WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Homebuyers seeking a change in lifestyle are turning to places such as The Residences at the Ritz Carlton in White Plains, where they can experience an urban standard of living while still having quick access to the benefits of suburbia.
“They are new and they match today’s lifestyle,’’ William Raveis Realtor Harmony Stern said about The Ritz in White Plains. “More and more, people are giving up hoarding. It’s a wonderful urban experience in suburbia. It’s an urban experience without having to give up suburban passions.”
Stern, who has lived in Chappaqua for 25 years, said affordability, accessibility and convenience are the primary reasons why many people have found White Plains and homes in The Ritz good investments.
“It’s part of the forecasted movement where people want to get back to a walk-in lifestyle,’’ Stern said. “You don’t have to get into your car to get a coffee, go grocery shopping or watch a movie. That has a lot of appeal. People want to be able to walk and they want to feel comfortable walking to their destination.”
Stern said many homebuyers also prefer White Plains to New York City because of affordability. “That’s really it,’’ Stern said. “But there are other things, too. New York is intense, and it’s intense 24/7. There is no escape. In White Plains, you can go over to Tarrytown, Irvington or Hudson Park. They’re beautiful and there’s great recreation. You have easy access to bike trails. White Plains offers all of that with easy accessibility. If you want to go ride a bike you don’t even need a car rack. Cyclists can get out of the town pretty quickly. It really is the best of both worlds.”
One of Stern’s current listings at The Ritz is a sun-filled, three-bedroom home with 1,918 square feet. The home includes nine-foot ceilings, central air and 3 ½ baths. Some of the luxury items are an in-ground pool, exercise room and undercover parking. It’s also close to the railroad station for New York City commuters.
“All types of buyers seem to enjoy it,’’ Stern said. “It’s a real mix. Doctors, families, young professionals, families with kids who have gone off to college and they don’t want a big house.”
Stern cautions “empty-nesters” considering moving to high-rise living to start downsizing before making the commitment to move.
“I tell empty-nesters it’s important to choose change before changes choose you,’’ Stern said. “Moving is a physical and exhausting undertaking. All that stuff you’ve been saving, you better start editing that collection now. You don’t want to move something that’s sitting in a box and just move the box to another location if you’re not going to use it. Electronics today have totally changed the way we live. We don’t need nearly as much stuff as we once did.”
Stern has made the change in her own life. After years of single-family home ownership, she found herself liberated by switching to high-rise living when her children finished college.
“For me, there are different opportunities to be energized in a new way,’’ Stern said. “Even something as simple as going away for a long weekend is not a big deal now.”