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Old 10-17-2009, 12:22 AM
 
Location: Westchester, NY
21 posts, read 65,176 times
Reputation: 15

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Hi everyone I've posted here before & have been browsing through these boards for quite some time. I have a few questions & would appreciate honest input. My husband & I are relocating to Westchester County with our 4 & 6 year old children from Montana. I am originally from NYC, my husband from Tucson & we don't want the typical "inner city" lifestyle. With that being said, we are looking for a town with family friendly amenities, as I know that most towns in Westchester have. We will be renting so purchase prices & taxes aren't a concern at this point. Walking distance to Metro North is key, as well as reasonable commute to Dobbs Ferry via car. We plan to frequent both the city for museums, shopping etc. & upstate for skiing, camping, boating, etc. as often as possible so great location is a must.

Schools are our top priority. I have done extensive research on schools county-wide but even with all of the web searching & parental reviews, I am still having a difficult time deciding....From what I have seen/heard, many of the 'excellent schools' are rated so due to high tests scores in predominantly caucasian areas. We are a caucasian family, & test scores are important of course, but moreso we are seeking a very nurturing environment for our children. They will be experiencing a large culture shock & NYS school standards differ greatly from those of MT. We want our children to be in a small public school setting that challenges yet does not push the children. We want our children to strive for excellent but not feel 100% competitive 100% of the time. Sports are also very important as our children are both very athletic. Preschool has also been a concern. As far as I know, Tarrytown & White Plains are the only districts that offer a PK program within the public school & TT has a huge waiting list. What have your experiences been?

On another note, we are seeking a 2-3 bedroom rental up to $2500. Washer dryer is a must. We prefer a single family home, would consider a duplex or multi-family if the right setting, & will only consider buildings with abundant amenities. A backyard or playground within walking distance is key. For all of you experienced Westchester citizens, what is your best recommendation for us? Thanking you in advance.
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Old 10-17-2009, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
10,345 posts, read 16,585,508 times
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How about Dobbs Ferry itself? Beautiful Hudson views, not as "snobbish" as some other towns in Westchester and as such (though I know SOMEONE will disagree) good schools, just not as "hyper-competitive" as some others. A lot of people, especially from the least affordable towns, really nitpick about school districts here, I think with the exception of a handful of mostly small urban districts, almost any school district here would probably rank with the top districts elsewhere.

Tarrytown (since you mention it for Pre-K) could work for you too in a similar manner to Dobbs Ferry. Some people knock the schools because of a growing Hispanic population in the downtown area, but I'd hardly call it an "inner city" school district.

You are wrong about Pre-K in the public school system, there is one more. Mt. Vernon does it, but for the most part, it is one of that handful I said earlier I would not recommend. Actually, if you live in the part of town immediately bordering Bronxville, that area (Pennington pre-K and Elementary School) are actually very much like a less snobbish version of their neighbor. But if you live there you'd still have to look elsewhere for middle school and beyond.


Good luck!
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Old 10-17-2009, 03:44 PM
 
69,391 posts, read 96,177,967 times
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Would Ardsley, Croton, Tuckahoe, Irvington, Eastchester and Hastings be perfect for the OP?
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Old 10-17-2009, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Harrison
835 posts, read 2,213,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Would Ardsley, Croton, Tuckahoe, Irvington, Eastchester and Hastings be perfect for the OP?
She wants walking distance to Metro North, so that limits things. I would have also suggested Ardsley, but no train. The River towns are probably a good fit, although Mamaroneck might also be a consideration.
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Old 10-17-2009, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Westchester, NY
21 posts, read 65,176 times
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Tarrytown's PK waiting list is 55 students long so that won't help us, next year she will be in kindergarten. The schools there do seem to be "ok" as compared to other districts. So far we seem to like Katonah, Salem, Somers area the best but that definately poses more of an issue as far as commute time is concerned. We are going to Rye & Rye Brook, Pleasantville & back to Pelham early this week to view those areas.

ckhthankgod, would you mind providing insight on the areas you mentioned? From our experience so far, Dobbs Ferry & Irvington homes in our price range have no yard space whatsoever. I have viewed 1 property in Croton-on-Hudson (not sure if that's what you meant by Croton) & it seemed nice there, & at least on the same train line as Dobbs Ferry.....I honestly know very little about Tuckahoe, Eastchester, etc.

From what I see of Mt. Vernon, the school's rate from as low as 3 to as high as 9. Huge difference there. We'd rather stay away from areas that are "1 wrong turn to the bad side of town". I see that certain parts of Yonkers, New Rochelle & Mt. Vernon are nice, but as a whole they don't seem to be what we are looking for. Really hoping to like Rye! Continued feedback is very much appreciated, thank you for the comments so far
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Old 10-17-2009, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
1,316 posts, read 4,863,766 times
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I'd certainly put Croton on the list. You can find houses within walking distance of the train (mostly in the Harmon section), the schools are good and relatively small, the general vibe is on the mellow side, the commute to Dobbs Ferry should be pretty easy, and the price range is do-able. The area has lots of pre-K options, though they're all private (but not hyper-expensive), and there's a world of outdoor activities. I'd also take a look at Pleasantville.
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Old 10-17-2009, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Westchester, NY
21 posts, read 65,176 times
Reputation: 15
streetsmart, I just started loking into Mamaroneck, thanks for the suggestion. I assume that would be a nice location, we liked Larchmont but there is nothing in our price range & have been pleased with what we've heard of Rye so assume that Mamroneck would be nice as well. What about Harrison? I haven't heard anyone mention what it's like living there & school experiences.
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:10 AM
 
701 posts, read 3,107,383 times
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Your main issue is going to be budget. I don't know the rental market that well, but I would expect difficulty finding anything other than apartments, in nicer school districts and neighborhoods.

For example, there are apartments in Mamaroneck that might meet your requirements. Possibly the river towns as well. A place like Croton might possibly have some small single-family homes in that range.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Westchester, NY
21 posts, read 65,176 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks for all of the suggestions. We've narrowed it down to a few areas.....Just a few more places to look at this weekend, we've already found a few that will work within our budget that meet all of our needs & most of our wants. Thanks again everyone!
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:43 PM
 
12 posts, read 24,808 times
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My Wife and I are considering moving to Weschester. We heard that NewRochelle is a beautiful place to raise kids. Any advice from anyone that resides there. We are looking for a cool safe neighborhood with some diversity.
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