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June 11, 2010

A $3.5 million home sale in Deep Creek Lake


Photo courtesy of Betsy Spiker


In this difficult market for high-end homes, at least one seller found a buyer without looking.

A Deep Creek Lake house that changed hands last Friday for $3.5 million -- a record in the Western Maryland vacation spot, according to the buyers' agent -- wasn't actually on the market. The buyers looked at homes people wanted to sell but didn't fall in love with any of them, so agent Betsy Spiker with Long & Foster Real Estate thought she'd call the builder whose family lived in the stucco home pictured above to see if he'd be willing to part with it.

"I said, 'I do know the family in that house -- let me take a shot in the dark here,'" she said.

It worked.

What, you might ask, are the buyers getting for their $3.5 million? The house as it stands now is four bedrooms with three full bathrooms and two half bathrooms on the main and upper levels. But the contract includes a deal for the builder to finish the huge, 3,100-square-foot basement, adding a bedroom and a variety of elements from a sauna to an elevator.

All told, the house, its porches and garages add up to about 14,000 square feet of covered space, Spiker said. The sellers built it in 2007.

Here's a glimpse of the interior:



The buyers, who paid in cash, are from the Pittsburgh area and want the home as a vacation spot. (It had been the sellers' primary residence.)

Spiker said the previous record price for a Deep Creek Lake home -- about $2.8 million in May 2007 -- was set in the same neighborhood, the Reserve at Holy Cross.

Deep Creek Lake's luxury market is clearly not back to its housing-boom heyday. The area saw 14 sales for $1 million or more in the last 12 months, compared with about 25 in 12-month stretches before the slump, Spiker said. But she says she is seeing improvement over the recent past.

"It's been better, I would say, since March," she said. "Our traffic is mostly weekend traffic, because it's a second home market. But so far it seems to be a significant increase from ’09, in just general activity and contracts as well."

So that's a postcard from the high end. If you've got a tale of a local home purchase under $250,000 that you think is a screaming good deal, I'd be happy to share that story, too.

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 7:00 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Unusual homes


Way to go, Betsy!!!

These McMansions really disgust me!! This is what is wrong with our country that for a vacation home in a beautiful setting we have to have a house that has 13 thousand feet !! excessive much!! really gross!!!. It dosen't even blend into the setting, it looks like a wart on the land.


I agree.

It's actually not a McMansion but a gorgeous estate with tremendous attention paid to detail and finishings and wonderful space and amenities for family and friends. Not cool to be a hater...

Have you seen the place, arewedoneyet1? I don't think a discerning buyer would drop 3 ½ million dollars on a wart. If it's the place I'm thinking it is, it is most definitely not a wart on the land, and I don't think anyone who's actually seen it would argue with me. Bob is right; great attention to detail, extensive landscaping, prime location... I'd be hard pressed to find a residence in the area that I'd prefer to this one.

Nice Bear !

Way to go Greg.
Aunt June

Here's the new owner:

The DCL market should send a personal thank you note to Dick's for issuing the stock options, otherwise it doesn't seem that much is going well in that market.

See the carnage for yourself:

That house and the ones next to it are indeed giant oversized blights on the lake. That land used to be one of the prettiest sections of Deep Creek, and now it's covered with these giant garish monsters that look totally out of place. Maybe they would be fine in a development of fellow McMansions in Potomac or something, but they just look stupid on the lake. Too bad there's not a lick of architectural taste to any of the homes on the Reserve. Why on earth anyone would want a weekend house that big is beyond me, but at least the builders could try and build something with architectural integrity every once in a while instead of these ugly McCabins. Note to builders: hire some real architects from reputable firms next time, not whatever stock house "designers" you tend to use. Too bad good taste doesn't go along with riches.

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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
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