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Old 04-18-2010, 04:34 AM
 
205 posts, read 639,101 times
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Hi. Can hardly believe I am typing this, but after living in Georgia for 16 years, my husband has been offered a job leading a company at the Saddle River/Allendale, NJ border. How would the commute for my husband be?

I am concerned about fitting in to the northern culture. My kids are 5 & 6 and have lived in the same house in the Atlanta suburbs their whole lives, so I really want to make this move a positive one for them. I'd love suggestions of neighborhoods or subdivisions with swim/tennis where my kids can make friends, ride bikes, have a backyard, attend public school, and not feel out of place not being from NY. And personally, I'd like to be able to meet other stay-at-home moms, be able to volunteer at the kids' school, and be part of a friendly Catholic Church community.

I really appreciate any input you can provide! The prospect of moving is overwhelming me, and getting some positive feedback on the area could do a lot to ease my stress level about it. Thank you!
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:15 AM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
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May i ask why aren't you looking at Rockland County or Even My County (Bergen) which i believe have slighty lower property taxes then Westchester.
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
May i ask why aren't you looking at Rockland County or Even My County (Bergen) which i believe have slighty lower property taxes then Westchester.

We are considering those areas, too, but I was going to post them on the NJ board. If you have any input on Bergen/Rockland county, I would love to hear it.

I have heard good things about Westchester and my husband has a co-worker who lives there so I wanted to get some feedback on living there.

Thank you for replying.
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:07 AM
 
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It's real easy: just be prepared to spend a lot more than you're paying in Atlanta, that's it. But the bottom line is that the house that costs $250k in a suburb of Atlanta is a million in each of these areas! It doesn't look like cost is an issue but sticker shock is sticker shock.

The commute from Westchester to Bergen County isn't bad as it's a reverse commute. I'd figure on 35 minutes each way depending on where you're located.

The Allendale/Saddle River area though, is the BEST area in NJ to live in. Westchester has a far easier commute to the city as it has a more direct train service to Midtown, hence it's popular and a bit more costly.

Westchester is a big county. If you're hanging with other families of professionals the assimilation process is fairly easy. Understand that there's a bit more hustle and bustle associated with northern life.

Last edited by ponytrekker; 04-18-2010 at 07:18 AM..
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
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What I'm surprised no one is telling you is that from Westchester you have to go over a TOLL BRIDGE (either the Tappan Zee or the George Washington) to get to NJ. So in addition to just the cost of gas, you're adding a $5.50 (Tappan Zee) or $8 (George Washington) daily cost.

Given this, I would definitely go with Bergen or Rockland where housing costs and taxes are less too. Good luck!
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 7 Wishes View Post
What I'm surprised no one is telling you is that from Westchester you have to go over a TOLL BRIDGE (either the Tappan Zee or the George Washington) to get to NJ. So in addition to just the cost of gas, you're adding a $5.50 (Tappan Zee) or $8 (George Washington) daily cost.
Because 1. The guy is running a company and 2. anywhere in NY you have to pay tolls.

If you have to worry about an eight dollar toll, you aren't going to be paying $20k per year in taxes for a spread in Allendale, trust me.
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Old 04-18-2010, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponytrekker View Post
Because 1. The guy is running a company and 2. anywhere in NY you have to pay tolls.

If you have to worry about an eight dollar toll, you aren't going to be paying $20k per year in taxes for a spread in Allendale, trust me.

Toll bridges usually mean a lot of extra traffic for your commute too though........
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Old 04-18-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ponytrekker View Post
The Allendale/Saddle River area though, is the BEST area in NJ to live in.
Could elaborate on what makes Allendale/Saddle River such a great place to live?

I actually lived in Morris County, NJ for 10 years (elementary through High School) so I am somewhat familiar with NJ, but it has been a long time, and I didn't really love it. So I am trying to pump myself up about our impending move.

While the tolls may not keep us from moving, it is good to know. I think money is always an issue, as I would like to get the most for the money as we can. The salary negotiations have not concluded yet. What range would you expect for him.

Thanks!
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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Saddle River is a very nice town, because it's convenient, yet removed from dense urban areas, has excellent schools, and a great quality of life. It really depends upon the culture you're seeking with regard to the neighborhood that would be the best fit. Some areas in Westchester, though I am admittedly skewed by Westchester, have more of a New England type feel as opposed to New Jersey. There are some differences in NJ, not to say that there are not lovely areas, but they developed differently. The roads are structured differently, zoning is more haphazard, and there are areas where the towns are not as compact -- in the New York suburbs, since outside the area, there are some very nice small communities in NJ.

If you want something more to the style of a small town/city, I would look more to Madison, Summit, and Chatham, an area with great schools, but that also have more of a town feel, especially Summit, which is an incorporated city, albeit a small one. But, since you're not NY-bound commuters, those areas would be a bit of a hassle to get to Saddle River. Similarly, Bernardsville is a great community, but you would be about an hour to Saddle River from Somerset County, so I'd be inclined to consider Westchester for a similar lifestyle. Mahwah and Ho-Ho-Kus are also nice areas to consider in Bergen County that are close to Saddle River.

I think that some of the communities in Westchester offer great views, quality of life, and have a more compact feeling, as opposed to more of a sprawl feeling that pervades some, not all, areas of NNJ. For ease of commute, you would not want to be too far from the Tappan Zee or George Washington Bridges, but there are some great communities to consider in easy proximity, depending upon the type of neighborhood you want to consider. Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings, and Ardsley come to mind as considerations because of the proximity to the bridge, requiring about 35 minutes or so to get to Saddle River.

About 40-50 minutes would put you in places like Pelham, Harrison, and Larchmont, on the Sound Shore. And, if your husband would not mind a slightly longer drive, you could consider Armonk, Bedford, and Chappaqua, though there is usually more snow once you're above 287. Lower Westchester can feel a bit more congested, however, because the towns/villages overlap one another, whereas in Northern Westchester there is more proximity to open space. The other thing to consider with the Sound Shore is traffic headed to the bridges, bound for either New York City or White Plains. The Henry Hudson Parkway/Saw Mill offers ease of access to the GWB, and the Tappan Zee, hence why communities close to it offer the easiest access to the crossings.

Rockland has some nice communities as well, and you're not far from Saddle River, but it's more of a hassle to get to Manhattan. And, it depends upon the community style, since many are developed without the same downtown center that is a component of many Westchester communities. They are more to the strip mall on a main road style of development, not to say that Westchester doesn't have those, too, because such development is in the county.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:10 AM
 
205 posts, read 639,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwguydc View Post
Some areas in Westchester, though I am admittedly skewed by Westchester, have more of a New England type feel as opposed to New Jersey.

I like the sound of these. To which Westchester towns does this apply?


Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings, and Ardsley come to mind as considerations because of the proximity to the bridge, requiring about 35 minutes or so to get to Saddle River.

Are Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings and Ardsley considered Lower Westchester and have that more congested feel you mentioned?

About 40-50 minutes would put you in places like Pelham, Harrison, and Larchmont, on the Sound Shore.

I think we would like to be closer to his work, but they sound like nice areas.

Mahwah and Ho-Ho-Kus are also nice areas to consider in Bergen County that are close to Saddle River.

Do you have any input on Allendale?

Rockland has some nice communities as well, and you're not far from Saddle River, but it's more of a hassle to get to Manhattan. And, it depends upon the community style, since many are developed without the same downtown center that is a component of many Westchester communities. They are more to the strip mall on a main road style of development, not to say that Westchester doesn't have those, too, because such development is in the county.

I think I would prefer the town center feel, though I certainly don't live in one now in the suburbs of Atlanta. We are strip mall central.

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply so thoroughly to my inquiry. You have taken some of the edge off this abrupt life change we are facing. I really appreciate it.
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