Port Jefferson housing market buoyed by good schools, friendly taxes

Main Street in Port Jefferson, a former shipbuilding

Main Street in Port Jefferson, a former shipbuilding village, that now is a Long Island tourist destination. (Nov. 21, 2013) Photo Credit: Ed Betz

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From the Village Cup Regatta fundraiser to the annual Dickens Festival, the historic village of Port Jefferson is known to pull out all the stops.

"There is always something going on here," says resident Maureen Fitzgibbon of Coach Realtors. "The town is ready for the Dickens Festival," adds resident Jolie Powell, owner of a real estate agency that bears her name.

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The three-day holiday event, which is coming up next weekend, celebrates the author of "A Christmas Carol." It features costumed characters milling about the decorated streets. "It's amazing how the village transforms," Powell adds.

Combine a roster of annual events with the village's general atmosphere -- a pedestrian-friendly harborside town with a waterfront park, shops, restaurants, art galleries and live theater -- and the tourists will come. And they do, says Kathy Dempsey of Coach Realtors, noting the action quiets in the winter.

The village -- named after President Thomas Jefferson -- was once famous for shipbuilding. The historic district east of Main Street has vintage buildings and turn-of-the-19th-century homes with a mix of architectural styles from later periods.

Powell notes the school district's intimate classroom sizes are appealing to parents. So is the tax structure, since the business district and the Long Island Power Authority plant on the harbor pay a good portion of taxes, agents say.

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CONDOS AND TOWN HOUSES. 16 listings, $299,000 to $895,000

RENTALS. There are never enough, says Powell.

SALES PRICES. From Oct. 1, 2012, to Nov. 20, 2013, there were 76 sales with a median price of $434,750, according to Multiple Listing Service of Long Island data. The low was $190,000, and the high was $983,000. From Oct. 1, 2011, to Nov. 20, 2012, there were 55 sales. The median price was $432,000, with a low of $185,000 and a high of $885,000.

ATTRACTIONS. The outdoor skating rink at the Village Center has social, recreational and educational programs. Port Jefferson Country Club at Harbor Hills, a private club, offers tennis and golf.

More Port Jefferson statistics

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Town: Brookhaven

Area: 2.6 square miles

ZIP code: 11777

Population: 7,805

Median age: 41.1

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Median household income: $110,392

Median home value: $471,250

LIRR time to NYC: 1 hour 36 minutes to 1 hour 53 minutes at peak

Monthly ticket: $363

School district: Port Jefferson

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Sources: 2010 Census; mlsli.com; LIRR;

*Based on sales in the past six months, according to MLSLI

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