Why it's beating the bust. Location and value are the driving forces behind this community's popularity. "It's near everything -- trains, highways and shopping... and you get a lot more for your money in Melville," says William Tarantola of Coach Realtors in Smithtown, noting the cost to buy a larger house on one-acre-plus is often lower in Melville than in surrounding communities. Property taxes tend to be lower, too, he adds.
What the numbers show. From June 1, 2010, to July 11, 2011, there were 102 sales with a median price of $547,000, according to Multiple Listing Service of Long Island data. The low price was $150,000, and the high price was $2,665,000. From May 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010, there were 103 sales. The median price was $515,000 with a low of $180,000 and a high of $1,537,500.
The scoop. "It's a lovely place to live," says resident Barbara Nadboy, owner of a real estate agency that bears her name. Nadboy noted that buyers can find homes in the $300,000s, $800,000s and in the millions on countrified properties. The area offers gated communities and newer developments as well, Tarantola said. Housing options also include condo developments, senior housing and affordable housing.
Much of the area's industry -- corporations, professional businesses, hotels, eateries and retailers -- are on or near Route 110.
Attractions. White Post Farms -- a popular venue for birthday parties -- offers an animal farm as well as a produce and a garden center. Residents have access to town beaches and parks. Public golf courses can be found in neighboring communities.
Famous residents. Cheryl "Salt" Wray of Salt-N-Pepa lives here. Pop singer Kim Sozzi is from Melville.
Area: 11.3 square miles
ZIP code: 11747
Median age: 40.6
Median household income: $114,838
Median home value: $505,000*
LIRR time to NYC: From Farmingdale, 49 to 60 minutes at peak
Monthly ticket: $254
School districts: South Huntington or Half Hollow Hills, which is well regarded for its special education and autism programs.
Source: Census estimates; mlsli.com; LIRR; *Based on sales in the past six months according to MLSLI
Next week: Glen Head