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.
Area. 4.2 square miles
ZIP code. 11566
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
*Based on sales in the past six months, according to Multiple Listing Service of Long Island