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Old 09-30-2009, 01:18 PM
701 posts, read 3,326,879 times
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I've looked at many of the towns on your list, and considered them in detail.

Of the towns on your list, you will get the most house in Croton on Hudson, for your budget. The schools are actually exceptional, even if they lack some of the prestige of Chappaqua/Scarsdale/Bronxville.

You expressed concern about the lack of an interesting downtown in places like Chappaqua, Edgemont, etc. Because of the geography of the county, it really can be pretty irrelevant. The question is what downtown is nearest, not whether your post office technically fits within the downtown. We live in Chappaqua, but we are closer to the Pleasantville downtown than some Pleasantville residents. Nothing stops us from easily enjoying the Jacob Burns film center, etc.
Similarly, Edgemont is closer to the Scarsdale downtown, than many parts of Scarsdale. Etc.

The "pressure cooker" fear of some of these areas is a real concern. Some families believe they can teach their children to withstand it, others have more concern. And some families want their children in the pressure cooker. I'll note, that on your list, Bronxville has the most exclusionary reputation.

Lastly, let me address Irvington. A really nice town, with exceptional schools. The lack of a movie theater, supermarket, etc.. Should not really be much of a concern. The "river towns" of Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Hastings, and Tarrytown are really one commercial unit, in may regards. While Irvington might lack some amenities, you will find all the amenities you seek within a 5-minute drive.
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:08 PM
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We have lived in Pleasantville for 18 years. Our 2 sons have gone through the schools system. They are very different learners and both did very well. Although we don't have school buses it was never really a problem. Many families can walk to school and those of us who cannot drop our children off in the morning. They have an efficient drop off system.I always say that I am so thankful that we landed here. The village is friendly,has a small town feel. We have been part of the Dad's recreational club and our children have gone to the various town camps. Our children have made life long friends as have we. The local goverment and school board are supportive and both boards listen to their constituents. I also would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Good luck.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:26 PM
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Thanks for everyone's replies. Our search has narrowed to Pleasantville, Irvington, Croton-on-Hudson and Briarcliff Manor. It seems that Briarcliff Manor offers really beautiful homes and excellent schools for a not insane price. The downside is that it seems to be very car dependent and lacks a central business hub (is that accurate?). Pleasantville's housing stock, IMHO, isn't as pretty and offers less land, but is closer to their wonderful village and all it has to offer. Also, excellent schools here and a lack of pretense. Irvington looks very nice but property taxes seem especially high. That said, the commute is good and the schools are top-notch. Croton seems positively gorgeous. We just need to visit it and hope to soon enough.
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:49 PM
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,914 posts, read 31,411,818 times
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Pleasantville doesn't have absolutely must-have houses in your price range, but there are some houses that have "good bones," such that you could grow into it with additions/renovations as your family matures into the area, since the village is a real draw. That's why there's a premium attached to Pleasantville, since the village does anchor the community, and many do like the area.

Briarcliff Manor is more spread out, and it has a reputation as being pretentious that's inversely proportional to the price tag, since it's less expensive than other areas in the county that are much more down-to-earth. IMO, it's due to the fact that the majority of Briarcliff Manor is in the Town of Ossining, and it's a means of enhancing the prestige of the area. The schools are excellent, and you can get a nice house on a decent piece of land in your price range.
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

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Old 10-06-2009, 10:17 AM
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Just when looking in Briarcliff Manor, be sure to search by school district. Many homes in Briarcliff Manor are actually Ossining schools, which drives down the price.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:50 AM
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Briarcliff does not have a very large village but this has never caused an issue for me. We are so close to Pleasantville or cna head to Mount Kisco or White Plains for more shopping, it has the neccessities-food, dry cleaner, pharmacy, deli, ect. Not very walkable -agreed. I am not sure you are going to be able to find a 2000 square foot house with taxes less than 15k though. We have about that size house and our taxes are around 15k and keep going up every year. But you can get a nice piece of property and though the village is small its very quaint
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:03 PM
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I agree with the assessment of Briarcliff and Pleasantville. Briarcliff has a cute downtown strip and a nicer selection of colonial-type homes on larger lots (also a Mrs. Green's grocery store which is great). The homes in Pleasantville outside the main village tend to be your typical 60's-70's raised ranches, splits and capes. Although there a lot of these sprinkled around the entire area, P-ville seems to be the epicenter, possibly along with Thornwood & Hawthorne on the other side.

P-ville has the advantage of the train station and a fair number of homes within the village and true walking distance to all schools, shops and train. You have the most charming older colonials and victorians on smaller lots and they tend to cost more per sq ft especially if updated. Otherwise you may have to live without the more modern amenities like an eat-in kitchen, more than one full bath, master bath, central air, finished basement, garage. Many people find this a fair exchange for the convenience of the village, great schools, and the overall lifestyle of living in a close knit but welcoming community.
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:47 PM
1,594 posts, read 3,577,852 times
Reputation: 1585
Originally Posted by boundfortheburbs View Post
Thank you all for replying. Let me clarify/add to my comments. dma1250, you are right to recommend that I focus my list. So, we're ok without a top top school. This article, posted on the Chappaqua board, was eye-opening: Mean Moms—The Clique Is Back | LoHud.com | The Journal News
We certainly don't want to deal with nonsense like that and would rather live better in a less prestigious town than just eek into a top district where we, along with our son, might experience attitude.
Stuff like that can happen anywhere but Pleasantville seems to have been "settled" by a diverse group of people which makes it seem a bit more rooted than a few neighboring towns. Mod cut: not necessary

Last edited by Viralmd; 10-10-2009 at 02:37 PM.. Reason: Thanks, not necessary.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:31 AM
5 posts, read 23,925 times
Reputation: 10
In reference to the Croton school district, is it really that much worse than the premium districts like Chappaqua, Armonk and Scarsdale? Also, does anyone have advice on childcare for a 2 year old and newborn for either/both the Croton and Armonk areas? My wife and I both work in Midtown and would commute each day. We are currently chosing between a house in Armonk and a house in Croton. I realize that this is a bit of a rambling and open ended question, but would be happy for any answers/advice/commentary. Thank you very much, JH
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:09 AM
223 posts, read 828,706 times
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I answered the daycare question about Croton in your other post. Armonk also has a really good daycare called Timber ridge which my friend uses so daycare in either should not be an issue.
Your commute may actually be a bit easier from Croton. They have lots of express trains. Armonk you will have to take train from North White Plains about 15 min drive but train is only 35 min. I think schools in Armonk are better but I think Croton schools are still pretty good and better than average.
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