We saw these open houses three weeks ago. These may be our last open houses for a while. I’m working this weekend coming up and the Tuesday after that is my wife’s official due date. Time flies when you’re having fun.

There were 13 open houses Sunday, 8/24/2008 in Babylon Village. I often work on Sunday, which is the most popular day for an open house. Since I was off and there were a few houses of interest, we decided to see three of them.

401 Park Ave

We’ve watched this house being built over the past year so when we saw the open house we had to go take a look. This large, new house is about a hundred yards from Rt 109 and right across the street from a random industrial building.

I have to say, I liked this house a lot more than I thought I would. I often don’t like new houses. They seem very cookie-cutter, boring and uninspired, but whoever built this place put a little personality into it. From the nice blue siding to the fish on the wall in the upstairs bath, there were some interesting choices made here and it shows.

The house is big inside. The kitchen is large and well laid-out, although it’s your standard black granite/cherry wood/stainless steel motif. There are four good-sized bedrooms upstaits with some very nice closets. I really liked the giant basement with eight foot plus ceilings and the bathroom plumbing roughed in, all ready to be finished.

My biggest quibble with the place is that it’s heated by oil/hot water with ugly baseboards all around the house. In this day and age, with oil prices headed ever upward, why wouldn’t you do gas/forced air or be really bold and go with geothermal?

[UPDATE 9/17/2008]
Commenter Wally L. informs us that the house is heated with gas/hot water, not an oil burner. My fault for not paying attention. I still hate the baseboards, but that’s certainly a less egregious choice for heating.

In the end, this is too much house for us, but I think that someone will buy the house and be very happy in it. The proximity to RT 109 and other commercial buildings is a big negative for a lot of people, although the house is designed so that you really don’t notice it when you’re inside. I think I could deal with it for the right price, but the builder may have to think about another price reduction.

198 Cadman Ave

This was a new listing and we were somewhat curious about it, in part because the MLS listind said it had five bedrooms, even though in the pictures it looked like a pretty small place. Well, it is a very small place. It used to be a two bedroom cottage or bungalow before they added on the second floor.

There are three bedrooms on the top floor, all of them very small. There’s also an odd “landing area” at the top of the stairs, big enough for a small couch and a desk. There’s a smallish master bedroom on the first floor and another room they call a bedroom that’s about the size of a small walk-in closet.

The first floor of the house is very oddly laid out. The kitchen is sort of divided in two, with the fridge in one area and the main portion of the kitchen — stove, cabinets, table — in the other. The ceiling on the first floor is very low, maybe not even seven feet. I’m 6’1″ and I could easily put my hand on the ceiling.

Since I’ve seen the place, the price has gone down to $417,999, still way too much for this odd house.

16 Willow St

This one has been hanging around MLS for a while. It’s just south of Montauk, right across the street from the boat yard and just down the street from the boat slips that follow along Shore Road.

It’s a newer house, built in 2000, but it feels much more like an older place in it’s layout and general amenities. For example, none of the three cramped bedrooms have much in the way of closet space. The downstairs living room area is oddly cut in two by the stairs, making two, smaller, less usable spaces.

I didn’t like this house much at all. It seems badly designed. The rooms don’t flow together. There’s not really enough space and what space there is seems badly utilized.

It’s off MLS now, so either it sold or the owners decided to give up.