In addition to Nyack and Pearl River you may also like Suffern. There is a great train line in Suffern as well. Since you have written your question in September, a lot has happened in Real estate regarding: Mortgage rates, first time buyer, and prices may be bit lower. If you are interested in re-exploring any of these areas, please call me @ 845-304-4838 Thank you, Kathleen
I know this listing is a bit dated, but I was wondering if you have made the move yet? I live and work in Pearl River which does have a walkable "downtown" area with restaurants and bars. Prices have come down a bit since September, what is your price range? Sometimes the local brokers have listings that are not in the MLS system. If you are still looking and not working with another agent, I would love to help you find your Rockland County home. Maureen McEnroe Joyce Realty 914-588-1873.
Pearl River is a very nice area with a downtown along Central Ave. There are a number of restaurants and most importantly there is a Metro North, run by NJ Transit, train station in the center. The train goes into the Secaucus Transfer station where you can connect to trains to Penn Station in mid town Manhattan and into Hoboken where you can take the Path to the Wall Street area. It is definitely an area worth looking into and you will find it less costly than Nyack or New City. If you would like more info, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit the Chamber of Commerce website: http://www.pearlriverny.org/
You might also want to check out Haverstraw, which is a bit more urban than Pearl River and New City, and some people are touting it as the next Nyack. There is a condo/townehome complex on the hudson that has affordable homes. Here's a link: http://www.gdc-homes.com/community_overview_5.htm