Wednesday, October 22, 2008

McMansion Watch: N.W. Loudoun County, Virginia

I've decided to start a new periodic series of posts called "McMansion Watch." Here's the first one:

42030 Panorama Place, Leesburg, VA 20176

Bought 05/12/2005: $868,038

For sale now: $799,000

Hey, at least it's got brick on the sides. Most McMansions only have a brick fa├žade, with three sides of vinyl siding. Apparently, this "3-sided brick home" only has vinyl siding on the back.


  1. LOL! It's over in the exurbs. That place will easily house four families, each consisting of four people. There is ample parking around the building for multiple battered automobiles.

    They will keep livestock in the attached garage.

  2. Ugh, brick-front vinyl-sides looks like ass. I had never seen it before I moved here, and it looks cheap. Vinyl-sides screams "half-assed job".

  3. A couple each making $150,000 per year couldn't reasonably afford this. This needs to come down to $550,000 to make it attractive for government senior executives.

    Just a little perspective, the S&P 500 point level and dates:

    June 1997: 900 points
    March 2003: 800 points
    Today: 900 points

    So essentially the Clinton prosperity gains of the late 90's have been wiped out. I wonder if this will have an impact on his legacy.

  4. My initial thought was no way it will sell. However, based on MRIS it looks like houses in this zip in this price range are selling OK (30 for sale, 5 sold).

    God knows why you would pay that much for a 3 sided brick McMansion in exurbia, yet it seems there are some buyers out there.

    My prediction, it will sit for 6 months at least, and then sell some time in the spring or summer of 09 at about 700K (87% of asking price).

  5. Not sure if I can call that a McMansion. This is what I consider a McMansion:
    Home 1
    Home 2

    Note the satellite google views - see how close they are? 3k sqft on 5500sqft of land. lol!

  6. I have to say I did expect a kitchen that was a bit more upscale than stock Home Depot cabinets. There is absolutely nothing special about that house - I just don't get the appeal (outside of size).

  7. You can either afford a large house made entirely of brick, or you can not. The brick front, and vinyl sides/back just screams cheap. Most of these huge brick facade places I have seen have also skimped on insulation, plumbing fixtures etc.

  8. In order to fit my own definition of McMansion the structure must max out the lot in every dimension like the McMansions do in my area, Bethesda. To view the worst, cheap & cheesy McMansions please drive down any street in Bethesda. The tear-down speculators have literally ruined entire neighborhoods. There are two teardown McMansions going up opposite me as I write. Market turmoil? Not in Bethesda apparently.

  9. We just drove by this house - not because we were looking at it, but we just happened to take Rt 15 south to get home from Pennsylvania.

    This house has a huge negative. It is a long way from everything, and you had better enjoy sitting in traffic if you are going to live in this house. We were thinking that suicide might be preferable to having to endure that commute on a daily basis.

    This house is also 10 miles from anything other than a gas station. That would involve driving to Leesburg, enduring traffic, and then you mainly find strip malls and chain restaurants. If that doesn't float your boat, you have to drive even further.

    In terms of employment opportunities, my guess is that the nearest place where one could find jobs that would pay enough to pay for this would be Tysons Corner - about 30 miles away, virtually all in horrible traffic. There are a number of employers there - Freddie Mac comes to mind, but I am not sure if they are hiring right now...

    In this area, this type of house is a classic McMansion.

  10. I agree with the last comment. Location Location Location means how long of a commute it is to the jobs epicenter. The nearest is 30 miles away, so for every 10 miles perhaps the price declines by 10%. A 30 mile commute equates to at least 75 minutes on the road.

  11. I was thinking that this house and the others in the neighborhood must be owned by retirees who don't need to work anymore.

  12. Retirement destinations are urban. What sane older person wants to be so isolated from everything?

    Money Mag Reference

    One correction to the article in the link above; a large supermarket does exist nearby. A big new safeway opened in September at City Vista.

  13. That place will sell for the right price, which is under $410,000.

    october 22, 2008 - 9:42am
    Darci Marchese, WTOP Radio
    WASHINGTON - If the price is right, people are still willing to buy homes.

    The sales of homes under $400,000 rose 70 percent in Alexandria and Arlington and Fairfax counties, says John McClain, a senior fellow at George Mason University who studies local housing trends. Those sales occurred between September 2007 and September 2008.

    McClain thinks one major reason for the increase is that conforming or conventional loans are now capped at $417,000. Anything over that is considered a jumbo loan.

    Sales of homes costing more than $400,000 are flat inside the Capital Beltway. Overall in the region, home prices are down by over 20 percent.

    Prices in Prince William County are rock bottom.

    "Total sales in Prince William County are up 200 percent," he says.

    (Copyright 2008 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

  14. I know for a fact this place has been for sale several times over the past 2 years - it just keeps getting re-listed & never eells

  15. I just realized I was being slightly harder on this place than was deserved. The MARC station at Point of Rocks MD is only 7 miles from this place, and the MARC train takes you to Union Station in downtown DC.

    That one minor amenity doesn't make up for the fact that you are still way out in the middle of nowhere..

  16. "and the MARC train takes you to Union Station in downtown DC."

    What I'm hearing from this statement is that proximity to mass transit and access to a major urban center are factors that add value to this home.

    If that is true, then what does it tell us about properties that are much, much closer multiple mass transit options and much closer to (or even in) Washington DC?

  17. It says people want access to their jobs in the shithole of a town but wouldn't ever want to live in said shithole.

  18. "It says people want access to their jobs in the shithole of a town but wouldn't ever want to live in said shithole."

    yes yes the midsts of the worst downturn in 30+ years, crashing housing values all around, it bears repeating, here is the housing price trend (YOY) in the shithole town that "nobody" wants to live in:

    Jan +11.17
    Feb + 6.43
    Mar - 8.06
    Apr + 4.53
    May + 5.01
    Jun + 2.41
    Jul + 2.05
    Aug + 0.00
    Sep + 3.97

    BY COMPARISON, this is the price trend in high end McMansionville where everyone wants to live if its near public transit:

    Jan -11.80
    Feb -10.70
    Mar -19.94
    Apr -18.96
    May -19.31
    Jun -17.47
    Jul -20.45
    Aug -24.63
    Sep -24.79

  19. So, it is only live in shared-wall Fagland, or McMansionville?

  20. So, it is only live in shared-wall Fagland, or McMansionville?

    It looks that way - aparently there must be a lot of people coming out of the closet!

    McMansionville - "were all subprime now"

    Fagland - "were all gay now"

  21. " got his faggot nerve hit."

    This is the argument of an ignorant twit.

    What is likely is that you're having trouble getting a date, and/or you lay awake thinking about your male coworkers. Why else would some twit like you bring sex into a debate about real estate. Oh, that's right, because you're a frustrated closeted homosexual.

    Swerve into oncoming traffic on your way home tonight, please.

  22. Boy did this discussion veer off into the ditch...

  23. "I'm looking forward to the commuter tax being imposed..."

    I am a life-long DC resident, and I think that is a stupid idea.

    All this whining from DC City Follies (oops, I meant city council in small "c") is a bunch of spin - they are just low-life pols looking for more money to mismanage.

    DC residents use Virginia and Maryland roads and infrastructure just as much as their residents use ours.

    Just because they run their governments better is no reason to hate on them.

  24. "Just because they run their governments better is no reason to hate on them"

    If you had a grasp of current events you'd know better.

    The states of VA and MD are both running massive budget deficits. Montgomery county's budget deficit is bigger than DC's. Fairfax county's budget deficit is bigger than DC's. Loudoun county's budget deficit is bigger than DC's.

    The state of VA convened an emergency government meeting this summer to address its imminent transportation crisis in northern VA, spending millions in the process. The session ended with no solutions. VA is strangling under its own "success". People literally cannot move about in their car-clogged roadways. And they bitch about how the federal government needs to bail them out. All this while pointing to Marion Barry of the 1990s as an example of why "DC is a hellhole"

    I-50/New York Ave & I-395 is nothing but a pass-through in DC for MD and VA commuters. The hookers that (used to) line those thoroughfares are (were) there to service the MD/VA assholes that are "just passing through" and using DDOT's funding in the process.

    Screw the haters who come to DC every day because their lives depend upon it, and yet treat the place like a toilet. It is precisely those assholes, and their cars, who are the biggest detriments to the quality of life in the nation's capital.

  25. "I am a life-long DC resident, and I think that (commuter tax) is a stupid idea."

    Look into "congestion pricing". It is already in effect in major cities around the world.

    Its called reality. Look into that, too.

  26. Please avoid swear words. I don't want the blog administrator (David) to turn comment moderation back on.

  27. "Screw the haters who come to DC every day because their lives depend upon it, and yet treat the place like a toilet."

    The Constitution made it a place to be used for, and by the people in, government. And when it was written, that meant people not from here. You want to change that, amend the Constitution.

    The Constitution purposely made it a place that has zero say in how it is used - home rule is a joke.

    It is a toilet, and Congress treats it as such, which is fine with me.

    If you don't like that, don't live here.

  28. So if a homeowner doesn't share your desire to be in the thick of an urban or suburban neighborhood, you are incapable of understanding the value of the home. Got it. But, just so you know there are others who don't necessarily think EXACTLY as you do, some people actually like to be someplace with a few acres around them, they like the privacy and the quiet, and they adapt quite readily to things like making a run into town once or twice a week to pick up groceries and other necessary supplies. The fact that pizza delivery is unavailable to them is not a deterrent, but rather an incentive.

    As for commuting, given a choice between commuting 25 minutes to live closer to town versus 35 minutes to get to a quasi-rural setting, many folks are happy to drive the extra few minutes. No HOAs, no neighborhood block parties, no door-to-door salesmen, no neighbors either disturbing the peace or being disturbed by loud music, no Glady Kravitz nosy neighbor types, and mom and dad get a lot more control over with whom their children play.

    Lastly, in exchange for living a bit further, they finally can afford some luxuries that would have been prohibitively expensive in town: a huge chef's kitchen, 3-car garage, maybe an additional bathroom and bedroom...heck, what's with all the self-appointed arbiters of housing who are prepared to declare any home larger than a 1950s cape cod to be a vulgar expression of excess?