FSBO Follies – 79 Lakeland Ave

Thanks to all-star commenter Blog Olevich for pointing me toward this one. All this time looking at houses in Babylon and this is my first FSBO — that’s For Sale By Owner for those of who aren’t in the know.

By the way, I’m thinking of adding a Babylon FSBO listing page to the site. Feel free to weigh in on that in the comments.

79 Lakeland Ave

79_lakeland

  • No MLS# 2196769 – Zillow Page
  • Ask $410,000
  • 2/3 bedrooms – 1 baths – Ranch
  • Taxes: ? – Village Taxes: ?

I drove by this house a couple different times before I jotted down the number and called the owner. Tom seemed like a nice enough guy on the phone, although he did his best make sure that I wasn’t a Realtor. I guess putting up a FSBO sign is pretty much an open invitation to get cold-called by your local real estate professionals.

This is a funky, 20’s-era house, all stucco and cement. The inside is all big and bright, with white walls and curved, nine foot ceilings.

The show piece of this house has to be the living room. It’s a big space for a smallish house. It sports a twelve foot ceiling and a nice fireplace, although it’s been converted to use a wood-burning stove. There are huge windows on two walls and the room is just filled with light.

Unfortunately, the rest of the house isn’t quite as nice. The kitchen is probably 30+ years old. It’s functional and of a useful size, but it definitely needs a redo. The bathroom is enormous. It’s maybe the size of two standard bathrooms jammed together. There’s a newish tub tucked into an alcove area that I’m sure used to hold a fabulous claw foot tub back in the day.

The biggest knock on this house is the fact that it’s not really a three bedroom house. A small, enclosed porch are has been used as a bedroom in the past, according to the owner, but it has no closet and is very tiny to boot. The two real bedrooms are of moderate size, but with somewhat limited closet space.

The basement is huge, with much more height than you’d expect in a house of this vintage. It’s somewhat finished, but it would need a good amount of work to be usable as actual living space. The heating system is ancient and needs to be replaced ASAP.

There’s a nice garage and the backyard is very pleasant. I really liked the cement wall and arch connecting the detached garage and the house. There’s a lot of room in the backyard, although it’s a bit overgrown and needs some TLC.

I enjoyed seeing this house, but it’s not really suitable for my needs. It’s also in the North Babylon school district, which is a big negative for me.

Bottom line here, a charming old house that’s in need of a good amount of work. The lack of a real third bedroom is going to push this off of most people’s short lists. I could see someone coming along and falling in love with it, but I can’t see it going for anywhere near $410,000. But I’ve been wrong before.