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Old 09-20-2020, 12:38 AM
 
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Hypothetical question: If a good school district was not a priority where would you buy a 3bdrm single family home - nice, safe, not rural? With commute 40-60mins and staying within an 800k budget.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:09 AM
 
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Lower Westchester. Maybe new rochelle. I would not ever buy in NJ if I worked in the city. Good commute is not only limited to the time you take to travel to work. It is also reliability. I am not sure where you are moving from but I often go to Europe and our transportation system in the US is fby far not what it is in Europe; it is much much worse. And nj transit in particular, unless you live in Hoboken or jersey city (which do not have suburban setting at all) is extremely bad. Even if you live by the train. Their trains very often break, come in late and arrive to the destination very late. I would live in Westchester under any circumstances (which I do lol) Good luck.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Citylife666 View Post
Lower Westchester. Maybe new rochelle. I would not ever buy in NJ if I worked in the city. Good commute is not only limited to the time you take to travel to work. It is also reliability. I am not sure where you are moving from but I often go to Europe and our transportation system in the US is fby far not what it is in Europe; it is much much worse. And nj transit in particular, unless you live in Hoboken or jersey city (which do not have suburban setting at all) is extremely bad. Even if you live by the train. Their trains very often break, come in late and arrive to the destination very late. I would live in Westchester under any circumstances (which I do lol) Good luck.
Thanks. We moved from Europe. The public transport was very good -efficient and 99% of the time according to schedule
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by surprisedbylife View Post
We are a family of four, so a 3 bedroom/2 bath house is fine for us and we like a garden but do not need an estate time property. We work in Midtown east and given that the kids are still in junior school/elementary school, we are trying to not be too far from them ie within an hour by train would be manageable I think.
We are working from home now so a bit flexible but not really sure what the organization policy will be come 2021 so if we have to return to the office most days then a shorter commute would be better and an afterschool program would be necessary.
You should be able to find a 3 Bed/2BR house in that price range in Southern Westchester but likely not a newer build unless it's a town house.

With new constructions, the trend is to tear down old houses and build the largest house possible on that piece of land. E.g. a 1/8 acre (5,000 SF) property will have a 3000+ SF house built on it and a 1/4 acre (10,000 SF) will have a 6000+ SF house built on it. For that reason, you won't find many 3 bed/2 batch new builds with the exception of town houses.

I also recommend NJ, you can get more bang for your buck there. The commute isn't as nice as the Metro North but if you can move to a place with NJ Transit trains vs. the bus, they aren't so bad.
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by surprisedbylife View Post
Hypothetical question: If a good school district was not a priority where would you buy a 3bdrm single family home - nice, safe, not rural? With commute 40-60mins and staying within an 800k budget.
Northern New Rochelle, Hartsdale, or White Plains. A lot of people that will send their kids to private school buy in those towns.
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:42 AM
 
Location: New York
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If school district isn't a priority and assuming you're planning to stay in the home long-term, I'd skip paying the $25-30k/year RE taxes in Westchester and head over to either CT near Greenwich/Cos Cob where the commute is still relatively short or opt for one of the Northern NJ towns with lower taxes next to a train station. The only challenge will be finding a suitably large house around $800k that isn't a townhome; the prices tend to be around 100k higher in CT than Westchester for comparable sized homes, which is why I made the comment about staying long-term. Plus in CT you have to watch out for flood zones, but good realtors should be able to steer you in the right direction. We looked in Stamford which is about a 60 minute commute; the only turn off was the high congestion at the train station whereas in Greenwich or Cos Cob you can pick between either Port Chester or Greenwich MNR stations which are smaller and less congested.

Earlier posters are right about the relative reliability of the NJT/PATH trains compared to MNR but both are terrible compared to European transit, so maybe you won't notice? I'm only partly kidding. Good luck in your search.
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dabaomb View Post
You should be able to find a 3 Bed/2BR house in that price range in Southern Westchester but likely not a newer build unless it's a town house.

With new constructions, the trend is to tear down old houses and build the largest house possible on that piece of land. E.g. a 1/8 acre (5,000 SF) property will have a 3000+ SF house built on it and a 1/4 acre (10,000 SF) will have a 6000+ SF house built on it. For that reason, you won't find many 3 bed/2 batch new builds with the exception of town houses.

I also recommend NJ, you can get more bang for your buck there. The commute isn't as nice as the Metro North but if you can move to a place with NJ Transit trains vs. the bus, they aren't so bad.
Thanks. Those are huge houses!
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dabaomb View Post
Northern New Rochelle, Hartsdale, or White Plains. A lot of people that will send their kids to private school buy in those towns.
Thanks. We are considering buying in a lesser desirable school district and sending kids to private school vs just settling on a smaller house in a very good school district. Either way we will pay for it - the cash goes to the school or to the house & taxes
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:49 PM
 
26 posts, read 6,997 times
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Originally Posted by vladlensky View Post
If school district isn't a priority and assuming you're planning to stay in the home long-term, I'd skip paying the $25-30k/year RE taxes in Westchester and head over to either CT near Greenwich/Cos Cob where the commute is still relatively short or opt for one of the Northern NJ towns with lower taxes next to a train station. The only challenge will be finding a suitably large house around $800k that isn't a townhome; the prices tend to be around 100k higher in CT than Westchester for comparable sized homes, which is why I made the comment about staying long-term. Plus in CT you have to watch out for flood zones, but good realtors should be able to steer you in the right direction. We looked in Stamford which is about a 60 minute commute; the only turn off was the high congestion at the train station whereas in Greenwich or Cos Cob you can pick between either Port Chester or Greenwich MNR stations which are smaller and less congested.

Earlier posters are right about the relative reliability of the NJT/PATH trains compared to MNR but both are terrible compared to European transit, so maybe you won't notice? I'm only partly kidding. Good luck in your search.
Thanks! I have seen several townhome new builds/ developments in Westchester but we are not interested in those. I must admit I am still trying to wrap my head around those commute times that will (to a greater or lesser extent) soon be part of my life. Also I need to factor in the cost of additional childcare in case we move out that far.
I have never been to CT - will try drive there soon to scope it out.
Thanks for all the tips! Very valuable.
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:02 PM
 
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I lived in both northern Nj (4 mins WALK to train and 2 mins walk to bus) and I can assure you it was HORRIBLE even by the low expectations US standard (you would be miserable there!). And now I live on the Harlem line in Westchester and I can tell you trains leave on time every single time I take the train. Also plenty of trains in rush hours (by the US standards that would be 4-5 an hour in rush hour and 2 during off peak). So again, I would not commit to NJ even in my worst dream. What comes to CT- I knew someone who lived in Stamford in an apartment complex close to the train (walking distance that is) and it took him over 1.5 hours door to door to come to our 41st and Park ave office. So even though it might sound like “only” 1 hr commute, please don’t forget to factor in that not all trains run express and that you also need to get to train and from the train to your office.
Private schools... I think their curriculum is better than public schools’ (hey they all run on the same program regardless of the location anyway!) however you will pay significantly more than you would in property taxes. Let’s be realistic, even a basic “ok to good” neighborhood in burbs around nyc will be at least 15K in taxes (look at white plains, new rochelle, Westfield in nj, Maplewood in nj , etc). And private schools are anywhere from 30K a year per child (I have 2 friends whose kids attend private schools in Westchester that are close to 50K a year!). So even math wise it makes no sense.
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