Grafton, a historic river town in the metro east, is experiencing a land grab as people rush to snatch up free lots in a scenic subdivision on the bluff. This unique incentive has been successful in attracting residents to the community.
Grafton is a tight-knit river community with a rich history dating back to the 1800s. Despite a decline in population after the devastating flood of 1993, the city has been steadily growing. With a current population of about 650 people, Grafton is aiming to attract more families and rebuild the community.
Mayor Michael Morrow came up with the idea of Grafton Hills, a subdivision on the bluff, as a chance for families to start fresh above the water. However, there were still around 30 lots that needed to be sold in order to achieve this vision. To address this, the city implemented a land reimbursement program through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).
The program offers buyers the opportunity to purchase a lot for $5,000. Once the lot is purchased, the buyer has three years to build a home, complete a final inspection, and obtain an occupancy permit. Upon completion, the city reimburses the $5,000 back to the buyer.
The news of this unique opportunity spread quickly, leading to an overwhelming response. Realtor Stan Gula received at least 500 inquiries about the lots in the first week alone. Interest came pouring in from as far as Canada to California.
The subdivision already offers several amenities that make it an attractive place to live. It has a police station, a school, and is located right by the river, which draws many residents. The community is described as quiet, tranquil, and surrounded by wooded areas, offering residents privacy. However, it is just a few steps away from downtown Grafton, where there are restaurants, a marina, and a couple of wineries.
Grafton has been home to residents like Rob Jackson for 10 years. He, like many others, is excited to welcome new neighbors to this serene city. The community is experiencing an influx of young families and retirees, creating a nice mix of residents.
The reimbursement funds for the lots come from the city’s escrow account. Out of the initial 28 lots, there are only five left, and it is expected that they will be sold by the end of the week.
In conclusion, Grafton’s unique initiative of giving away free land in a scenic subdivision has successfully attracted residents to the community. The opportunity to purchase a lot for $5,000 and have it reimbursed upon completion of building a home has generated significant interest from people across the country. Grafton offers a peaceful and wooded environment with access to amenities such as a police station, a school, and the river. The city’s land reimbursement program has proven to be a successful strategy for urban development and revitalization.