Market Conditions in 22191>Question Details

Potential Bu…, Home Buyer in 22191

New Home Market In the Woodbridge...specifically the Potomac Club community

Asked by Potential Buyer, 22191 Fri Nov 2, 2007

I know this topic has been been covered a little, but still curious about the New Home Market In the Woodbridge...specifically the Potomac Club gated community and proximity to the future Potomac Town Center etc... I'm considering purchasing a townhouse or stackable condo in the next month or so. I have no contingencies with the exception of mortgage approval (excellent credit). There are 1 or 2 spec stackable condos (larger units), within price range, and we plan on living in them a min of 3 to 5 years. Any down falls for this particular community? Any reason that stackable condos would sell in the future? The incentives are excellent; price is not cheap, but all is new and we really do love the look and feel of it. Any prof RE advice concerning the area would be greatly appreciated!

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Dear Potential Homebuyer in PWC(22191),
I think You made an Excellent Choice in Buying @ POTOMAC CLUB!!! I am Buying there Myself sometime in Dec. of 2008 or Jan. of 2009. The Reason being, I think the Prices will go even lower. The Prices has dropped alot since they started Selling there from what I am told. I live in Dumfries around the Corner. I am a F/T Retail Branch Manager @ Jacob Dean Mortgage. We do Loans in 26 States in the USA!!! We do Residential/Commercial/Hard Money. We also Offer CONV/FHA/VA, etc. When You are Ready to Buy there, kindly give Me a Call. My CELL:571-521-9156. My
I Have over 3 & 1 Half Years of Mortgage Experience. I also Have "Rapid ReScore". I have several Realtor Connections in PWC who would Love to Help You Buy @ Potomac Club. Also, Check Out this Website which This Area will Have a Town Center which will really Help Appreciate Your "Home Values". Also, even if You Have Trouble Selling it in the Future, You probably would not Have Trouble Renting it Out because of all those BRAC(Military Installations) Closing all across the USA!!! There will be Plenty of Potential Renters. Anyway you look at it, it is a "Win-Win Situation" For You. I look Forward to Serving You in this Purchase. Take Care.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2008

In no way was I saying that you got a bad deal or that Potomac Club is not a nice community. I really liked the community myself, especially the rec center, I just think that in general it's overpriced because you're paying for the image.

If you got a Saratoga at 299k you did good, fwiw. I really liked those floorplans myself. The 2 thigs that weighed on me were the tight stairs and the number of them. Other than that, my specific situation didnt suit having the nice hand rail above the stairwell as I have a 1 year old and just didnt feel safe with her crawling around it.

My point was more along the lines of encouraging the poster to look elswhere and not lock in to one place. I did so, and ended up losing my deposit on the M/I Home because I found something I liked much better and fit my budget better.

As far as the commute goes, I take the VRE at Rippon and it takes me 10 minutes to get to the station and about hte same coming home. There have been days where its taken me 20-25 minutes coming home, in which case I cursed the day I bought further south (sarcasm).

I bought a Caldwell floorplan by Lennar for 265,000 and got 15,000 in closing costs. Meanwhile, M/I still has my old unit up for sale and recently dropped the price to just under 300k. At the time of contract, I paid 70K less for my Lennar home as opposed to the M/I, and even after price reduction I got 5K more in closing and saved about 35K in price with Lennar. On top of that I got a 30 year fixed rather than an I/O that was being pushed by M/I to get me qualified. Yet another dealbreaker....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
Hi Will,

I know someone who just bought in River Oaks area and are quite please as well. As far as M/I homes goes in Potomac Club, it is my opinion that they are the worst for design and worst built out of the three home builders, but once again, just an opinion.

We had considered the River Oaks area, but felt it was just too far down Route 1. 2-3 miles south on Route 1 can add 20 minutes to your commute.

I agree with your view on the real estate agents. If you are smart enough to do your homework they probably are not necessary, at least for new home build outs. I would recommend hiring your own home inspector before settlement, just to be on the safe side. Our inspector spent an hour and a half going through the condo and only found three very minor things wrong. He also commented on the quality of the construction (Pulte - Saratoga model)

As far as resale for us (it is the stackable condo), i am not worried at all. We paid $299k for the same condo that was going for $380k two years ago. Spring is here, the market is rising (even for us down south) - long live hoodbridge!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
I was under contract with M/I Homes for a Barrington Unit and owund up disliking the floor plan. The overall community is nice, however, there are so many homes in that neighborhood that it will be congested. You are also paying a premium to live in the community, so keep that in mind.

I spent 2 years looking at homes from Fredericksberg to Fairfax and will be glad to offer you any advice or answer any questions regarding Melody Landing.

I ended up going about 2 miles south on Rt. 1 to Melody Landing in River Oaks and bought a Lennar Home. The quality of construction is better in my opinoin, and the prices are also better. The floorplans are much more like a traditional townhome as opposed to the significant number of stairs that you have to go up for one of the top level 2 over 2 condos. The 2 over 2 condos seem like a gimmick of the housing bubble, for which many people will shy away from when things return to normalcy (again, just an opinoin).

Some other perks about Melody Landing are that its still very early in the development of the community, and as they add onto it with the pool and rec area, tot lot, etc. the property value should increase. There's also a new golf course being built just behind the community which is being designed in part by Jack Nichlaus. Harbor Station, which is a very upscale development complete with a new VRE Station, is also going in over the next few years. Check out for news and info regarding this development, as it will have an impact on Melody Landing and other communities inside of River Oaks.

Over the long haul I think Melody Landing would be the better investment, however, don't just buy a home for the investment of it. I like the community better because the construction is more diverse than your typical row upon row of townhomes, the costs suited me more, and the floorplan I bought was better for me. Potomac Club is obviously a nice community, I just think its not worth the premium you pay especially considering the incredible number of units that you will be competing against when you go to resell your place.

Lastly, don't listen to all these realtors on here about bringing someone with you for new construction. #1 - If you dont bring a realtor, bargain an additional 3% off the price as its built into the list price for new construction. #2 - There's nothing with a new home that you can't handle yourself if you just do the research and read the contract.

Below is a link to the Lennar Homes at Melody Landing, I would at least take a look to make sure you are getting what you want in a home. In this market you have time to look around, so I would do it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
I think you have to take a close look at any community and as I always say talk to the neighbors. Wander around on a saturday or sunday and see who is out. Tell them you are considering buying and ask what they think of the community. I would also look at resales and possible foreclosures in the neighborhood and see how they compare to the builders prices. What is that has your attention with this community? How does it compare to others. I'm not sure what your price range is but there may be other options for you that make be a better long term investment.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 3, 2008
Potomac Club is awful!! The HOA dues went up 39% in UNDER 1 year!! The lights don't work, cars are burglarized, and apparently so is the clubhouse, not to mention all the animal crap everywhere! The "gates" won't be operational unil 2011! It's not a gated community but rather an "access controlled" community. As for the stacked condos...carrying groceries up 4 flights of stairs is going to get tiresome really fast!! I love our house but I don't love the community!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 3, 2008
This is a good time to buy new construction if you are careful and protect your investment with a good contract price. Most builders are in a negotiating mood. If you can buy before end of December, you have good negotiation strength.
Stakables are not too well received unless the price between the condo and single deed towns is significant. Steps become an issue and these homes are priced high on a cost per square foot basis.
Incentives are good today. They may not be next month.
Let us know if we can help.
IF and it is a big IF prices continue to fall as predicted, you need to be protected with a good purchase price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2007
I want to first start off by agreeing with Cindys point about having an agent with you to represent you in the whole process. This will not cost you anything because the builder will pay the commission and will not drop the price if you do not have an agent. The sales rep works for the builder and is there to get the best price for his/her employer. They will always tell you how fast the community is selling to get you to buy as fast as you can.
With that being said, I would recommend waiting before you put a contract on the home until December or January if you can. I believe the prices in Potomac Club will fall again and usually in this time frame because very few people are purchasing homes at that time. Purchasing a home during this time will put you in a stronger negotiating position.

The spec you are looking at may be gone but most of that community is only halfway completed so you can have it build. The only challenge is if you are on a time crunch and have to be in by a certain date. If this is the case then go for it, you can feel comfortable if you are going to be their five years.

The reason I believe prices will fall is because there are still a lot of new communities still building in the route 1 corridor. Historically the December-January time frame is the slowest home sale time so you will be in a good position. You should also make sure you see any other new builds or existing homes that may also fit your needs. I will be happy to sit with you and answer any questions and interview for your business.

Also my blog has some good tips for home buyers at the link below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 5, 2007
The area around the Potomac Club is growing. As with any new construction you should have an agent go with you to help negotatiate the best deal. There are both new and reesale properties available in Potomac Club so you should take a look at both to see what offers you the best deal. When you look at the condos in particular look at the monthly condo fee and figure on a 5-10% increase in condo fees per year. The club house is very nice and that is a plus for the community. Depending on how many units are left to be sold you might also want to ask the builder to include price guarentees in your offer as well.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 4, 2007
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