Friday, May 28, 2010

An Option to Think About

I posted once before about a community that was looking for new members and which was willing to help out families who would move there. The following came to me via email and may offer a viable solution to the "Where are we going to live and how can we afford it" question.

If you are looking to buy a home in a welcoming, thriving, modern orthodox community in central Long Island, join us for Shabbat, June 4-5, for an exciting program and a chance to experience our warmth first-hand.
WHEN: Shabbat June 4-5
WHERE: Young Israel of Plainview 132 Southern Parkway, Plainview, NY
RSVP: send your questions or reservations to or call (516) 433-4811 ext. 108 to learn about our New Family Initiative and our upcoming shabbaton.
$25,000 interest-free loan
Discounted shul dues for the first 10 years ($10,000 value)
Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (HANC) $7,500 New Family Tuition Discount per child over the first 3 years (kindergarten through 6th grade)
First year shul membership FREE
Broker referrals, discounted mortgage brokerage and closing services, and many more supplementary services to make your move as easy as possible.
Beautiful & safe suburban community located in central Long Island just 40 minutes by LIRR to Penn Station (NO changing trains)
Modern Orthodox shul with over 180 families
Encompassing eruv
Under the leadership of Rabbi Elie Weissman, 2010 recipient of the Yeshiva University High Schools Young Leader of the Year Award
Daily minyanim, Popular Young Adult minyan on Shabbat plus exciting Youth, Sisterhood & Educational Programs
Numerous classes/shiurim for all levels of learning
Local mikveh/ kosher butcher/take-out/bakery/pizza/JCC
For more information about the program download our brochure here or contact us:email: hospitality@yiplainview.comphone: (516) 433-4811 EXT. 108Check us out on Facebook: Plainview YIP Group


Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff. Bergen County, NJ is going through a tremendous tuition crisis right now. Don't believe me, just check out this blog

efrex said...

I don't want to disparage these efforts: communities should work to attract new members, and getting people to think "out of the box" requires incentives.

That being said, the numbers just don't add up for me. The cheapest 3 bedroom homes that I see listed for sale in Plainview are in the 350k range. Even if a family has enough for a 20% down payment, you're looking at costs of about $2500 a month between mortgage, taxes, and insurance. Throw in yeshiva costs, however discounted, and you still need to be earning $150k/year minimum to even think about making ends meet comfortably.

Susie said...

Know anyplace that you would want to live that is comparable inside of NYC where you can buy a free standing 3 bedroom home that sits on some land for $350K Efrex? Taxes are not as bad as in the 5 towns or in Bergen County. The school is good. Besides, $150K is the asking price and in today's market no sellers are getting their asking prices.

And re the $150K in salary, which NYC community or North Jersey or 5 town area can you buy that house in and pay full tuition to the schools and pay shul dues and not need that amount of money to make ends meet comfortably? Also reasonable to assume both husband and wife working so it's not one person who has to make that much.

efrex said...


I can't name any such place, which is why I rent, and will likely be doing so for quite some time, or at least until developers stop doing stupid things like building "luxury" condos in working-class neighborhoods. I've made a choice: sending my children to yeshiva + financial independence + saving for retirement + living near family and friends = lifetime renter in less desirable neighborhoods. Were I to take on a mortgage, I'd need to have my children's school provide me with a scholarship and I don't believe that my religious institutions are required to support my voluntary expenses. The other option, as our blog hostess has previously pointed out, is to stop thinking of the New York City area as the Jerusalem of the US.

As I said, I hope that this program helps the Plainview community. Perhaps there are fiscally responsible people for whom Plainview makes more sense than other areas. For my way of thinking, the fact that it's cheaper than Bergen County doesn't make it affordable. Tacking on an extra 5k/ year in LIRR expenses for a two-income family probably comes pretty close to negating the tax differential anyway.

Again, it's quite possible that there's a target audience for this pitch. I hope that there is, but I just see it as being a very narrow one.

Lion of Zion said...


"The school is good."

please define "good"

Lion of Zion said...

i agree with efrex. plainview may be somewhat cheaper (?), but it is not "cheap." the incentives may lure people who could otherwise afford 5towns (for example) but want to save some money. or young families who have a good shot at good income growth down the line but need something a bit cheaper now. but if a family that can't afford other suburban communities, how will they afford Plainview once the tuition incentive expires after 3 years?

anyone who is serious about "cheap" rather than just "somewhat cheaper" needs to really consider OOT (not that i'm putting my suitcases where my mouth is). i think the houston incentives make more sense in this regard.

Mark said...

Also, I don't quite understand the ad. If the community is "thriving", why do they feel the need to pay people to move there?


ProfK said...

If the community is "thriving", why do they feel the need to pay people to move there?

See my upcoming posting on Tuesday for one answer to your question.

Tamar said...

Affordable is relative Efrex. If you are going to stay in the nyc area and if you are looking to buy a house, then some areas present a better bargain than others do. Take that 350K and look around community by community and see what that gets you in housing. In some communities there are NO homes in that price range. In some that money will buy you an attached row house that is 12 feet wide by 25 long with no property and no real room in the house either.

If you have that 150K in salary to spend or more then the housing in Plainview represents a bargain. You'll have less of a mortgage leaving you with a better safety cushion financially and more choice of how to spend your money or save it.

Lion of Zion said...


there other suburban jewish communities that have houses in the $350 range (even in teaneck in the current market). the plainview incenives might help some families save money in the short term, but long term i fail to see how this reprensets an affordable option when compared to other communities.


"thriving" is very objective. in this sense--although i know nothign about plainview--it might mean that the community is strong enough to support all the amenities one generally expects to find in thriving community, yet is having retention of growth problems (see below for why). (and yes, the fact that they have a pizza store is a sign it is somewaht "thriving." while i agree with profk that people place too much emphasis on how many restataurants a community has, a pizza store does represent that there is some type of critical mass present.)

i think a lot of people are very narrowly focussed when looking for where to buy. e.g., a lot of people think there is nothing but woodmere or teaneck. as i explained in a comment above, i don't think the plainview incentives are worth much, but they are attention grabbing and may get people to consider that there other suburban communities around new york.

Anonymous said...

Plainview is growing, but it's not on many people's radar screen. 25 years ago, it was a bastion of Conservative Jewery, yet the Orthodox shul and population was quite small. Over the past 15 years and especially the past 5 years, more and more MO families have been moving to Plainview than leaving every year, so it is well past the point of critical mass. Distance-wise, it looks farther from NYC than 5towns or other Nassau county options. However, it benefits from being near the best served LIRR station east of Jamaica (Hicksville), which makes the commute as good, if not better, than some more popular areas on Long Island. It's centrally located, so people who work in Suffolk county (e.g., at Stony Brook), Nassau county, Queens and Manhattan all can reasonably live there.

Indeed, part of what makes Plainvew thriving is that many people who live there come from OOT or are looking for a more OOT feel in an MO community. There are quite a number of families who moved to Plainview without any discounts and offers, so it's not like you have to pay people to attract them.

However, in the past years, less-well known communities have offered people these types of grants or assistance to consider the community. Oceanside had a successful program, as did some areas in Westchester. As a result, these communities have gotten extra pres, extra PR, and more people aware of their existence. If you ask me, I think this program is about letting people know about Plainview's community more than the benefits. I also think that the program is meant to help out young families who are on their way to earning more income, not to assist families that ultimately won't be able to afford living in Nassau county (which is still one of the richest counties in the country). Anyone considering the community should obviously visit and do more fact-finding about cost of living.

Anonymous said...

My cousins considered moving to Plainview 22 years ago, but they decided not to because there was no mikveh. The ad states "local mikveh" so I assume they've built one within the community.

Anonymous said...

There is a newer local mikveh in Plainview. It's very nice and modern, without being a spa. It is within one block of the Young Israel.