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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would greatly appreciate any advice on where would be the most suitable areas of Westchester for me and my family to consider living when we move there in a few months...

My husband will be commuting into NYC so maximum hour commute would be preferable. My 6 year old son will be attending school so good schools are of importance. And we will have up to $1.2m to spend on a house. Our giant Labrador will also hopefully be making the move with us so space will be pretty important - both indoor and outdoor. As a family we like to go to parks, eat out, etc at weekends so somewhere not too quiet/boring would be ideal.

I will not know anyone, so as a stay-at-home mum it would be nice if we could move somewhere that is quite sociable and not too cliquey.

We are currently researching Chappaqua, Scarsdale, Rye & Irvington but this is just via internet & mostly based on schools. Some actual advice and tips would be much more useful :)
 

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There are so many choices available. I think I'd start with a basic understanding of the Metro North rail system. The map is available here. There are three lines through Westchester County: the Hudson Line (along the big river), the Harlem line (that cuts through the middle of the county), and the New Haven Line (that runs close to the shoreline). It would be desirable to be close to a station along one of those lines, though of course that'll affect prices.

Even if your husband is thinking of driving into the city -- or being driven (wouldn't that be nice?) -- it's still darn convenient to have nearby rail access. As you'll all learn if you don't think so now. ;)

I do NOT recommend buying a home quickly, particularly when you're moving to a new country. Take your time to decide what neighborhoods and amenities you like. Rent first, and explore. Don't jump at the first house. There are many, many beautiful homes in Westchester County.

Then you can start checking rankings on Web sites and magazines. Yes, there's a "Westchester Magazine" that ranks the county's towns. Don't put too much stock in such lists, but look at the descriptions and use them to start exploring.

Good luck with your new adventure.
 

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I suggest renting until you got your bearings. Larger companies have a relocation department or work with an agency. National real estate companies have relocation specialists in transient markets.

Google brings a number of them in your target area. Zillow and other sites are nice for sightseeing but often outdated or simply wrong.

Westchester school district will walk you through enrollment and requirements unless you prefer private school.

Familiarize yourself with US real estate purchasing. There are plenty of sites from realtors to HUD.gov. Consider closing costs and property tax.
 

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I can highly recommend Harrison as I grew up there.

There is a Metro-North train station with regular service directly to Grand Central and the schools are among the best in New York.

Unfortunately, whereas Harrison was an expensive town at the time I was there, it is incredibly expensive today. To give you an idea, the home that my father purchased in 1963 for $65,000 has sold for as high as $9.8 million (in 2000) and is currently estimated by Zillow to be worth a bit more than $3 million. A home that my father built in 1950 in a more middle-class part of the town is estimated by Zillow at more than $1.4 million. There are however many very nice homes in that section (search "Glenwood Road" on Zillow or your favorite real estate site) valued in the $500,000 - $850,000 range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi thank you all for your responses... We will of course be renting initially - I mentioned what we could afford to buy in the hope it would eliminate some towns that were too pricey.

But I also don't want to unsettle my son any more than is necessary so hope to keep from moving schools too often. Therefore suggested towns to focus on would help me.

I will look at Harrison thank you. Wow I thought London prices were crazy but that's an incredible price increase. Your father must be a very happy man! :)
 
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