Brentwood housing market led by short sale investments

The Brentwood Public Library serves a large and

The Brentwood Public Library serves a large and culturally diverse community. (Nov. 8, 2013) Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

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According to the U.S. Census, Brentwood has more than 56,000 residents, which makes this ethnically diverse community the most populous hamlet in the Town of Islip.

Brentwood is home to Suffolk County Community's College's Michael J. Grant Campus and to Long Island University's Brentwood Campus. Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, a mental-health facility, is here as well.

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Part of the Pilgrim site was redeveloped as a state park, where the 53-acre Athletic Complex opened in 2010. In 2002, developer Gerald Wolkoff purchased 450 acres for $20 million, with a vision of building a new community.

The stalled $4 billion project -- Heartland Square -- is intended to be a "smart growth" community, integrating a variety of housing styles, shopping centers, office buildings and civic and recreational venues, according to the Heartland Business Center website.

While residents typically have to travel to nearby communities to shop, they have a nice selection of cuisine right in their own backyard. "We have Colombian, Mexican .?.?. all different types of restaurants," says Hector Villatoro of Arvy Realty.

Neighborhoods feature mostly ranches, high-ranches, capes and Colonials. While the area attracts first-time home buyers, Villatoro says he's been doing a lot of business with investors paying cash for short sales and foreclosures. The investors have been doing a nice job of renovating the homes, Villatoro adds.

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SALES PRICES. From Sept. 1, 2012, to Oct. 31, 2013, there were 291 sales with a median price of $201,400, according to Multiple Listing Service of Long Island data. The low price was $42,000 (a short sale), and the high was $360,000. From Sept. 1, 2011, to Oct. 31, 2012, there were 300 sales. The median price was $189,870 with a low of $49,000 (a fixer upper) and a high of $350,400.

ATTRACTIONS. Brentwood Country Club, a public golf course; annual Cultural Street Festival; Brentwood Puerto Rican/Hispanic Day Parade; Roberto Clemente Park is slated for a face-lift.

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Town: Islip

Area: 10.1 square miles

ZIP code: 11717

Population: 56,211

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Median age: 33.3

Median household income: $70,034

Median home value: $225,000

LIRR time to NYC: 58 minutes to 74 minutes at peak

Monthly ticket: $363

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School district: Brentwood

Sources: 2010 Census;; LIRR; *Based on sales in the past six months, according to MLSLI

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