For most Americans, like me, home ownership is the epitome of the American dream. Even before those days prior to the writing of the United States Constitution, home ownership was revered as a luxury, held by only a select few. Home ownership also bore the testimony of man’s ability to provide shelter to his family, protection from often feared wildlife, and a safe refuge for raising strong children. “Home sweet home” is more than just a colloquial expression in today’s world, it is reality, transcending from the days of old. In fact, “at times [the framers of the Constitution] insisted that the right to acquire and possess private property was in some ways the most important of individual rights,” says David Upham, University of Dallas.
Since those early days of the eighteenth century, home ownership has risen dramatically. Brian McCabe, associate professor of Sociology at Georgetown University says, "The homeownership rate really starts to climb after the Second World War," while referring to the group called “baby-boomers,” who were the first group to blaze the trail leading to higher home ownership for the American people. The latest census reports credit more than sixty-percent of Americans own their homes. We have come a long way since those days of early colonial living. Not only has size, comfort, and affordability changed with each period, but methods, materials, and mass production have also had a lasting impact on the homebuilding industry.
The American builder has become a pillar in today’s society. For it is he that not only keeps the wheels of the economy constantly greased, but it is he who also takes all the risk, while gambling in an ever changing global macro-economy. We certainly don’t have to look back any further than 2007-2010 to know how true this is! Many good builders were forced to close their doors during this time--roughly seventy percent-- after providing many years of quality service. Following the burst, only a handful of builders remained. Those that did survive gingerly limped from this quagmire of the housing debacle- like a wounded soldier in war- swallowed their pride, and marched forward with the resiliency only known to red-blooded Americans.
Even though home ownership is the epitome of most Americans, we need to remember those who put it all on the line, every day, to provide quality built homes to these most deserving families. God Bless America and God Bless the American Builder!
Written by JCBIA Member, Jonathan Wall. Jonathan Wall has been a local homebuilder in Raleigh, North Carolina, for more than a quarter of a century. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Campbell University and is currently pursuing a Master of Law Degree from Regent University.