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McMansions below McWholesale

Big tract homes drop 69% in value in four years

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McMansions below McWholesale

This 4,336-square-foot home with seven bedrooms and four bathrooms at 673 Vasconcellos Avenue closed escrow on June 8 for $230,000.

DENNIS WYATT/The Bulletin


POSTED July 9, 2009 2:42 a.m.
The lucky number if you are selling a house in Manteca today is 3-2 as in three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Those homes – regardless of the age – are for all practical purposes stabilizing since they are in the biggest demand in a market where inventory is tightening. Following right behind them are four bedroom homes.

What isn’t stabilizing are the niche markets such as two  bedrooms, one bathroom homes, patio homes and the massive McMansions as defined by the huge rectangular boxes Seeno Homes built with three-car garages and 4,336 square feet of living space in the Heritage Ranch neighborhood south and east of Joshua Cowell School.

Four years ago, the 4,336-square-foot Seeno homes hit a record high $750,000 for a Manteca tract home. This month, escrow closed on one of the McMansions at 673 Vasconcellos Avenue for $230,000. That is a 69 percent plunge in value.

“That’s not retail, that’s not wholesale, that’s below cost,” said longtime Manteca Realtor Tom Wilson.

It also points out to how wacky the Manteca housing market has become. Atherton Homes’ Summit Collection is selling new homes coming in at around $400,000 for less square footage while banks have to slash the heck out of McMansions to get someone to make an offer. The bank that foreclosed placed the home on the market in January for $285,000 based on another model with the same exact configuration of seven bedrooms and four baths that was listed for $320,000. It was a ploy to try and get activity to bid up the price but there were no takers. The other home ended up selling in April for $310,000.

Other McMansions with the same square footage but fewer bedrooms have sold for between $360,000 and $4437, 000 since November. The seven-bedroom models, though, go wanting.

“They’re the type of house that you never have to see the rest of your family in,” mused Realtor Jessie Barrett of PMZ Real Estate.

Both Wilson and Barrett noted that the McMansions have a lot of things going against them – the cost of cooling and heating, the cost of upkeep, and the fact they simply don’t pencil out for investors.

“The rental market is really soft right now,” Wilson said. “There is a point that you can keep adding things on a house (as in features) and it won’t change what you can get in rent.”

McMansions aren’t the only niche market that is still sliding while the rest of the market appears to either be stabilizing or has stabilized.

Laurelwood home drop to $115K, most 2 bedrooms below $100K mark
Two bedrooms and one-bathroom homes are also weak. There has only been one sale close of a 2-1 in Manteca this year above $100,000 and that was in June in the form of a 1,298-square-foot home at 208 N., Sheridan for $115,000. Nine other two bedrooms have sold since March with the highest 2-1 coming in at $83,800. A two-bedroom and two-bathroom homes at 634 Joaquin sold for $96,030 in March.

Patio homes are also still dropping. The homes on Laurelwood Circle in north Manteca that sold in the high $330,000s three years ago dropped down to $220,000 16 months ago. Last month, there were two 1,612-square-foot models with three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms that sold. One was for $127,000 at 244 Laurelwood Court and the other was $115,500 at 248 Laurelwood Court.

The overall resale market’s median priced home has dropped 57 percent since peaking in 2006 at $413,000. That compares to the 69 percent plunge in McMansion values.
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