Grand Vista Subdivision in Murphy, North Carolina brought a new concept to mountain land development in Cherokee County. Four years ago, Grand Vista was touted as "One of the hot new mountain communities" by Pinnacle magazine. With its wide, paved roads lined with street lights and a list of amenities that included tennis courts and horse stables, the developers offered Florida-style extra features along with the typical mountain view lots. While sales of mountain property overall in Murphy were slowing down, the lots in Phase 1 of Grand Vista were snapped up in just a few months.
But today, Grand Vista's website is down. The clubhouse is locked. The pool is empty. And many of the first 85 lots sold are in foreclosure.
I've been contacted by a number of lot owners over the last year, all of them hungry for information about the status of their property. As a Grand Vista lot owner myself, I share their concerns. So let's start with the facts on where the development stands today.
360' Land Acquisitions LLC has defaulted on the loan for the remaining 500 acres of undeveloped land. Bank of Hiwassee held the mortgage on that property.
Bank of Hiwassee has been taken over by the FDIC. I recently spoke with an officer of the bank about Grand Vista. He informed me that Bank of Hiwassee is no longer in control of that property and referred me to a firm of attornies in Asheville who are currently handling the foreclosure proceedings. My calls to the attorney firm have not been returned.
Todd Moerchen of 360' Land Acquisitions has moved back to Florida and has not returned calls about the development either. He owned another piece of property personally here in Cherokee County that has also been advertised in the Cherokee Scout as being in foreclosure, one of 4 parcels of land in Murphy on which he is listed as owner of record.
I've been told that although a homeowners association was created at the time the lots were marketed, there is no record of 360' Land Acquisitions LLC deeding any property to the homeowners association. If that is the case, then current lot owners do not own or have rights to the clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, horse stables or nature trails. The only things listed on our deeds are rights to the community wells and access to the existing subdivision roads.
The good news is that the roads were well built and are in excellent condition. And so far, even though there has not been any mowing done for over a year, the weeds have not overtaken the subdivision.
Don't miss the rest of my series on Grand Vista subdivision !