Discover Stony Brook Homes for Sale: A Neighborhood Guide
Stony Brook is scenic hamlet on Long Island’s North Shore with a lot to love: the harbor, beaches, historic architecture, and fine public schools—to name a few. This attractive city, northeast of New York City, is full of incredible sites from the distinct landscape at Stony Brook University to the five habitats inside Avalon Nature Preserve.
There are a couple of caveats to buying a home in Stony Brook: the traffic and high taxes leading the pack. However, you get more for your money here than you would in neighboring Nassau County, where you mostly get only a quarter-acre of property. Moving to this Long Island town gains you access to something closer to an acre.
Along with its neighbors, Setauket and Old Field, Stony Brook is part of the Three Village area within the town of Brookhaven. It’s a cute place to live where dogs trot on leashes and ducks bob in ponds, complete with modern conveniences including 20th and 21st century homes, many dating back to the early 1960s.
Background and history
Settled in the late 1600s, the historic Suffolk County hamlet that exists today is largely the invention of Ward Melville, a shoe magnate who created the Stony Brook Village Center, one of the country’s first planned retail developments, in 1941.
Working with architect, Richard Haviland Smythe, Mr. Melville rearranged vintage buildings—destroying some and adding others—to produce a crescent of shops with shingles, parking spaces, a village green, and views of the harbor. At the center, Mr. Melville built a federal-style post office adorned with a mechanical eagle that still flaps its 20-foot wings every hour, on the hour.
Mr. Melville also bought the shoreline acreage that became the West Meadow Wetlands Reserve and donated 478 acres for a college campus he imagined would be Old World and pastoral but instead evolved into the behemoth now known as Stony Brook University.
Much of Stony Brook’s past—real and reinvented—is embedded in the Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages, located on Route 25A. Founded in 1939 by Ward Melville and his wife, Dorothy, the museum grew from a collection of animal trophies assembled by a hunter and taxidermist into a nine-acre complex with seven buildings including a relocated blacksmith shop and one-room schoolhouse. The museum now holds about eighty of Mr. Melville’s carriages and the largest collection of artworks by 19th-century painter William Sidney Mount.
Housing and income
The median household income in Stony Brook is $139,674, which lands residents inside homes with a median sale price of $445,000—up 9% year over year.
The least expensive property on the market is a two-bedroom unit inside a community for people 55 and older listed for $319,999. The most expensive property is a five-bedroom, 1920 colonial on 0.6 acres of waterfront property, listed for $1.425 million and $27,036 in property taxes.
Many consider Route 25A the dividing line between the affluent, historic part of Stony Brook to the north and the newer, more affordable developments to the south. However, the lines that define the costs of Stony Brook homes for sale are changing.
Today, houses below 25A sell for upwards of $600,000—especially the newer homes with features like high ceilings that younger buyers love.
Traffic and transportation
Others hold jobs in New York City, commuting an hour and a half on the Long Island Rail Road’s weekday morning service to Penn Station, which transfers at Jamaica, Queens for $19 per ride. Some commuters drive up to 10 miles south to Ronkonkoma to catch a direct train with travel times as fast as 69 minutes.
Cost of living
A high livability score—comprised of low crime, great amenities, high employment, and great schools—comes with an extra cost of living.
Stony Brook homeowners pay higher than the national average for overall living expenses (+57%), goods and services (+23%), and housing (+142%).
The total cost of housing, food, childcare, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities is $50,940 per year.
Employment and economy
Stony Brook residents earn an average annual salary between $54,812 and $72,000. The 90th percentile takes home upwards of $146,000 while the 10th percentile earns around $35,000.
White-collar workers make up 89.69% of the working population with blue-collar workers accounting for the other 10.31%. There are 817 entrepreneurs (14.59% of the workforce), 2,841 private company employees (50.75%), and 1,334 workers in governmental institutions (23.83%).
The highest paying job titles held by Stony Brook residents include Orthopedic Surgeon, Associate Professor of Surgery, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist.
The Three Village Central School District tops the list of reasons people flock to buy a home in Stony Brook. The top-rated district includes five elementary schools (K through 6), two junior high schools (grades 7 through 9), and one high school (grades 10 through 12).
The district also includes the Three Village Academy (grades 9 through 12), an alternative high school in Stony Brook founded in 2013 for students with social phobias and anxieties who struggle to learn in large settings.
Total district enrollment is about 6,300 students from a mix of races including White (82%), Asian (10%), Hispanic or Latino (5%), and African American (1%).
Things to do in Stony Brook
There’s plenty to do and see if you own Stony Brook real estate. You can immerse in history at the Long Island Museum, explore the wonders of Avalon Nature Preserve, or watch beautiful things from the sunsets at tranquil Sand Street Beach to the incredible shows at Staller Center for the Arts.
On the weekend, you can catch a flick at AMC Loews Stony Brook 17, shop the Stony Brook Village Center, or watch a groovy performance at The Jazz Loft. If the beauty of nature is more your style, you can watch swans at Stony Brook Grist Mill, fish in the Long Island Sound, and enjoy fun under the sun at West Meadow Beach.
Best dining in Stony Brook
Monster Chicken is the place to get your fill of not just delicious Asian-style fried chicken but also burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, snacks, smoothies, salads, and more. For a unique spin on New American cuisine, NOCO serves all natural, organic, and sustainable products, supporting communities, local farms, fishermen, and businesses.
eShin Noodle Bar is the local, city-style ramen and small plates eatery that made the permanent move from New York City to Long Island post-COVID. Locals consider the noodle bar the best ramen experience in North Shore Long Island. Ichi Sushi and Ramen is another top spot for ramen and sashimi including appetizers, entrees, a la carte menus, bento boxes, and more.
Sup Vietnamese Pho and Grill celebrates the uniquely bold, vibrant, and exciting flavors of Vietnam in an inviting space with a warm ambiance and friendly service. The Whiskey Barrel is the restaurant, bar, and gathering place that serves simple ingredients, great tastes, and a fabulous experience with a passion for bringing unique flavors in easily reachable ways.
For delicious, hearty, and authentic Korean cuisine, stop by Ssambap Korean BBQ. You can also drop by Northern Coast Kitchen and Cocktails for date night, family dinners, or just to catch up with an old friend and share a whole new dining experience in Stony Brook Village.
Buy a Stony Brook home with Team Rita.
Ready to explore Stony Brook 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.
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 12/5/2023)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.