In a county rich with natural beauty, first-rate schools, and recreational and cultural opportunities, each of Westchester’s 40-plus towns, villages, and municipalities has its own flavor. So, we’ve taken on the role of house-hunter in naming the best places to live, using architecture as a lens to pinpoint locales with an ample supply of a particular style and the many qualities that make a community feel like home.
Cape Cod | Colonial | Mid-Century Modern | Farmhouse |
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Relatively economical (a rare find in our county!), Capes are low and broad, usually a story-and-a-half high, with a moderately steep, pitched roof, and a central chimney.
Poet’s Corner, Hartsdale
Streets named for writers like John Keats imbue the aptly named Poet’s Corner section of Hartsdale with a romanticism reflecting simpler times. It sets the tone for this down-to-earth, friendly community containing approximately 540 homes, including many Capes, most of which were built in the 1950s and ’60s.
“As seniors are moving out, we’re getting younger families with young kids,” says Mona Fraitag, co-president of the Poet’s Corner Civic Association. “[Cape Cods] are a size of home that is good for a family starting out.” An 18-year resident, she describes neighbors who readily share information and water plants for those on vacation. Honey Sackelman, of Houlihan Lawrence in Irvington, shares that home prices in this neighborhood range from the low $400,000s to mid-$500,000s for dwellings from 1,300 to 2,000 sq ft, depending on additions or renovations.
A hamlet of Greenburgh with its own train station and post office, Hartsdale is a “very diverse community,” says Sackelman. Residents enjoy Greenburgh’s extensive recreation offerings; many Poet’s Corner residents also use the county’s Ridge Road Park on its edge.
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Coincidentally, the vicinity off Westchester Avenue in Thornwood also has a Poet’s Corner neighborhood, with streets named Byron and Poe, among others. Here, as well, Cape Cods abound.
After World War II, when most of the remaining farmland in Thornwood was developed, local builders were influenced by the Capes being built at the time in towns like Levittown on Long Island, suggests Kelly Collins, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty in Thornwood. This year, prices have ranged from $309,000 to $749,000 for homes from 1,000 to 3,602 sq ft.
“They’re great as starter homes; they’re great for smaller families,” comments Thornwood architect Paulette Dimovski, of Dimovski Architecture, who notes livable square footage can easily be added in what was previously attic space, to meet the needs of today’s families. “We’ve been renovating a lot of these capes but trying to keep the style and charm.”
That’s because once families settle in Thornwood, they’re loath to leave the unassuming, close-knit community, which boasts a mix of white-collar and blue-collar families and strong schools; it is well located for the train and major roadways. Many locals return to raise their families in this 5-square-mile hamlet in the town of Mount Pleasant. As part of the town, residents can enjoy the Mount Pleasant pool, “a true gem,” raves Collins, along with a variety of recreation activities.
30 Poe St, Hartsdale
Well-maintained Poet’s Corner Cape with built-ins, updated kitchen, and legally finished basement.
One of the most popular styles not only in Westchester but the entire nation, Colonial homes are known for their square, symmetrical exteriors; stately, two-story floor plans; large windows; and central entryways.
Philipse Manor, Sleepy Hollow
Philipse Manor’s wide grid of avenues provides a gracious setting for an elegant enclave of 321 homes along the Hudson in Sleepy Hollow, primarily featuring Colonials.
“Our house is a 1928 Dutch Colonial, which reflects the history of the area,” remarks resident Michelle Andruss. “When I walked in for the first time, my eyes were drawn up to the beautiful curved molding. It’s not something you find in newer homes.” Subtypes of the Colonial Revival style, Dutch Colonials are primarily characterized by a gambrel roof or a low, sweeping roof with dormer windows (those that project vertically). “The view from our house is something out of a movie—looking out at the Philipsburg Manor and its historic grist mill,” adds Andruss.
Colonials here range from 1,900 to 4,000 sq ft, on one-quarter- to one-third-acre plots, says Phyllis Lerner, a Realtor with William Raveis Legends Realty Group in Tarrytown. People are attracted to the area for the walkability to the train and because they are seeking a sizeable home. Current market prices are $799,000 to nearly $1 million for 2,500 to 3,300 sq ft.
Cathy Golub, president of the Philipse Manor Improvement Association, moved here for proximity to the running trails at nearby Rockefeller State Park Preserve. The group, she explains, “strives to create a strong supportive community,” organizing an annual July 4th parade and picnic, and a debate night for village political candidates. “The Philipse Manor Beach Club is the social focal point in the summer,” she says.
Prospect Park, White Plains
A pair of stone pillars off Soundview Avenue signals one’s arrival into the quiet, tree-lined Prospect Park neighborhood of White Plains—an architecturally diverse area with plenty to offer for Colonial devotees. Buyers will find many 1920s and newer Colonials, some just being completed, sitting side by side with Victorians and more modern homes from the 1960s and ’70s.
Michelle Perkins, president of the Prospect Park Association, moved with her husband to the park in 2007, drawn by “the mix of people” and charm of the neighborhood in proximity to downtown White Plains. The community of 130 homes feels peaceful, yet the conveniences of the busy city are just minutes away.
Homes and plot sizes vary from a half to a full acre. “Older Colonials in need of renovation,” says Realtor Toni Chrystal, Houlihan Lawrence in White Plains, “might sell for $800,000 to $900,000. These have large lot sizes and large square footage (3,500+). Renovated, they would sell for $1 million to $1.3 million, depending on the location in the park.”
Homes in Pelham were almost all built before World War II, according to Arthur Scinta, founder of the Pelham Preservation Society, so buyers attracted to Colonial and other older-home styles (as well as a 32-minute commute to Manhattan) will find this small, supportive community with fine schools an appealing option.
“We found that the older homes had interesting, more surprising details, and we really liked that,” says Friends of the Pelham Public Library co-president Eileen Miller, who moved here four years ago. Buyers will find Colonials throughout Pelham, particularly ones from the 1920s to the 1950s. Styles in neighborhoods like Pelham Heights, a half-mile from the train, include Dutch and the classic center hall. Plot sizes tend to be fairly small, about a quarter to a third of an acre. Prices range from the mid-$500,000s for a 1,500 sq ft Colonial to $2.3 million for an 8,000-plus sq ft home.
Residents of these neighborhoods still enjoy walking to and from the train and downtown. Pelham was mainly settled before automobiles were in use, so as a sidewalk community, it’s easy to walk everywhere.
Miller notes the ease of getting involved in the town’s community. More than 700 residents attend the biannual Novel Night, dinner parties themed on a book and held in private homes. All meet up for dessert at the New York Athletic Club.
473 Munroe Ave, Sleepy Hollow
Walk to the train, beach, and park from this Colonial with high ceilings, four bedrooms, central air, and generous storage.
22 New York Ave S, White Plains
Center-hall Colonial layout has Mediterranean stucco and barrel roof, large entry foyer, renovated kitchen, spacious rooms, and gazebo surrounded by mature plantings.
240 Hunter Ave, Sleepy Hollow
Year-round Hudson River views from this 1927 stucco Colonial with master suite, heated sunroom, and glass-enclosed conservatory. Minutes from the beach and boat clubs.
Bridging the organic and man-made, and represented in the Westchester-friendly ‘Mad Men,’ this post-WWII-America style stresses pared-down forms, natural materials, and a seamless flow between indoors and out.
“The houses you see now on Long Hill [Road] are part of the landscape, as they were back [in the 1950s],” Michael Molinelli says of Briarcliff Manor’s mid-century-modern homes. An architect who grew up in and lives in the village, Molinelli counts as a mentor modernist architect Don Reiman, a former resident who designed many of these homes here in the early 1950s. Open layouts, glass walls, skylights, and, in rare cases, views of the Hudson River, are what to expect.
A couple of these Briarcliff homes date from the late 1930s, “when modernism was not the norm yet for residential design,” notes Alex Vastola of the Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough Historical Society. These simple, pared-down houses designed by Reiman and noted architect Edgar Tafel, among others, fit into the verdant village’s surroundings, which may be why they are scattered all over its 5.8 square miles. Susan Strawgate Code, a Houlihan Lawrence associated broker, categorizes the homes as “ranging from modest to magnificent,” with square footage from 1,600 to 5,000 (homes with additions) and prices from $600,000 to more than $2 million within the past year.
Briarcliff’s understated downtown contributes to the small-town feel of this close-knit community (population 8,000) with an award-winning school system. Families park themselves at the town pool most summer days; it is a focal point of the Law Memorial Park complex, which includes a playground, tennis courts, and library/community center.
The 21 Acres cooperative formed in the late 1940s to build in Ardsley, just as the famous Usonia development (where a rare home is currently on the market for $1,695,000) designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and disciples was progressing in nearby Mount Pleasant. As part of the village’s postwar building boom, 13 homes were designed and built together, pooling architects and resources for efficiency, says Carla Maher, who, with her husband, is fully restoring their mid-century-modern home using the original plans. Today, prices here can vary from $850,000 to $1.4 million, depending on condition and size, usually 1,800 to 2,700 sq ft.
Some 21 Acres houses have been altered; others are intact or retain a mid-century feel, connected to the outdoors. “My house has 78 panes of glass, and I cannot see a neighbor,” says Maher. “The way it is situated perfectly on the wooded land makes you feel like you’re kind of in the country. However, it’s only a 35-minute train ride into the city,” she adds.
Commuters can take that short train ride from stations in Dobbs Ferry, Hartsdale, or Scarsdale, or drive using the New York State Thruway or Saw Mill River Parkway. Ardsley’s schools excel in individualized instruction, and the town’s nearly 4,500 residents enjoy a robust recreation program.
“The [mid-century] homes that were built in the ’40s, ’50s, and early ’60s were built to be in harmony with the environment,” says Mary Anne Condon, broker with Houlihan Lawrence in Pound Ridge. Tom Andersen, whose 1939 mid-century modern is the first of this style built in Pound Ridge, echoes Condon’s comment: “Our house is interesting because it was designed in two sections. We have a deck on the roof of the first story that serves as an outdoor room in warm weather. So, the idea was to be as much a part of the natural world as possible, whether you’re indoors or outdoors.”
Andersen estimates there are at least 50 mid-century-modern homes throughout town. These homes come on the market infrequently. Sales over the past few years indicate that prospective buyers can expect to pay $825,000 to $1.8 million for a 2,500 to 4,400 sq ft home.
Residents of Pound Ridge rave about the rural feel and rustic quiet, 41 miles away from New York City. There are no traffic lights, adding to what longtime resident Ebie Wood calls “an informal, easygoing town.” Active community efforts preserve open space and residents enjoy hiking at the county’s largest park, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
9 Pheasant Rd W, Pound Ridge
Stone-front mid-century modern on long, gated driveway with Gunite pool and cabana, with access to Robin Hood Lake.
70 Park Ave, Ardsley
A classic mid-century modern, with built-ins, wood beams, exposed brick, many windows, generous bluestone patios, and outdoor space.
3 Farm Rd, Ardsley
Original mid-century-modern detail and large windows are featured throughout this renovated home with master suite, situated on a private lot.
Most prevalent in Northern Westchester, this unpretentious home type features gabled roofs, wraparound porches and verandas outside and natural wood, beamed ceilings, and bright, cozy kitchens inside.
A gracious mix of rolling hills and history, Bedford has “kept its agrarian past through its horse farms,” says Bedford historian John Stockbridge. Some older farmhouses, many now renovated, are set on acres behind stone walls and on the winding roads of the village. Others, influenced by the style, fit in with the area’s pastoral character. “Buyers like the big, open spaces and farm doors, rafters, wide-plank floors, and high ceilings,” says Brendon DeSimone, manager of the Bedford office of Houlihan Lawrence. This style has sold fairly quickly over the past year, within an average of 72 days. Current prices range from $525,000 to $1,947,500 for homes that are 1,600 to 4,300 sq ft.
The Farmers’ Club, founded in 1852, still meets regularly here, reliving history and the town’s farming heritage. Some horse farms remain; riders may be seen on the roads. The Bedford Riding Lanes Association maintains miles of trails and dirt roads, yet residents are just a 10-minute drive from Mount Kisco shopping.
Bedford Village’s historic past permeates its present; the New England charm of the village green has changed little since the late 18th century, and the Bedford Village Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Also in the village, the Bedford Playhouse is slated for a fall 2017 re-opening as a cultural-and-community hub after local film enthusiasts led a fundraising campaign for its restoration.
Spread out over more than 20 square miles at the northern reaches of Westchester County, North Salem’s agricultural past also naturally lends itself to the area’s farmhouse-style dwellings. Today, horse farms, riding and boarding stables, and a few orchards survive. Like the farmhouse that contains the popular local restaurant Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish, similar frame homes in town have a symmetrical composition and rooms with sharp angles, adding character and exuding a homey charm. Farmhouses currently on the market range in price from $625,000 to $995,000 with square footage ranging from 2,500 to 4,300 according to DeSimone of Houlihan Lawrence’s Bedford office.
The town’s historic preservation committee has designated 29 historic landmarks, including some private homes in the farmhouse style in an effort to preserve the area’s heritage.
In the town’s 2011 comprehensive planning report, residents prioritized preserving the rural character of the town and promoting environmentally friendly provisions. Cynthia Curtis, chairwoman of the Town Planning Board and president of the North Salem Historical Society, raised her family here. “I have lived here since 1977 and have loved every moment of it,” she says. “Volunteers are plentiful and keep the community strong. We are the country and work to keep it that way. Lights off by 10 pm, practically no sidewalks or streetlights, and the ability to enjoy peace and quiet.”
164 Old Post Rd, Bedford
Built in 1785 and renovated in 2007. Features wide-plank floors, marble master bath, period woodwork, stone walls and stream, and separate guest cottage.
With clean lines and few embellishments, this style inspired by Roman architecture is characterized by symmetrical façades and accentuated front doors as exterior focal points.
With Chappaqua’s genesis circa 1730 as a simple Quaker farm community, it seems natural that there would be a concentration of Federal-style (1780-1850) homes throughout this affluent, bucolic hamlet.
The town has a fair number of center-hall Federals, says Gray Williams, town historian and resident of the town of New Castle, in which Chappaqua and Millwood are located. “They’re vernacular, vaguely neoclassical, very simple and plainly decorated but gracefully proportioned.” Jeanne Coon, associate broker here with Houlihan Lawrence, advises these homes can vary from 2,200 to 3,800 sq ft, with a price tag of $899,000 to $1.5 million.
The Quakers still meet weekly at their meetinghouse in the Old Chappaqua Historic District, listed on National Register of Historic Places. And they’ve put their stamp on Chappaqua, with their values of social progressivism and interest in education evident today. The acclaimed Chappaqua schools, including Horace Greeley High School, serve 3,810 students who benefit from strong parental involvement and community support.
Dawn Greenberg, co-founder of Chappaqua Cares and the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival, says that Chappaqua is a “land of plenty and generosity. It’s really wonderful; people go out of their way. It’s one of the beauties of our town.”
Downtown—with its array of popular restaurants like the longstanding Le Jardin du Roi and the newbie Chappaqua Station, plus family-run clothiers like Family Britches and Squires Family Clothing—is eminently walkable. The Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce actively hosts programs and events to encourage residents to shop locally.
The historic neighborhood of Sparta in the town of Ossining is a one-of-a-kind in Westchester. “What’s special is that it has a large concentration of early 19th-century houses that were [first] an independent village, [then] an independent hamlet and incorporated into Ossining at the beginning of the 20th century,” says Alan Stahl, historian for the Jug Tavern of Sparta, Inc., a nonprofit corporation that owns the Jug Tavern, the district’s oldest building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mark Seiden, of Mark Seiden Real Estate Team, agrees. “You have these old, historic, vintage homes, but they’re all built very differently. So, you could have this nice all-red-brick façade, really cool, and it could even have an arched front entryway around a corner, and right next to that could be a stone building, so it looks completely different. And there could be a brick building that is a two-story building and a 1700s farmhouse sitting right next to it.”
Some have been renovated, and some have not, says Seiden, adding, “The other thing about these older homes—I call them the social rooms—the living room and the dining rooms are quite large in those houses because that’s where everybody congregated.”
Prices can range from the high $300,000s up to the high $600,000s. Homes come on the market, but not many are on the market at any one time. An 1,100 sq ft house at 14 Rockledge Avenue sold for $303,000 this past March; 5 Still Court, 1,280 sq ft, went for $396,000 in July. Sparta residents can walk to the Scarborough train station or the Arcadian Shopping Center.
Stahl, who offers walking tours of the area through Jug Tavern, notes, “Some [of the homes] were renovated to be rather grand, while others are modest. That’s really the tone of the community since then. There’s a variety of sizes of the houses, and of wealth and amenities in the houses, but it’s still a community.”
The same can be said for Ossining, which covers 15.6 square miles (it includes the villages of Ossining and Briarcliff Manor) and is home to residents from a variety of backgrounds and income levels. The Ossining public schools offer a pre-K program in partnership with the Ossining Children’s Center, a nonprofit educational daycare center, and Ossining High School is recognized for its award-winning science-research program.
385 Roaring Brook Rd, Chappaqua
Circa 1790 farmhouse, renovated, with 5 fireplaces, reclaimed wide-plank floors, and open kitchen.
26 Liberty St, Ossining
Built in 1988 as graduate project for architecture students assigned to blend in with historic Sparta architecture. Includes porches, brick fireplace, and stainless-steel appliances in modern kitchen.
These homes of solid masonry have steeply pitched gable roofs, playfully elaborate masonry chimneys, embellished doorways, groupings of windows, and decorative half-timbering (exposed wood framework with the masonry or stucco between the
Exquisite Tudor mansions designed by noted architect Lewis Bowman, as well as elegant Tudor-style homes, townhomes, and apartment houses, stand out throughout Bronxville’s one square mile. Developer William Van Duzer Lawrence and architect William Bates employed the popular style first when establishing Lawrence Park and then Bronxville from 1890 through the 1920s. Tudor design was easily adaptable to the local landscape, its irregular shapes fitting nicely into the woods and rocky terrain; indeed, rock quarried on the property was often used to build the homes.
Louise Parzick was looking for a home with character and authenticity when she moved to Bronxville in 2003. “Ours is a French Normandy Tudor, which is light, bright, and airy yet has the good scale we were looking for in a home,” she says. “High ceilings, a lot of architectural details in the woodwork, in the stained-glass windows, the leaded windows, those were all important elements for us.”
Today, Bronxville flourishes as Lawrence envisioned. Its historical architectural design melds with a thoughtfully constructed pedestrian-scale village, centered on a vibrant downtown with dense apartment housing. Farther out, concentric circles of single-family homes rest on slightly larger plots, averaging nearly a third of an acre. The excellent schools, a draw for families, receive strong community support; the high school’s new auditorium, which opened in October 2015, was easily funded by a bond and donations from school organizations and private citizens.
The village’s walkability, sense of community, lively downtown, and 29-minute commute do come at a price: single-family Tudors in this desirable location range from $2 million to $8 million for a 3,500 to 8,000 sq ft home.
The Cotswold, Edgemont
The Cotswold section of Edgemont exudes English countryside charm. Sizable, stunning Tudor homes with slate roofs, stone or stucco fronts, and striking architectural details line block after block, each different from the next. Developed in the 1920s, as summer homes for wealthy New Yorkers, the enclave is in demand because locals can walk to the schools and to Scarsdale to catch the train or visit the downtown, says Marcie Dubow, a broker at Houlihan Lawrence and former 43-year resident. Convenience costs: prices run from $1.6 million to $2.6 million for homes that range in size from 3,300 to 5,400 sq ft.
“I always loved the history and the story of these houses,” adds Danielle DeMaio, who moved here after growing up in another area of Edgemont. “The quality of the construction is unbelievable. The craftsmanship in everything; each detail is unique.”
A sense of community is fostered by the Cotswold Association, a neighborhood association that represents an area within Edgemont and holds social events. (Edgemont is solely a school-and-fire district lying within the unincorporated town of Greenburgh; a campaign to incorporate is underway.) The Edgemont School District is a source of pride, a perennial high achiever; it was named one of the best public-school districts in the country by Niche.com, a K-12 school-review site, earlier this year.
Modeled after an English village, the Hastings-on-Hudson neighborhood of Shado-Lawn brims with Tudor homes featuring the style’s distinctive, decorative half-timbering. Originally billed as the “small but smart home colony,” according to the Hastings Historian, a newsletter of the Hastings Historical Society, it was developed in 1926 when the Homeland Company bought Charles Burns’ 30-acre estate fronting Broadway. Building promptly began on an enclave of gracious Tudor-style houses on streets with British names, including Devon Way and Windsor Road. None of the blocks are through-streets, adding to the secluded feel, and the train station is a mere mile walk away.
Recent sales prices were $1,150,000 for a 2,200 sq ft home; a 2,900 sq ft home sold for $1,450,000. Mary Madigan, associate broker with Houlihan Lawrence in Irvington, disputes the perception that Tudor houses are dark inside. “Most of them have big casement windows, and many of them have high ceilings,” she observes.
Hastings’ inviting downtown, with its mom-and-pop shops and the Hastings Flea (monthly Sundays from April to November), embodies a casual vibe for young families, many moving from Brooklyn looking for a true neighborhood feel.
274 Pondfield Rd, Bronxville
Lewis Bowman-designed Tudor featured on cover of the book Tudor Style. Extensive, detailed craftsmanship, generous chef’s kitchen, fitness room, koi pond and waterfall.
4 High Rd, Bronxville
Normandy Tudor designed by American architect Penrose Stout has an oriel window, arches, designer kitchen, wine cellar, and mature gardens with stonework.
7 Chedworth Rd, Scarsdale*
Stone-and-stucco Tudor with large renovated kitchen, formal dining room, extensive woodwork, and professional wine cellar.
*Edgemont neighborhood in town of Greenburgh, despite Scarsdale zip
Charming, exquisite details such as ornate trim, well-crafted spindles, and patterned bricks make Victorians stand out from other home styles. Stained glass, multiple fireplaces, and grand porches also denote the style.
“I think people don’t talk enough about how well Victorian architecture fits into our 20th-century aesthetic,” says Katonah resident and chairwoman of the Town of Bedford Planning Board Deirdre Courtney-Batson, who lives in a Victorian. “Even when you have a front parlor and a back parlor, there are often pocket doors or big double doors that close off those spaces. So, really, you can have these little private rooms, which is more mid-19th-century aesthetic, but you can open the whole thing up. They’re wonderful for open-space entertaining.”
Katonah is unusual in that its citizens moved it a mile south in 1896, when the Cross River dam was created, flooding the area. Influenced by the City Beautiful movement of the time, the people “decided to actually plan their village,” says Courtney-Batson. This led to the creation of the wide boulevard of Bedford Road, now the center of the Katonah Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, despite being rundown. In the late 1980s, as Victorian architecture regained popularity, residents banded together to preserve the area, now a showcase of beautifully restored and maintained homes. It’s the place to trick-or-treat on Halloween, right behind the vibrant Victorian downtown. This year, prices have ranged from $759,000 to $1.52 million for homes spanning 2,100 to 3,500 sq ft.
That thoughtful community spirit still thrives; citizens are active in the highly regarded Katonah-Lewisboro schools, the Katonah Village Improvement Society, and in the arts, perhaps influenced by the Golden Mile, a stretch of Route 22 so called because it houses the Katonah Museum of Art, the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and the John Jay Homestead.
When the Larchmont Yacht Club was founded in 1880, great Victorian homes and hotels sprung up to accommodate the illustrious sailors and wealthy visitors who came to sail and stay in this picturesque beach village. (In fact, it wasn’t until the early 1900s that Larchmont became a year-round community.) Since Victorian homes were the popular style then, they are plentiful in the area. “I think anyone who lives in Larchmont would associate the Manor [Park] section with Victorian architecture,” says Susan Emery, longtime board member of the Larchmont Historical Society. She notes that with the Queen Anne style, in particular, “there’s this incredible activity on the exterior of those houses, [they are] very architecturally diverse and rich.” Prospective buyers will be interested to learn that these style homes sell quickly; the average number of days on the market this year is 36. Prices range from $2.5 million to $3.5 million for a 4,000 to 6,000 sq ft home.
Residents enjoy the natural surroundings—many join one of the beach-and-yacht clubs that dot the shoreline, and a bike-lane pilot project for a stretch of Larchmont Avenue was approved by the village in July. Part of the Mamaroneck school district, children attend lower schools in Larchmont and Mamaroneck High School, where the 2016 graduating class numbered 361.
Buyers looking for Victorian homes will appreciate the eye-catching architecture in Mount Kisco’s Captain Merritt’s Hill neighborhood. Elaborate brackets and scrollwork abound and wide porches invite sitting, adding to a nostalgic feel of yesteryear. These details “make it so easy to fall in love with the neighborhood,” says Brian Murray, branch manager, Houlihan Lawrence in Chappaqua. Prices range from $600,000 to $1 million for a home approximately 2,000 to 4,000 sq ft.
An easy walk to downtown and the train, the area is named for Captain J.W. Merritt, who owned much of what was previously called Kisco Mountain. Harry McCartney, Mount Kisco historian, emphasizes how the 1847 arrival of the railroad spurred the development of Mount Kisco from a sleepy farm town into a business center. Prominent families and entrepreneurs took advantage. Their success allowed them to build stylish, sophisticated homes of the period, some in the Second Empire Victorian style, which was meant to fit narrow urban lots.
Today, with its mix of big-box and small stores—everything from Target to Tiger Lily—Mount Kisco retains an unpretentious atmosphere. Residents swim and play disc golf at Leonard Park and send their kids to the well-regarded Bedford schools, which also serve Bedford and Pound Ridge.
21 Oak Ave, Larchmont
Walk to all from this quintessential Victorian with front porch and renovated kitchen with custom cabinetry.
67 Hillside Ave, Mount Kisco
Queen Anne Victorian with plaster ceiling medallions, period fireplaces, custom kitchen, wraparound porch, and attached two-car garage.
65 Beach Ave, Larchmont
$100,351 estimated taxes
Completely renovated shingle-style Victorian has original leaded-glass windows and pocket doors, as well as an open floor plan, gym, and 2,500-plus-bottle wine cellar.
Population: www.city-data.com; Median Household Income: based on 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates on www.factfinder.census.gov; Median Home Sale Price: Houlihan Lawrence; Median Property Taxes: Mary Beth Murphy, Westchester County Tax Commission; # of Houses Sold, Average # of Days on Market: Houlihan Lawrence; Property and Violent Crime Rate: www.bestplaces.net; Average Commute to Grand Central and Train Stations: Metropolitan Transit Authority; Main School District and Public High Schools: www.trulia.com
#: There are multiple numbers in certain columns because of Cortlandt’s two school districts. *In cases where a town is served by multiple school districts, the district tax rates were averaged. **Property crime, on a scale from 1 (low crime) to 100. Offenses include burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The US average is 43.5.
***Violent crime, on a scale from 1 (low crime) to 100. Composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter; forcible rape; robbery; and aggravated assault. The US average is 41.4