“It would have been simpler to move into an existing home, but we never found one that was in good enough condition in the right location,” Saurabh Kapoor says. “Now we’re excited to get exactly what we want the way we want it.”
The Kapoors, who live in Cameron Station in Alexandria, have agreed to buy a to-be-built home by Evergreene Homes at Hollin Hall Village in Alexandria. Kapoor says that although buying new means the family must wait until February or March 2014 to move, the interior space of new homes is better suited to the way people live today.
“We got more bang for the buck by buying new,” Kapoor says.
Buyers of new million-dollar homes want less maintenance, more energy efficiency and such quality features and finishes as marble or granite counters, maple or cherry cabinets, stainless-steel appliances and high ceilings, says Debby Jones, director of design for the Evergreene Companies in Chantilly.
Delia McCormick, a real estate agent with Evers & Co. in Washington, says people seeking new homes in the million-dollar range typically buy semi-custom models that enable them to make changes to meet their needs.
“There’s been an evolution of style and internal architecture over the past several decades, so new homes offer layouts that are close to perfection for today’s families,” McCormick says. “Financially, it’s great, too, because you can buy a new home and not have to put a lot of money into it for at least 15 years or so instead of spending money on maintenance and replacement costs.”
A $1 million price tag is slightly more than double the average price of a home in the D.C. area, which was $490,385 in August 2013, according to Real Estate Business Intelligence (RBI), a market-research subsidiary of Rockville-based multiple-listing service MRIS. Yet even $1 million won’t necessarily buy your fantasy home, especially in a prime location.
“If you want a new single-family home with some land and 4,000 to 5,000 square feet, you need to go farther away from the city, to places in Loudoun County,” says Traci Oliver, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Fairfax County. “You see some pockets of new homes in Vienna near the Metro that are priced a little above $1 million but they have at most 3,000 square feet and are on smaller lots. In Arlington, you mostly find luxury condos in that price range.”
In Herndon, Carr Homes is selling nine houses at Shaker Knolls on three-quarter-acre lots with base prices of $1.13 million to $1.18 million. The houses have 4,000 to 5,000 square feet with four bedrooms, three full baths, a half bath, high ceilings, hardwood floors, oak stairs, chair rail and crown moldings and a three-car garage. Tom West, community sales manager for Shaker Knolls, says the houses are generating a lot of interest because they’re the least expensive new option within the sought-after Langley High School district.