Welcome to Westchester

Four fresh new 914 nieghbors.



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Jonathan Giannettino (interviewed here), co-owner of Curto’s Appliances in Yonkers, and his wife, Nicole, an attorney, moved from Hoboken, New Jersey, to the Mohegan Heights section of Yonkers in February, a short time before their now three-month-old daughter, Scarlett, was born. They purchased their 2500-square-foot, three-bedroom, 1926 Tudor for $662,000.

Why did you decide to move? We were starting a family and my wife wanted a backyard. We had been renting in a high-rise. Why Westchester? My business is here as is my whole family. Where else besides Westchester did you look? Northern New Jersey. So why aren’t you now in the Garden State? You get more for your money there but the taxes are probably even worse. Plus, staying there wasn’t going to improve my commute. Why Yonkers and not elsewhere in the county? Houlihan-O’Malley in Bronxville took us to Hartsdale, Eastchester, New Rochelle, and White Plains, but I wasn’t jazzed about any of them. Yonkers offered the most: low taxes, walking distance to Bronxville, and proximity to Manhattan. What kind of town vibe were you looking for? A place we could walk to that had some semblance of a heartbeat and activity going on. How does your new neighborhood compare to your old one? Hoboken soaks up the energy from Manhattan; here it’s more tranquil. But with the baby, the energy thing is not as important. What made your house “The One?” It needed zero work. And it was so much nicer than anything else we had seen in our price range. Was your transaction affected by the economic downturn? Two weeks after we made our offer, everything fell to pieces. We thought about pulling our offer, but I felt Westchester was not going to crash. What’s surprised you most about living here? I left Westchester as a single person in my late twenties convinced I was never coming back. And here I am back and very happy. How did you know you made the right decision? We had a huge tornado-like storm in early June after moving in. Not only did our house hold up like a fort, everyone was out there on the street helping everyone else.

In August, 2008, Richard Feldman (interviewed here), founder & CEO of EventPlanet, a company that designs and manages corporate and online events, his wife, Beth, senior manager of marketing for a retail fashion chain, and their then three-year-old daughter, Hannah, moved from Marlborough, Massachusetts, into a 1500-square-foot, three-bedroom Colonial (circa 1920s) in Dobbs Ferry. The couple looked for a home in Westchester for about a month. They paid $550,000 for their new home.

Why did you choose to live in Westchester? I was recruited for an opportunity in event marketing for L’Oréal in Manhattan. Six months after we moved, I was laid off, so I started my own company. What towns did you consider? Ardsley, Irvington, Hastings, and Dobbs Ferry. We knew we wanted to be in one of the Rivertowns—we liked being on the water. How many houses did you look at? About a dozen. What town feel where you looking for? Definitely family oriented. There’s always a lot going on to bring families together in Dobbs, like the waterfront park and music outdoors in the summer, so it’s a wonderful area to raise a child. Where’d you live before moving here? We owned a larger house on a bigger piece of property in Marlborough, outside Boston—you get more for your money there. How does living in Dobbs compare to living in Marlborough? It’s like night and day; we’re much happier here because of all the things going on in the area, and we’re much closer to our neighbors, too. Any surprises? The easy access to all the highways was a pleasant surprise. What areas other than Westchester did you consider? Bergen County in New Jersey. We would have gotten more for our money and the taxes are lower, but Westchester just had a better feel, and the commute to the City is much easier from here—thirty minutes versus an hour from New Jersey.

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