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Old 05-08-2010, 02:55 PM
7 posts, read 21,197 times
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My husband and I will be looking to move to Westchester in the next year. We have 3 kids and live in the city, Upper East Side. We love the city but need more space for the kids and don't want to pay for private school for all three.

We'll probably be looking to spend about $1.2M-$1.5M for a 4 bedroom house. Our most important consideration is schools- our kids are very young so we're not sure what they will need in terms of schooling (i.e. not sure if a challenging environment will be best, if they will have special needs, etc.) so we'd love to find a school district that could accommodate a range of educational needs. We also love city living so would prefer to be in a town where there are stores, activities, restaurants, etc. A short commute is key- my husband works very long hours and will be commuting to west midtown. I will be working part-time from home.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 05-09-2010, 01:13 AM
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,918 posts, read 29,639,489 times
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One of the best villages with a comprehensive downtown and a quick commute to Grand Central, is Larchmont. The schools are also good, yet not quite the pressure cooker of some of the more competitive Westchester districts. Pelham meets two of the three requirements, with the only lacking being a comprehensive downtown area like Larchmont, as there are smaller areas spread out in the town.

Bronxville also has a fast commute, good schools (though more competitive), and a nice downtown area, but houses in the village, which you must have for the schools, are going to be a bit more expensive. In the Larchmont P.O., you will find houses in the $1M+ range, but they are either Yonkers or Eastchester. Bronxville is in the Town of Eastchester, but the school district only serves the village, whereas the Eastchester and Tuckahoe districts do not adhere to the same rigid borders. If you were to find a house in Eastchester, near Bronxville, that would be good to consider as well, but on the Yonkers side, you'd most likely be looking at private schools.

The areas are very close, however, so you might have a drive to a village center, as opposed to a walk or bike ride, it's not as if you're going to be in the country, miles from the shops. Bronxville, Larchmont, Pelham, and Mamaroneck, with some big box stores in New Rochelle, and other stores in Rye, are all a few minutes from each other. If the priority is on a walking area, however, Larchmont would be a very good consideration.
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 05-09-2010, 11:09 AM
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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If you really "love city living" and truly want a city feel and experience, no suburb will make you happy. Larchmont, Bronxville, Montclaire, etc,. have fine little downtown areas, but they are nothing like city living and probably aren't going to fulfill what you're after. If you can afford 1.5 million with Westchester taxes, then you should be able to afford at least 1.8 to 2 million with city taxes--which is (just barely) enough to get a 4 bedroom brownstone in Park Slope. The neighborhood has a great blend of city living and quiet residential feel, plus the best park in the city. The public elementary schools in the PS 321 district are quite good. If you can spend more you might be able to find something in Cobble Hill, which also has good elementary schools. Just a thought...
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:56 PM
Location: Westchester County, NY
10,762 posts, read 17,379,745 times
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If you're willing to reconsider schools after elementary school, the Fleetwood neighborhood of Mt. Vernon might actually fit your bill. The neighborhood itself very much has a "city" atmosphere, but it has the complete opposite of the "inner city" vibe of the rest of the city, it's actually a lot like a somewhat more suburban version of Park Slope. The Fleetwood Metro North station has one of the shortest commutes in the system. Pennington Elementary School, which covers most of the neighborhood, is comparable to most suburban elementary schools in test scores, etc. and IMHO actually accomodates diversity of educational needs better than most schools in any part of Westchester. Your price range would get you almost any home you want and then some. Just a thought.....
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:15 PM
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Default Understanding the geography of Westchester County

mmom, in case you are unfamiliar with the local geography:

What people refer to colloquially as "towns" are actually villages and hamlets, which are within actual towns; and, because villages and hamlets are referred to as "towns", then, many times, the error is compounded when actual towns are referred to as "townships".

Also, many colloquially refer to a "downtown business district" in a hamlet as a "village".

NYS Geographic Glossary may be of some help to you in understanding the geography of Westchester County.

You can get a fact sheet for any city, village or hamlet in Westchester by going here American FactFinder and input the name of the city, village or hamlet for "city/town" (leave out the ZIP Code) and New York for "State", and then click "GO".

You'll get a lot of demographic, and some economic, statistics for the city, village or hamlet you selected, and if you click on "Reference map" (it's on the right hand side), you'll get a map.

When you do find a house that you like, you can find out in which community (city, village or CDP) that house is actually located, which is oftentimes different from the community named in that house's mailing address, by using the Census Bureau's online address search function. (CDP, or Census Designated Place, is the Census Bureau equivalent for a hamlet in Westchester County.)

And, very importantly, among other things, the Census Bureau's online address search function also indicates in which school district an address is located.
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:40 PM
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Since education is a priority, go to Bronxville. I went there and it was great.
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:50 PM
Location: Westchester
32 posts, read 116,180 times
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I would recommend Bronxville, Eastchester, Pelham Manor meeting your needs and closest to NYC. Go a bit further north and you have Pleasantville, City of Rye, Harrison which are all on Metro-North lines as well.
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