Katonah, NY

Katonah, NY

Katonah, NY

Population: 1,691
Median home value: $626,762
Median household income: $86,296
% of the population with white collar jobs: roughly 95%
% of the adult population who are college graduates: 61%
Individuals below the poverty level: 9.7%
Racial Makeup / Most prominent races: 87% White, 12% Hispanic or Latino (of any race), 2.6% Asian, 2.5% Black
Residents would hang out with NYC folk from: Brooklyn Heights and the Upper West Side

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Katonah is a village in the town of Bedford in Westchester County

Metro-North train from Katonah to Grand Central Station: 60-75 minute train ride, depending on time of day

By car to Grand Central Station: 43 miles, or 57 minutes

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Looking to buy a house in Katonah? A 3 bed / 2 bath isn’t too hard to find in the $450K-$650K range.

With taxes, interest, and homeowner’s insurance, and 20% down, it’ll cost between $2,400 and $3,400 per month.

(Note: property taxes here do not include the local taxes, which could bring these numbers up $1K more per month. Oh yes. That’s $1,000 more. Per. Month. For exact numbers, ask your realtor.)

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Looking for schools? Here’s what GreatSchools.org has to say:

SCHOOL

GREATSCHOOLS.ORG RATING

COMMUNITY RATING

Katonah Elementary

9/10

8/10

John Jay Middle School

10/10

8/10

John Jay High School

8/10

8/10

So it’s an hour away. That’s it. That’s the only problem. This place is adorable. It has this real country kitchen feel, but with sophisticated people. (Boy, that really sounded like I’m insulting authentic “country kitchen” people.) What I meant to say was- it has a down home, rural feel with the interests and education of urban residents. Did that sound better?

Katonah, NY

They even have a Healing Arts Alliance- whatever that is!

Katonah, NY

I mean, look at their library! You would go read a book too, wouldn’t you?

Like all the other towns I’ve visited, it has a little downtown village area. This one consists of a sort of L-shaped, two-street village with a few real estate offices, restaurants, grocers, and the store Kelloggs & Lawrence, which seems to have pretty much everything.

Katonah, NY

This last store is one I actually went into, as it also touts “Tourist Info” on the sign. Well, the tourist info part of it consists of one spinning shelf thingie with some flyers and maps on it. But that was good enough for me. When I asked for info on the town (before I could see the overwhelmingly small spinning shelf thingie) three salespeople came to assist me. They were really friendly and helpful.

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Up the road from the village is a playground and public pool. My husband and kids played while I wandered the town. It’s a little hilly, with pretty adorable houses lining the semi-skinny roads. Some of the architecture is almost fun in how interesting it is. There are these “painted ladies”, which are a set of Victorian houses painted in purples and reds and green.

When I spoke to a real estate agent, she asked if we wanted a village house or one further out. No one had asked me that before. The choices are (1) close to the shops and (2) not close to the shops. I always opt for option 1 as I need good walkability. I want to be able to walk to get milk, if I feel like it, or walk to a restaurant. My husband feels the same way. Lucky for us, option 1 is also the less expensive option. Guess most people prefer to be further away. Sure, there are benefits to living further from the village: you get more quiet and more space. Though in a small town like this, I can’t imagine living two blocks from the village would be any noisier. But the “more space” would be nice: bigger property and more room between you and the guy next to you. But again, in a town like this, it’s not like a village house will be like a NY apartment building where your view overlooks a brick wall.

So let’s talk about the distance. I don’t really want to move this far away. However, there is an advantage, and that is that distance leads to difference. Katonah is far enough away that life really is different there. I don’t want the hustle and bustle and the crazy New York feel anymore. All I want from New York is the intellect and the walkability. That’s about it. I don’t go to bars anymore, I don’t party like a rock star. I have two small children and a business at home. I want to feel happy and at peace where I live. Katonah doesn’t even have a traffic light. Seriously. In a New York Times article about the village, a resident was quoted as saying “Living here is like living in a beautiful bubble.” But that’s not to say that tumbleweeds are tumbling their way across the street. There are tons of shops and restaurants, and people milling around. There’s also the Katonah Museum of Art and the Caramoor International Music Festival. For goodness sakes, Martha lives there!

The Metro-North comes right into the village, so you may even be able to walk to the train. And after a pleasant hour-long ride of reading your book, you’ll cruise into Grand Central Station (or in my case, probably hop off at 125th, since my family lives on the Upper West Side.) When we first started talking about moving out of the city, I felt so strongly that we had to be close enough to be able to drive into the city, let my parents babysit, go to dinner and a movie, and then drive home with the kids. An hour is just too far for that kind of evening, right? Right?? But as I learned from our last real-estate shopping chapter of our lives (when we ultimately purchased a town house in the g-h-e-t-t-o of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley) things that are oh-so important to you when you’re looking for a house may wind up being moot in the end. So, I want to be close enough to the city to go out to dinner? Maybe we won’t have any interest in coming into the city for dinner. Maybe we’ll love the restaurants locally and find a great (inexpensive) babysitter to watch the kids. Maybe an hour isn’t as far away as we think it is…

May I introduce to you… Katonah!

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