Freeport is an incorporated village that is rich with history. Probably best known for its fishing and boating community, Freeport also has landmark homes with lots of character. "Many were built in the 1900s that are still standing and beautiful," says Paul Garrett, licensed broker-partner at Deblat & Garrett Real Estate.

Only 45 minutes from Manhattan by train and close to all the major highways, Freeport is on the South Shore in the southwestern part of Nassau County within the Town of Hempstead. "We are in the crossroads of the South Shore of Long Island," says Freeport Mayor Robert T. Kennedy. "Just one mile from the Atlantic Ocean on the Jones Beach Inlet, we are considered the fishing capital of the Northeast."

The village was named earlier this year as one of the 20 coolest towns in the country (ranking No. 7) by travel website Matador Networks, due mostly to the Nautical Mile, the Freeport Recreation Center and the village's maritime heritage.

Freeport has its own fire and police departments, with uniformed officers being among the first in the nation to wear body cameras, starting a pilot program in January 2014. The village also has its own water and electric sources, keeping prices low: Water costs 30 percent less and electricity 40 percent less than elsewhere on Long Island, says Kennedy.

The village sustained millions of dollars in damage in superstorm Sandy. "Every restaurant and structure was 5 feet under salt water," says Kennedy. "Since Sandy, we have redeveloped, redesigned, modernized and expanded."

The housing market was also hit hard -- particularly for homes south of Merrick Road -- but sales have improved lately in the last year, says Anna Beigelman of Exit Realty Premier: "We are seeing some record sale prices." She adds that lots of homes were purchased after the storm and renovated, improving the look of the neighborhood.

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The Freeport Recreation Center houses four pools -- three outdoors -- as well as an ice hockey rink, basketball courts and a fitness center. It recently underwent a $250,000 renovation. The library was also recently updated.

Freeport's Nautical Mile, alongside Woodcleft Canal on Woodcleft Avenue, is an area featuring outdoor restaurants, shops, stores, fishing charters, party boats, and boats to hire for water sports and tours, including seal watching. An annual festival, The Freeport Nautical Mile Festival, takes place next month as well as an annual shark tournament.

"The festival brings first-time visitors to Freeport," Kennedy says. "This is the first year we have included the blues in it. We are bringing down 10 to 12 bands to perform blues music. We are expecting 100,000-plus people for the day."

Houses include a variety of different styles, from old-world to modern. The homes near the water in the south part of town were built in the 1950s and '60s and include high ranches, split-levels and capes. The homes on the northwest side are largely Victorians with wraparound porches as well as many Tudors and Dutch Colonials.

Freeport is home to Ocean Watch at Harbor Pointe, a new gated community that features two-story town houses priced from $559,000 to $975,000 and located  on the Hudson Canal, also called the Hudson Channel. The Ocean Watch project will be complete in July, with a total of 61 units, each with its own boat slip. "We are in the hamlet of Harbor Pointe. We don't have a post office or a ZIP code. That is why we do not have to pay incorporated village taxes," says Doreen Teta, of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, who is marketing the property.

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CONDOS AND TOWN HOUSES: Ten listings between $135,000 and $439,000

SALES PRICES: From April 1, 2014, to April 30, 2105, there were 221 sales with a median price of $280,000, according to Multiple Listing Service of Long Island data. The low price was $65,000 and the high price was $800,000. During the same period a year earlier, there were 206 sales. The median price was $250,000, with a low of $74,500 and a high of $629,721.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS: The Freeport Museum, Freeport Memorial Library (one of Nassau County's largest public libraries), Nautical Mile, Cow Meadow Park and Preserve, Randall Park, Glacken Park and Waterfront Park

OTHER STATS

Town: Hempstead

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Area: 4.6 square miles

ZIP code: 11520

Population: 67,874

Median age: 38.3

Median household income: $42,860

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Median home value: $288,500

LIRR time to NYC: From Freeport station, 40 to 45 minutes at peak

Monthly ticket: $287

School districts: Most students attend Freeport schools, while parts of Freeport are zoned for the Baldwin school district but still pay Freeport village incorporated taxes

SOURCES: 2010 CENSUS; MLSLI. COM; LIRR

*BASED ON SALES IN THE PAST SIX MONTHS, ACCORDING TO MLSLI

ON MULTIPLE LISTINGS

Number of houses: 218

Price range: $1,375,000 to $88,300

Tax range: $9,052 to $39,000

RECENTLY SOLD

$650,000

MAIN STREET: This two-story town house built in 2014 and part of the Ocean Watch at Harbor Pointe development sold last month for its full asking price. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom unit located on the Hudson Canal boasts water views and is custom-designed to the homeowner's specifications. Some features include an elevator, a 25-foot-long patio off the master bedroom on the first floor and a 25-foot-long terrace off the great room on the second floor. Amenities include a private driveway, a one-car garage and a boat slip that can accommodate a boat up to 65 feet long. Taxes are about $10,000 to $12,000.

$339,000

WASHINGTON STREET: Sold last month, this 13-room high ranch was on the market for less than 30 days. The last asking price was $349,000. Built in 2013, the renovated house has five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a new granite kitchen with tumbled marble backsplash and wood floors. Other amenities include a new roof, siding, windows, driveway and PVC fencing. The lot size is 50 by 100 feet. Taxes are $11,328.

$500,000

PROSPECT STREET: With an asking price of $549,000, this three-bedroom split-level located on Randall Bay sold last month in an all-cash transaction. It was on the market for 180 days. Set on a 60-by-141-foot lot, the 3,500-square-foot house, built in 1964, has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, a den with fireplace, a living room with a fireplace, a formal dining room and a finished basement. Amenities include central air-conditioning, two-zone heating and a two-car garage. Taxes are $15,987.

NOW FOR SALE

Starter, $345,000

This three-level split with a front porch has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, oak floors, a living room with vaulted ceilings and large family room. Amenities include central air-conditioning, gas fuel for heat and hot water and an attached one-car garage. The lot is 60 by 95 feet. Total taxes are $10,415 (includes village tax, $3,514). Paul Garrett, licensed broker-partner, Deblat & Garrett Real Estate Corp., 516-764-1110

Trade-up, $449,000

This center hall Colonial with a quarter-acre of waterfront property located three blocks from Cow Meadow Park and Preserve has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a half-bath, a fireplace, hardwood floors, a granite eat-in kitchen, an oversized two-car garage with second story that can be used for a workshop or storage area, an outdoor shower, and room for three boats. Additional highlights include new windows, new stainless steel appliances, new washer-dryer and central air-conditioning. Taxes are $16,850 (includes village tax, $3,816). Anna Beigelman, licensed associate broker, Exit Realty Premier, 516-641-0754.

High-end, $1.199 million

This 4,500-square-foot, nine-room Colonial with four bedrooms and four bathrooms was built in 1953 but rebuilt five years ago. It sits on the Hudson Canal with water views. Additional features include a gunite heated pool, hot tub, steam shower and sauna. The home also has a fireplace, radiant heat, central air-conditioning and dock rights. The lot size is 80 by 150 feet. Taxes are $26,402 (includes village tax, $5,162,000). Joseph Scavo, owner-broker, Empire State Realty, 516-359-2672