We saw these houses almost a month ago, way back on My 31st. This just goes to show you what a damn slacker I’ve been.

I’ve got another old open house — 31 Greenway — to write up and we’re going to see some houses this weekend, so I hope to have more content for you soon.

78 Livingston Ave

This house has been on the market for over a half year now, price reduced from $410K to $389,900. As of this writing, it’s down to $379,990 and still no takers. There seems to be open house after open house to no effect. A Realtor of my acquaintance referred to this property as “a dog”. Is it really so bad?

The house is your standard high ranch. Upstairs there are three modestly-sized bedrooms, a living room/dining room area, a bathroom and the kitchen. The kitchen is smallish and it has the same craptastic, builders-grade, 80’s-era cabinets that I have in my apartment. But it’s certainly a usable space and it’s not in terrible shape. The upstairs bathroom has some ugly-looking tile work, but it’s still pretty usable.

Downstairs we have another bedroom, a utility room and a good-sized family room. The downstairs bathroom is similarly ugly and the shower stall (no tub) is tucked weirdly behind the door.

78 Livingston was, as a lot of high ranches are, converted into an illegal two-family house. The owner rented out the top and bottom as separate apartments. Almost all the evidence of that has been wiped away. The extra kitchen is gone. The garage, which used to be a room, has been turned back into a garage. The whole house has been cleaned and painted and new, dull gray, builders-grade carpeting has been laid down.

I saw a lot of potential in this house, but Debra thought differently. After going back and forth on the topic, she said that she just didn’t like the house, which was good enough for me. But I’d encourage everyone to give this house another look if you saw it before they cleaned it up. It’s not a great house, but it’s not terrible for the money and it’s been on the market for a long time, so the owner could be open to some lowballing.

78 Wampum Rd

78 Wampum is a bit like a time capsule. Walk through the door and you’re transported back to the era of I Love Lucy because the house hasn’t been updated since Eisenhower was president. The kitchen still has the same steel-edged, electric green laminate countertops that were installed when the house was first built and the same 50’s era wood cabinets that my grandmother had in her apartment in Canarsie when I was growing up.

Apart from the 50’s charm, this house is basically a smallish, three bedroom ranch. The master bedroom isn’t a bad size for a house like this, but it’s still small. The other two bedrooms don’t have a lot of space either. The living room is a decent size and the dining room has a charming built-in that I liked very much.

It does sit on a nice piece of property, one third of an acre is very rare in the village for a house in this price range. However, it’s a corner lot, so you’re getting a lot of side and front yard and not so much back yard. To me, that looks like a lot more lawn to mow without that much more usable space.

When I say that this house hasn’t been updated since the 50’s, that’s not entirely true. The whole basement has been finished, with a kitchen, full bath and two bedrooms. Unfortunately, my understanding is that this wasn’t done with the proper approvals and permits, so it makes it a bit problematical for someone coming in and buying the place. It seems to me that there are more than a few of these illegal conversions on the market now and I’m wondering if the town is starting to crack down some.