Well that's a pretty good question, actually.
Of all the 569,000 new homes built in the U.S. in 2013, about 166,000 had partial or full basements. That's a lot! If you've spent any time in the Charlotte area (or anywhere in the South) you've probably noticed that not many homes have basements. Why is that?
There are a couple of reasons.
The first and most overarching is the frost line. The frost line, or the depth to which the ground freezes during a hard frost, is important for home builders to know because a foundation built above the frost line can move, break, and become unstable as the ground expands and contracts. Local regulations always require footings of a new home to be built below the frost line for a specific area: In Mecklenburg County