2015 NICHE Best Places just released its annual rankings of the Best Communities in the United States. The Niche Rankings let readers explore the best suburbs to buy a house in America based on home values, property taxes, housing costs, and age of new home buyers. A high ranking indicates that a suburb attracts residents with a good housing market where property taxes and housing costs are in line with value.

Greenwood Lake, a suburb in New York with 3,141 residents, has very high home values, high rent costs, and average unemployment levels. Its citizens generally have average education levels and average income levels. Rank: 38th

Greenwood Lake History
Wikipedia lists the Village of Greenwood Lake as originally settled as a farming community in the 1700s in the area of an earlier village occupied on almost exactly the same spot by the Munsee Indians. The Munsees, generally considered a branch of the “Lenape” people, were Algonquin speakers who called the lake “Quampium.” Some of the farms at the head of the lake were purchased by the Morris Canal and Banking Company in 1837, and portions of them were inundated when a dam was built that same year, greatly increasing the size of the lake to its current condition. The enlarged lake attracted tourists, and a grand hotel operated by Theron Felter was operating within the area of the Village by at least 1851. The development of the village itself dates to 1856, when most of the available land was purchased by Solomon Caldwell, who divided the land for sale as “hotels, villa sites and town lots.” Subsequent plot plans suggested renaming the community the “Town of Avington” in 1884, and “Montelac Park” in 1890, but it remained Greenwood Lake, becoming incorporated as a village in 1924. In the ensuing years many famous people, such as Babe Ruth and Greta Garbo, regularly visited the resort.

In July 2011, Rob Reiner began shooting a movie in the Village of Greenwood Lake. The movie, “The Magic of Belle Isle” starred Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen and Kenan Thompson. The movie was shot in existing homes on the lake. Most of the cast and crew rented homes in the village and stayed there during the shooting.  A special free premiere showing was held for all residents of Greenwood Lake in the summer of 2012 at the Thomas P. Morahan Waterfront Park. And the last season of the HBO series The Sopranos opened with a lake scene shot on Greenwood Lake.

Derek Jeter owns a residence on the western shore of Greenwood Lake.


How the Rankings Were Determined
Niche Local Rankings Methodology:
Best Towns to Buy a House

The Best Towns to Buy a House ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of the housing and community of an area at the town level. This grade takes into account key factors of a location’s housing market, including home values, taxes, crime, and public education, in an attempt to measure the quality and stability of an area’s housing market.

At the time of analysis, our database contained records for 4,280 towns. Of the towns that met the required qualifications [including the Village of Greenwood Lake], we were able to grade 4,278 and rank 1,568.

For more details about how we compute our rankings and classify areas, read more>>