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Exploring South Setauket Homes for Sale: Your Moving Guide

Ranked the fourth happiest place to live in New York, South Setauket is a historic Suffolk County town bursting with opportunity in education, employment, commuting, and home ownership. If the idea of authentic architecture, revolutionary war roots, coastal water beauty, and remnants of shipbuilding and seafaring days excites you, then your move to South Setauket will exceed your expectations.

Buying a home in South Setauket gains you access to the excellent Three Village school district. Proximity to major roads creates easy commutes, while three highly regarded hospitals create exciting career opportunities. South Setauket is home to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital, St. Charles Hospital, and Stony Brook University Hospital.

A mix of young, middle-aged, and older adults make up a population of 15,423. South Setauket charms residents with its unique character and way of life where small businesses thrive, neighbors wave “hello”, and New York City employees enjoy the many fruits of suburban living less than an hour away from the office.

Background and history

South Setauket joins neighboring towns Old Field, Poquott, and Stony Brook as part of the historic Three Village area where the Native Americans who first called this Suffolk County region home implanted their roots.

The name “Setauket” is a corruption of “Setalcott”, the Indian tribe from which settlers from New England and Southold purchased almost 30 square miles in 1655. The first settlement in the town of Brookhaven and the first seat of town government, Setauket later became East Setauket, which thrived in the early to mid-19th century after shipbuilding along the harbor east of the old village center.

The next big things to emerge were piano making, a rubber factory, and by the late 1800’s, the railroad, which made the area a summer resort. Setauket endured slack times after World War I and past World War II before exploding with new housing in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Housing and income

Single family homes are the most common type of residential real estate in South Setauket. Residents can take their pick from a wide range of house styles, many of them larger homes on large lots valued at moderate to high prices. Most households are family establishments with an average income of $210,615 and an average home price of $521,196.

There are far fewer young, first-time home buyers than there are established residents buying a second or third home, except for young families moving up from Centereach, Port Jefferson Station, Nassau County, and New York City.

Snatching up a $650,000-plus colonial, ranch, or cottage lands you North of Route 25A in the more desirable and sought-after parts of town, while the less-expensive homes fill the southern areas of East Setauket near Nesconset Highway, Route 347.

Traffic and transportation

If you want to buy a house in South Setauket, expect a 31.5-minute commute with public transportation options ranging from ferries to MacArthur Airport. You can hop on the Long Island Rail Road in Stony Brook to catch a ride to the city or drive about 20 minutes to the Ronkonkoma station.

Cost of living

A respectable $144,609 median income lands South Setauket residents in homes with a median value of $534,565 and around $3,000 in property taxes. The high salaries offset the above-average cost of living, which is 52% higher than the national average. South Setauket residents pay 23% more for goods and services, and 125% more for housing, totaling $50,940 per year for housing, food, childcare, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities.

Employment and economy

A vast majority of South Setauket residents work for the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the adjoining Stony Brook University Hospital. The university alone staffs more than 1,600 faculty members for more than 20,000 graduate and undergraduate students. The Setaukets are also home to many faculty and hospital employees, scientists, and employees.

South Setauket is primarily a white-collar town, with blue-collar workers making up just over 10% of the population. There are 535 entrepreneurs, 2,366 private company employees, and 1,541 government workers living in the area.

South Setauket is also a place to chase professional dreams with above-average opportunities in employment and upward mobility. There is no shortage of six-figure-salary professionals including accountants, registered nurses, human resources managers, web developers, and mechanical engineers.


Students in parts of South Setauket attend the top-rated Long Island school system known as the Three Village School District, which remains one of the leading attractions for families moving to the area. The district includes five elementary schools, two junior high schools, and Ward Melville High School in East Setauket.

Above-average SAT scores chime in around 555 in verbal and 568 in math. 97% graduates go on to higher education with 73% enrolled in four-year colleges or universities and 73% earning Regents diplomas. However, parents of children around age four won’t find any prekindergarten classes in the area.


Things to do in Setauket

Buying a house in South Setauket gives you a place to look out on the mill pond near the five-acre Frank Melville Memorial Park. You can also walk the trails along the 20-acre sanctuary and garden club with a five-acre arboretum. Many residents are also members of the St. George’s Golf and Country Club who frequent the 18-hole golf course.

You won’t struggle to find plentiful shopping while living in South Setauket—but you may have to drive ten to fifteen minutes or so to get there. The old Stony Brook village is the nearest downtown concentration where you can find plenty of boutiques, shops, restaurants, and businesses. You can also travel three miles west to access the nearly 1.4 million square feet of retail space and more than 160 stores inside the Smith Haven Mall.


Best dining in Setauket

If your family gathers to celebrate the love of pizza, Setauket Pastaria is the place to find a unique dining experience with delicious Italian food served in abundant portions. If Japanese cuisine is more your style, drop by Domo Sushi, the hidden gem locals trust for the best sushi and delicious Japanese lunch and dinner specials.

Sometimes, nothing hits the spot like dinner at a great local diner. When you live in South Setauket, that diner is the family owned and operated Setauket Village Diner Restaurant, where you can stop by for breakfast, brunch, lunch, early bird dinner, late night tapas, all-day cocktails, beer, and wines.

For delicious hometown sandwiches and dishes made with top quality, fresh ingredients, Se-Port Deli delivers the goods at affordable prices. Longtime community staple, Via Pizza & Pasta serves great quality pizza, a large variety of Italian dishes, and just about anything you want—even items not on the menu.

Chico’s Tex Mex—once a food truck that later opened a brick-and-mortar location in East Setauket—serves fresh cuisine made with the finest ingredients.

How How Kitchen is the place to find delivery and take-out Chinese cuisine, while Pumpernickles Deli and Market offers locals a refreshing combination of good service, courteous staff, and tasty sandwiches, salads, rolls, bagels, coffee, and more.


Buy a South Setauket home with Team Rita.

Ready to explore South Setauket 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 5/20/2024)

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