Bradee and I live in Annandale, VA. Annandale is a suburb of Washington DC, about 15 minutes west of DC. It’s nice because it’s still inside the beltway — close to DC and Arlington — but it’s still fairly diverse and middle-class, and it’s still affordable. Annandale is the last inside-the-beltway town west of the city where we could afford a house.
We bought two years ago, in a neighborhood that was built in the 50’s. It’s a quiet neighborhood, save for the sound of the beltway (“ah, the sound of the ocean”, we like to say). It has nice wide streets that are perfect for skateboarding or biking or walking around the block.
The original houses were small 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom starter homes with asbestos siding. Tiny, but cute. Here’s an original model that belongs to a neighbor:
And now, the metamorphosis. Last year, this house was built up the street:
That house is about 4200 square feet. It sold for around $800,000. Shortly after that, this one went up, one street over:
On the way to work a few months later, I noticed that the asbestos shingles had been taken off of a house up the street. The next day that house was flattened. Four months later:
That house also sold for about $800k. The owner next door also sold to a builder, but that builder didn’t demolish the house; she built up a second floor and put an extension and garage in back. She sold the place for about $700k.
A few houses down, I guess this one is next:
And finally, on a walk around the block last week we were surprised to find another one down.
I know this stuff happens but it’s amazing to see how fast it’s happening, and how eager people are to move into these giant, expensive, identical houses. I want to leave a copy of The Not So Big House on each of their doorsteps as a housewarming gift.
I figure I’ll make a photo study out of this whole thing… I’ll shoot as many befores and afters as I can. More to come.