5 Costs To Consider When Moving To Westchester Suburbs Country Vs City Costs

5 Costs To Consider When Moving To Westchester Suburbs Country Vs City Costs

5 Costs To Consider When Moving To Westchester Suburbs Country Vs City Costs 

1. Transportation - A line item for sure. Depending on your train commute or driving commute, these expenses add up and call for factoring into the budget. Monthly train tickets go from $239-$521 on say, the Harlem, Hudson and New Haven lines. There are different ways to handle parking at the train station. One is a daily pass which is typically less than $6. The other is a monthly parking spot - that’s right, get your own glorious regular spot for a price, generally between 150-200 per quarter. So that all adds up and once you get into the city, there may be the added expense of the subway - a monthly unlimited costs $121. So monthly commuting costs range from about 400-700. (Of course, this can vary on town and frequency you go into the city.) Driving on the other hand certainly comes with its variable costs: gas, maintenance, insurance, tolls if any, traffic (a psychological expense), etc.

2. Heat - Yep, you'll be the conductor on this one as opposed to your landlord that foots the bill for your heat use in your insulated apartment. If you are going to be a home owner, there are all types of heat sources: oil, forced air, ductless units, electric, gas, solar, etc. Definitely inquire about what the costs have been historically in the house you are considering for purchase. There are a wide range of costs depending on source and the age of the home. Older homes tend to be draftier and require more heat than newer construction. Having said that, there is an old house charm that simply ticks the boxes for some and is clearly not right for others. A nice fireplace or wood burning stove is one of the pleasures that can balance out the occasional chill in an old home. This can be a bit of a “thing” unto itself especially if you never had a fireplace growing up. It’s

sort of magical! Keep in mind that wood burning stoves are actual heat sources whereas an open fire place is only a heat source when you are snuggled up in front of the fire with your significant other, some tea or marshmallows...

3. Home maintenance - Things like cleaning out your septic tank, driveway repair, gutters, replacing shingles, painting, not to mention bigger ticket items that can conk out at any random time like your washer/dryer, boiler, plumbing, furnace and so on. It’s also a great idea to have a back up generator. If you don't opt for a snow removal service and you are doing your own snow removal, you'll need tools to do that -perhaps a snow blower? A snow blower could be less than $500 at the good ol' Home Depot in Elsmford.

4. Automobiles - It’s true most people don't have a car in NYC so that can be an added expense. Even if you live in a walkable river town, and you don’t depend on it for transportation, you'll want a car to take advantage of the many hikes, farms and stores that aren't a subway ride away. Grocery shopping is rarely within walking distance. Depending on schedules you might even need two cars!!

5. Landscaping - Not all houses need landscaping but I put this as a separate line item because, if you do need landscaping, it can be costly, even if you are doing it yourself. There are trees, plants, seeds, dirt, decorative tiles, stones, bricks, irrigation, gardening tools, hedge trimmers, weed whackers, lawn mowers, etc. Yet, on the brighter side, gardening could be a wonderful new hobby!

Overall, it sounds like there are a lot of extra expenses. However, when you balance these costs against living in the city - entertainment, eating out, $15 drinks, taxis, Uber, the cost of an apartment (with closets), etc. - living where there is more space, quality air, and tranquility may still cost less or about the same. Then factor in the excellent schools. What are the prices one might pay to have their kids in an excellent school in the city? Private school at 20,000+/yr x 1, 2 or more (kids) or the schlep to get your kid to that special charter (for which you won a lottery space) or a magnet or specialized school across town or even in a different borough?

At the end of the day, when you have outgrown your city space, fresh air fires and quality time with each other make it worth while... including the property taxes!!


Geraldine Bien Headshot
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Phone: 917-435-4720
Dated: March 12th 2018
Views: 122
About Geraldine: After a lifetime in Manhattan and Brooklyn--with culture and food choices at every step--for Geraldi...

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