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Best places to live on Long Island for $600,000

Long Island house hunters with $600,000 to spend will enjoy a wide variety of choices — close to 7,300, in fact. That’s according to a recent search of the Long Island real estate sales website MLSLI.com. 

That budget would place a buyer in the upper half of the market all across Long Island. It exceeds the median closed sales prices in both counties — $511,000 in Nassau and $360,000 in Suffolk in September, according to statistics from the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island.
In a recent search of Nassau homes, about 2,400, or 48 percent, out of close to 5,000 listings were priced at $600,000 or less. In Suffolk, there were about 4,900 homes for sale in that price range, or 67 percent, out of about 7,300.

This year in Newsday’s annual Best Places to Live series, each feature explores what’s available in a particular price range. In this installment, we highlight some of the best places on Long Island to raise a family, enjoy the waterfront, retire, or buy a home as a single, for $600,000 or less.

Try Long Beach if you want to live by the water

A view from the roof top pool at
Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine

Buyers with $600,000 can take their pick of 102 of the 194 homes for sale in Long Beach, according to a recent search of MLSLI.com. That includes 44 homes with water views and 11 waterfront properties — but even if you don’t pick one of those, you’ll still have easy access to the waterfront from virtually anywhere in the aptly nicknamed “City by the Sea.”

In fact, pedestrians would need to walk only about 15 minutes to traverse the city from its north coast to its south coast — say, from the Long Beach Municipal Fishing Pier on the bay side to the Magnolia Playground on the ocean side. And if they prefer walking east to west, they can do so along the boardwalk — a 2.2-mile stretch along the Atlantic Ocean, where they can also ride bikes, catch an outdoor concert and more.

“It offers many amenities to every age group,” says Mary Whitaker of SAS Real Estate. “You can walk to the train station, you can walk to restaurants, you have the ocean and beautiful boardwalk right there. It’s close enough to Manhattan to have a short commute but yet have access to the water. There’s something there for everyone.”
Overall, prices in Long Beach ranged from $169,000 for a studio in a co-op to $3.5 million for a three-bedroom oceanfront penthouse with a 2,000-square-foot rooftop deck with panoramic ocean views. 

Pictured: A view from the rooftop pool area at the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach. 

$549,000 in Long Beach

This condo in Long Beach is listed for
Photo Credit: S A S Real Estate/Mary Whitaker


This one-bedroom, 1 1⁄2-bathroom oceanfront duplex features two private ocean-view terraces. It’s in The Ocean Club condominium, where amenities include a heated pool, a sauna, a gym and garage parking. The monthly common charge is $520.05. The home is listed with Mary Whitaker of SAS Real Estate (516-781-5050).

Living the single life? Try Rockville Centre

Sam Coughlin, 25, of Babylon, runs in fear,
Photo Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

This South Shore hot spot gained the largest number of new residents on all of Long Island from 2015 to 2016, according to census data — and since recent residential development downtown has increased the area’s stock of studio and one-bedroom homes, it’s a good bet that single residents account for a good portion of those gains. (The most recent census estimate by marital status ended in 2015, before last year’s population gains; at that time, 46 percent of residents were unmarried.) 

This incorporated village, which is a 35- to 40-minute train ride from Manhattan, has a thriving downtown with gathering spots galore. Naomi Goodstein of Coach Realtors calls the nightlife scene here “a mecca for singles.” There are “so many restaurants, it has become the restaurant hub of the South Shore,” she says. “There is an eight-plex movie theater, as well as a theater, recreation center and parks. This is a wonderful community.”

In a recent search of MLSLI.com, there were 38 homes for sale for $600,000 or less, including 11 units with two or fewer bedrooms. Overall, there were 120 homes for sale, ranging from $114,000 for a studio in a co-op to $1.699 million for a seven-bedroom Victorian with five bathrooms and two half-bathrooms.

Pictured: Spooky Fest at the Center for Science Teaching and Learning in Rockville Centre draws Halloween fans of all ages; the community has seen construction of many smaller apartments of late, and the village has become a hub for restaurants and entertainment.

$569,000 in Rockville Centre

This home in Rockville Centre is listed for
Photo Credit: Coach Realtors/Doug Goodstein

This one-bedroom, two-bathroom condo has a terrace, an office, a formal dining room and granite countertops. It’s listed with Naomi Goodstein and Evangeline Macaluso of Coach Realtors (516-536-8100). 

If you’re retired . . . try Riverhead

Indian Island Golf Club is one of several
Photo Credit: Bruce Gilbert

This hamlet on the cusp of the East End’s North and South forks offers an alluring combination of easy access to leisure activities and the opportunity to free up time to enjoy them all. That’s thanks to a wide selection of condos and homeowner associations — some for ages 55 and up, and some with no age restriction — that typically handle chores such as lawn care and snow removal. 

“It’s surrounded by so much, there’s just so much to do in Riverhead,” says Virginia Buono of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty. “There’s golf, there’s tennis, there’s a brand-new bowling alley. Everything is there.” 

Indeed, Riverhead is home to beaches, boat ramps, a downtown with dining, shopping and cultural arts, and a number of public and private golf courses, including Cherry Creek Golf Links, the Woods at Cherry Creek, Sandy Pond Par 3 and the Indian Island Country Club. 

Condos and homeowner associations include Saddle Lakes, Stoneleigh Woods at Riverhead, The Highlands Club, Sunken Pond Estates, Mill Pond Commons and Willow Ponds on the Sound. 

In a recent search of MLSLI.com, there were 110 homes for sale in Riverhead, including 95 listed for $600,000 or less. Prices ranged from $29,999 for a one-bedroom mobile home to $7.5 million for a 93-acre waterfront property with a five-bedroom cottage and 900 feet of private beachfront.

Pictured: Rose Cadorette and Martin Lennon play a round of golf at Indian Island Golf Club.

$570,000 in Riverhead

This house in Riverhead is listed for $570,000.
Photo Credit: Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International

This four-bedroom, 2½-bathroom home is in the Highlands Club at Reeves homeowner association, which features amenities such as a clubhouse, an in-ground pool and tennis court. The monthly HOA fee is $530. It’s listed with Virginia Buono of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty (631-734-5439). 

Try Stony Brook if you are a family with kids

Amy Ford, left, and Maggie Schneider with her
Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Scenic strolls and family-friendly festivities are a big part of the appeal of this charming North Shore village. It’s common to see parents and kids enjoying Avalon Park and Preserve, where they can watch ducks paddling in the pond, walk along a boardwalk into the woods and follow a spiral path of steppingstones known as the labyrinth. 
Seasonal events liven up the Colonial-style village center, says Heidi Williams of Center 24 Realty Corp. For instance, for Halloween, “the village is all decorated with scarecrows, so the kids can come out and do trick-or-treating in costume,” Williams says. “At Christmas, they do a candlelight walk.” But even when it’s not a holiday, this picturesque village is a favorite spot among families with small-town sensibilities.

Parents seeking high-quality schools can feel confident buying in Stony Brook: Kids here attend the Three Village school district, where 64 percent of graduates earned a Regents diploma with advanced designation last year — an indicator of college readiness that only 32 percent of students earned statewide, according to New York State Education Department statistics.

In a recent search of MLSLI.com, there were 44 homes for sale for $600,000 or less. Overall, there were 62 homes for sale, ranging from $319,990 for a two-bedroom, 1 ½-bathroom condo to $1.599 million for a five-bedroom, 3½-bathroom waterfront Colonial.

Pictured: Amy Ford, left, and Maggie Schneider with her son, walk along Main Street near Stony Brook Harbor.

$539,990 in Stony Brook

This home in Stony Brook is listed for
Photo Credit: Center 24 Realty Corp./David Williams

This three-bedroom, 2½-bathroom split-level features custom cabinetry and granite countertops in the kitchen and a vaulted ceiling in the living room. It’s listed with Heidi Williams of Center 24 Realty Corp. (631-780-7025). 

If you’re renting, try Garden City

Garden City, despite its name, is a village
Photo Credit: Newsday/T.C. McCarthy

The monthly mortgage payment for a $600,000 house at current interest rates might be in the ballpark of $3,300, as calculated using online mortgage estimation tools from the government-sponsored mortgage enterprise Freddie Mac. Renters with a maximum monthly budget of $3,300 will find about 1,300 listings across Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Though rental inventory changes quickly, there were recently seven in that price range in Garden City, ranging from $1,975 for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit in an apartment building to $3,200 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, according to MLSLI.com. Overall there were 14 rentals in Garden City, ranging up to $5,000 for a six-bedroom Colonial.

This leafy neighborhood in western Nassau County is characterized by notable historic architecture, public amenities and convenience to New York City. Residents can enjoy several parks, shopping, dining and performing arts within the village, or take a ride to the city from one of the five Long Island Rail Road stations that service the area.
And if you decide you’re ready to buy after all, there are eight homes for sale in Garden City for $600,000 or less, ranging from $210,000 for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op to $575,000 for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom Cape, according to MLSLI.com. Overall there were 80 homes for sale, ranging up to $4.875 million for an eight-bedroom Colonial with seven full bathrooms and two half-bathrooms. 

$2,300-$3,200 in Garden City

12 Hamilton Place on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017
Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

This complex at 12 Hamilton Place had several one-bedroom and two-bedroom units available in a recent search of MLSLI.com.

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