Home Buying in New York>Question Details

Eva Radke, Home Buyer in 11217

Brooklyn Family of 3 wants to buy a house - where's the best place for the money?

Asked by Eva Radke, 11217 Tue Mar 18, 2008

We both work in the city, but are priced out of Brooklyn prices and frankly want a real house anyway. Where do we look? Long Island? (We heard the LIE and taxes are bad) Westchester? Ditto and expensive! New Jersey? What's the best school district outside the city?

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I'm shopping in westchester but the taxes are just brutal. LI is similar and if you can deal with the traffic on LI you have the patience of a saint. As they say, go west young man, or young woman in this case. We'd be looking more seriously there if we knew anything about it, but since you're taking a leap for any new area, i'd choose the one with the cheapest taxes and housing of the 3 which is NJ.

As for the best school district outside the city, its really hard to say. First, the best public school districts in the region are outside the city, the city schools can be very good, especially the specialty schools (Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvensant) but generally are mediocre to bad. The NYC education department is a horrible disaster and reminds us of the days of Tammany Hall.

In westchester, Bronxville, Scarsdale, Chappaqua (Horace Greeley), Armonk (Byram Hills) are some of the best, but there are many more like Edgemont (also in scarsdale), Ardsley, Rye Brook (Blind Brook) just to name a few. I have no knowledge of the other areas you mention but there are a number of online school reports that can give you some data to start with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
If your thinking of Westchester, I would consider Somers NY. An hour by train or car, not as much traffic as the LIE or the bridge and tunnel set of NJ and the taxes are some of the lowest in the tri state area. In fact often lower than the more northern counties. So you can spend more for a less monthly payment. Also you don't have the full NYC income taxes as a westchester resident rather than city taxes.

Hope that helps its just one of many possible starting points

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
If you work in the city, then westchester county adds the price of the ever increasing toll. There are many great areas in queens and on long island and i will be happy to discuss these options with you offline. Please contact me at smahabir@hillcourtrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 4, 2008
HI Bk Fam of 3,

What are you looking to spend? The best school district for what age?
Forest Hills is great for shcools, but pricey depending on what area.
Queens is great for prices aside from that, but the school district can be an issue depending.
Northern NY is dead on in terms of Mitchell's comments. There are plenty of options out there in Mt Pleasant, Westchester Co., Rockland. The Poconos are a good buy for low price as well.
What about HPD or First time home buyer programs if you truly want to stay in BK?
I have a friend who purchased a home in BK for $250K. 4 BR 2 Bath and NEW CONSTRUCTION!

The details would help me more, but hopefully I am at least pointing you in the right direction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
Hey Eva, I would suggest for you to consider Staten Island there is great properties for the money and like as you wanted, YOU WILL GET A HOUSE, though like everything it has its drawbacks, as fellow Staten Islander I dont regret moving to Staten Island from Brooklyn. If you want more infomration or if you have any questions dont hesitate to contact me at Cgalindo@prosperityREG.com, or you at 718 698-2179
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 20, 2008
Hi Eva,
Let me tell you about Westchester and areas North. Yes, taxes are higher here than in the city. Other than listening to my family complain, I don't know about Long Island property taxes. I live and work in New Rochelle. New Rochelle is a relatively short commute into Grand Central - 30 minutes from New Rochelle's station. The taxes here fluctuate depending upon the neighborhood.
The public schools in Westchester are some of the best in the country. This is a fact that you can research online. Our schools challenge the students in a wide array of subjects and disciplines. This is measured not only by the test scores but by the ongoing projects and performances in the schools as well as college acceptances. Westchester is a large place offering towns for everyone. Further north you get more property for your money than you would in lower Westchester.
Another choice to explore beyond Westchester is Putnam county. Taxes are lower and housing prices are lower as well. You can check out Metro North's site to get an idea of commuting times.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
Did you ever think of the Berkshires?
Its only 2hrs by train to NYC
Drop me a line
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
Hi Eva, concentrate on what things are important to you and prioritze them. Next, concentrate on what the monthly paymets will be instead of the price. This way you can compare homes in different states or counties.

good luck

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
Dear Ms. Radke
I have been a New Jersey resident for my entire life. You need to look here in Morris County. Great school systems, nice lot sizes, and easy NYC access.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
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