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Old 01-28-2009, 11:15 AM
 
2 posts, read 11,317 times
Reputation: 10

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My family (with kids 3 & 1) and I are moving to lower Westchester. We want to buy a house in the upper $500 to mid $600k range. We are considering Northern New Rochelle - mostly Davis and Ward schools districts - and Pelham.

Things that are critical to us are:
* Family-oriented safe neighborhood
* Good schools, especially elementary
* Reasonable commute to lower Manhattan
* At least a 3 bedroom house in our price range
* Secure real estate values over the long term (i.e. not obviously higher risk than anywhere else!) ;-)

Nice bonuses would be to live in a walkable neighborhood and/or a town with kid-oriented facilities (pool, parks, etc.).

We would really appreciate thoughts on the pros & cons of the two areas - or even other places we should consider.
Thanks!!
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,918 posts, read 29,040,149 times
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The elementary schools in New Rochelle where you're looking are very good, but at the middle and high school levels, the classes become much larger than Pelham. Pelham's schools have an excellent reputation across-the-board, and is a relatively small district. If you are planning to use public schools for all years, I'd give the edge to Pelham.

I don't think that either area is going to have a cataclysmic fall in price, since there are very nice neighborhoods in New Rochelle, just as there are in Pelham. The school districts, however, can be the edge, since many in New Rochelle may tend towards private schools at upper grades to avoid some of the performance issues associated with large city schools that don't have the same level of enrichment and individualized attention as neighboring smaller town/village districts.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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Hi. Thanks so much for the response. Our plan would be to send the kids to public school throughout. Thanks for the warning on the New Rochelle schools after elementary - the High School in particular just looks huge. I really appreciate the help!
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,918 posts, read 29,040,149 times
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A couple of other places I'd suggest lookng along the Sound Shore would include Larchmont and Mamaroneck. While some of the houses in range in Larchmont may be smaller, the downtown is a nice feature. It's all the same school district, under the Town of Mamaroneck.

While not on the shoreline, but in the same general area, and featuring express trains to GCT, Harrison might also be a consideration. The schools in Harrison are very good as well. In the greater White Plains area, I'd recommend looking around the North White Plains station, since that's Valhalla school district, which also tends to perform very well. Valhalla is a smaller district, and can be overlooked when people look to the powerhouse districts in Westchester.

Closer-in, on the Hudson River, I would look into Ardsley/Dobbs Ferry. You would have to catch the train at Ardsley-on-Hudson station (in Dobbs Ferry), but both school districts have good reputations and you should be able to find a house in range there as well. Hastings might also be a consideration, though it's a few minutes more on the train. While none of these areas is inexpensive, you should be able to find some inventory under $650k or so.

The Hudson Line trains will add a few minutes, since there are express trains from Harrison, Mamaroneck, and Larchmont. Pelham is also very close-in, so while it does not have an express, it is a comparable commute. White Plains would be longer as well, though you can get an express at White Plains to shorten the commute time.
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:19 PM
 
Location: New York City
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i live in wykagyl new rochelle ( north end) go pelham...i just graduated from new rochelle high school and the public schools are a hot mess.... new rochelle isnt as nice as pelham eather ... and the north end of new rochelle startes around 750k and goes to 3.1m.. pelham is just a better deal all around.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:18 AM
 
413 posts, read 1,030,193 times
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I live in Pelham with children, and highly recommend it as a place to live. It's affordable, walkable, and the schools are great -- all the way through. The other public services also are top notch. The police have a great presence are very friendly, and just are all around wonderful. (The police even watch your house when you're gone, and call you if anything looks strange.) The fire department is also good. The garbage men are a bit picky. But they do come three times a week. The roads are kept clean. There is a park for letting dogs off leashes available in the early morning. It's a sort of Norman Rockwell type place where kids walk and bike to school and town and play on the streets. It's a really small town. There are concerts in the summer, and a town fair in the spring, parades, etc. The one thing that Pelham does not have is a town pool. But it has two country clubs and the Westchester Parks system is really good for swimming, etc. too. Historically, it has attracted writers. So there are lots of book groups and really well educated people there. The commute is fantastic.


On the downside, there are definitely 'mean moms' there. But they are everywhere in Westchester.
If you look at some previous postings about New Rochelle, you can see that the students at the high schools are not happy.
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