This is a time lapse shot of a Metro-North train speeding towards Grand Central Station in NYC. New York City is becoming increasingly expensive. Friends of mine looking to purchase or even just to rent tell me tales of spiraling costs. So what about considering a move to Westchester? I know, I know some people will only consider New York City – anything less is blasphemy. But if the cost of living is killing you, Westchester is not the moon.
In fact, the commute to midtown Manhattan from Westchester can be less time consuming than from some points in Manhattan. Just board a comfortable, air conditioned Metro-North train and relax, read, sleep or get some work done. The time is more productive than the crowded subways and in roughly 30 minutes, you are there! No muss, no fuss. Now there are caveats to this easy commute. First and foremost, you need to be near a train station or be in a town that has adequate transportation to the train. However, with a bit of flexibility on the buyers side, you can easily find a condo, coop or even a single family home that will have a lower overhead for less money. For municipalities and train schedules see my web page on the three Metro-North train lines.
My father used to call Larchmont NY the “borough in the burbs.” He gave it that name because he found a living arrangement where he had the best of both worlds. He really loved the city but living in Westchester allowed him to afford a home with enough space for a large home office and plenty of storage. It was about 1.5 blocks from the train station and the village proper. He hardly used his car and door to door his commute was less than one hour with about a 0.5 mile walk to the office from Grand Central. There was plenty of dining in the neighborhood, so when he came home he could eat out or in as he chose and there was green space along with the peace and quiet even though he was on a relatively busy street. On the weekends he enjoyed the parks along the Long Island Sound and yes, the nightlife of his local neighborhood.
Today, an 850 sf 1 BR cooperative in the luxury doorman building where he lived costs about $200,000. Maintenance fees and taxes are less than $900 a month. Try finding anything close to that anyplace in Manhattan. Several towns and villages offer a similar lifestyle at competitive prices. Bottom line, if you are cramped for space and wondering how you are going to squeeze one more thing into your tiny closet that doubles as home office space, maybe you should consider Westchester. You can a whole lot more comfortable both financially and physically.
© 2012 – Ruthmarie G. Hicks – https://thewestchesterview.com
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