THE SCOOP Visitors — whether via Long Island roads or the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry — are drawn to this walkable village and its popular events, like the annual Dickens Festival and Dragon Boat Race Festival, says Lisa Perry of Jolie Powell Realty. Other attractions include Main Street’s restaurants and shops, and Theatre Three, which has been putting on shows since the 1960s. "This is such a beautiful, historic village that offers so much recreation to visitors and residents that I'm such a fan," says Perry. "It's just a gem to me to live here."
All these features tend to convert visitors to residents, says Margot Garant, the village mayor of 13 years. As a result, there’s a real estate boom — and shortage — in Port Jefferson. Garant says that four new mixed-use buildings — retail on the bottom and rental properties above — that have been in the works or completed in the last five years have inspired more people to buy homes in the village.
"I think once they come here, they tend to fall in love with all of the amenities that you get as a resident," says Garant, who has lived in the town for 48 years. Residents get free parking at the meters and access to parks, including the newly renovated Rocket Ship Park, four private beaches, and the Port Jefferson Country Club with its 18-hole golf course, where they get a substantial discount. There are kayak racks at East Beach and Centennial Beach (also known as Dog Beach since dogs are welcome there). The village also offers a before- and after-school program, sports for youth and programs for adults and seniors.
Originally called Drowned Meadow due to the twice daily tidal flooding, Port Jefferson was the largest shipbuilding center in Suffolk in the 1800s. In 1883, P.T. Barnum considered settling his circus there and helped found the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company, which still connects the Island to Connecticut and helped the village, which also has a train station, transition to a tourist-based economy.
There are several neighborhoods with distinct architecture. The historic sea captain’s district connects to the downtown business district and features homes ranging from $600,000 to $1.5 million. The poets’ section, with street names such as Emerson and Hawthorne, features small Capes and ranches built after WWII that list for $450,000 to $650,000. The presidents’ section — Jefferson, Washington, Roosevelt — was built in the 1970s and '80s and has center-hall Colonials and farm ranches on larger lots, with homes in the $600,000 to $700,000 range.
Jefferson’s Landing is more upscale, Garant says, with large homes built in the 1980s that list for $800,000 to $1 million. Homes in Harbor Hills near the water can reach $1.5 million and more. There are also several condominium complexes with units going from about $375,000 to $1.2 million.
Port Jefferson taxes have been relatively low due to tax revenue from the Long Island Power Authority Power Station, though a recent settlement between LIPA and the Town of Brookhaven will gradually increase taxes over the next few years.
CONDOS AND CO-OPS There are five condos on the market ranging in price from $395,000 to $1.25 million
SALE PRICES Between Jan. 31, 2021, and Feb. 28, 2022, there were 105 home sales with a median sale price of $580,000, according to OneKey MLS. The low price for that period was $395,000 and the high was $2 million. During that period a year earlier there were 83 home sales with a median sale price of $547,000. The price range was $240,000 to $920,000.
Area 3.1 square miles
ZIP code 11777
Median age 45.1
Median household income $111,442
Median home value 580,000*
Monthly LIRR ticket from Port Jefferson $405
School districts, graduation rates Port Jefferson (98%), Comsewogue, Three Village (97%)
Parks Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park, Joe Erland Field Park
Libraries Port Jefferson, Comsewogue, Emma S. Clark
Hospitals St. Charles Hospital, Mather Hospital
Transit Suffolk County Transit Routes 60, 61, 62, 69, 76
SOURCES: 2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates; OneKey MLS; LIRR, data.nysed.gov *Based on 50 sales in the past six months, according to OneKey MLS
NOW ON THE MARKET
A three-bedroom, 2½-bath condominium in the Village Vistas 55-plus development, built in 2014, has three floors of living space with an elevator, vaulted ceilings, a two-story stone fireplace and sliders leading to a deck with an electric awning. The kitchen overlooks a private yard with views of the Long Island Sound and Connecticut. There’s a main-level laundry room and direct entry to the garage. The second-floor primary bedroom has French doors and an oversized bath. Taxes are $5,291; common charges are $525. Lori Zamore, Signature Premier Properties, 631-360-2800.
Built in 1900, this 2,950-square-foot sea captain’s home has been updated with central air and a generator. There are four bedrooms, 3½ baths, a basement entrance and an eat-in kitchen with sliders to the deck. The house can be a single-family or two-family home with proper permits. It has a 2½-car detached garage with a walk-up attic and two outdoor entertainment areas. Taxes are $11,126. Lisa Perry, Jolie Powell Realty, 631-473-0420.
A sprawling ranch built in 1972 on 0.6 acre, this home has five bedrooms, four baths and an updated eat-in-kitchen with a radiant-heated floors. There are two wood-burning fireplaces and a large basement with storage and an additional room with an egress window. There's also has an outside entrance for an in-law suite. The house, on a cul-de-sac in the presidents’ section, has an in-ground pool. Taxes are $12,376. Natalie Milano and Kevin Milano, Coldwell Banker American Homes, 631-941-3100.
Bathrooms 5 full, 1 half
Lot size 1.09 acre
+/- List price Sold for asking
Days on market 78
Bathrooms 3 full, 1 half
Lot size 0.92 acre
+/- List price -$36,500
Days on market 176
Lot size ½ acre
+/- List price +$31,000
Days on market 163
ON ONEKEY MLS
Number of listings 20
Price range $395,000 to $4.25 million
Tax range $4,862 to $33,606