40 North Carll

  • MLS Number: 1991229
  • Asking: $499,000
  • Taxes: $8,135.70
  • Five beds, 1.5 baths, garage, basement.

What’s the right price for a house? These days, who knows. If you’ve read any of my other open house reports, you know that I’m of the opinion that just about everything is overprices these days. Some by a little, some by a lot, but a look at the market and what’s been selling gives you an idea of where the price should be. Then we come to 40 North Carll.

I’ve had my eye on this house for a while. It was first listed at 700K, which was beyond ridiculous, but over the past couple months the ask has come down in increments 50K, settling finally at $499K. It’s listed as a five bedroom, but it’s really a three bedroom with two semi-bedrooms in a converted granny attic. It’s a good sized house for Babylon, but it’s not huge by any stretch of the imagination. The living room and kitchen are of adequate size and it has a nice dining room.

This is a very special, old house, with plenty of charm and character. It was built in 1911 and has some really nice touches; hardwood floors, a little butlers pantry off the kitchen, neat little built-ins throughout the house, a stained glass window overlooking the first set of stairs and a very nifty turquoise stove that my wife really swooned over.

On the other hand, the house needs a ton of work. The concrete steps up to the front door are canted to the right about five degrees. The wraparound porch in the front of the house is cracking away from the foundation. Almost every wall in the house has some sort of cracks from settling and shifting. On top of that, there’s been almost no work done to the house over that last 20 or 30 years beyond basic maintenance. The kitchen, except for the neat stove and cooktop, is a disaster. The house is wallpapered in late 70’s, early 80’s horrors. Everything is peeling or chipping or falling apart.

On top of that, the house is right on North Carll, a moderately busy street. It’s right across from the RC Church and Parrish Center and right down the block from the high school. Plus, the backyard fence butts right up against the high school’s running track and football field.

The question here is how low can these various negative factors bring down the value of a really nice house like this? Who is going to have the money and patience to do all the work and really make this house shine? Who is going to want to live sandwiched between a busy church and a football field?

This is a home that, with love, care and forethought (not to mention plenty of hard cash and patience), could really be made into something special. It could really be a Babylon Village gem. But who wants a gem in the middle of a busy street?