The Changing Face of Salona Village

by Karen Briscoe
August 28, 2013

“The house is gone!” my husband exclaimed as we were riding bikes around Salona Village neighborhood in McLean recently.  Home builders whose specialty is upper bracket “in-fill” construction have identified Salona Village as one of the top choices for  new home buyers that want to live in McLean.  The neighborhood is highly desirable as it is a short distance from downtown McLean, which offers numerous shops and restaurants.  The public schools are top tier preferred for Fairfax County:  Franklin Sherman Elementary, Longfellow Middle and McLean High School.  Franklin Sherman Elementary School and Salona are both located adjacent to the boundaries of the neighborhood.

The neighborhood name is derived from Salona, which is a privately owned historically significant 51-acre property.  The Fairfax Park Authority acquired an adjacent 41-acre parcel for public park use by means of a perpetual conservation easement.  The Salona Park is currently in the master plan phase.   Passive and active uses are being proposed for the land, please access this link for more information:

Builders who concentrate their business on in-fill neighborhoods seek to achieve the ratio of investment as follows:  one-third spent on the lot/land, one-third on the construction costs of building the new home and one-third on soft costs such as planning and approval process, overhead, interest carry, commissions and profit.

The highest sold price for 2013 for a new home in Salona Village was $2,236,694.  In April of 2012, the builder paid $815,000 for the generally flat lot which is just shy of one-half acre in size.  This is a typical example of how the land portion of the formula is often requiring a higher than one-third portion of the final total house sold price.  The reason for this is simple, good lots in the preferred neighborhoods such as Salona Village are in limited supply and there is great demand.

Land values are rising rapidly as builder confidence improves.  On a national level, builder sentiment has hit a 7-year high.  According to the USA Today article of July 16, 2013, The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index experienced its third consecutive monthly gain.  Permits for single-family homes also on the national level are at the highest levels in 5 years.  Land in the best neighborhoods are in limited supply, thus there is great competition for good lots.  Salona Village is one such neighborhood in McLean, Virginia.

Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy are active and experienced Realtors® in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC and suburban Maryland market place and would be delighted to assist whether for home buying or selling.  Please contact via the means most convenient for you:, 703-734-0192,

Karen Briscoe is Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) and author of "Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day". She is an Associate Broker in Virginia, a Certified Luxury Home Market Specialist, and a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Karen began her real estate career developing residential lots with the Trammel Crow Company in Dallas, and in commercial real estate with The Staubach Company in the Washington, DC Metro area. Karen has a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University and her BA from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – her hometown.
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