I’ve watched with sadness … and sometimes tears … over the pasts several months as the first house my wife and I bought was torn down, to be replaced by a residence that almost dwarfs the lot it’s being built on.
It was a house that, 20 years ago, my newlywed wife and I put out hard-earned savings on to start our lives together. A small, 3-bedroom ranch built in the 1950s, it was structurally sound and solid. It was the house we brought our two sons to when they were born, and it is where
they learned to walk, talk, smile and laugh. There were families in this house before us that I’m sure have the same memories, and there are at least two after us also share similar thoughts.
Although, like the other families, we moved because we had outgrown the house, it still was a wonderful little home with a nice backyard in a cozy suburban neighborhood. But, most importantly, it gave us … and those before us … a nice, affordable start into our quest for the American dream.
What is being built in its place is a huge, two-story monster that, most likely, we would not be able to afford now, let alone when we were starting out. And that’s what saddens me more … that there is one less small, affordable home in our community for new families to start their lives and build their memories.
As I continue to read about the mortgage crisis and the increase in foreclosures, I continue to wonder why our local governments did not see that, by replacing our traditional “starter” homes with these so-called McMansions, they were locking out an increasing number of young people who cannot afford homes under the traditional methods, and forced to mortgage their lives away for a house that was well beyond their means.
That house served my family … and others before us … very well for its 50+ years of existence. And while I’m a firm believe in progress, I’m saddened that our community’s need to look “upscale” means new families must sacrifice muc, much more now to be a part of it.