Saturday, September 13, 2008

The McMansioning of McLean

I live in a neighborhood in McLean known as Salona Village. We're a little backwater in the center of town, nestled between Dolley Madison Boulevard on the north, Chainbridge Road on the west, and Old Dominion Road on the south. The houses were built in the 1950s out of brick in ranch, cape, and split-ranch styles.
Here's typical Salona Village house.
Over the years, people have added on to their houses, or bumped up, or done a number of improvements to add to their value. Most of the houses were orginally built with only one or two bathrooms, and two to three bedrooms. Our master bedroom, for example, has its own bathroom, but it's as big as a shoebox; and we have to have the smallest so-called walk-in closet in the greater Washington metroplitan area.
It's all liveable and fine. We raised 3 boys here and they all reached normal height and width.

Everything pretty much went along as usual, until around 5 years ago, when stuff like this started showing up.

Here's how it works.

You tear a completely liveable house down. Then you spend a couple of hundred thousand dollars building a new house and then you sell it for an obscene amount of money.

This is an $800,000 teardown in Salona Village.

It just sold and the land is currently being cleared. We always know when a house is a teardown because the fire department shows up and uses it for practice maneuvers. So, when we see a fire truck in front of a house and the sirens aren't squealing and the lights aren't going around, and people aren't jumping out of windows with their pets, we know, "Ah-hah! Tear down."
In less than a year, the house above will probably end uplooking something like this and it will sell for over 2 million dollars.

I'm going to follow the progress of the teardown from demolition to open house. There's really nothing good that can be said about it. Our neighborhood, now, is a hodgepodge of old and new.

Some of the new is pretty hideous.

No comments: