Those struggling to find a two-bedroom in New York City for under $1 million are not alone. We asked the experts to crunch the numbers, and in these inventory-strapped times, that’s one of the hardest categories for home-hunters come by. So we decided to conduct a little experiment, driving up and down the New Jersey Turnpike and I-95 to sniff out just what the same price—or considerably lower—can get you in the ’burbs. Turns out, it might not be all that dreary to have to catch the 5:47 from Penn Station—plus, you’ll have a washer-dryer.
The south Brooklynite will find no shortage of drip coffee in …
Pleasantville, New York
12 Grandview Circle
A 2,654-square-foot five-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath Tudor with an unusual provenance: It was the home of DeWitt and Lila Wallace, who used it as the first headquarters of the magazine they founded: Reader’s Digest.
Agent: Loretta Chiavetta, Coldwell Banker Residential
A typical Saturday in Pleasantville will sound familiar to anyone who lives in a Heights or a Hill: Start things off with fresh-roasted brew and a Morning Glory muffin at beloved coffee shop Black Cow, while saying hi to your kid’s friend’s mom typing away on her MacBook. (Since the schools in this very walkable town are drop-off only—no buses—families quickly get to know each other.) Don’t forget to deposit your shirts at the green cleaners around the corner before stocking up on kohlrabi at the Pleasantville farmers’ market, the largest in Westchester. Grab some fish tacos and Maine-lobster rolls at the newly opened, New England–style Seahorse Seafood Shack. Take the kids to check out ecobattery-powered toy cars at Try and Buy, or prance at a creative-movement class at the Academy of Dance Arts. Play a few rounds of Ping-Pong at the Westchester Table Tennis Center—keep your eyes peeled for puzzle master Will Shortz, who co-owns the joint—and check in at the Village Bookstore, one of the few surviving independent bookstores in Westchester, where co-owner Roy Solomon is known for his spot-on recommendations. Before you meet your date for vegan vindaloo at Indian-fusion restaurant Bhog, get your tickets for a screening of Gloria, Chilean director Sebastián Lelio’s latest film, at the Jacob Burns Film Center. It’s the town’s crown jewel, housed in a circa-1925 theater, drawing viewers from the big city to its lectures by artists-in-residence and guest speakers. “Back in the city, we had sushi and saw art-house films all the time,” says screenwriter Rob Morton, who moved here with his family from the Upper West Side in 2010. “We still do all that here, and the kids get a swing set. And grass, crickets, and stars.”