Houses that are of interest to us continue to be pretty thin on the ground so we set out on a rainy Sunday afternoon to see this one. There were a good number of people there when we arrived at about 1:30 PM. I’m still surprised that nobody has ever come up to me and said, “aren’t you that blogger?”.
I guess that my fame is a bit more limited than I’d like to believe.
50 Cadman Ave
- MLS# 2180638 – Zillow Page
- Ask $465,000
- 3 bedrooms – 2 bath
- Taxes: $9,284 – Village Taxes: $1,033.12
For those of you who have been keeping up, this house was first mentioned back on March 15th by commenter Steele. At that point it was an exclusive by Hoffman East and was listed at $459K. Now it’s out on on MLS and is listed at $465K. So, a month and half on the market and no takers means…you raise the price six thousand dollars? This tells me that the seller is pricing the house based on their financial requirements, what they need to get for the house, not recent comps. Not a good strategy in any market, but a partucularly bad idea in this one.
As for the house itself, it’s nice enough. There’s no path to the front door, so you have to walk up the driveway and enter though the side door. I find this kind of thing very annoying, but it’s easily changed.
The kitchen is of decent size, recently updated but not top of the line. The countertops are green laminate and the stove is a cheap, electric model. Debra says that they must have spent a lot of money on the pulls, even though they are — in her words — hideous. The layout is well-done, though and the open floor plan flows nicely into the living room and dining room area. It makes the space seem bigger than it is and would probably be good for entertaining. The living room/kitchen/dining room areas have ugly tile on the floor, but the other rooms on the first floor have nice wood flooring.
On the first floor we also have two smallish bedrooms and a 3/4 bath (shower stall, no tub) and the den. The second bedroom isn’t too bad, but the third is pretty cramped.
The entire top floor is the master suite. The master bedroom is of decent size, bit certainly not huge. There’s plenty of closet space, although some of the closets are oddly shaped and/or crammed into corners around the roofline. The full bath on this level is OK. It’s got double sinks, actually two separate vanities, one on each side of the door as you walk in. The tub is small and the bathroom as a whole could use some updating, although it’s very usable as is.
There’s no door to the basement. There’s an open staircase leading down, making it seem more like part of the house. The basement is half-finished and the finished portion is sealed off in its own room. The finished room is big and is obviously being currently used as a bedroom. There’s a sump pump in the unfinished portion of the basement and all the appliances, the burner and the water heater are up on stands, which does concern me. But it was raining pretty hard when we were there and the basement did seem bone dry.
The backyard is big for Babylon and there’s a nice new deck. The detached garage is small and crammed with stuff. If we bought this house, we’d definitely want to put a shed in the back to make room for a car in the garage.
Bottom line? A nice house but way overpriced. As I mentioned in the comments earlier, the most direct comp is 55 Livingston Ave. It’s a very similar house in a very similar location, although I think Livingston was nicer on the inside, closer to the train, on a bigger lot and had lower taxes. That house went for $445K, so I can’y see paying more than low 400’s for this place and even that seems a bit much.
Twelve hour work days plus three hours of commuting to Manhattan, all so you can pull down the $145,000 yearly necessary to afford to pay for this lovely manse… and only 30 more years of that ahead of you.
Every picture in that listing screams “SMALL!!!” I suppose they thought the rooms wouldn’t look as small if they stood in the next room over to take the picture. Again, no SF listed (meaning its small). That’s like a kid just out of school not putting his GPA on the resume – if it were impressive, it would be there.
It seems nicely decorated, if you like traditional (and as it happens I do).
Oil heat (old), no central AC. All This Could Be Yours (TCBY)…
It’s a wonder Cathi over at Hoffman hasn’t had to raise her price (again!) to thin out the “real” buyers from the mere wannabes who only bid full asking price.
Funny post, Moose.
And after all that working, commuting, and paying you can relax on your cedar deck and gaze at the beauty of your next door neighbor’s camper-trailer! Sweet!
I am enjoying your posts and the story of your adventures while hunting for your new home. I think it is great you want to share your opinion about our current inventory in the village. I always welcome buyer feedback as a way to understand exactly what is appealing to buyers. However, I do think some of your judgements on the homes you see are harsh. You reffer to certain houses as “dumps” etc… Please remember these are peoples’ homes that you refer to and while I understand you want to give an honest opinion we must respect our neighbors. I love Babylon and I am sure you do to or you would not be looking to buy a home here. Houses come in all shapes and sizes and some may need a little love to shine again but as I have seen in my career there is something to love about each one if you look hard enough. It may not be the right house for you but it may be perfect for another buyer. Sure I have had one or two real turkeys over the years but eventually they sell – you just have to work harder to find the buyer. The real estate community in this beautiful village is close knit. People think we are competitors but we are colleagues. We rely on each other to work together in a professional, honest and ethical way and represent our industry respectfully. What you term a “dump” may be a home a young contractor can’t wait to fix up and make his own. Your Blog is great and I am sure buyers in the area love your input but I advise them to go see for themselves. Oh and by the way Cathi had multiple offers on Cadman as I did on several homes recently. The village is very desirable and homes priced correctly still sell fast. For instance my listing on S. Carll went very fast. I hope to see you at my open house on Lucinda next sunday.
Oh and be careful on Zillo much of their info is skewed. I could suggest other more reliable sites if you want. I confess I am a bit of an information junkie when it comes to statistics about the local market.
See you out there – Georgia Westcott
sorry my web site came up wrong its westcottgrouprealty.com
If she came back to post the addresses of the sites that are better than Zillow, that would have been great.
But no, the only site listed was her own.
Pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?
It also seems like, when provided genuine buyer feedback, certain agents will act condescending and criticize the opinions of the potential buyers. Much easier than telling our neighbors (their clients) to lower their price or how to fix up their dump.
I certainly respect my Babylon neighbors, but not necessarily the condition and price of their homes for sale, and now, not necessarily the credibility of their real estate agent.
Feel free to spread that around the tight-knit real estate community.
*who will definitely _not_ be attending next Sunday’s open house on Lucinda Drive out of pure “Thought Police” principle
Georgia, I’m glad to see you stop by and comment.
I always try to be cognizant, especially recently, of the fact that I’m writing about people’s homes and that they may actually be reading what I’m writing. I never try to be abusive or intentionally insulting. I am just giving my honest impressions of the homes I’m visiting.
I don’t know that I’ve ever called a house a “dump”. That Lee house is definitely a dump, as are some of the other bank-owned properties, but I think Citibank or whoever has more important things to worry about than my little blog.
I find that a lot of Realtors tend to run down Zillow. While the Zillow Zestimates are to be taken with a large amount of salt, especially here on Long Island, the other data provided is reasonable accurate. I do look at some other sites, Property Shark and LI Profiles as well as MLSLI’s sold properties tool. If you’ve got some other ones, I’d be interested.
Thanks for the professional opinions. However, a blog is a blog is a blog. People can post freely and I dont think honest opinions should be construed as mean.
I’m glad you got multiple offers on certain homes but when you sell them at the listing prices or more….. I think we all know that the current market conditions and the economy definitely don’t warrant those dollar figures. As a lifelong resident of this great Village, I can tell you it’s not the Emerald City and $465K for a cape on 50X150 is a rip off. Especially when the underground stream swells!!!!
Good luck with your solo venture, and my other piece of unsolicited advice is your signs look like camouflage. You need a brighter color to stick out. I have driven past a few homes and didn’t realize that they were for sale because the sign blends in with the greenery.
I think MLSLI.com is the most accurate info and you can get sold home prics off there as well. The reason they are more accurate is because of certain regulations Realtors have to follow when inputing data. There is a check and balance system for instance regarding days on the market etc so the info is accurate. I did not post alterative sites previously because this is not my blog and I defer to Gary and his endorsements. Another thing I like is third party statistics not from New York State Association og Realtors or National Associations but from economists. Case Schiller, Altos Research I have many of these on my blog. But although buying a house is an important investment and no one ever wants to overpay remember a home is something meant to live in. Only in the last 5-7 years did the consumer try to make real estate a short term investment – it was never meant as that. And look what happened to the economy.
I respectfully must disagree with Ms. Westcott’s polite criticisms of this blog. With only rare exceptions has the tone and tenure of the comments about home listings been anything other than even handed. People who list their properties and host open houses are subject to many comments – and often criticisms – of their properties. This blog saves a lot of wasted time for folks looking for homes as the comments focus on important characteristics: floor plan, room size, kitchen functionality and design, as well as an impression of the overall age, care, and condition of the home as a whole – things often “under represented in listings”. The correct price is what someone will pay so if multiple offers are coming at or near the listing price, cool! But you shouldn’t criticize others here who articulate that a cost/benefit proposition doesn’t work for them…I would just take that as important market intelligence for a group that obviously represents pent up demand. This blog also does not present an investor mentality but rightfully addresses establishing a reasonable cost basis for a property. Since most people stay in a home less than 7 years, it is absolutely correct to assess its ability to appreciate over time.
Addendum to above: The Lucinda Drive listing that Ms. Westcoff refers to is a great looking ranch that backs up and overlooks a massive boat yard meaning one would look at shrinkwrapped boats for most of the year (lovely) – asking over $700k ….Hmmmm….perhaps folks would like to know that before they waste their Sunday afternoon 🙂
As one who’s been often and loudly accused of “incivility” on this blog, let me say — Please Spare Me. Boo, hoo! Poor Georgia and her clients are going to have their feeeelings hurt by a blog post. Perhaps prospective buyers like myself would be much more receptive to your pleas for civility if you and your sellers weren’t at the same time trying to wring every nickel out of buyers and condemn them to 50 years of debt servitude peddling houses not updated since Roosevelt was president (you guess which one).
“The real estate community in this beautiful village is close knit. People think we are competitors but we are colleagues.” Stunning admission. Are you even aware your national association had to pay millions in lobbying money to escape FTC charges of unlawful anti-competitive business activity? Speaking of which, a perfectly reliable site is the MLS, if the guild would make it accessible to all interested on equitable terms. Then it would begin to look alot like Expedia, and Westcott would some years hence sound a great deal like “Liberty Travel” – still around, but rather irrelevant.
Multiple offers on Cadman, huh? I can only presume that they were all over list price, which is why it is still for sale. Why is it that used house sales folks feel compelled to bolster their honesty and integrity, even when it is not in question? The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Moose, noone is condemning you to 50 years of debt servitude. If you cant afford to buy, don’t buy. No one is forcing you to do anything. “Wring every nickel out of buyers”…its called the free market. Don’t buy if you don’t want to or can’t afford to but stop complaining already!
The critique here should not be at what houses are priced but more Ms. Westcoff desire for blog posters to not criticize or unfavorably criticize the features and condition of a listing.
An asset can be priced at whatever a seller wants – it is his/her asset, after all. Real estate agents have little to no control over pricing and certainly no power to make someone buy an overpriced asset.
Blog serves a useful and important function on this site. Gary, know that the readership supports both your mission and appreciates your contribution to the Babylon real estate knowledge base.
109 Washington Street and 90 The Crescent, two recent entries (4/14 & 4/11) onto the BV market with loudly criticized “wishing prices”, are now listed by MLS as “in contract”.
Setting the stage for further squeals of “Unfair!” by befuddled, anonymous bloggers….
Maybe someone should tell yhe buyers about thier 50 upcoming years of debt servitude…..lol
Sometime, some people need to get a grip and realize they cant afford to live in Babylon Village.
“some people need to get a grip and realize they cant afford to live in Babylon Village”
That really is how you delude yourself that you are better that the ‘unwashed’. I have no such insecurities. I also don’t need to overspend for tenement housing just to insure ‘poor’ people don’t live next door (and hope against hope that a greater fool will overspend even more when I’m ready to sell).
At that level of intellect, I’m truly surprised you haven’t yet proposed we measure anatomies. Did you hear that? That was another 1.5% that leaked out of the imagined value of your house last month (-18% annual rate). Only down 10.2% year-over-year, and 17.5% since peak. (Source)
Would you happen to have any sources to support your allegations, harriet?
There are deals, and there are done deals. Post the HUD 1 (Let me know if you need help making it a PDF), then we’ll talk. Or we can wait until the price is recorded and public record, but by then the public’s attention will be on Christmas vacation. Not to mention that the number for public consumption won’t include any five-figure maintenance concessions by the seller.
Even after all that, I believe that the sale price will STILL reflect only the next leg down. I don’t believe that even if one particular seller comes to his senses and accepts a lower price, that the lower price will be a drop all the way to historical norm (any boy do we still have a long way to go). The mechanism is that the next guy to sell just has to undercut the competition. The guy after that has to undercut the last sale, and so on… Its an incremental process — but the evidence is indisputable that it is ongoing.
Since these houses are ‘sold’, what was the price? Isn’t that the real game to be crowing about?
“Wring every nickel out of buyers”…its called the free market.
Learning to accept a buyer’s opinion (distilled as “dump”) is part of the free market, too.
Allegations about what, Moose? That you cant afford to live in the Village? I make that assumption by reading between the lines. I dont think your the unwashed…just that you cant afford to live here. I cant afford to live on Fifth Avenue in New York, and I dont whine about it or think I’m ‘unwashed’ because of it. Its reality….
Case-Shiller….that’s national averages. All real estate is local. What happens in Calforna or Michigan doesnt necessarily reflect reality on Long Island.
Keep assuming, harriet. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.
If you’d bothered to read the data, you’d note that my calculations are based on NY metro data, not national, nor California or Michigan. If you have more accurate and comprehensive localized data, I’d love to take a look… (crickets chirp).
How do you distinguish between some who — in your vaulted opinion — “cant [sic, can’t] afford to live in the Village” [capital “V”, really?] and someone who refuses to buy horribly overpriced shantys? What level of income, to you, would be a person who can ‘afford’ to live in the “Village”?
And more broadly, do you honestly believe that you’re going to goad a prospective buyer like me into cashing you and your neighbors out of your sinking assets just to prove a point? You grossly overestimate the value of your opinion. From my perspective, if the economic reality is not yet manifest to even the most adamant deniers like yourself, the 2010 census showing the cratering demographics (fewer, and older, people remaining) of Long Island in general and Babylon specifically will be vindication enough. Who’s going to buy your starter home when no person under 50 wants to live here?
I don’t have a starter home and you couldn’t afford it even if it was for sale, which it isn’t.. It’s “vaunted”, not vaulted, if you’re going to start correcting my lousy typing.
Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is there IS more localized data than CS Metro NY. NAR has released ’09Q1 Single-Family price data. The bad news…
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA -16.0%
and more specifically,
NY: Nassau-Suffolk, NY -18.6%
I won’t impugn your reading comprehension skills, I’ll just reiterate the question. The question was NOT “What do you think your house is worth?” My question was — What level of income, to you, would be a person who can ‘afford’ to live in the “Village”?
It all depends on what thier financial obligations are. Do they have kids? Does the wife work? Do they have money from a prior sale to make a large downpayment? Are there college loans to pay off?
I do know that people that whine about ’30 years of debt servitude’ cant afford it.
I do know that people that whine about ‘30 years of debt servitude’ cant afford it.
So your definition of ‘afford’ has nothing to do with the buyer’s assets or income, it is ultimately a function of whether the individual is willing to give you or a home l’owner like you a historically inflated price for your property in a rapidly declining market.
Since you’re afraid (for obvious reasons) to put a number on a buyer who can ‘afford’ “the Village”, I just want to be clear on terms of the discussion.
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
The only relevant real estate metric is the housing prices indices for Babylon Village for purposes of this blog. If anyone has those, let’s hear them. My last reading of published data was that BV actually increased 6% last year – one of the few on Long Island. The source was quoted within a Newsday article which I unfortunately don’t have on hand. I’m sure some enterprising soul can access and share it here.