Ready to Move? Advice on Picking the Right Town

When choosing which town to live in, check out the sports, arts, and cultural programs available.

Thinking about moving out of the city to the suburbs? You’re probably spending hours researching which town or community you want to settle in. No doubt some confusion has arisen as your friends enthusiastically describe their communities and encourage you to follow them because their town is “such a great place to live.” Well, it probably is.  But is it right for you?

What should you look for in a new community? Here are a few tips:

  1. One of the first things to consider is the commuting distance to work.  Typically anything under one hour is considered workable (usually by those not actually doing the commuting!). Remember to take into account not only train travel but also door-to-door commuting time, and, if traveling by car, potential rush-hour delays.
  1. Another deciding factor will be the reputation and achievements of the local public school system. Families with children sometimes elect to leave the city when faced with mounting private school fees, and will look for communities with strong schools, even if the district has steep local property taxes.  So, check school district websites as well as national reports on school achievements and rankings.
  1. The next things to consider are recreation and enrichment opportunities, not only for the end-user, but also as a reflection of the vibrancy and energy of a local community.  Many towns offer exceptional sports, arts and cultural programs, with activities as diverse as playing the bagpipes, tai chi, and Bikram yoga.  Consider, too, whether or not your preferred town has a thriving business district, convenient local grocery shopping, or access to larger municipal shopping complexes.  If you have young children or pets, then consider what types of green space and parkland are available in your area.
  1. Lastly, online resources are incredibly helpful in finding information, especially town websites, Facebook pages, and YouTube channels for information about communities and their resources. Check out local newspapers online, and search for local Newcomers and Neighbors Clubs, which can provide invaluable clues on how active and diverse your chosen community will be.  Finally, don’t forget your Realtor, particularly if she lives in your preferred community; she should be an outstanding source of local information.

Fiona Dogan is a Licensed Realtor® in the Rye office of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. She is a Westchester Five Star Real Estate Agent, Platinum Award winner, and an Accredited Buyer Representative. For more information, please contact Fiona Dogan at: or visit her website at

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