Where to Start House-Hacking in Westchester (or Nearby) County

23 Replies

Hey Everyone,

I'm currently renting in NYC and working in eastern White Plains, NY at PepsiCo. When my lease is up in July 2017 I'd like to buy a multi-family house and house-hack my way to more real estate investing and cheaper living. I'm having a pretty hard time narrowing down which areas to look at in the Westchester area. I welcome all pointers and discussions on locations including: Yonkers, Hudson-on Hastings, anywhere along the Hudson Metro North Line (Tuckahoe, Scarsdale, etc.), White Plains, Valhalla, and even Connecticut. 

There are so many options, and I'm really not sure where to even start. The biggest trade-offs I've noticed so far are:

1. Distance to Metro North rail line or highway
2. Higher house price vs. higher taxes
3. Reasonable prices in bad neighborhoods vs exorbitant prices in B+ and up neighborhoods

I'd like to start driving (biking) for dollars and potentially find a deal, but if anyone could help me narrow down the geography to a more defined area I would be very grateful. 

Thank you very much.

@Evan Thomas  

Hi Evan, 

House Hacking is a great way to start investing in Real Estate, you will learn a lot! My girlfriend and I started house hacking in Rockland County NY and we are up to our second multifamily house living all covered. My advice is to obtain MLS access to get ahead and find good deals, in our case my girlfriend is now a realtor. Peekskill, Ossining and Terrytown have decent multifamily inventory with moderate taxes. You can find A, B and C type of neighborhood around that area.

Thank you very much Eric, that's awesome. Do you think working with a RE agent would help me get access to the MLS or should I try to get direct access? Tarrytown is on my list of places, so I'll definitely check it out.

@Evan Thomas

In my opinion, the best option is to have direct access by becoming a realtor, that way you can ensure you are on top of newest listings. However, I know some people don't have the time, money or whatever the case is, to have their Real Estate License. In that case find an Realtor that is motivated and knows about real estate investing. Have them setup new listings automated alerts directly to your email, so you can get the newest listings based on your criteria as soon as they come up on the market.

@Evan Thomas

Taxes in Westchester County can make it hard for properties to cash flow. As Eric pointed out Rockland may be a good option. I would add that the absolute 1st thing you should be doing if you haven't done yet is get pre-approved for a loan. Unless you are buying cash. Understanding what you can afford can determine what areas you will be able to focus on. White Plains can be great, but a bit pricey. Scarsdale even pricier. Yonkers is more affordable, but desirable locations will cost you in taxes. Another note: it's easy to have access to the MLS. I sign up people all the time with automatic emails. But what many don't realize is that Realtor.com is directly linked to all MLS's in real time. As Realtors list properties they get uploaded to Realtor.com. when they go into contract or get sold they are removed. It is the closest access to the MLS besides a direct link from a Realtor. You don't have to become a Realtor to get access, unless you want to get involved in the business and want to maintain a license. Much success to you.

@Evan Thomas I am a big fan on Yonkers as most of my multi-family investments are there.  It's not hard to find a small multi-family that's cash flowing $1k+ including even after paying property management fees.   I've also started looking at New Rochelle since there's a lot of investments going into the city and prices are still reasonable.   If you'd like to stay in White Plains I can connect you with a guy that's trying to unload some properties there, from what I remember he has some really nice duplex, triplex properties that may be a good fit to get started.   Just send me a PM and I'll send you his info.

I will respectfully disagree with Eric in regards to getting your realtors license. If your goal is to become an investor than focus your time on that. Having access to the MLS is an advantage but as Ceasar Rosas said, you don't need to have your licenses for that. Find a friend who is a realtor or just ask your realtor to set you up with alerts.

If you're free on October 5th come out to the Meetup I am hosting in Yonkers.  There you'll meet a lot of local investors, lenders, brokers, etc: http://meetu.ps/e/BZxX4/n8jkY/f .   I'd be happy to make some introductions at the event. 

@Account Closed I'm looking into Westchester to do some house-hacking, but I want to grow my portfolio in the Bronx. I like Yonkers, I spend a lot of time with the family on Central avenue (I love the Alamo draft house) and my god mother owns a condo out there. I'm looking to buy a duplex or a triplex in Mamaroneck, Larchmont, Harrison, Rye, or New Rochelle. I would love to come out to the meet up on October 5th. 

I'm sorry I'll miss the meet up October 5th, I will be teaching a class that night in Eastchester. When is the next meet up Ruben Guerrero ?

@Jay Bhatt , awesome! What time is that, sorry I'm sure that info is available somewhere easy!

@Adam Cherko 6:00 p.m. Checkout the following link.

https://www.meetup.com/Yonkers-Real-Estate-Networking-Meetup/?scroll=true

I wouldn't call Tarrytown taxes moderate... What's your price range? I could send you a few options in White plains - sleepy hollow - ossining. Something close to the metro-north would be good for you. I'm looking to try the BRRR method around here.

Hey @Evan Thomas , good to see another PepsiCo employee looking to house hack in NY. Have you gotten any leads since the original post?

Thanks,

Lionel

@evan_thomas after a year later, how did the experience go? What was the time frame from finding the deal to closing?

I'm also looking in that area as well. I live in jersey City, NJ right now but work in Manhattan. I just became a real estate agent in NY and will be doing that full time soon. I want to buy a Duplex in the white plains, New Rochelle, Harrison etc.

My plan is find something for mid 2018 so i want to continue to learn and keep my eye on the market.

I'm in the beginning stages so any advice on where to continue to look would help!

Thanks

I ended up buying a studio co-op apartment because it was cheaper than my other options at the time. It's also less than a mile from my office so I have much more time to work a second job. The taxes are so high it would have taken a few renters to displace the cost of taxes AND housing costs.

So until I have the funds to rehab/renovate a house and reap the rewards of that instant equity I'll settle for saving 50% of the costs of living in NYC. I guess it's my own form of house hacking for now. 

I respect that decision! Thanks for the response. Seems like you went the smart route instead of jumping in too quickly. Good luck man! 

Thanks @Jay Bhatt for posting the REIA groups.

I am looking for a multi-family property, minimum four units in Tarrytown or Sleepy Hollow. Can anyone recommend a real estate agent or broker they have worked with? I am happy to work with a commercial broker for 5+ unit properties.

House hacking River Towns in Westchester is hard because of the taxes, there is limited inventory on the market right now and many of the homes on the market have significant deferred maintenance issues.  My wife and I have been looking for the past year.  She works near Grand Central and wants to utilize Metro North.  I work in Rockland County and need to get across one of the bridges.  We used to live in Rockland and I would agree that Metro North on this side of the River has more options and is usually more reliable than NJ Transit however when NJ Transit completes there upgrades and repairs you will see some big improvements.  It ultimately depends on what side of the city you need access too.  Right now I'm looking for any multi-families 2-4 in River Towns or as close as possible to the Hudson or west of the Harlem Line.  Either I'm too picky or I keep letting analysis paralysis get in the way.  I haven't found one that yields any positive cash flow yet.

Hey Marc, I actually just got my real estate license in NY. Let me know if you need any help looking at places. 

I have a good agent who recently helped me buy a 9 unit, if you’re interested. He’s a real estate investor himself, which has really helped since he can answer almost all of my questions regarding commercial loans, expenses, repairs, etc... He’s also an all around good guy.

Brian Rosenthal-I’m seeking a new buyers agent for small multi-family in Westchester. Would you be kind enough to share his contact information?

https://nypost.com/2017/12/03/debunking-bogus-attacks-on-the-gop-tax-cut-plans/?utm_campaign=iosapp&utm_source=pasteboard_app

What are the implications if this tax plan goes through ? I guess I’ll still need to house hack to afford to live here I just can’t deduct my mortgage tax interest or local property taxes off my federal tax return ?

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