This was another pleasant summer afternoon spent exploring houses in Babylon Village. We weren’t the only ones out and about. At each of the houses we went to we ran in to at least one other couple there looking for their dream house.

Time begins to draw short for me and my wife. Our baby is due at the end of September and we need to make a decision out our apartment lease about a month or two after that. We made some tentative plans about what we’ll do if we have to stay in Fairfield for very long after the baby is born. Most likely we’ll rent a storage unit and make more space for ourselves by transferring as much non-essential stuff to the unit as we can. Storage units aren’t cheap, but they’re much cheaper than buying the wrong house.

Anyway, on to the houses.

24 Smith St

Sometimes you walk into a house and you see the story of the place right away. 24 Smith is a big, old Victorian built some time in the 19th century when Babylon was still a going concern as a resort town. The rooms are big, the ceilings high and the place has tons of charm.

Unfortunately, nobody has done much taking care of the place in a long, long time. The paint on the doors and moldings are cracked and peeling. Cheap, brown paneling covers many of the walls, making you wonder what scary damage is being hidden. The kitchen is very very old, although not original, and the bathrooms are in bad shape. Every room in the house is filled with junk. The very large yard has gone pretty much wild and the garage looks like it’s ready to fall down on the owner’s 70’s-era Corvette.

This could be such a beautiful house. It’s sad to see it in this condition. Finding someone to buy this place is going to be a challenge. Not only would you need someone who could handle the purchase price, still high at $625K, they’d need to be able to spend well into the six figures to renovate the place.

81 Pilcher St

This is a very nice split colonial, way up on the very northern edge of Babylon school district. In fact, it’s so far north that it’s outside of the Village proper.

We liked this house a lot. I really liked the split-level layout. On the ground floor, the family room and an office/bonus room were on one level and the kitchen, dining room and living room were on a higher level, then there were stair leading to the actual second floor where the bedrooms were.

The kitchen has been recently redone, but it’s very small. The current owners bought the place for $400K in February of ’07 and that’s obviously one of the first things they did. The house has been semi-renovated, but is still in need of some work. The house needs to be re-sided and some of the older windows replaced.

The backyard is nice and big. It’s also split-level, with retaining walls separating off parts of the back yard. Unfortunately, the new owners put in a large, oval, above-ground pool. If we bought the place, that would have to go immediately

It’s a nice place, but a little pricey for us at $429K. Babylon schools are good, but its location puts it well out of walking distance to the train or to anything in the Village.

47 Frederick Ave

This one wasn’t technically an open house. We called the listing agent and asked to see it. The property belongs to an estate. The home wasn’t properly maintained for years and then it laid empty for six months after the previous owner passed away as his sons were figuring out what to do with the place. Fixing up the place and cleaning it up for showing is obviously going slowly. When we toured the house, every room was still filled with the deceased occupant’s junk.

The place is in pretty bad shape. In my opinion, it’s a livable house if it was cleaned from one end to the other. My wife is of the opinion that it needs a new kitchen, bath and carpets before we could even think of moving in and it’s hard to argue the point. The yard is a disaster and the deck off the back feels like it’s falling apart.

The house itself it rather oddly laid out, but spacious for an inline ranch. It’s worth thinking about if the owners were willing to take a significant lowball, but at $349K it’s pretty much a non-starter.