I was going to post this over the weekend, but other things got in the way. You know how it is.

This report covers three open houses from Sunday, March 8th. As always, Interested in your impressions or any other info about those houses that you care to share in the comments.

29 Stowe Ave

I have to say that the wife and I ended up liking this house a lot more than we thought we would. The front of the house is odd-looking, the added on, second floor dormer really looks crudely tacked on. But it’s not quite as bad as the MLS picture makes it seem. This house obviously used to be a cap, now it’s a weird-looking colonial.

The downstairs area is nice and spacious, although the layout could be better. The living room is vary large for a house this size and is set up nicely for a big screen TV. There’s even a big closet in the living room, probably left over from the conversion of part of this space from a bedroom. The kitchen is big, but there’s a good amount of wasted space. It’s pitched as “updated”, but it’s pretty cheaply done. The counters are faux granite laminate and the cabinets are Home Depot specials. A nice-sized dining area completes the downstairs, but the decor leaves something to be desired.

Upstairs, the master bedroom is a good size, although an odd shape, and there’s a decent, walk-in closet. The other two bedrooms are pretty small though and that could be an issue down the road.

The place has two full baths, which is a big plus for us, even though the missus thought that the upstairs bath’s peach decor was hideous. Unfortunately there’s no basement, meaning we’d probably have to use the garage as a storage area.

This is a house with some potential, especially if we decide we can live with West Babylon schools, but there’s no way I can see paying $390,000 for it.

29 Lowerre St

Debra went to go see this one without me. She said it was a nearly perfect house, very cute and well laid out, but missing that all-important third bedroom. Normally I wouldn’t even think about a two bedroom house, but the ad mentioned a “granny attic”, so there was the possibility of a third bedroom and Debra went out to investigate.

Apparently, the granny attic isn’t suitable for a bedroom conversion, which shouldn’t really surprise me. The house was built in the 20’s. If there were some relatively painless way to add a third bedroom, someone would have done it by now. There is an office on the first floor that supposedly had been used as a bedroom in the past, but it’s way too small to be of any practical use for that purpose.

175 Park Ave

This is the first of five homes planned to be built on the former Knights of Columbus hall land on the corner of Ralph Ave and Park Ave. I watched this house get built over the course of many months, so when the place was done, I jumped at the chance to see the inside.

Well, the inside isn’t all that exciting. The builder has left the inside unfinished to that the eventual buyer (heh) can pick the flooring, kitchen cabinets, paint colors, fixtures, etc. There’s not much to see there except concrete floors and primed drywall.

The layout of the place is decent. There are four good-sized bedrooms upstairs. Downstairs we have the kitchen, dining room, living room and den/family room. The house is built on a slab, so the utility room and laundry area are also the first floor. I questioned the Realtor about this and he said the water table was too high to put in a basement in. I find this hard to believe, but whatever.

So the word is that that the builder is throwing in all kinds of extras and “everything is negotiable”. Everything, I expect, except the price. The bulder is more likely to put in exotic hardwood floors, teak cabinets and rare South American granite at no extra charge than go much lower on the price. This house is on the biggest plot of the five pieces carved out of the former K of C property, so they’re going to try to get as much for it as they can. Since they likely plan to build the exact same house four more times, the price they get for this one is going to be the max limit they get for any of the other four.

Of course, first they have to sell this one, which is no easy chore. Who wants to buy a house for $575K that faces a fairly busy street, has no basement and sits in the middle of a giant plot of dirt? The are plenty of fine homes in Babylon at this price point that are much better values.