Monday, November 20, 2006

a poor man's Potomac?

"You wouldn’t even know it’s there, or that such high-end homes can be found so close in town."
First, we had the East County Castle. Now, McMansions priced from $1,499,900 are going up in my neighborhood at Route 29 and Musgrove Road, two years after a previous developer was shut down by the state.

There was a time when the fear of crime, sub-par schools and lack of shopping options kept People With Money out of East County, but I guess either we've upped our game or they've lowered their standards because I can now say I live in a million-dollar community. (Nevermind that the average house in my neighborhood sells for only half a million dollars.)

How can this work in East County? You could argue a "revitalized" Silver Spring could command these kind of home prices . . . but this is six miles away. You could also say we're becoming a more affordable alternative to more expensive County developments as the last remaining pieces of farmland on the fringes of Silver Spring become a new "poor man's Potomac."

What does this mean for Montgomery County in the long run? If these trends take hold, could we become more solidly homogeneous and hold on to our reputation for wealth? Or, could this just be a shift in which areas are considered "hip," meaning that new pockets of lower- and middle-income people could form in other parts of the County?

What do you think?


Debbie Cook said...

I think the site plan is great! Instead of trying to jam 15 or 20 houses in there, right up against each other, they only built 3 homes with 1/2 acre lots. They look less like the typical MCMansions you see towering up against each other with NO yard!

Silver Springer said...

I don't have a problem with million dollar homes in Silver Spring (in moderation of course). It's a sign that it is getting healthier.

Beats a block of public housing any day of the week.

thecourtyard said...

Actually, most of the site is unbuildable because of a stream valley, so three homes is about all you can get. An earlier plan called for four (talk about packing them in!)

MoCo said...

One minute I hear everyone demanding afforable housing, then the next minute I hear how wonderful it is to see million dollar homes built.

What do we really want?

Silver Springer said...


Debbie Cook said...

Just a Thought - The houses in question are not 1.4 Million Dollar Houses UNTIL someone PAYS that price for them, they get built, are financed and a closing occurs. With the residential real estate market the way it is right now - Who Knows?

MoCo said...

You're right: The people who are buying the million dollar homes in Silver Spring aren't worried about the sub-par schools. That's because they are sending their kids to private schools instead.

Just think how much the public schools in Silver Spring would improve if everyone sent their kids to the public schools in their area. The owners of the million dollar homes would demand better schools (and get them), and then everyone would benefit. As the schools improve, property values would increase, more million dollar homeowners would move to the area, schools would improve more, and so on.

But we won't see that happen in our lifetimes.