Selden has a reputation for being affordable, so it's a magnet for many first-time home buyers, say local real estate agents.

"Selden allows a buyer the dream of a white picket fence and a backyard," says Gail Carillo, an associate broker for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. For example, Carillo says, it's not unusual to find a four-bedroom home with 2½  bathrooms, a basement and a garage for under $350,000. Compared to other areas, that's a lot of bang for the buck, she adds.

The housing stock is diverse, says Lina Lopes of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. It ranges from older, two-bedroom cottages to a newer, 3,000-square-foot Colonials. The median home price is less than $250,000, but newer, larger homes -- from 2,000 square feet to 3,000 square feet -- are priced from $350,000 to $500,000 and can be found in the Meadows development.

The Catholic Charities' Housing Department offers affordable housing to seniors who meet income guidelines at the 200-unit St. Joseph Village on Boyle Road.

Another selling point is Selden's central location. "It's so accessible to everything," says Lopes, who grew up there. North Ocean Avenue and Nicolls Road lead to the Long Island Expressway. "Commuting-wise, it's very good," says Lopes, noting that residents can get to the Ronkonkoma train station quickly, and that North Shore and South Shore beaches are both within easy driving distance.

Shops, eateries and services are plentiful, especially along Middle Country Road, where shopping centers include Independence Plaza and Selden Plaza.

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Selden is also home to the Ammerman Campus of Suffolk County Community College.

CO-OPS. Village in the Woods

SALES PRICE. Year over year, the numbers are up, according to Multiple Listing Service of Long Island data. From Nov. 1, 2012, to Dec. 10, 2013, there were 155 sales with a median price of $244,000. The low price was $78,000 (for a short sale), and the high was $425,000. From Nov. 1, 2011, to Dec. 10, 2012, there were 123 sales. The median price was $230,000 with a low of $110,000 and a high of $383,500.

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ATTRACTIONS. Town parks; Bald Hill in Farmingville; New Village Recreation Center in Centereach; the Selden branch of the Middle Country Public Library.

MORE SELDEN STATS

Town: Brookhaven

Area: 4.7 square miles

ZIP code: 11784

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Population: 20,519

Median age: 36.8

Median household income: $84,676

Median home value: $254,000

LIRR time to NYC: From Ronkonkoma, 1 hour, six minutes to 1 hour, 25 minutes at peak

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Monthly ticket: $363

School district: Middle Country

SOURCES: 2010 Census; mlsli.com; LIRR;

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