Archive for the 'Commuter Friendly Locations Westchester' Category

Fotos On The Fly – The Hudson River & the Hudson Line….


Irvington Train - 8-13 - HDR2-SmallYou can’t think about the Hudson River without thinking about trains and train lines.  Trains and the lower Hudson Valley go hand in hand because the area is just a few miles from mid-town Manhattan.   For Westchester residents, trains are a way of life, and that makes good sense since many residents make the daily trek from their Westchester homes to Manhattan.   Thanks to Metro-North, the trip is quite painless and efficient.

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For Sale in the Highlands – White Plains NY – 5BR/3BA Colonial – 152 Old Mamaroneck Rd.

Highlands - White Plains NYThe Bullet:

  • 5 Bedrooms
  • 3 Baths
  • 3147 sq. ft. 
  • 0.33 acres
  • Prewar charmer built in 1924
  • Location – the Highlands White Plains NY

The Cost:

  • Offered at $779,000
  • Taxes without STAR:  $15,794
  • Taxes with STAR – deduct $1524: 

Welcome home to a 4-story pre-war colonial, ideal for multigenerational living in White Plains NY.  This home offers old world charm with all the architectural details and unique touches that one expects from a pre-war home while offering plenty of elbow room to expand. In addition the grounds boast an oversized detached garage, two basements.  The property sits on 0.33 wonderful acres offering plenty of space for outdoor living.

Home in Highlands - White Plains NY


For a complete photo album – see my page on Google+ for 152 Old Mamaroneck Rd. 

Sitting on the edge of the famous Highlands neighborhood.  The location of the home offers all the convenience that downtown White Plains is famous for while being tucked away in  a suburban neighborhood.

Downtown White Plains offers all the convenience of city life.  Although the live-in population of White Plains hovers just under 60,000 residents, the city is host to over 250,000 commuters who are employed within the city borders.  Add to that the nightlife and shopping that has evolved around the downtown renaissance and you have a thriving city that really doesn’t sleep.  Although there is only one Manhattan, White Plains has been dubbed “mini-me Manhattan”.  This location gives you the benefit of  a wonderful residential suburban neighborhood with plenty of elbow room and privacy.

The Highlands sits in the buffer zone between the very suburban southern section of White Plains that comprises the southern tip of the city and the true downtown area to the north.  So residents of this neighborhood get the convenience and benefit that the downtown offers combined with the more tranquil and private lifestyle of a suburban neighborhood.  Known for its easy commute.   Its the best of both worlds.

White Plains is also a commuter’s paradise –  a mere 33 minutes from midtown Manhattan and is an express stop on the metro-north Harlem Line.

© 2013 – Ruthmarie G. Hicks –  - All rights reserved.

Lighting Up The Night – Outdoor Lighting & Twilight Photography – The American Dream Home at Hudson Harbor Tarrytown….

One of the newest trends in home sales is what we call “twilight photography” of the home’s exterior.  Although there are many factors that help sell a home, apart from a very competitive pricing and top-of-the-line staging, there is little that will promote a home better than eye-catching photos.  And what catches the eye better than a fully lit home in all its glory, at dusk.  Hence, the term twilight photography.  However, although the photographer should take a bow here (shameless plug intended)  without the right lighting…all the photography in the world won’t help.  But this is an example where great lighting can make the photographer look like a genius.

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Westchester is not the moon – Commuting to Manhattan is a breeze….

Upper West Side NYCHaven’t been posting as much lately because I have been very busy.  I’m still busy with clients and working hard generally, so getting to update the blog has taken a back seat.

The weekend before last I took a rare day off to  help  a friend move from her upper east side apartment to the her new digs in the upper west side.  In so doing, we made good use of my Honda Element taking things back and forth and loading the car with new goodies to decorate the new abode.

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Train Power….The power of Metro-North…

Hartsdale NY Train StationWestchester County is served by three train lines:

  • The Hudson Line – (Green)  which hugs the Hudson River and stops in all the river towns such as Tarrytown, Irvington  and Dobbs Ferry.  
  • The Harlem Line (Blue) which goes straight down the middle of the county serving landlocked towns such as White Plains, Scarsdale and Bronxville.
  • The New Haven Line (Red) which serves the Sound Shore area including New Rochelle, Mamaroneck and Larchmont. 


These train lines transport commuters from all over the county to Grand Central Station in mid-town Manhattan.   The power of having a Metro-North stop in your home time is reflected in higher home prices, and a greater resilience to the housing recession.   The towns in lower Westchester with an easy commute, held up better than a town up-county with no train station.

The reason for this disparity is obvious.  With the rising cost of fuel and the heavy congestion on the roadways, having easy access to a Metro-North train station is an obvious plus.  Being able to easily hop a train certainly beats spending hours in traffic burning gasoline as well as your patience.  Also, even if the train station is geographically close by, if it is not located in the municipality in which you reside, parking permits can become problematic.

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Fotos On the Fly – The White Plains NY Business District

Many people think of White Plains mostly as a either a place to live or a place to go for fine dining and first-class shopping.  However, White Plains has  two populations.  A live-in population that is a bit less than 60,000 and  a much larger commuter population in the downtown area.  In truth the business district is somewhat scattered with a portion of it being along the eastern edge of  town hugging the access road to I-287.   But the center  of the White Plains business district is in the western portion of the downtown area sandwiched between  the train station and the residential area of downtown of White Plains.

With easy access via the train,  the Bronx River Parkway and I-287, I-95, and the Hutchison River Parkway,  its small wonder that White Plains would be a desirable  location for business. Upwards of 250,000 commuters call White Plains their “home” during working hours and many stay after hours to enjoy the shopping and the nightlife.   This “second population”  adds to the vibrancy of the area and has turned the City of White Plains into a city that really never sleeps.

But truth be told, White Plains was a retail and business center long before it was a true urban hub with an active downtown.  Although the business crowd adds to the activity and vibe of the downtown area, the businesses were there back  in the days when White Plains rolled up its streets at around 6 PM.  Back  in the 1990s   the commuter population was close to 200,000 but there was nothing to do after work, so everyone headed home.  That’ s a long way from  the “mini-me Manhattan” it has become.


White Plains NY Business District

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Market Update on Larchmont NY PO – Single Family Homes

Larchmont  homes typically evoke tree-lined streets and mature neighborhoods. This area does not disappoint on any of these.  The area is strictly residential – yet for the most part it is walkable neighborhood   – many of the homes being  a mile or less from the train station and parts of the village.   Some areas are somewhat further from town – so walkability depends upon you precise location.  But leaving the car behind is indeed an option for a large portion of this neighborhood.  Because this is a long established neighborhood, Larchmont homes generally  have a distinctive Old -World charm about them. Tudors seem to dominate the area although Colonials are very much in evidence as well.   But don’t let the age of these homes fool you.  Most of them have aged gracefully and boast many upgrades that  can give you the best of both worlds:  old world charm – with modern amenities.  The lot sizes run the gamut from roughly 0.12 acres to over an acre in larger homes.  In general, the homes close in to the village sit on smaller lots.

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Garth Road Scarsdale NY – Market Report

The cooperatives on Garth Road in the Scarsdale PO are a very popular destination for first time home buyers and those who are scaling back from a home.   Among Westchester coops, the Garth Road location is one of the best known and most sought after.  This is not without good reason.  The location is fairly close to perfect for commuters and those who prefer to leave the car behind and walk to town.

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Market Update – The Stonecrest – 21 N Chatsworth Ave. – Larchmont NY

Larchmont NY has long been a popular destination for buyers of single family homes, but Larchmont is also a popular location for those looking for condos or cooperatives.  A cluster of these condos and cooperatives are located  in a prime location within one to two blocks of Metro-North in the Larchmont P.O.

The Stonecrest – 21 North Chatsworth Ave – Larchmont NY:

The Stonecrest, located at 21 North Chatsworth Ave Larchmont  is a luxury cooperative in a doorman building – located roughly two blocks from the train station.  The stately Pre-War Tudor complex boasts  one of the finest locations in the area.   The Roughly two blocks from the train station and a similar distance to shopping and fine dining,  I am hard pressed to think of a more convenient loation.  The address has a walk score of 92 out of 100 making it a walker’s paradise.
Stonecrest Exterior

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State of the Westchester real estate market – Clues from the Manhattan market.

Westchester NY Real estateA few weeks ago, I noticed that my friend from the Manhattan real estate market – Mitchell Hall, had posted some very encouraging data. Manhattan is doing quite well in spite of the doom and gloom coming from the talking heads.  All real estate is local – so what happens nationally has little bearing on individual markets.  New York State  was one of the stronger markets in the country.  The New York metro area posted  3% gain in housing prices overall. The medain price was up 9% over the previous year and up 4% per square foot.  Amazing performance given the state of the rest of the economy.

What does this mean for Westchester NY real estate?  Well, as Manhattan goes – so goes Westchester.  If prices in the city are edging higher eventually that wave hits Westchester as even hard-core Manhattanites consider mass immigration to….gasp…..the SUBURBS!!!!  And Westchester – particularly lower Westchester is the most logical move.

For Manhattanites – Westchester is the location of choice when they make a move. 

About a year ago, I was looking at a “heat map” of human migration across the US.   The map showed areas of the country that  were emptying out  such as the rust belt as well as  areas that were seeing increased populations.   It was neat.   When I clicked on Westchester, I couldn’t see anyone moving in.  At first I thought our county was emptying out at a crazy rate….which made no sense….but then I realized that the map was too small. You couldn’t see the bee-line of immigration from NYC, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island.  When I increased the size of the map to its maximum – there it was.  The fact is that Westchester is the location of choice  for people leaving NYC.   If Manhattanites were a herd of buffalo – Westchester would be tracking the periodic stampedes as obsessively as we track the weather.

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