"It has an ideal location," says broker Marilyn Krizansky of Houlihan Lawrence, who lives in Hartsdale. "You don't have the taxes of Scarsdale, but you have the advantages of being close to a metropolitan area of White Plains, for shopping and restaurants…and it has a residential feeling just like Scarsdale."
The hamlet, part of the town of Greenburgh, has a quaint and pedestrian-friendly downtown along East Hartsdale Avenue, with larger stores along Central Avenue. About 20 miles from Manhattan and with a Metro-North commute to Grand Central Terminal in as little as 32 minutes, Hartsdale is convenient for those working in New York City as well as in White Plains.
The area has a population of around 5,300, according to the 2010 Census, and consists of several distinct neighborhoods, including Poets' Corner, with streets named for poets; College Corners, where the streets are named for colleges; and Manor Woods, which is a short walk to downtown.
In addition to its single-family homes, Hartsdale offers a relatively large selection of condominium and cooperative apartments, many of them within walking distance of the train. Apartment prices range from around $65,000 for a studio to more than $400,000 for large, well-appointed units, brokers say. Single-family houses generally start in the mid-$300,000s and climb to roughly $1 million.
If You're Browing for a Home in Hartsdale
"If you want to pop into Scarsdale for some of the restaurants you can, and you have the same commute [as Scarsdale], but it's certainly a lot more affordable," says Sherry Wiggs, of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty.
Hartsdale attracts young professionals, retirees and empty nesters as well as young families leaving the five boroughs to seek more space, brokers say. Its population is relatively diverse, and in recent years the hamlet has seen an influx of Asian residents, who comprised around 17% of the population in the 2010 Census.
Among Hartsdale's historic sites are the Odell House, on Ridge Road, which served as headquarters for Rochambeau, the French general who served on the American side during the Revolutionary War, and the still-operating Hartsdale Pet Cemetery and Crematory, on North Central Park Avenue, which dates back to 1896 and is believed to be the nation's first pet cemetery. The cemetery includes a War Dog Memorial honoring canines that served during World War I, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places earlier this year.
Parks: The Hart's Brook Nature Preserve and Arboretum, a 125-acre green space that was purchased jointly by the town of Greenburgh, Westchester County and New York state in 1999, includes a barn, greenhouse, pond and 2.5 miles of open walking trails. The 236-acre, county-run Ridge Road Park has walking trails, playgrounds and ball fields, and it includes the Miracle Field for children and adults with disabilities, which has a flat, cushioned surface and wheelchair-accessible dugouts.
Schools: Hartsdale is part of the Greenburgh Central School District 7, which enrolls 1,630 students and has an early-childhood program, three elementary schools, a middle and a high school.
According to state data, 87% of students in the district who entered high school in 2007 met or exceeded state standards for proficiency in English four years later, compared with 80% statewide. In math, 85% of the 2007 group met or exceeded proficiency standards in 2010-11, compared with 81% statewide, the data show.
Local private schools include the Solomon Schechter School of Westchester, a conservative Jewish day school for students in kindergarten through 12th grade with its lower school in White Plains and upper school in Hartsdale; and the Maria Regina High School, a Roman Catholic school for girls.
Dining: A number of restaurants are situated downtown on East Hartsdale Avenue, several with outdoor seating. They include Harrys of Hartsdale, a bar and restaurant specializing in steaks and seafood; Vega Mexican Cuisine, a traditional Mexican restaurant; and BosphoRus, serving Turkish and Mediterranean fare. Pas-Tina's Ristorante, another Italian eatery, is on South Central Avenue.
Shopping: Small shops line East Hartsdale Avenue, with some larger stores on Central Avenue, including a Trader Joe's. A popular seasonal farmers' market is held Saturdays at the Hartsdale train station, and mall shopping is available in neighboring White Plains.
Entertainment: Movies and night life can be found in White Plains.