Belle Terre -- French for beautiful land -- is a bird sanctuary set on a peninsula with Port Jefferson Harbor and the Long Island Sound serving as the backdrop.
"We strictly enforce tree and vegetation codes," says Mayor Ted Lucki. "We have deer, fox, pheasant ... and good fishing," Lucki says, adding, "It's really a beautiful place."
Private beaches, a park with a new playground, a community center and social committees provide a sense of community. Programs include a six-week beach camp for kids, says former resident Lisa Jaeger of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, noting residents also gather for annual events. "You can be as aloof or as involved as you want to be," says Pat Nicklaus of Coach Realtors at Port Jefferson.
Resident Jeff Nazzaro, of Keller Williams Realty Homes, says he loves his neighbors and the Norman Rockwell atmosphere. "During Sandy and last year's blizzard, everyone came out to help each other," Nazzaro adds.
The entrance into the village -- where the gatehouse, a French Provincial-style building, stands, and where there are walls flanking Cliff Road -- is idyllic.
Beyond the entrance is the constable as well as 300 homes ranging from modest ranches to grand Tudors on at least one acre. (Smaller parcels exist.) "It's a winning combination of private beaches and an Old World setting," Nicklaus says. There are opportunities for first-time home buyers, Jaeger notes.
SALES PRICES. Since turnover is low, the sample size is small. From Jan. 1, 2013, to Feb. 1, 2014, there were six sales with a median price of $832,500, according to Multiple Listing Service of Long Island data. The low was $525,000, and the high was $1,900,000. There were also six sales from Jan. 1, 2012, to Feb. 1, 2013. The median price was $688,450 with a low of $600,000 and a high of $6,400,000.
ATTRACTIONS. Proximity to Port Jefferson village, about a five-minute walk down hill, Jaeger says
MORE BELLE TERRE STATS
Area: 0.9 square mile
ZIP code: 11777
Median age: 48
Median home value: $815,000*
LIRR time to NYC: From Port Jefferson, 1 hour, 36 minutes to 1 hour, 53 minutes at peak
Monthly ticket: $363
School district: Port Jefferson
Sources: 2010 Census; mlsli.com; LIRR;
*Based on three sales in the past six months, according to MLSLI