Location, location, location.
The mantra of any real estate agent or home buyer, the location of a property typically will dictate housing prices and schools for children, two of the biggest factors for families buying a home. Investors and builders have noted this trend and have begun giving the people what they want – dream homes in their desired neighborhoods, even when there's no space left and regardless of the detrimental effects to the environment.
Construction sites such as the one above are all too common in the the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports an economic difference of $12,557 for families living in suburbs of Atlanta versus urban families. With some of the state's top performing high schools located in the same county lines, counties like Cobb are experiencing immense pressure to keep up with housing demands for their school districts. To compensate, they are clearcutting entire plots of land to erect designer homes at the highest price tags.
These two sites are located only a half mile from each other, on an already packed residential road. They will feed into Lassiter High School (ranked #16 in the state), an institution which already in the early 2000s experienced overcrowding. The county was then forced to build Kell High School and redistrict hundreds of homes to balance the school's student populations.
These three communities built by Edward Andrews Homes demonstrate the demand for varied housing options in the area. Townhomes, typically for young professionals or newlyweds, new construction homes for those starting families, and senior living communities for those wanting to stay close to their families. However, oday, with so many options for new constructions, many of these homes are actually sitting on the market after completion due to an overabundance of inventory.
While the #tinyhousemovement may be soaring with other demographics, these houses and construction sites show no thought of environmental awareness. In 2018, one would hope new construction homes would boast any kind of sustainable features – built from recycled materials, solar panels, etc – but instead these sites are causing more harm by stripping raw plots of land, removing trees, and destroying ecosystems which had previously flourished in those places. With hardly any forest left to inhabit, wild turkey and deer can now be spotted in suburban backyards – a sight which a decade ago would have been unheard of.
As long as people continue to buy these homes, investors will continue to see an opportunity to turn a profit and build until every inch is covered by houses instead of green parks for children and dogs to play at. And while they do so, they will be irreversibly damaging the environment.