Homes have gone from being 2500 to 7000 square feet big on our half-acre lots in the last ten years, so it's not editorializing to say the character of the neighborhood has changed. Instead of feeling pride and welcome, I can't help but see visitors now as possible property investors instead of possible neighbors. Today I am sad and sorry to see another home go. We enjoyed a simple, satisfying way of life here for so many years. We live abundantly, amidst prosperity. When we bought this home we knew it was going to be a good investment anyway. So why do I feel invisible & marginalized today?
Feeling invisible and marginalized are themes often associated with the classic sociological idea of "anomie", or dislocation from communities and social order due to atomistic growth (Emile Durkheim). Even as used in sociology, the idea has wistful overtones about the loss of community ties under the march of modern progress. According to the Oxford English Dictionary a 1951 translation of anomie is literally "de-regulation," which in today's free-for-all, no-holds-barred housing market sounds about right.
We all wish for prosperity with our home purchases, but prosperity need not be confused with absolute maximization of money while abandoning any other values, particularly those constituting the character of our communities.