Northern vs Southern Westchester County NY

Northern vs Southern Westchester County NY

Let’s first start with the demarcation line…let’s use route 287 as it physically cuts right through the County moving traffic East towards Connecticut and West to the Tappan Zee Bridge and New Jersey.  See picture below.

1) Housing Stock and Lot Sizes

Both Northern & Southern Westchester towns offer all types of houses and lot sizes.  The significant differences center around housing stock age, lot sizes, access to town, sewer vs septic and municipal water vs well water.


  • Generalization – You can get more bang for your buck
  • Larger mandated lot sizes
  • Larger homes (generically)
  • Newer homes (generically)
  • More space between neighbors
  • Sidewalks less common
  • Septic and well water more common


  • Generalization – Closer together more village and town vibe
  • Large lot sizes less frequent & more expensive
  • Older homes generically with new construction and many partial renovations
  • Close together houses and neighborhoods are more common
  • Walk-able vibe with sidewalks more common
  • Town sewer and water more common

2) Population Density

Southern Westchester holds 4 of the larger communities – the cities of Mount Vernon, Yonkers, New Rochelle and White Plains – and generically has more people living on less land.


  • More spread out larger geographic footprints
  • Less multifamily development


  • More densely populated
  • Smaller lot sizes
  • More houses
  • More multifamily

3) Public & Private Amenities

Both Northern & Southern Westchester towns have wonderful public and private amenities from parks, playgrounds and town pools, to private golf, tennis, beach club and sailing clubs.  There is access for many interests on any budget.


  • More public land – fields, grass, public parks, playgrounds, town pools
  • Both geographies have several private golf & tennis clubs


  • Still great public space but land is a hot commodity
  • Access to public and private Long Island Sound and the Hudson River for water activities
  • Many private golf, tennis and boating/beach clubs

4) Daily Conveniences  

Generically Northern Westchester is more spread out than Southern Westchester – so that quick trip to the store to buy eggs or milk can take 20-30 minutes vs 10-15.  The trade-offs for daily conveniences are typically more house & land for your money.


  • One frequently has one option for for routine things — movie theaters, restaurants, and shopping.
  • Drive to each is a bit longer
  • Less food delivery options


  • More options for more things
  • Closer proximity to all
  • Quicker trips to the store
  • More food delivery options 

5) Lifestyle

This is one of our favorite topics.  Both geographies offer amazing and vibrant lifestyles.


  • You are going to be a driver because generically walking is not an option.  With large towns it’s just part of the Northern Westchester lifestyle. 
  • The communities can feel very quaint – more classic New England vibe – it will certainly feel more rural, but don’t be fooled you will see both working class, luxury and ultra-luxury communities and lifestyles.


  • Walk-able
  • More villages and small towns
  • generically feels more suburban vs rural 

6) Commute


  • 50-75+ minutes  (more train parking)
  • Longer drive into NYC


  • 30-45 minutes (less train parking – but more likely possibility of walking or biking to the trains station)
  • Shorter drive into NYC  

7) Schools

Both geographies have highly rated and lower rated schools districts.  We highly recommend reviewing the link here to learn more

and the reviews as well.


  • According to these are some of the highly rated school districts in Northern Westchester
    • Chappaqua
    • Byram Hills (Armonk)
    • Katonah-Lewisboro
    • Briarcliff Manor
    • Yorktown


  • According to these are some of the highly rated school districts in Southern Westchester
    • Scarsdale
    • Bronxville
    • Edgemont
    • Rye City
    • Rye Neck
    • Pelham
    • Mamaroneck
    • Hastings-on-Hudson,

8) Weather


  • More SNOW! 
  • More school delays and cancellations


  • Less Snow.  A typical scenario is that Southern gets 2 inches, Northern gets 6.

8) Bonus – Wildlife!


  • More Wildlife!  With significantly more open spaces, woodlands, stream, ponds and lakes – you are going to have more wildlife and lots of options for hiking and outdoor exploration. 
    • Deer
    • Possums
    • Raccoons
    • Skunks
    • Squirrels
    • Foxes
    • Turkeys
    • Bears!


  • There are more of your run of the mill suburban animals in the backyard.  There are also options for nature trails and nature centers in many of the Southern Westchester communities.
    • Squirrels
    • Possums
    • Raccoons

Link to’s Westchester County NY #SuburbanSnapshots


Link to Westchester Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Northern Westchester 2020


Link to Westchester Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Southern Westchester 2020


Wikipedia Links to Southern Westchester Towns:

Wikipedia Links to Northern Westchester Towns:

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