A hamlet in the Town of Brookhaven, dotted with historic properties, picturesque beaches and stunning views of the Long Island Sound, Stony Brook "is a pocket of beauty on Long Island," says Lynn Sabetelle, a lifelong resident and associate broker with Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty. It is also a cultural and educational epicenter that is home to Stony Brook University -- ranked 88 in the 2015 edition of U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges -- and Stony Brook University Hospital.

"It's a college town but doesn't have the typical college feel," says Sabetelle. "The university and hospital bring a lot of diversity and culture to the area. There is so much innovation going on here."

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization offers year-round cultural and educational events. This summer, the Jazz Loft, located next to the Three Village Inn, opens. It's an 6,000-square-foot center that will house jazz memorabilia and offer programs for children and adults. Other attractions include the Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages, affiliated with the Smithsonian, Avalon Park & Preserve and the Staller Center for the Arts on the university campus.

"Violinist Itzhak Perlman came here and the Russian Ballet came here to perform -- we didn't have to go to Lincoln Center," says Anna Hom, an agent with at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. "We have the MET LIVE, a simulcast of the opera so you can see it right on the main stage as if you had front-row seats at the MET."

Another draw to the area is the Stony Brook Village Center designed in the style of a traditional New England village. The centerpiece is a mechanical eagle that sits above the Stony Brook Post Office. The eagle flaps its wings to mark each hour from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Three Village School District serves Stony Brook, Setauket and Old Field and is highly sought after, says Hom. "The Three Village School District is known throughout the United States," Hom adds.

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Despite the relatively long commute to Manhattan -- about 1 hour and 50 minutes by train -- when compared to other areas on the North Shore, the trade-off is worth it, says Michael Ardolino, realtor-owner of Realty Connect USA. "You are five minutes from any major artery, three hospitals within 10 minutes of each other, a college and university, Staller Center for the Arts, Stony Brook Village, and the harbor," he says, pointing out that the Port Jefferson ferry to Connecticut is also a short drive away.

Buyers can find historic properties near the village, as well as ranches and Colonials, Postmodern-style homes and custom-built houses. Home prices start in the low $300,000s, which would most likely be a fixer-upper, and can go into the multimillions, agents say. And, parcels of land can start at a third of an acre and go into several acres when you move into the neighboring villages of Old Field or Poquott, which have their own beaches and associations.

"You can buy a cottage on a small piece of property or buy something on the water on more than an acre," says Ardolino.

CONDOS AND TOWN HOUSES. 5 condos, from $209,000 to $330,000

SALES PRICES. From April 1, 2013, to April 28, 2015, there were 120 sales, with a median price of $420,000, according to Multiple Listing Service of Long Island data. The low price was $238,117 and the high was $835,000. During the same period a year earlier, the median price was $407,250. The low price was $245,000 and the high was $1,150,000.

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ATTRACTIONS. Stony Brook Grist Mill, the St. James Episcopal Chapel, 19th century William Sidney Mount House, Hercules Pavilion, Three Village Historical Society, The Ward Melville Heritage Organization Educational and Cultural Center

OTHER STATS

Town: Brookhaven

Area: 5.7 square miles

ZIP codes: 11790, 11794

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Population: 13,740

Median age: 45.1

Median household income: $134,640

Median home value: $414,500

LIRR time to NYC: 1 hour 50 minutes at peak

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Monthly ticket: $377

School district: Three Village

SOURCES: 2010 CENSUS; MLSLI.COM; LIRR
* Based on sales in the past six months, according to MLSLI

ON MULTIPLE LISTINGS

Number of houses. 91

Price range. $259,000 to $1,899,000

Tax range. $7,000 to $33,998

RECENTLY SOLD

Hawks Nest Road, $430,000

This nine-room farm ranch sold in February for the asking price of $430,000 after being on the market for 226 days. Initially listed at $539,000 in May 2014, it was reduced to $499,000, then $489,000 and $479,000. It was a corporate relocation sale. Built in 1952, the house has four bedrooms, two baths, hardwood floors and a fireplace, skylights and front porch. Central air-conditioning, a basement and a two-car garage are among the amenities. The house also has beach rights. Taxes are $14,782

Salt Meadow Lane, $640,000

This nine-room Colonial, which was on the market 101 days, sold last month. Built in 1949, the house with  five bedrooms, three bathrooms and a half-bath, has three fireplaces, wood floors, water views and a covered porch. The property is 1.8 acres and  situated on a cul-de-sac. Taxes are $20,960.

Nadworny Lane, $795,000

Built in 2005, this Postmodern house has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a half-bath. It  sold after 100 days on the market. The house is 3,800 square feet and has a formal dining room, eat-in kitchen and den with fireplace. Other amenities include central air-conditioning, two-zone heating and two-car garage on a .52-lot on a cul-de-sac. Taxes are $23,890.

ON THE MARKET

Starter, $359,900

This seven-room farm ranch built in 1970 has an open floor plan with vaulted ceilings, four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The home, on a .68-acre lot, has a new addition of a family room and a new roof. It is close to the village, beaches, museums and Stony Brook University Hospital. Taxes are $11,353. Anna Hom, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 631-875-9548.

Trade-up, $699,000

Set on a .79-acre property, this historic Williamsburg Reproduction (George Pitt house) is in the Hawkins Hill section and is within walking distance of shopping, beaches and attractions. The cape-style house built in 1950 has five bedrooms -- three bedrooms are on the second floor and a separate two-bedroom guest wing is on the first floor -- and four full bathrooms and one-half bathroom. Taxes are $24,779. Lynn Sabatelle and Michael O'Dwyer, Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty, 516-241-6200 and 631-689-6980.

High end, $1,150,000

This nine-room Postmodern built in 2001 has high ceilings, a mahogany staircase; hardwood floors, three fireplaces, French doors with transoms, a sunroom with radiant heat and a master suite with an office, two walk-in closets, a balcony and master bath, as well as a finished basement and pergola. Taxes are $23,756. Miriam Ainbinder, Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty, 631-331-3116.