Family-Friendly Dream Homes to Move to Near New York City

dream homes

Is house hunting your passion or go-to pastime? We get it; the Real Estate section is oh-so-addicting with their gorgeous dream homes that never fail to distract us for hours. But maybe those oh-so-many hours don’t have to go to waste, because it’s finally the time that you’re looking to buy a new home for your family. What’s great about New York is that each town in and near feels unique and community-driven. With the added benefit of having an easy commute into the city, a neighborhood will feel right for your family, where you can settle down or upgrade your space to accommodate your growing brood. Whether you’re still window shopping or seriously house hunting, we’ve got our top picks for New York dream homes. Learn all about the property and its surrounding town, and be sure to bookmark your faves as you go! 

Psst…If you are trying to explore new towns for a future move, check out 8 Suburban Towns Families Are Flocking to from the City

dream home in Stamford

Stamford, CT

68 Saddle Rock Road,
Stamford, CT.

This masterpiece, located on one acre on the Shippan shoreline, was constructed in 2003 and famous as the Faye Dunaway estate. The home is grand with its gorgeous views, balconies, open-air porticos, an in-ground, heated Gunite pool, a separate cottage, a five-car detached garage, and a historic greenhouse designed by Lord Burnham. The house includes four bedrooms, four and one-half bathrooms, and four fireplaces. The best part is that it is only a 45-minute commute to NYC and close to Stamford’s lively downtown!

It is hard to believe that Stamford is a mere 45-minute train ride away to Grand Central, but this is the beauty of Connecticut. While families move for the change in pace, they can still enjoy a vibrant downtown scene, theatre, culture, excellent restaurants, and shopping. Close by, you’ll find the suburbs of Glenbrook, Springdale, Newfield, Belltown, and the Ridge, each with neighborhoods that have their own vibe and tight-knit communities. The Merritt Parkway is where you’ll find rolling hills, lakes, and ponds. What you notice most about this area is how green and lush it is. Stamford’s Westover section is close to downtown and features spacious homes, many on a full acre. If you love older homes, the Historic districts boast magazine-worthy restored older homes. There are also newer homes with a more contemporary vibe if that’s a better fit for your family. The choice of education is plentiful. There are 21 public schools, including three magnet schools and one international school, and 15 private schools.

Agent: Catherine Richardson, William Pitt Sotheby’s,

203-249-1512, [email protected]

dream home in westfield

Westfield, NJ

616 Maye Street,
Westfield, NJ 07090

A charming open porch beckons you to come into a home filled with high ceilings and sunlight-kissed rooms. This home features 6 bedrooms, 4.2 baths that make this property a popular one for growing families. Large windows, a first-floor family room, and a kitchen with a drool-worthy island make for the perfect family hang-outs. There are two en-suites with the main suite, including a sitting area. You can totally have your own space as parents with a walk-in closet and a full bath with a double vanity. Let’s also add that this home is next to a Trader Joe’s (yes!) and some great shopping and restaurants.

Westfield is conveniently located only 22 miles from Manhattan, easy to hop on a train or bus to head to the city. The downtown area is award-winning with a popular restaurant scene and locally owned businesses. The town is suburban with an urban vibe that mixes well with the many families who have transplanted from the city. Families love that Westfield Schools are some of the top-ranked in the state. There is a kindergarten academy, six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school campus.

Agent: Frank D. Isoldi, Coldwell Banker, 908-301-2038

[email protected], TheIsoldiCollection.com

Montclair/Glen Ridge, NJ

62 Dodd Street,
Glen Ridge, NJ 07028

We’re loving this modern and spacious home, perfect for families! With 4 bedrooms, your kiddos can each claim their own room. The best part about this listing is it is ready for your family to move in. The first floor has a beautiful kitchen, including a center island and stainless steel appliances, for all your cooking and baking needs. There’s also a large living room for family movie nights and a fireplace for cozy, snowy days. And did we mention that the basement is fully finished? That’s right! Top it off with a stunning yard that has a bluestone patio, a firepit, and an in-ground pool, and you’ve got the ultimate family-friendly house.

Glen Ridge is super convenient, being on the south end of Montclair and only a 30-40 minute train ride into NYC. There’s plenty of family-friendly activities to do, including the oh-so-popular 120+ Brookdale Park and Glen Ridge Country Club. Montclair/ Glenridge features top-rated schools and historic, well-maintained homes; this town is often on the list for “Best Places to Live in NJ.”

Agent: Amy Owens, Realtor/Team Leader Keller Williams NJ Metro Group, 201-396-2927, amyowensteam.kw.com

Chappaqua, NY

2 Brittany Ct,
Chappaqua, NY 10514

This single-family home is sun-filled and full of hardwood floors, perfect for the kids to run. There is also enough space to get that pet you keep promising your family. There is also plenty of room to set up a remote workspace. The lower level will include a gym, bathroom, and playroom, which of course, can double as a school nook. Part of the Hardscrabble Lake Community this home is on is a little under 2 acres, which means you will have lots of space. Personal favorites are the beautiful nature surrounding the property, and perhaps this is because of city life. We are obsessed with the mudroom and the spa-like bathrooms.

Chappaqua is a town of New Castle, which is in northern Westchester County. It is close to the city and is why it is a pretty sought-after town for families to relocate to from urban life. It is about 30 miles north of New York City. Many ‘city’ families move to Chappaqua for its charming downtown village and space. Homes are not cramped together, yet the town’s vibe is warm, friendly, and neighbors know each other. The schools are top-notch but not pretentious, with public schools that run like private schools. And for families looking to live in Chappaqua, the train station is not overcrowded, and homes are close to the station for its proximity to the city.

Agent: Yona Strougo, COMPASS/ Kori Sassower Team, 914-393-8653, [email protected]

Pelham, NY

46 Windsor Place,
Pelham, NY 10803

It doesn’t get much more charming than this colonial home in Pelham Manor. We’re obsessed with the cozy living room that’s super roomy and has a fireplace to keep you warm in the winter. And work-from-home has never been so easy with a windowed space on the first floor that can be used as an office and even more room in the basement for remote work or school. There are 4 bedrooms in total, 3 on the second floor and 1 on the third floor. The backyard is perfect for family fun, and it’s completely fenced in, so no need to worry about your little ones when you’re outside.

Pelham is a vibrant community with plenty to do and see daily. Pelham Manor residents even get to enjoy exclusive Shore Park, a large park-like area just along the coast of Long Island Sound. The schools are exceptional: Prospect Hill Elementary has welcoming playgrounds where you can meet up for playdates, and there are plenty of options for early childhood school, from Montessori to play-based learning. And for our foodies, you’ll definitely appreciate the fantastic restaurants.

Agent: April H. Monaco, Houlihan Lawrence, 914-548-8350, [email protected]

Maplewood, NJ

27 Elberta Rd,
Maplewood, NJ 07040

We’re obsessed with this Maplewood, NJ listing! With 4 large bedrooms and 2 full baths, this house is a great fit for families. It also gets bonus points for convenience, being only 0.8 miles from South Orange NJ Transit Train Station. Easily get where you need to go while enjoying the comfort of this beautifully fenced in property. There’s also an open floor plan and built-in garage: plenty of space for storage, work from home, and all your on-the-go & staycation plans. And with a yard that welcomes family fun during all seasons of the year, this listing truly is a dream home.      

An active community only 30 minutes away from NYC, Maplewood always has a ton going on. We love that Maplewood prides itself on embracing a melting pot of religious beliefs, lifestyles and more. And did we mention the shopping scene? Maplewood’s Village is the downtown shopping district that does not disappoint. The school district is top-notch with students that get into Ivy League schools and renowned Universities like Julliard. Columbia High School has the widest variety of AP courses and offers plenty of clubs and sports. Your family will fit right in at the Maplewood community!

Agent: Mark Slade, Keller Williams Midtown Direct Realty, 917-797-5059, [email protected]

Cranford, NJ 

Variety is key in Cranford, NJ homes! You’ll find many split-level homes, a good number of which were built in the 40s and 50s. There are also Colonials and Victorian-style houses built in the early 1900s. Many properties are settled on spacious lots, but if your family is looking for more space for outdoor fun and games, there are also Victorians with more acres of land. No matter what stage of life you’re in — just starting your family or having the third kiddo on the way — Cranford has plenty of options that make your home search that much easier.

Cranford is an ultra-convenient location less than an hour to Manhattan and the Jersey Shore– talk about the best of both worlds! The downtown area is always popping with diverse restaurants, boutique shopping, and a movie theater. Enjoy the outdoors with 15 local parks and two county parks with trails, playgrounds, and ponds. The school district has strong academics, and schools are consistently top-ranked in the state. With an easy commute along the Raritan Valley train line that takes approximately 20 minutes to Newark Penn Station and 50 minutes to NY Penn Station, Cranford is the town that has it all.

Agent: Gina Suriano Barber, Coldwell Banker, 908-917-4577

[email protected], GinaSellsNJHomes.com