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Thread summary:

Couple in 40’s with no children considering moving to Manhattan from Hong Kong, seeking home with 2K to 3K square feet of living space with garden, nearby golf course, walkable neighborhood

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Old 11-16-2008, 12:42 AM
 
6 posts, read 11,902 times
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My husband has the option to move to US for work. I have been ploughing through all the info on these forums and have not really found what i want so thought I would be very specific and start my own thread. I have complete infomation overload !!!

We are European but currently live in Hong Kong. We are both 40 and don't have any children. A lot of the posters are asking about good school areas and from what I can gather this increases the taxes and house prices so we would like to live in and area with bad schools !!! Or at least in an area where you don't pay too much for them.

My husband will be travelling all over the states and possible S America also. He would probably need to go to company offices in Lower Manhattan maybe 5-10 days a month at the most. He will need to be able to get to an airport regularly. We can't decide if we should push to have his 'office days' at their HQ in Armonk... but this might be a possibility.
I would certainly be travelling into manhattan so would like to be near a fast train line, maybe 30/45 min commute.

We need to have about 2/3,000 SQFT living space ( that is what we have now and don't want to downsize) ideally in a house aswe love outdoor space and would love to have a small garden. We have enjoyed living in the middle of a busy city and lived in London also for 12 years but am thinking the suburbs with a commute to hustle and bustle would be nice. We love to walk and might even get a dog.
We love to eat out so would like to a good choice of restaurants nearby. we both love Indian , thai and Japanese food.
We both play Golf so somewhere there is a course a short drive away would also be good.

We would like to buy somewhere esp as the house prices are in our favour at the moment and can probably afford about 8/900,000 US$ I think that is it for my requirements..... Is there anyone with any suggestions for me to start looking at ??? we will stay in a rented property whilst we househunt but any help at this stage would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-16-2008, 05:52 AM
 
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There are a number of areas in Westchester that easily meet all your requirements except one ---- even in bad school districts, property taxes are going to be very high. But in some of the lesser school districts, you will get more house for your money.

Anyway, sounds like ideally, you want to be somewhere between White Plains and Armonk. Harrison, Pleasantville, and White Plains itself might be good starting points. White Plains have a very urban downtown, but the outer portions of White Plains are purely suburban.
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Old 11-16-2008, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Lake St. Catherine, Poultney, VT
151 posts, read 574,251 times
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With your budget and your requirements, you actually have a very easy decision ahead of you. Just about anywhere in Westchester will be sufficient and with the current housing market being a Buyers Market, you will find many good deals out here. Even in and around Armonk, you will find plenty of homes that will work for your needs.

Typically the "city" areas (not Manhattan) will offer less in taxes due to the larger commercial tax basis while also offering you some great Village locations for dining and shopping.
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:17 AM
 
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Default Thanks for your help

Thank you both very much for those replies. Do you know anything about the possibliity of playing golf around White Plains - which looks like a good choice. Either public courses or private if memberships are available.

By 'city areas not Manhattan' do you mean Brooklyn ??
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:34 AM
 
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I believe he meant that, for example, you will pay less taxes in White Plains (which has a big commercial base), than you would bein Hastings or Chappaqua (that have little commercial base). For a 900K house in many parts of Westchester, you would pay over $15-25k per year in property taxes. But in White Plains, for a house in that price range, you will find taxes more like 10-15k.

There is no shortage of renowned golf courses all over Westchester, including several within a 10-15 minute drive from White Plains. There are several very exclusive private courses, as well as public courses. Golf access will be the least of your worries.
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Lake St. Catherine, Poultney, VT
151 posts, read 574,251 times
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Thanks for the clarification havoc315. That was exactly what I meant.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:31 PM
 
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Try yorktown area too
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:43 PM
 
13 posts, read 30,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKtoNY View Post
My husband has the option to move to US for work. I have been ploughing through all the info on these forums and have not really found what i want so thought I would be very specific and start my own thread. I have complete infomation overload !!!

We are European but currently live in Hong Kong. We are both 40 and don't have any children. A lot of the posters are asking about good school areas and from what I can gather this increases the taxes and house prices so we would like to live in and area with bad schools !!! Or at least in an area where you don't pay too much for them.

My husband will be travelling all over the states and possible S America also. He would probably need to go to company offices in Lower Manhattan maybe 5-10 days a month at the most. He will need to be able to get to an airport regularly. We can't decide if we should push to have his 'office days' at their HQ in Armonk... but this might be a possibility.
I would certainly be travelling into manhattan so would like to be near a fast train line, maybe 30/45 min commute.

We need to have about 2/3,000 SQFT living space ( that is what we have now and don't want to downsize) ideally in a house aswe love outdoor space and would love to have a small garden. We have enjoyed living in the middle of a busy city and lived in London also for 12 years but am thinking the suburbs with a commute to hustle and bustle would be nice. We love to walk and might even get a dog.
We love to eat out so would like to a good choice of restaurants nearby. we both love Indian , thai and Japanese food.
We both play Golf so somewhere there is a course a short drive away would also be good.

We would like to buy somewhere esp as the house prices are in our favour at the moment and can probably afford about 8/900,000 US$ I think that is it for my requirements..... Is there anyone with any suggestions for me to start looking at ??? we will stay in a rented property whilst we househunt but any help at this stage would be greatly appreciated.
Welcome to the US. I lived in HK too for a couple of years and returned from there in 2006. Where in HK are you? I was in Midlevels: May Rd. I cant help you much with your home search but feel free to ask for anything else. Good luck with your move.
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:32 PM
 
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PJ120 - Thank you !! so many questions...... What can I export with me to US - food drink wise ?? We have a wel stocked cabinet - whisky, brandy, port, vodka etc... do I need to have a series of cocktail parties to get rid of everything or can i ship it with the household ?? when we moved from the UK we would have to pay 100% duty to bring alcohol to HK so we ended up giving it to friends...... Are there any restictions on sealed foods. I might stock up on thai curry paste....

Who did you use to ship goods back ??

Where do you live now ?? Are you from US originally ??

We are on Old Peak Road - Queens Garden. May Road is my local supermarket. I think I will miss walking everywhere. I walk up the peak for exercise, walk to Soho for dinner/drinks, walk to Pacific Place via the botanical gardens to the cinema and walk to Welcome on may road or P&S on MacDonald.......It doesn't look like people in the suburbs walk much..... ?? also just discovered i will have to re-take my driving test to get a licence....
We are a way off with the move, next year but i find with things like the alcohol and eating the food you have in cupboards you never have enough time !! Just like to be prepared......
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:06 AM
 
701 posts, read 3,109,365 times
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Just to address HKtoNY's comment about suburban Americans not walking much --- That is a pretty truthful statement, by comparison to most international standards. It doesn't mean that nobody walks in the suburbs, but most destinations, for most people, are by automobile. It's a combination of history, geography and American culture.

History -- What strikes me when I've been to Europe, is how old everything is. Cities and town centers were largely organized in the 18th and 19th centuries, before the automobile. In contrast, most American cities and suburbs really saw most of their development and growth in the 20th centurty-- So they were built around the automobile.

Which has led to the geographic element -- Especially outside of the major cities, everything is very spread out. There are some slightly more "urban" neighborhoods, where things are close together. But through most of the suburbs, residential neighborhoods are separated from commercial areas. Instead of a few small stores located in a neighborhood, you get a few massive stores servicing the entire region. Just walking from the parking lot to the store could be a decent walk!

Those elements, combined with American affluence, has created a certain car-loving culture. Even lower middle class families in America, will typically have at least 2 cars in a household. It's considered more of a necessity rather than a luxury. It's not the least bit unusual for 17 year-olds to have their own cars too.

Turning to the suburbs of Westchester --- There are neighborhoods that are more about "walking." Pleasantville, for example, doesn't even have school busing. It's considered a "walking" town, with residential neighborhoods bordering right up to a relatively significant commercial downtown.
For people who actually live in downtown White Plains, it's a walking area. It's very much an urban environment.

But yes, in Westchester, and most American suburbs, walking is the exception rather than the rule.
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