U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > Westchester County
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-03-2017, 04:46 AM
 
49 posts, read 52,940 times
Reputation: 21

Advertisements

Hello! I currently live in Australia, and my family are looking to relocate. We are strongly looking at different towns in Westchester County. I lived in NYC for 15 years and I would like to return to work there. However, it's really hard to house hunt when you are living on the other side of the world!

We are looking for the perfect town for our family which currently has a 4 and a 2 year old. Any advice? Here's our criteria:

1) A commute that isn't too hard to the city- particularly Harlem. We would prefer to have 45 minutes or less commute. Less is better!

2) We want our children in excellent schools. However, we don't want our children in competitive schools. What I'm looking for are schools that value kindness, curiosity, love of learning, etc. We aren't interested in schools that feed into Harvard-type places. It's also really important to me that my kids are with other kind kids and not surrounded by the uber-rich.

3) I live in a cafe culture now, and would love a cute village with cute restaurants/cafes.

4) We would love to be in an area with folks who are bit more artsy.

5) I would love a house with a nice sized backyard that is near to lots of fun things to do with the kids. We always love going on adventures. Farmers markets, hikes, fairs, etc.

6) I would love a walkable place. I don't drive at the moment and I know I will have to in Westchester, but I would love a place that has lots of nice walks so I can drive as little as possible when I'm with the kids.

What town would you recommend? Is there a particular part of the town that you like for houses? I have been looking (from afar) at

Hastings-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Terrytown
Arlington, Irvington
Larchmont
Armonk
Scarsdale
Chapaqua

Please, I really need your help!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-03-2017, 09:00 AM
 
221 posts, read 463,923 times
Reputation: 177
I've found that the only café/type / walkable towns are uber rich (Bronxville, Scarsdale, Larchmont, Irvington, etc.). Towns like Dobbs, Tarrytown, Ardsley, Pleasantville, Armonk, are great but the housing stock isn't nicely integrated into the town. If Jersey works for your commute I'd look to towns like Montclair, Glen Ridge, or South Orange as they sound like fit the bill.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2017, 02:02 PM
 
720 posts, read 734,096 times
Reputation: 1029
To get everything you want, including your commute, you will need to spend a lot of $$$$$. But given a huge budget, you can pull it off.

Your paragraph 2) confuses me. What makes you think that uber-rich kids aren't kind? The experiences that I have had with my kids tell me that financially comfortable kids are, on the average, kinder than those who aren't. As for schools that routinely place kids at Ivy league colleges - all excellent suburban NY schools do this. I don't see how you get an excellent school without Ivy league placement and aspiration. As for aversion to competitive schools, are you looking for schools where the kids don't try to do well? Schools where the kids don't do their school work, study for tests, and try their best?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-04-2017, 09:04 PM
 
49 posts, read 52,940 times
Reputation: 21
Hi 987ABC

Thanks for your reply!

In regards to schools, we definitely want schools where kids try to do well and work hard, but not at the expense of being too competitive. It's hard to convey in a quick reply, but for us, a school community that values inclusion, has a diversity of economic backgrounds, and celebrates kindness, curiosity, etc would be ideal. Any recommendations?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-05-2017, 09:42 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,590 times
Reputation: 10
Consider Croton on Hudson. Meets every item on your list, even the commute to Harlem.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-06-2017, 08:24 AM
 
Location: New York
1,165 posts, read 689,239 times
Reputation: 2931
Quote:
Originally Posted by madds14 View Post
Hi 987ABC

Thanks for your reply!

In regards to schools, we definitely want schools where kids try to do well and work hard, but not at the expense of being too competitive. It's hard to convey in a quick reply, but for us, a school community that values inclusion, has a diversity of economic backgrounds, and celebrates kindness, curiosity, etc would be ideal. Any recommendations?

You may want to connect with some parents from Chappaqua, as it has a reputation for being extremely competitive. Diversity of economic backgrounds is likely something you would find in Tarrytown, Dobbs Ferry, etc and not the so-called 'elite' communities like Scarsdale, Bronxville, etc.

For walkability, it's probably hard to tell from photos/Google maps, but the Rivertowns have a bit of an awkward layout due to the topography near the river. This means that the houses tend to be more 'uphill', the "main street" close to the river" and then another dropoff to get to the train at the bottom of the hill. You'll probably find more traditional 'Main Street' type towns towards the middle of the county, or even the Eastern side, which tends to be flatter. If this is an important consideration, you may want to check out some towns like Pleasantville/Katonah/Mt.Kisco and Chappaqua all have very walkable 'downtown' areas.

Whatever town you choose, driving will become somewhat of an inevitability unless you are content to shop just within your town's boundaries. The way Westchester is laid out means that each village is sort of a small island unto itself with various connecting roads (very few walkable paths on those). If you're looking to shop at a larger store or Mall, your options will be driving to a larger city like White Plains or Yonkers or Manhattan. Mount Kisco (near Chappaqua) has some larger stores, but it more the exception than the rule.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-06-2017, 01:07 PM
 
276 posts, read 510,823 times
Reputation: 328
If you are willing to push north a little bit, then Put Katonah on your list -its about 50 minutes to Harlem via metro north. It has a quaint walk-able downtown, and is close to nature and hiking. Schools are good and not pressure cookers. Diversity may be lacking a bit.

If walk-ability isnt as much of a factor, Bedford is also a great choice. There are some communities within Bedford (The Farms in particular) that are great for kids and have walking access to a town park. The schools are excellent, but offer more diversity than some of the other districts. Some (including myself) see diversity as a positive for schools.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2017, 09:45 PM
 
49 posts, read 52,940 times
Reputation: 21
Thanks everyone for your help. What's Bronxville like?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-18-2017, 06:26 AM
 
1,594 posts, read 3,041,779 times
Reputation: 1585
Hastings, Dobbs, Irvington, Larchmont are walkable.

Irvington and Larchmont have the best schools in the area of your list that meets your category. Commute is very reasonable. I have lived in Hastings and you really can manage without a car if you like walking up hills.

Chappaqua is nice town, a bit competitive but likely farther than you are looking for.

I chose not to fight your hypo by throwing in towns you didn't mention.

Not sure where you are in Australia but when I was there last month found the weather and people incredible. Everyone was nice from the cab drivers to the family that bought our ferry tickets instead of showing us how to refill our cards.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2017, 10:43 AM
 
800 posts, read 751,235 times
Reputation: 510
Would target Larchmont, Katonah, Pleasantville and Irvington based on your criteria. Armonk/Scarsdale/Chappaqua will be more of the pressure-cooker you're trying to avoid. There seem to be quite a few Australian/NZ families in both Rye and Greenwich CT (Riverside & Old Greenwich specifically) as well, but then you're starting to get farther from the city.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:



Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > Westchester County

All times are GMT -6.

¬© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top