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Belle Terre NY Homes for Sale: Your Moving Guide

Belle Terre is a charming village in the Town of Brookhaven, located on the North Shore of Long Island, where active retirees, urban sophisticates, and highly educated executives flock to experience the breathtaking waterfront views, beautiful sights and sounds, and nostalgic seaside and shipping feel.

This historic, walkable, and densely populated area is a peaceful, quiet, and safe place to live, where low crime, a vibrant mix of highly educated seniors, and a diverse range of housing options together rank Belle Terre in the top three dream retirement neighborhoods in New York.

Moving to Belle Terre gains you access to a coastal, suburban, and nautical neighborhood where the Port Jefferson Harbor and Long Island Sound form the perfect scenic backdrop. Locals know the area as the boating destination of “Pirates Cove” boaters who rendezvous here for relaxing “staycations” away from the nine-to-five grind.

For Belle Terre residents, the many perks of the Port Jefferson Village—including the waterfront restaurants, pubs, and shopping destinations—are never more than a short drive away. The same is true for the golf and tennis-friendly Port Jefferson Country Club and the nation’s oldest continuously operating ferry service, the Connecticut Ferry.


Background and history

The Belle Terre community sits on a peninsula first named Mount Misery in the 17th Century by the Europeans who purchased the land from local Native Americans.

Throughout the 1700s and 1800s, the Strong family owned the bulk of the peninsula including the Oakwood estate. The first known dwelling was a shack constructed by an African American affectionately known as Uncle Mott in the 1800s.

The little village bordered by Port Jefferson and the Long Island Sound was renamed Belle Terre—meaning “beautiful land” in French—by a New York City real estate developer with a promising vision of the town’s potential at the turn of the 20th century.

Belle Terre became a lush and wealthy enclave, garnering infamy in the 1980s for a murder resulting in the wrongful conviction of a son accused of killing his parents.


Housing and income

Real estate market trends indicate that most residents own or rent medium-sized (three or four bedroom) to large (four or five-plus bedroom) single-family homes, apartment complexes, and high-rise apartments. Most residences are established but not old, many built between 1970 and 1999 with some built between 1940 and 1969.

Buyers have around 42 days before homes drop off the market and can expect to pay 90% of the seller’s asking price. Homes cost around $224 per square foot, which sums up to a $790,000 median sale price. The average household earns $353,272 per year with the median household bringing in $186,667 per year.

Belle Terre real estate stays exceedingly well-maintained, maintaining its value over time. Most of the cars on the street are luxury brands like Mercedes, Audi, BMW, and Lexus. Many residents send their children to private preparatory schools, opting for Disney vacations and summers in Europe when the final bell rings in June.


Traffic and transportation

Most working residents (29.2%) commute 15 to 30 minutes each way to work. Many residents own a car and 83.9% drive alone to work. 250 Belle Terre residents drive, 19 take the subway, 4 catch the ferryboat, and 3 ride a motorcycle.


Cost of living

First-class amenities, employment opportunities, schools, and safety earned Belle Terre a high livability score complete with some of the highest housing costs and overall living expenses. The total cost of housing, food, childcare, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities is $50,940 per year, which is greater than both the New York ($46,110) and national ($38,433) average.


Employment and economy

Many Belle Terre residents hold an advanced degree (36.7%) including master’s degrees, law degrees, medical degrees, and Ph.Ds. The standout neighborhood ranks in the top five in the country for both the rate of adults with an advanced degree and for overall wealth as a community—not to mention ranking among the nation’s top 15% highest income neighborhoods.

Belle Terre is primarily a white-collar town with 82 entrepreneurs (25.31%), 171 private company employees (52.78%), and 48 government workers (14.81%). Residents also work in executive, management, and professional occupations (63.3%), sales and service jobs (16.3%), clerical, assistant, and tech support positions (11.1%), and manufacturing and laborer occupations (9.1%).



Belle Terre residents attend the Port Jefferson School District, located 60 miles east of New York City, in the prestigious north shore of Long Island, in the incorporated village of Port Jefferson. Students enrolled in the district learn with an emphasis on history, character, and a strong sense of community.

The public school district includes the Port Jefferson Elementary School (K-9), the Port Jefferson Middle School (6-8), and the Earl L. Vandermeulen High School (9-12). Residents can also select from a handful of private schools including Our Lady of Wisdom Regional School (PK – 8).


Things to do in Belle Terre

From the beautiful beaches surrounding the historic waterfront village to the top of the uptown area, the Port Jefferson Village offers multiple playgrounds with beautiful parks for games and sports along with many little welcoming pocket parks to rest or hang out.

Pirate’s Cove—the cove surrounded by giant dunes—is now a bay for modern boaters to enjoy which emerged from a story about a mining company that dredged sand in the area out of the harbor landscape in the early 20th century.

Cedar Beach—located on the Long Island Sound in Mt. Sinai—offers two beach areas—Cedar Beach Main and Cedar Beach West—including a concession, playground, basketball courts, walking trail, fishing pier, marina, and boat launch ramps.

The North Shore Rail Trail—formerly known as the Rails to Trails Recreational Path—is a 10-mile, multi-use recreational path that runs along the former Wading River railway corridor in Brookhaven, the largest town in Suffolk County, New York.

Pindar Wine Store earned a stellar reputation for its premium selection of wine but also serves up a packed event calendar and upscale tastings and tours. You can also stop by Prohibition Port Jefferson for brunch, cocktails, late-night food, and more.



Best dining in Belle Terre

Mavi Grill & Deli in Mount Sinai is a great spot for families with food the little ones will love. Dine under the sun (or stars) with charming outdoor seating and get online for free courtesy of the restaurant’s Wi-Fi.

Slurp Ramen serves Japanese-style ramen right here on Long Island. Savor a great bowl of noodles in authentic flavors that define past times living in Japan.

Madiran The Wine Bar serves red wines made mainly from the Tannat grape, which produces bold, dark, dry, tannic wines.  White wines produced in the same area are known as Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh, which can be made in the dry or sweet style.

Old Fields Restaurant serves exceptional comfort food, prime dry aged steaks, and barbecue with unique craft cocktails and warm inviting service. Country Corner is where locals find unique and diverse selections of craft beers and cocktails complete with great appetizers, burgers, and other perfect compliments.

Via Pizza—a staple in the Setauket community for 27 years—serves great quality pizza, a large variety of Italian dishes, and just about anything you desire—even foods not on the menu.

The Whiskey Barrel is more than just a slogan. Discover simple ingredients, great tastes, and a fabulous experience inside a restaurant built on the passion of a group of individuals from various walks-of-life, united in a singular passion for bringing unique flavors in easily reachable ways.



Buy a Belle Terre home with Team Rita.

Ready to explore Belle Terre homes for sale? Contact us today to search our database of local Suffolk County housing inventory, schedule an open house, or explore our featured properties for sale.


Author Bio

Rita Tsoukaris launched RE/MAX Integrity Leaders in Centereach in 2006. Her passion for helping people achieve their home ownership dreams has earned her team the number one spot for Long Island homes for sale from 2015 through 2022.


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(all data current as of 6/18/2024)

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