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Old 08-17-2008, 08:11 PM
 
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My husband and I are considering relocating from Manhattan to Westchester. We really don't know too much about specific towns and are trying to learn as much as we can. We have a daughter who will be school age, so schools are important. My husband will be commuting to NYC and wants a decent commute. Towns that we have been hearing about are mamaroneck, rye, larchmont, bronxville, rye brook, and new rochelle. Can someone tell us some information about these towns. Any information you can offer (especially comparing towns) would be helpful. Thank you!
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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Off the bat, I can say that New Rochelle schools are not on the same level as its neighbors. So, I would not recommend looking there as there are better alternatives for good schools, depending upon the neighborhood amenities you seek and budget. I would, however, include Pelham as a town to consider, since it offers a superb school district and an easy commute.

Bronxville is arguably the quintessential Lower Westchester village since it offers distinctive homes, a top-notch school system, and a wonderful downtown, complete with a hospital. It's convenient to Grand Centeral Terminal on the Harlem Line train, and it's less than a thirty minute ride. All of this comes at a price, however, and given the towns you listed, this one will carry a higher premium to be within its borders, which is a must for the school district. The Bronxville zip code extends beyond the borders of the village, so one has to be sure that the residence is within the village border, since some are actually in Yonkers with a Bronxville P.O.

The Town of Mamaroneck, which includes the Village of Larchmont, Mamaroneck, and half of Rye Neck, offer much in the way of schools, amenities, and ease of commute. The Mamaroneck Union Free District administers schools, and they are well respected. Larchmont offers a great downtown area that is very walkable. While houses can tend to have a hefty premium in Larchmont, depending upon neighborhood, there are some houses available at more moderate price points, something that is not the same as in Bronxville. Mamaroneck is part of the town and offers a mixture of housing choices, and has a little more suburbia mixed in than a small village centered community as the Village of Larchmont. The two areas have a lot to offer, however, and some houses in both Larchmont and Mamaroneck tend to eight figure price tags. They are located on the New Haven Line train, and some trains are express trains that originate in Harrison, stop in Mamaroneck and Larchmont before proceeding directly to GCT, which can keep the commute very reasonable, on the order of 30 minutes from Larchmont.

A little closer to the city is The Town of Pelham. Pelham has equally good schools, a mixture of housing sizes and styles in its residential enclaves of the town and village of Pelham and Village of Pelham Manor. Pelham Manor is the most exclusive of the town and has a nice mixture of higher-end homes of varied architectural styles. The town areas are not diverse or walkable as Bronxville or Larchmont, however, but they do have a good supply of conveniences, and you're not a far distance from nearby towns and villages that offer shopping, cinema, theatre, etc. Pelham lies just over the city line on Long Island Sound, and it's a very safe area. The commute on the New Haven Line train is very quick to GCT as well.

The Town of Rye, City of Rye, Rye Brook, Village of Port Chester, and half of Rye Neck are the principal areas that come to mind when one uses the name Rye as a descriptor.

The Town of Rye consists of Port Chester, half of Rye Neck, and Rye Brook. Port Chester's schools are not the same as the rest of the area, so I would eliminate it on the same basis as New Rochelle, if you are looking for the best district possible. Rye Neck and Rye Brook schools are both good districts, however, provided it's the Blind Brook district, not Port Chester. This area is a little further out than the others you mentioned, and is not on the express train route as the origination for that is Harrison. It's a nice area, though, and is generally well regarded, though Rye Brook is made up largely of houses that date from the 1960s and are more subdivision type development than the character and charm of some of the other villages and towns nearby that have more architectural diversity. Depending upon the part of Rye Brook, the Harrison station on the New Haven Line is not far and offers express trains to cut the commute down a bit, but parking can be an issue at some stations out of the jurisdiction in which one lives in Westchester. Town residents get priority at stations managed by the towns, and there might be waiting lists. Port Chester is also close to Rye Brook, and to GCT it would be about 50-55 minutes.

The City of Rye has a good mix of houses and some tend to the upper price strata as well. Schools in this area are good as well. Rye has three elementary schools and the middle-high schools on the same campus, all of which are generally well-regarded. Playland is located in the city, as are proximity to Long Island Sound beaches and parks. Rye offers a reasonable commute to GCT, that's on the order of fifty minutes to GCT.

The Rye area is a mixture of suburban strip malls and downtown areas for shopping, and it's not as walkable as a Bronxville or Larchmont as the distances are a little more spread out among the various village/town centers and shopping centers.
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:56 AM
 
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Default Should also mention...

Thank you so much for your detailed reply! It was so helpful! One thing I also wanted to mention is that we would like a town with a "friendly" reputation that doesn't have a "Keep up with the Joneses" mentality. Can you offer some information in that area? Thank you again!
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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You're welcome. I would say that the most open and friendly of the towns listed will be the Town of Mamaroneck. Both Larchmont and Mamaroneck are more relaxed than other above Westchester areas. Pelham would be next, depending upon neighborhood, but overall it's not anywhere near the same level as say a Scarsdale. Bronxville tends to more of a lifestyle to be maintained, and can have a closed feeling to some people, but it's not the most pretentious village in Westchester, whereas parts of Rye are similarly described, especially when inhabited by aspirational types who live in the area in a regular house and act as though they are adjacent to the golf course.

All of these areas can have people who fit the bill in some regard, however, and tend towards pretentiousness, but it's less of a problem in some areas. I have just focused on the towns and villages from the OP, since there are more open areas in Westchester, primarily towards the Hudson or towards Northern Westchester, but the commutes and town/village centers do vary.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:04 PM
 
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state report cards for the local high schools just came out & you can find the information on the journal news' web site at:
2007 New York Regents: Search your school's scores | lohud.com | The Journal News
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:56 AM
 
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Just an FYI re:Rye. Rye is considered one of the wealthiest towns in Westchester and there is not a mix of housing. Modest homes begin at about a million plus. There are no strip malls in Rye, and Rye is the city of Rye. No one considers Port Chester or Rye Brook- Rye. Rye has a great downtown, village area. The beach area is where many of the country clubs are located. The schools are considered top in Westchester. Rye is not further out than Mamaroneck- as villages are located next door to eachother- you can ride your bike from one to next. Rye express train is about 35 minutes to and from Grand Central. There are many old money, established families in Rye and it is very expensive, but a beautiful place to live if you can afford it.

Rye, Mamaroneck, Larchmont are all Long Island shore communities that are within 5 mile radius on of another. Port Chester 55 minute train ride? what? it is 36 minutes to GC.
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:01 AM
 
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Just an FYI re:Rye. Rye is considered one of the wealthiest towns in Westchester and there is not a mix of housing. Modest homes begin at about a million plus. There are no strip malls in Rye, and Rye is the city of Rye. No one considers Port Chester or Rye Brook- Rye. Rye has a great downtown, village area. The beach area is where many of the country clubs are located. The schools are considered top in Westchester. Rye is not further out than Mamaroneck- as villages are located next door to eachother- you can ride your bike from one to next. Rye express train is about 35 minutes to and from Grand Central. There are many old money, established families in Rye and it is very expensive, but a beautiful place to live if you can afford it.
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallyg View Post
Just an FYI re:Rye. Rye is considered one of the wealthiest towns in Westchester and there is not a mix of housing. Modest homes begin at about a million plus. There are no strip malls in Rye, and Rye is the city of Rye. No one considers Port Chester or Rye Brook- Rye. Rye has a great downtown, village area. The beach area is where many of the country clubs are located. The schools are considered top in Westchester. Rye is not further out than Mamaroneck- as villages are located next door to eachother- you can ride your bike from one to next. Rye express train is about 35 minutes to and from Grand Central. There are many old money, established families in Rye and it is very expensive, but a beautiful place to live if you can afford it.

Rye, Mamaroneck, Larchmont are all Long Island shore communities that are within 5 mile radius on of another. Port Chester 55 minute train ride? what? it is 36 minutes to GC.
The Town of Rye and City of Rye are separate places and people refer to the two as Rye, nobody goes into differentiation about Rye Neck vs. Rye Brook vs. Town of Rye vs. City of Rye. For the times on the train, check the non-peak trains to Port Chester. Oh, and I don't want to start an argument, but since we're being excessively precise, there's ONE train that takes 35 minutes from Rye, the 6:05. I know this because I know people who are on it, since they live in the City of Rye and do not like to commute. The other trains are 40-50 minutes scheduled time.
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:17 PM
 
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Trust me- people DO differentiate between the Town of Rye and the village of Rye. I grew up here- I know. Port Chester is Port Chester, Rye Brook is Rye Brook and Rye Neck is Rye Neck. If one states they are from Rye- they are from village of Rye. No one from Port Chester or Rye Brook would ever say they live in Rye- ever. That's like someone from from Irvington saying they are from Greenburgh, because Irvington lies within town of Greenburgh. Express trains from and to Rye are 35-40 minutes. One of shortest commuting towns to the city.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:33 AM
 
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Thank you so much for all of your responses! They have been so helpful!
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