Cobb County’s Space Laser Problem

One sure way to have property values take off like a rocket is to have famous Politicians living in the neighborhood.    Think Hyannis Port, San Clemente, Mount Vernon.  Even Plains Georgia.  Politicians have certainly had positive effects on the value of real estate all around them.  But has that trend ever gone the other way?  Has there ever been a politician so vile they actually hurt real estate values? 

Homeowners in parts of SW Cobb County are about to find out if “personality politics” has any effect on their property values or their ability to sell within a traditional number of days on market.  

Marjorie Tyler Greene is a famous Politician from Georgia’s 14th Congressional District.  She ran unopposed and received 87% of the vote in her last election.  Georgia’s 14th loves Marjorie Tyler Greene.  Until recently, she represented the overwhelmingly white, rural communities in the northwest corner of the State.  

But, every ten years, Congress gets to re-draw the boundary lines to take into consideration moving populations and environmental changes.   For reasons far outside the scope of a real estate blog, Georgia’s 14th now includes portions of SW Cobb County.  Again, without political interjection, but the needs and concerns of financially limited rural communities are vastly different than those in competitively growing suburbia.  But that’s politics. 

You break it, you own it.  You voted for it, you have to live with it. 

The problem of course is the homeowners of Austell and Powder Springs didn’t vote for Greene.  But their real estate is now associated with her brand.  The brand of Jewish space lasers, holocaust denial, and QAnon conspiracies.  Why do I say that?

It’s a real estate agent’s job to compare properties.  Now consider all the subdivisions and homes that are near the new Congressional boundary lines.    If you’re an agent trying to sell a home on the outside of the 14th, you will BE SURE to mention to every potential prospect the homes across the street are a part of Greene’s Congressional district. 

“The home is great, the backyard wonderful but it’s located in the 14th.  People will think we voted for Greene.  People will think were racist, anti-semitic or worse”.  (While I can’t imagine anything worse than being an anti-semitic racist, I really don’t know Greene that well)  Is this guilt by association fair, of course not.  Is it real?  You betcha! 

Homeowners love snob-appeal.  They will gladly pay extra just to be associated with a certain zip code.  Buckhead, Inman Park, Chastain Park, even East Cobb, are all areas of expensive upmarket brands.  Chickamauga and Flintstone Georgia, not so much.   

The new boundary line for GA’s 14th is said to include about 75,000 voters from SW Cobb County.   How many homes this affects is unknown, but given the volume of people, it wouldn’t be surprising to see that number in the thousands.  And never forget, the people who re-drew these political boundary lines couldn’t care less about the homeowners they were affecting or the value of their properties/nest eggs. 

But, is this really a problem?

Cobb County is one of the most conservative Counties in the United States.  Long-time Atlantans still chuckle at Cobb for walking away from millions of dollars by boycotting the 1996 Atlanta Olympics because its pro-Gay rights position.   (Google it, it’s hysterical) 

Even at the recent baseball World Series, held in Cobb County, spontaneous crowd eruptions of “Go Brandon” were commonplace.  The Braves organization even put fans promoting “Go Brandon” on the Jumbotron.  Everybody gets it; Cobb County is conservative. 

Buyers in Austell and Powder Springs knew and wanted to live in a conservative community.   For conservatives, perhaps the thinking is Marjorie Tyler Greene is just a temporary clown-show that will soon be replaced.  It’s only the bleeding-heart liberals who get all bent out of shape over the semantics of it all.  The people of Cobb County know the space lasers aren’t Jewish. 

Still, as a student of real estate, it will be very simple to track home pricing, tendencies, and trajectories before and after the “Great Re-Draw”.  We should have a much clearer picture of the boundary change effect over the next twelve months.  Anyone want to guess what happens? 

Note to Agents:  learn the Congressional Boundary lines.  I promise, it will come in handy someday. 


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