I spent a morning in the richest town on the East Coast, a picturesque village 35 minutes north of NYC where the average household income is almost $420,000. Here's what it looks like

scarsdale ny

Katie Warren/Business Insider

Scarsdale's Murray Hill neighborhood is filled with multimillion-dollar estate-like homes.

Scarsdale, a town of about 18,000 people 35 minutes north of New York City, is the richest town on the East Coast and the second-richest in the US, according to Bloomberg's 2019 Richest Places report.

It's beat only by Atherton, California, a Silicon Valley town that tech billionaires including Google's Eric Schmidt and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg have called home.
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Read more: Inside the most expensive town in America, where tech moguls live in multimillion-dollar mansions and the average household income is over $450,000

Scarsdale's average household income jumped $30,000 from the year prior to $417,335, according to Bloomberg.

The affluent community, which is both a town and a village, is located in New York's Westchester County, an area that consistently sees various towns ranked among the country's most affluent.
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Anne Moretti, a real estate broker at Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty, told me Scarsdale lures many buyers from Manhattan.

"Scarsdale's consistently high-ranking school district plus the easy 35-minute commute to Grand Central makes it a great place to live," she said.In 2018, the average home price in Scarsdale was $1.8 million, Moretti said. And so far in 2019, the housing market has been "very active," she says, despite high inventory levels of homes priced above $3 million.
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"There have been bidding wars on homes in the $1 million to $1.5 million range," Moretti said.

Scarsdale is known for its top-rated public schools, with Scarsdale High School rated among the 100 best in the country in 2018.

Residents of Scarsdale tend to be "leaders in their respective fields of medicine, journalism, finance, literature, law, and technology," Moretti said.
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I spent a few hours walking around Scarsdale and getting a peek at some of its stately homes. Here's what it looks like.

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From my apartment in Brooklyn, I headed to Grand Central Station to catch the Metro North up to Scarsdale.

From my apartment in Brooklyn, I headed to Grand Central Station to catch the Metro North up to Scarsdale.

I was on an express train, so the journey took only about 35 minutes.

I stepped out of the train station in Scarsdale to a bright and sunny spring morning.

I stepped out of the train station in Scarsdale to a bright and sunny spring morning.

I immediately noticed that it was very quiet and clean, which is pretty much my first thought whenever I go anywhere outside of New York City.

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The charming little train station put me right in the center of town. Scarsdale, which is officially both a town and a village, has a population of about 18,000. It was recently ranked the richest town on the East Coast — and the second richest in the US — by Bloomberg.

The charming little train station put me right in the center of town. Scarsdale, which is officially both a town and a village, has a population of about 18,000. It was recently ranked the richest town on the East Coast — and the second richest in the US — by Bloomberg.

Scarsdale's average household income is $417,335, a $30,000 jump from the year prior.

Scarsdale is known for its Tudor-style homes and storefronts, many of which were built in the 1920s.

Scarsdale is known for its Tudor-style homes and storefronts, many of which were built in the 1920s.

Tudor architecture developed in England between 1485 and 1558, and the style became popular in many wealthy northeastern suburbs in the 1920s, including Scarsdale.

In the 1920s, Scarsdale experienced a building boom that tripled the town's population by the end of the decade, according to the Scarsdale Historical Society.

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One of the most prominent examples of Tudor-style architecture is the historical Harwood Building, finished in 1928.

One of the most prominent examples of Tudor-style architecture is the historical Harwood Building, finished in 1928.

Today, it houses stores including the Village Computer Shop and upscale men's clothing store Rothman's.

Over the years, the Harwood Building has been maintained to look the same as it did when it opened, according to The New York Times.

As I walked through Scarsdale's charming, compact town center, I passed hair and nail salons, art galleries, bakeries, gift shops, and clothing boutiques. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of chain stores.

As I walked through Scarsdale's charming, compact town center, I passed hair and nail salons, art galleries, bakeries, gift shops, and clothing boutiques. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of chain stores.

The shops had names like Petticoat Lane and Pookie and Sebastian.

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A place called Nordic Edge was offering cryotherapy, a now-trendy wellness treatment that involves exposing your body to super-cold temperatures to soothe sore muscles and boost metabolism.

A place called Nordic Edge was offering cryotherapy, a now-trendy wellness treatment that involves exposing your body to super-cold temperatures to soothe sore muscles and boost metabolism.

"We are not a doctor's office. We are not a spa. We are a modern wellness space," reads Nordic Edge's website.

Cryotherapy and cryofacials are increasingly popular with athletes, models, and wellness-conscious New Yorkers.

The streets were calm and quiet on a weekday morning, with not many people walking around.

The streets were calm and quiet on a weekday morning, with not many people walking around.

Many of the parked cars I saw were luxury vehicles, either Audis or Mercedes, with a few Porsches and Ford Mustangs in the mix.

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Anne Moretti, a real estate broker at Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty, told me Scarsdale draws many home buyers from Manhattan.

Anne Moretti, a real estate broker at Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty, told me Scarsdale draws many home buyers from Manhattan.

"Scarsdale's consistently high-ranking school district plus the easy 35-minute commute to Grand Central makes it a great place to live," she said.

The busiest place in the village on the morning of my visit seemed to be the Parkway Cafe.

The busiest place in the village on the morning of my visit seemed to be the Parkway Cafe.

The diner is right across the street from the train station, which I imagine makes it a popular stop for commuters.

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Next door is Martine's, a bakery selling sandwiches, salads, coffee and tea, and French-style pastries.

Next door is Martine's, a bakery selling sandwiches, salads, coffee and tea, and French-style pastries.

Yelp reviews indicate Martine's is a popular Scarsdale establishment where you should expect to wait in line.

I wandered over to Chase Park, a small but pristinely landscaped green space in the center of town, right across the street from the post office.

I wandered over to Chase Park, a small but pristinely landscaped green space in the center of town, right across the street from the post office.

In the summertime, free concerts are hosted in the park.

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Scarsdale has a reputation for having some of the best public schools in Westchester County, which is what draws many families to the area, according to Moretti.

Scarsdale has a reputation for having some of the best public schools in Westchester County, which is what draws many families to the area, according to Moretti.

U.S. News and World Report named Scarsdale High School among the top 100 high schools in the country in 2018.

I went to get a look at Scarsdale High School, which has been ranked among the top 100 high schools in the country.

I went to get a look at Scarsdale High School, which has been ranked among the top 100 high schools in the country.

"Scarsdale High School enjoys a national reputation as one of America's finest high schools," principal Kenneth Bonamo wrote on the school's website. "The richness of our curriculum, the preparation of our faculty, the achievements of our students, and our record of college admissions at the nation's leading universities all demonstrate a pattern of excellence."

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My next stop was Scarsdale's Murray Hill neighborhood, known for its estate-like homes set on relatively large swaths of land.

My next stop was Scarsdale's Murray Hill neighborhood, known for its estate-like homes set on relatively large swaths of land.

"It's not only an exclusive neighborhood, but one rich with history since the American Revolution," Moretti of Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty told Mansion Global.

While the average home price in Scarsdale was $1.8 million in 2018, prices in Murray Hill are significantly higher, at an average of $3.44 million, according to Moretti.

While the average home price in Scarsdale was $1.8 million in 2018, prices in Murray Hill are significantly higher, at an average of $3.44 million, according to Moretti.

And in the past year, two of every three sales in Scarsdale over $5 million were in Murray Hill, Moretti told Mansion Global.

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Some of the grandest-looking homes were barely visible, set back at the end of long driveways and hidden away behind trees and hedges.

Some of the grandest-looking homes were barely visible, set back at the end of long driveways and hidden away behind trees and hedges.

Murray Hill has different zoning restrictions from the rest of Scarsdale that allow homes to sit on larger lot sizes.

Others, such as this newer-construction home, were in plain view thanks to the trees that had yet to sprout their leaves.

Others, such as this newer-construction home, were in plain view thanks to the trees that had yet to sprout their leaves.

This home, while not currently for sale, is valued at about $5 million, according to Zillow.

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This brick Georgian Colonial house in Murray Hill sold last year for nearly $6 million, according to Zillow.

This brick Georgian Colonial house in Murray Hill sold last year for nearly $6 million, according to Zillow.

The house comes with a pool and a pool house, neither of which was visible from the street.

I took a short Uber ride to get a look at The Heathcote, a new building that offers 14 ultra-luxurious boutique residential units for rent starting at $9,500 per month.

I took a short Uber ride to get a look at The Heathcote, a new building that offers 14 ultra-luxurious boutique residential units for rent starting at $9,500 per month.

The listing at Compass notes describes The Heathcote as an "unprecedented boutique residential experience" that took cues "from the finest Manhattan homes."

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The residence is across the street from the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center and Balducci's Food Lover's Market, a high-end specialty market that seemed to be bustling with shoppers.

The residence is across the street from the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center and Balducci's Food Lover's Market, a high-end specialty market that seemed to be bustling with shoppers.

Stores like clothing retailer Beginnings Boutique and home furnishings store Current Homes can be found at the Golden Horseshoe.

After my tour of Scarsdale, it was clear why affluent families are drawn to its charming downtown area, top-rated schools, and immaculate, multimillion-dollar homes with large yards.

After my tour of Scarsdale, it was clear why affluent families are drawn to its charming downtown area, top-rated schools, and immaculate, multimillion-dollar homes with large yards.

While it may not be the most exciting place in the world, with New York City only 35 minutes away, it certainly seems like you can get the best of both worlds — if you can afford it.

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