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If you want to buy in the Ronkonkomas

Ronkonkoma Beach at Lake Ronkonkoma. Ronkonkoma, flanked by

Ronkonkoma Beach at Lake Ronkonkoma. Ronkonkoma, flanked by the LIE, is in Islip Town, while Lake Ronkonkoma, to the north, is split between the towns of Brookhaven and Smithtown. (July 7, 2012) Credit: Randee Daddona

Though the sister hamlets of Ronkonkoma and Lake Ronkonkoma have many similarities, each has its own identity.

The communities share a ZIP code, but are governed by different townships.

Ronkonkoma, flanked by the Long Island Expressway, is in Islip Town, while Lake Ronkonkoma, to the north, is split between the towns of Brookhaven and Smithtown.

Lake Ronkonkoma is unique for its lake — Long Island's largest — formed by a glacier about 20,000 years ago.

Ronkonkoma is home to Long Island MacArthur Airport and the Ronkonkoma train station.

An ambitious project on the drawing board — the Ronkonkoma Hub — would redevelop 50 acres around the Ronkonkoma train station into a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly district.

The overall location of these two communities is very desirable, says resident Mike McLean of Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, noting folks love it “because everything is right there.” Resident Katherine Kennedy of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage agrees, saying, “Most things you need are less than five miles away.”

When it comes to housing, buyers can find Capes, ranches, high-ranches, Colonials, contemporaries and Post-moderns. Most sales right now are for homes priced right around the $300,000 mark and below, Kennedy says.

CONDOS
20 listings between $135,000 and $234,900

SALES PRICES
In Ronkonkoma, there were 161 sales from June 1, 2011 to June 29, 2012, with a median sales price of $295,000, according to Multiple Listing Service of Long Island data. The low price was $120,000 and the high was $790,000.

In Lake Ronkonkoma, there were 67 sales from June 1, 2011 to June 29, 2012. The median price was $268,000, with a low of $150,000 and a high of $535,000.

ATTRACTIONS
Lake beaches and fishing, and Music at the Lake (Aug. 12) in Lake Ronkonkoma; the Ronkonkoma Street Fair on Hawkins Avenue (Sept. 2).

BY THE NUMBERS

Town: Ronkonkoma, Islip; Lake Ronkonkoma, Smithtown and Brookhaven

Area: (Ronkonkoma) Islip, 8.2 square miles; (Lake Ronkonkoma), Smithtown, 1.3 square miles; Brookhaven 3.7 square-miles

ZIP code: 11779

Population: Ronkonkoma, 19,082; Lake Ronkonkoma, 20,155

Median age: Ronkonkoma, 39; Lake Ronkonkoma 39.9

Median household income: Ronkonkoma, $85,271; Lake Ronkonkoma $82,606

Combined median home value: $290,000*

LIRR time to NYC: 1 hour, 6 minutes to 1 hour, 25 minutes at peak

Monthly ticket: $334

School districts: Connetquot and Sachem

Sources: 2010 Census; www.mlsli.com; Long Island Rail Road;

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