye City. Confusing I Know.).


As for not being Jewish and fitting in at Orienta or Greenhaven - there is no issue at all. Orienta's biggest group are French expats, mainly catholic and protestant (but probably mainly agnostic in practice) and Greenhaven is more WASPy than anything else. In any event, religious persuasion is a low profile item in a lot of Westchester, its not something people discuss much.


As for taxes being higher in Rye than Larchmont/Mamaroneck - I'm not aware that's true. You may be comparing houses of similar space or price but which have different assessed values for tax purposes. Some assessments are way out of date.


Milton Point is very, very nice. But not "down to earth" as that phrase is used in normal parlance.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:36 PM
 
115 posts, read 164,917 times
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Originally Posted by 987ABC View Post
I am just curious. Why would you not call rye a down to earth town? Everyone I know from there, which I admit is not a ton of people, are very down to earth. Very rich, yes. But very nice, pleasant, helpful, smart, logical, clean cut, ect.
In my experience, people from Rye, while friendly and not super snobby, tend to be caught up more with status-related things (boats, income, homes etc.) than the people I compared them to in Larchmont. However, this is not to say that these people are bad people, nor that they are representative of every single person in Rye, just that they may be hard to deal with for someone with a middle or working class background.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilymom5 View Post
Thanks for a very thorough overview j8P23 - sounds like the place we want is the manor, which is what we thought. However, it's very difficult finding a home right now, which is why we looked at Greenhaven, Mamaroneck and Rye - more selection and price ranges. We may have to rent. Milton Point struck me as a much bigger gap between rich and everyone else. Even the sections that looked like they would be a nice neighborhood in a borough like Queens had houses that were $3mil. I guess that's the lower end in Milton Point, considering the homes there seemed to be $7-10 mil. Not what we are looking for - want a good mix of home prices, people, religions, diversity etc so the manor might have all of that but not the home prices. Maybe other areas of Larchmont like the village might work. Also, one more question -- does anyone know why the taxes in Larchmont/Mamaroneck are so high? I know Westchester is the highest in the US, but Larchmont is higher than Rye - I think only Pelham might be higher. Thanks again!
Milton Point: Milton Point is overall very wealthy, but there are actually some sections (don't know if they are technically in the neighborhood but they are on the penninsula) that, on the outside, look very modest. Cottage homes, many look to be under 1k square feet. These still fetch ridiculous prices, but I imagine that they provide a bit of socioeconomic diversity, even if its just adding a few middle and upper middle class people.

Manor: The Manor is a beautiful neighborhood, but judging from your criteria I just can't see it being a great fit. The absolute cheapest houses in the manor go for around a million, and the average home is probably close to two million or more. Additionally, it is entirely zoned for single family homes. While you say that the issue with the manor is the lack of home price variation, this causes a lack in the other things you listed. From my experience, making 7 figures is very typical and the lowest income families are still solidly upper middle class. In terms of diversity, there isn't a ton in terms of race (some Asians and Hispanics, almost no blacks) and occupation (HEAVILY law, finance). There is however diversity in other ways. There are a lot of European expats there and a large jewish population. The village of Larchmont is more diverse socioeconomically (mostly upper middle class) and occupationally (you'll run into engineers, computer scientists, accountants, teachers etc.) but still is nearly 100% white. In terms of house prices, there is a mix; starters homes may begin at around 650 or 700k while a typical house is probably in the low 1 million range. If you want more in terms of diversity, I would look at Ryeneck. The varied housing stock means most of the neighborhood has a mix of working, middle, and upper-middle class people, often living on the same street. It's also a lot cheaper than Larchmont. One million could easily get you 3200 square feet and a nice yard while in Larchmont a typical home at that price would be 1800-2000 square feet.

Taxes: Nobody knows. Property taxes all over Westchester are arbitrarily high. The variations mostly have to do with either the amount of waste and the industrial/commercial tax income. White Plains has low taxes because of its huge commercial base, and Harrison has low taxes because they have a ton of corporations. Towns like Larchmont are almost all residential, so the homeowners hold the burden. Taxes are just another factor to consider financially, and don't necessarily relate to the quality of services you receive (Mount Vernon has sky high taxes but weak schools).
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Harrison
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I live in Orienta - it's a fabulous neighborhood with a good mix of housing stock, from small cottages to waterfront mansions and everything in between. You can get much more land here than you would in the Manor. There are definitely lots of jewish families, but also lots of Christmas lights to be seen in December. Tons of French ex-pats.

The Village of Mamaroneck has great amenities, is more diverse overall than neighboring Larchmont, and has become quite a foodie town. Lots of events - I highly recommend coming out to the annual carnival that takes place at Harbor Island Park every year leading up to the 4th of July. You'll see the diversity of the town.
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