Anyone familiar with this area of NY?

jenchNovember 13, 2008

We just made the heartwrenching decision to move from our awesome 1929 home in the far north Chicago suburbs (I posted on it a while back when we first moved in to figure out what style it was) so my husband could take an incredible job offer in Pearl River, NY. We definitely want to stick with an old home!! I looked at some of the real estate offerings in the area, and it looks like we can get a nice colonial or victorian in the price range we want (could go higher, but prefer ~ 300K) - but we have no idea what the area is like. Rockford County looks a little more pricey (I assume this translates to "better" neighborhoods & schools?), so it looks like we might have a better chance finding something in Orange County. Does anyone here have any insight on these areas? Are the older homes generally well-kept-up (my parents live in rural NE CT where many older homes are - sadly - poorly maintained)? Any towns to focus on?

Thanks for any input you can give me,


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My company was moving there about 4 years ago. I chose not to move with them and found another job.

What I heard from co-workers was sad. The house prices were higher than here (rochester, NY, so really everything is more expensive than here!) however the houses in all the counties you named were very badly maintained. Many co-workers opted for new-builds because at least you were getting more for you money. Some co-workers talked about walking through houses that had rugs that were worn away to the rug padding and these were houses in an expensive price range (about 300grand)

The pricier counties do have better schools but of course, the distance to the city and transportation also impacts the cost.

One thing you should check for when you buy a house is Radon. There is a lot of Radon in that area because of the rock. Not a big deal, but you need to be aware of it.

Also, my experience was from a couple of years ago. The housing prices were pretty much at their highest. The market is a lot different now and I bet you can get a lot more for the money!


    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 4:41PM
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I think Pearl River is in Rockland County, not Rockford. An uncle used to live in Pearl R. It was pretty close to other relatives in Bergen Co, NJ. It's all NY metro now, and has been for a while. My paternal grandparents are buried the Rockland Co. Not a bad area at all, just one suburb, then another and another. You will find that Orange co has more rural going on. Actually kind of redneck.
I was born upstate in Ulster Co. A wonderful place in the 60's and 70's.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 5:07PM
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I live in Orange County which is right above Rockland. Housing had a huge boom here in the last 10 years with prices skyrocketing, but still much cheaper than Westchester County. They are starting to go down a bit. A lot of people commute to NYC, so the roads are busy, and the train from here can be a 2 hour ride.

As for attractive older homes and nice neighborhoods, there are a few areas in Orange, like Warwick and Montgomery, but there is a LOT of new construction (ie McMansions on 5 acre lots)on old farmland. There are also a lot of new residents, transplants from NYC, Westchester, and Rockland. That can be both a good and bad thing, but sometimes the old timers have the attitude that the newcomers are trying to fix something that's not broken and aren't very welcoming. Crime is also on the rise, as it is everywhere, even with gang activity, especially in Newburgh and Middletown.

This is a beautiful area once you get out in the open, and there are a few good school districts as well.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 6:11PM
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Thanks for the responses everyone!
and - oops - yes, it's Rockland (I still have IL on my brain)
blackcat - thanks for the specific info... there's good & bad everywhere, right?!! Would you happen to have a good realtor to recommend?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 11:43PM
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I was just up there for the 4 th time this summer. cat_mom on the Kitchen forum is in Rockland Ct. You can e-mail her thru the GW and get a ton of info. There are some absolutely gorgeous homes in Piermont and in Nyack. I have spent many hours riding my bike thru these areas. Hope this helps get you some current info. Caroline

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 3:51PM
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Just looked at the listings for the Piermont, Tappan and Nyack areas. I didn't see anything for less than the 500K range. Also the property taxes are very very high in the area. I saw only 1br1bath places in the 300K range and they were 900 sq feet. I sure hope you have some other areas to look at. Also talked to cat_mom and she said just check the MLS. Good Luck. c

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 6:00PM
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jench, sorry I don't have a realtor for you but you can check out a lot of places on to narrow things down a bit. You can plug in specific areas.We have an older home, but we decided to get a fixer upper that needed a lot of work, but hadn't been updated to a 60's or 70's style or had the old character of the house totally torn out. It's been a lot of work, but worth it. The really nice older places in good shape, even around here are $$$. The closer you get to NYC the more the prices and taxes go up.

Some of the areas local papers are online at or

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 8:53PM
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Caroline - thanks for looking (I couldn't bear to check out the higher price listings and fall in love with something we shouldn't be looking at!!)

Cat - Thanks for the warning... it looked like there were some less expensive older houses out there, but they were described as either "updated" or "as-is"... I think we will have out work cut out for us...

and I did notice the taxes (esp in Rockland)... ouch!


    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 4:25PM
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We used to live in Bergen County, NJ and frequently would visit the areas in Orange County, especially Warwick and those surrounding towns. We nearly bought a home in Middleton (I think that's what it was called!)- a 160 yr odl farmhouse with 5 fireplaces. I loved it, but thank God we didnt buy it. The inspector told us to run, not walk, away. It was on a few acres and we did have some concerns about Middleton as well. We also looked extensively around Warwick, Goshen, etc. There were older homes with a lot to do them. We were probably in the same price range as you. However, this was about ten years ago so not sure how the prices are now. There was also a neat old stone home with a slate roof and tennis courts in Florida, NY but we heard there were some gangs moving in there, too so we decided against that one. Warwick looked cute and quaint and all those towns were definitely more rural than where we were in Bergen County, NJ.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 4:40PM
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