Why is there a huge price disparity (for SFH) within zip code 20165 Sterling VA? Thanks!

Asked by Zaid, Fairfax, VA Wed Jun 11, 2008

Just wondering why there is a huge price disparity in the values of similar sf homes' in Sterling VA zip code 20165. Any local gurus insight will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Josh, , Sterling, IL
Tue Jun 17, 2008
I have grown up and currently live in Sterling, VA. Here's the lowdown on the neighborhoods and the price disparity:

Sterling Park (built early 1960's) 20164- something like 4% of all homes in Sterling Park have been foreclosed upon in the last 2 years. There are many foreclosures, and the neighborhood in general is economically depressed. The homes are old and ill kept, there is no HOA, and the average income is very low compared to the rest of the county (Loudoun, the 2nd wealthiest county in the nation)

Sugarland (Built late 1960's-early 1970's)- This neighborhood is only a step above Sterling Park. Home to a large Latino community, the neighborhood has been hit hard by foreclosures and can be described in the same manner as Sterling Park. The biggest separating factor between Sugarland and Sterling Park is that things are about a decade less old and there is a HOA.

Seneca Ridge (built late 1970's and early 1980's) 20164- Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Sugarland, this neighborhood boasts larger single family homes and older, established families. Most of these homeowners bought in when the homes were cheap, but the area doesn't have as much turnover as other areas.

Countryside (Built mid 1980's) 20165- This neighborhood has a good mix of townhomes and single family homes. Things are generally in better shape than the two aforementioned subdivisions, and the neighborhood is a much nicer place to live. Lawns are much better kept and higher income families move into this subdivision.

Potomac Lakes (Built mid 1990's) 20165- This is where a lot of the price disparity comes from. Though only a single road (route 7) separates Potomac Lakes from Sterling Park, and though Sugarland is directly on the border, walking through a Potomac Lakes neighborhood is like walking on the other side of the tracks. Things are much better kept and maintained in Potomac Lakes, and most of the homes are pretty new. They aren't luxury homes, but the county is so close to D.C. and the Dulles Technology corridor and the homes are that much better than the aforementioned neighborhoods that prices tend to be more than double in this neighborhood.

Lowes Island (built late 1990's through present) 20165-Lowes Island is home to a lush golf course and luxury condos, townhomes, and single family homes. Though I personally feel the homes are a little too cookie cutter, I wouldn't complain if I lived in one of them. They are large, new, decked out and fabulous. You will pay top dollar to live here.

Broad Run Farms (built 1960's-present) 20165-This area is unique in that it has very old homes and very new homes. The largest plots of land are available in Broad Run Farms, and a family of six in a small home with a big back yard could live next to a millionaire with a large lot full of trees and a home he had built in the last five years. The biggest reason for the high prices is that land is a scarcity in Loudoun County, and Broad Run is one of the only places left where you can purchase lots of 1+ acres.

Of course, there are other neighborhoods. There are smaller subdivisions and a 20 minute drive in any direction could put you in lower income areas than even Sterling park or million dollar homes set up cookie cutter style in the Loudoun Valley Estates. All of these neighborhoods are located under the general mailing address of Sterling, VA and are in East Loudoun County. West Loudoun County is like a whole new world. You're only a 10 minute drive from the County line bordering Fairfax, known as the wealthiest county in the nation. The lower income areas have been hit hard by foreclosures, driving the prices in the housing market down for that neighborhood significantly. The higher income areas haven't seen nearly as much foreclosure, and the non-foreclosure market doesn't have to compete with the banks.

Hope this helped.
7 votes
Glenda Cherry, Agent, Herndon, VA
Wed Jun 11, 2008
Without more information, it's hard to give you an answer. Part of the disparity may be caused by the number of foreclosures and short sales in Sterling. When an agent lists a home as a short sale, the price is arbitrary, at best. The lender gives agents no clue as to what they will actually accept until the agent brings them an offer. As a result, many of the prices are just numbers with no bearing on the actual value of the property. If you can provide us with some examples of the disparity you're seeing, we might be able to provide you with more precise information.
Web Reference:  http://www.GlendaCherry.com
2 votes
Joyce Sutcli…, , 20165
Sun Nov 29, 2009
Reviewed all of the responses-----all have some good points as Sterling is not just one place, one local community. Part of the confusion is with the zipcodes--------I have a house for sale in Potomac Falls walking distance to Lowes Island Elementary School on Blockhouse-----lovely home. This house gets compared to houses not in the immediate neighborhood because of the 20165 zip code---making it difficult to distinguish this desirable well-located home from the rest of the Sterling zip code. I have had realtors to pull up comparables which are not comparable because of the zip code

When one buys a house you are not buying a comparable house, you are buying "the house and neighborhood" and for younger families a house that will be an investment and grow with them. n

Noticed I am responding to an old message of June 2 088-------this problem with the 20165 zip still exists--------- check out Zillow and other sites they mostly all lump all local communities within the Sterling 20165 together---A real disservice to homeowners.
1 vote
Jim Johnson, , 78233
Sun Jun 15, 2008
A significant factor in value is perception or expectation. In example, the neighborhood adjacent to mine looks for the most part like mine. Generally though, the properties in my neighborhood have more masonry in their construction, and the properties are more extensively landscaped. While the masonry adds some real value, it and the landscaping add perceived value. Consequently, my neighborhood will bring about 10% greater value per square foot, despite the fact that the neighboring community has a large common area and greenbelt that adjoins a city park.

Other factors could include the quality of interior and exterior treatments, upgrades available from the builder, the builder's reputation, amenities available (HOA related) to home owners, and physical characteristics, like flood plains, power lines, proximity to commercial or industrial development etc.
1 vote
Mk, , McLean, VA
Sat Jun 14, 2008
I lived in the 20165 zip code area at one time and I would say that it more so depends on economic background. This is literally separated by one street.

More simply put, look for homes in the newer "Potomac Falls" district rather than the old "Sterling" neighborhoods. The town of Sterling was sort of separated and Potomac Falls was created (considered to be a more desirable neighborhood). All of this is still in the 20165 zip code area.
1 vote
jo, , Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Fri Oct 15, 2010
Here in Los Angeles, there are places where mile to mile you go from slums to million $ homes and then back again...Is it on a hill? View? Shops? Neighbors? Everything plays a part.
0 votes
Ritu Desai, Agent, Chantilly, VA
Fri Oct 15, 2010
Zaid, depending on the year the home was built and the location within that zip code we do have a price disparity. I gave Josh a thumbs up he has covered a great background of the area.

Ritu Desai

Associate Broker at Samson Properties
Direct: 703-625-4949
Email: Info@eNOVAHomes.com
Web Reference:  http://www.eNOVAhomes.com
0 votes
Dina Azzam, Agent, Ashburn, VA
Sun Feb 22, 2009
As Josh said, 20165 also has a few other neighborhoods, such as River Crest, South Bank, Lowes Point, River Bank Woods, Great Falls Chase, Potomac Hunt, and Great Falls Overlook. Please note that Sterling Park, Sugarland and Seneca Ridge are in 20164. They are very close to 20165, but they have a different zip code. There is also a Great Falls address in Loudoun, that is a 22066, (it goes to the same schools as the Lowes Island Neighborhood.)

In general, the newer homes with more modern ammenities, tend to sell for more!

I live in 20165, and I love it here.
0 votes
Zaid, Home Buyer, Fairfax, VA
Sun Jun 15, 2008
Thanks MK and Cherry for the input!

MK - within the Potomac Falls itself, one finds - (Cascades, Countryside, Sugarland, Lowes Island - more divisions economic wise). Thoughts?
0 votes
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