Skip to comments.Foreclosures come to McMansion country
Posted on 04/06/2008 6:50:49 PM PDT by Santa Fe_Conservative
LEESBURG, Virginia (Reuters) - Million-dollar fixer-upper for sale: five bedrooms, four baths, three-car garage, cavernous living room. Big holes above fireplace where flat-screen TV used to hang.
The U.S. housing crisis has come to McMansion country.
Just as the foreclosure crisis has hollowed out poorer neighborhoods, "for sale" signs are sprouting in upscale developments so new they don't show up on GPS navigation screens.
Poor people weren't the only ones who took out risky, high-interest loans during the housing boom. The sharp increase in housing costs -- and the desire to live in brand-new, spacious houses with modern features -- led many affluent buyers to take out loans they couldn't afford.
"People had in their head, 'I need a mud room, I need giant columns, I need a media room, and I'm going to do anything to get it,"' said Robert Lang, co-director of Virginia Tech's Metropolitan Institute, a research organization that focuses on real estate and development.
The crisis has hit especially hard here in Loudoun County, Virginia, where upscale
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
I live here. My wife and I just went out to dinner tonight, driving by the McMansions on rt. 7, laughing our heads off. They are simply ridiculous and atrocious in appearance. And that double-gable look, with the HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE white deck running the length of the back of the house is gonna look REAL dated in about an hour and a half from now. When you look at the stately and gorgeous all brick federals built here in the 20 and 30 sitting on an acre or more of land, which could be had for less than half what a mcmansion goes for, well... There’s a sucker born every minute.
they demonstrate the classic syndrome of “champagne taste on a beer income.”
Part out the fancy plumbing and countertops to sell in India and Eastern Europe? Burn the wood in a regen plant?
I’m always afraid, when dealing with this subject, of sounding like a little liberal maggot — staring down his nose at “Americans in their materialistic society, and their conspicuous consumption” (just think of that HORRIBLE 60s song “Pleasant Valley Sunday”), but here in richville USA, Loudoun County, I see thousands and thousands of people who believe it is a felony to drive something other than a $60,000 suv, a BMW, or a Mercedes, they must have a boat and they must have a real ugly McMansion. It’s a tad revolting.
"And they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same".
It’s just the culture of the area. It’ll change.
Developers are really in a race to the bottom on street names. ;)
The house next door to me was foreclosed, and sitting empty for 3 years. The original asking price was $350,000, it sold for half of that.
New owners just moved in. I haven’t met them yet, all I know is they have a pit bull bitch and 7 puppies.
I almost wonder if that’s a misprint — it’s REALLY horrible as a name, unless it’s the name of a race horse, perhaps. That’s exactly what it sounds like, anyway.
I suspect a goodly number of the McMansions in trouble are owned by “liberal maggots,” don’t you??
God, I hope so.
It is named after the Kentucky Derby-winning horse - it’s just profoundly stupid. ;)
“a pit bull bitch and 7 puppies.”
I am going to wear my arm out patting myself on the back for that one! I KNEW it sounded like a race horse!
This is a funny, yet sad, thread.
Make them into poor houses and debtor's prisons.
If people were free to conduct business enterprise, they'd for sure go to some great uses. But expensive and cumbersome regulation makes perfectly lovely business enterprise opportunities rot like unpicked fruit. Disgusting.
I live in an area with multi-million dollar "McMansions," and I often walk in the nice gated neighborhoods. Most of them are very custom and lived in, though there's a good amount that look unoccupied, and these places are VAST. I can easily imagine these enormous, ridiculous homes 40 years into the future, sitting empty or run-down. I like to fantasize that a wonderful wild sense of commerce is unleashed because the places have such great potential for all kinds of enterpising things. Bed & Breakfast places, homey pet-sitting services, boarding houses, small personalized rest and care facilities for old folks -- they could be so many great things if the government would STAND ASIDE.
This article is rather deceitful. (But it’s Reuters, so you don’t expect much.)
In Loudon County the vast majority of homes going into foreclosure are those that were overcrowded dorm homes for illegal aliens. Period.
What you are seeing is a common deception increasingly being used by the MSM and the Chamber of Commerce and the Wall Street Journal as a way of deflecting attention away from the crux of he mortgage problem, subprime loans in vast numbers to the millions of illegal aliens (30-40 million is the real count) whose invasion over a few years made a lucrative demand for housing.
The McMansion foreclosures are insignificant and are in the same proportion of defaults or sluggish sales of these expensive homes as in past recessions. Many of these homes, contrary to the tone of this article, are NOT into foreclosure - they are homes that were too expensive and never sold as rich or proto-rich customers faded away with the slowing economy.
I found a house in Clarke Co (on Mount Weather) that I REALLY wanted. First one I had seen that would get me to sell this dump in Falls Church.
The CC place was a 200 year old stone farmehouse, on 100 acres.
They were asking 1.4M for it though, so I walked away.
I’m sure some people said the same thing about the Victorians at the beginning of the 20th century. Now you better not modify or stray from the original color schemes or you will be hung by your thumbs from the courthouse roof...
The old stone farmhouses around here are BEAUTIFUL! The 100 acres, of course, is driving that 1.4 mil price tag. I, too, cry when I see them and cannot afford them.
....my wife and I fled the Baltimore-Washington area in 2005...we had a farm and the McMansion explosion made our place worth a good bit of money...I used to look down on that whole culture of BMWs, Gold Cards, McMansions and snicker...now I see them as very, very dangerous....the kind of reckless fools that could bring down the financial system....and take my wealth with it!....and don’t think banks can’t fail....it happened to me back in the 70s.....big bank too...but once the run started it busted in just 5 days.
The McMansions won’t last 100 years. They’re more like stage sets. The trick to building them is to use the least expensive materials, then pour money into countertops, fixtures and appliances, etc.
Not to mention that Loudoun County is on the end of redneck-ville. McMansion here, crappy ranch there, trailer over there. If people truely have money, are successful, or tasteful they usally live closer to or within DC.
> Most of them are very custom and lived in, though there’s a good amount that look unoccupied, and these places are VAST.<
More likely you will have six Mexican families living in each home and your kids will be paying their utility bills.
One big difference between a McMansion and a Victorian is that Victorians were built to last.
McMansions are expensive piles of cheap plywood and vinyl. Victorians were built of high quality wood and plenty of it.
My solid Victorian (& nobody had to coerce me to paint it period colors) will easily last another century; what will happen to Hummer Houses? Maybe McMansionvilles will become Illegal-Immigrantvilles.
Someone needs to ask those in favor of "government help" in this "housing crises" if they would include these people in their government mortgage bailout.
I mean, these people are losing their homes Hillary! They'll have to live out of their car(s). Do you know what it is like trying to get dressed in the back seat of a Mercedes? (Yeah I know, Bill does)
This topic of government mortgage bailouts could turn out to be a "damned if I do, damned if I don't" issue if this is brought in to the debate. The Liberal poor will assume that these are all "Rich White Conservative Types" and say "Ha! Good for you. Your corporate greed finally caught up with you." And all the liberal elites will crying that "it is not fair! We are losing our homes too, just like you poor folk."
Time for more Operation Chaos to open another front to drive that wedge deeper into the heart of the "Liberalism Quagmire of Philosophy Contradiction."
Or as I like to call it: L.Q.O.P.C. (pronounced - Lick - O - Pic.)
I agree with you. It reminds me of what the MSM did with the AIDS “epidemic.” They refused to focus on the lifestyle pursued by the majority of those who got the virus, instead trumping up the relatively few cases where the individual was infected some other way.
On a personal level I agree. I always thought it would be funny if I won the lottery to buy a 3 to 4 acre plot in an upscale neighborhood, surround the property with an imposing fence and build smack in the middle a 600 sq. ft. cabin. Park a couple 15 to 20 year old cars in front.
Getting to your point, as a person that believes that people can essentially buy what they want I don't begrudge conservatives that buy the BMW's, Mercedes etc.. But I do loathe hypocritical liberals (bumperstickers) that surely are on the environmental kick politically but personally see no need to practice what they preach.
In short, I loathe hypocrites of any age, means, race, gender, at variance with one's professed liberal OR conservative views/beliefs.
Within the industry, we class McMansions by what they don't have: Terrazzo floors, oak wainscoting etc - etc. They are like big motel rooms with fancy windows.
Most the foreclosures on these type of houses are stemming from Divorce.
You're right - and what's "odd" here is that it's liberals who hate the middle class - and a lot of the middle class lives in McMansions...
People still know how to create terrazzo floors?
I used to live in Loudon: Waterford, then Leesburg respectively (once in a 200 year old house). Honestly, even though I’m a free market lover, I hate what the building boom has done to one of the prettiest (or formerly) counties in Virginia.
The McMansion subdivisions just west of Leesburg on Rt. 7 (especially looking south) were put up on some of the most gorgeous pieces of farmland in the Old Dominion. And they are awful. The stuff outside and on the way to Waterford too are dreadful. Big houses cheaply built—like practically all residential housing now built in America.
I’ll be surprised if they last 50 years. I’d hope to live to see it go back to farmland, but, that may have to wait for the 2nd Coming!
My boss has a large new house, not quite a mcmansion but large nevertheless and expensive, The tubs and sinks were fiberglass all the woodwork was plastic the brick on the front of the house was just veneer, all kinds of cost-control quality was evident.How long do you suppose they will last? Even providing they can find a second hand buyer. My house when I bought it was 40 years old, just about the time construction material quality was to start it’s descent. All my neighbors tell me it’s built like the proverbial brick S((!-house.
Watched that special on “100 years after man inhabits the earth” a few weeks back. Showed how manmade structures will fall apart as nature retakes the land when man leaves earth. I imagine mcmansions will be among the first structures to go.
de rigeur in real mansions.
I see them as overgrown tract shacks. Many went up so fast they cannot possibly be well built. These people are probably lucky to get out before their house falls down around their ears.
Other than nuclear anihilation, I don’t know when Man will be leaving earth anytime soon...
I have to say though, it wasn’t until I did some historic-house restoration, and then I visited Switzerland and Germany—countries with very strict building codes—that I realized how very cheap our modern residential construction is. Sometime in the 1970s I think builders started to get away with building trash in the USA.
In Germany, and especially Switzerland, the houses you see being put up are MORE solidly built than they were 200 years ago. Extremely sturdy houses, with solid wood walls, red concrete-tile roofs large beams—all the kinds of things one rarely finds even in custom homes in America today.
Clearly builders in the USA figured out that Americans are constantly on the move, so just slap up houses that will keep people happy for 5 years or so, and, by then they’re long gone. A typical freshly built Swiss or German house will definitely be here in 200 years, when their American counterparts will be long ago condemned and bulldozed.
Well . . . you're partly right. There are fewer and fewer redneck areas in Loudoun these days, since so many ramblers (as we call them around here) have been bought up and bulldozed for the big tasteless McMansions. Some still exist, certainly, but the rising cost of real estate has lured some crappy-rambler to sell up and move, while high real estate taxes have driven more owners out.
If people truely have money, are successful, or tasteful they usally live closer to or within DC.
Mmm, there I'd have to differ with you. The only people who have to live closer to DC are those who are unfortunate enough to have to commute to work there. If you're really successful and have money, you don't do the commuting thing. You live in the quiet corners of Fauquier, Rappahannock, and Clarke County. You might live in The Plains, or in the parts of Middleburg that are within Loudoun, or in Upperville, Millwood, Delaplane, Little Washington, Flint Hill, Sperryville. You might even buy down in Orange, Culpeper, or Charlottesville. You abhor the crowding and tackiness of the close-in suburbs with their traffic jams full of BMWs. And you want to be close to a good hunt. So no, you don't live close in if you have real money.
I watched an old Italian craftsman put one down once. A really amazing piece of work. It ain’t like laying carpet!
As far as McMansions go, I could not live in one of those subdivision and housing associations that take away freedoms. I prefer a smaller place and more land.
But, who is going to buy it, and for what price?
Those on rt. 7 are exactly and precisely the ones the wife and I were laughing at tonight.
I saw it happen in the mid-eighties when there was a credit crunching downturn in RE.
I agree - it's borrowing what you want and pretending that you actually own it that is rather irksome. ;)