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If you're looking to buy in Merrick

An outdoor amphitheater used for educational demonstrations at

An outdoor amphitheater used for educational demonstrations at Norman Levy Park and Preserve in Merrick. (Dec. 29, 2011). Photo Credit: Photo by Kevin P Coughlin

The scoop. Think of Merrick as a really big checkerboard. It's one of those communities where residents start out and jump around as they trade-up or downsize, says Tina Canaris, an associate broker at RE/MAX Hearthstone.

"People move around within the community," adds resident Kathy Bay, one of the owners of Select A Home Island South Realty. "They move across the street, around the corner . . . " Bay says.

Resident Kelly Cafiso of Century 21 American Homes says that people who live in Merrick "like it here and they like the schools."

Residents have access to a wide array of retailers, eateries, services, houses of worship and marinas. The main shopping areas are along Sunrise Highway, Merrick Road and Merrick Avenue.

Tree-lined neighborhoods stretching from North Merrick to the water -- Merrick Bay and Hempstead Bay -- display homes in a variety of sizes, styles and price ranges. For instance, in the Merrick Woods neighborhood, Colonials and a few split-levels start in the $600,000s, while in the Gables, stucco Spanish-style homes developed in the 1920s fetch prices starting in the high $300,000s.

Prices have stabilized, and houses are selling, according to the agents. Bay says if a house is priced right it will sell close to the asking price in a timely fashion.

Co-ops. Five listings between $299,000 and $499,000

Sales prices. According to Multiple Listing Service of Long Island, there were 141 sales from Nov. 1, 2010, to Dec. 26, 2011. The median sales price was $445,000 with a low of $162,000 and a high of $938,000. From Oct. 1, 2009, to Oct. 31, 2010, there were 118 sales with a median price of $439,500. The low was $250,000 and the high was $989,000.

Attractions. The eight-acre Camman's Pond Park at Merrick Road and Lindenmere Boulevard; Julian Lane Park; Norman J. Levy Park & Preserve, which has an operating windmill, trails, a kayak launch and fishing pier as well as a view of the Manhattan skyline.

More stats
Town. Hempstead

Area. 4.2 square miles

ZIP code. 11566

Population. 22,097

Median age. 43.3

Median household income. $121,907

Median home value. $450,000

LIRR time to NYC. 40 minutes to 52 minutes at peak

Monthly ticket. $254

School districts. Merrick, North Merrick, Bellmore-Merrick Central High School district

Sources: 2010 Census; mlsli.com; LIRR

*Based on sales in the past six months, according to Multiple Listing Service of Long Island

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