Charming homes in the best small towns

Red Bank, New Jersey

Population: 12,206
Address:155 River St.
Price: $249,000
Square feet: 1,329
Price per square foot: $187

Less than an hour from New York City, this single-family home built in 1915 is close enough for commuting but still off the beaten path. The renovated interior features three bedrooms and two new full bathrooms. There's a new eat-in kitchen with solid surface counter tops and standard white appliances. There are hardwood floors throughout. You'll also find a mud room with two closets. The living room and dining room are both spacious. And there's a covered front porch that runs the width of the colonial-style home.

Music enthusiasts take note: Red Bank, located along the Navesink River, is where William Count Basie — famous jazz pianist, organist and bandleader — grew up and learned his craft. This small town boasts some music history that locals have embraced, Smithsonian Magazine notes, with a waterfront park used for jazz concerts and a refurbished theater that features music and performances.

Ali Ross: Heritage House Sotheby's International Realty, 732-615-9898