Now that Grand Vista Subdivision has been abandoned by the developers, lot owners in the Murphy, North Carolina mountain community are asking themselves "How much is that lot I bought worth today?"
The answer is "Not much, if you HAVE to sell it now."
There are 85 lots in Phase 1 of Grand Vista. All of them were under contract within a few months after the subdivision began taking lot reservations in the summer of 2006. Lot prices ranged from $45,000 for a lot near the clubhouse to $130,000 for lots at the top of the mountain with stunning long range views. With a tempting list of amenities including the community pool with a rock waterfall, tennis courts, horse stables and clubhouse offering a two bedroom apartment available to lot owners visiting their property, many buyers purchased more than one lot.
Some Florida buyers I worked with had seen huge increases in the value of vacant lots back home and thought the home sites, most of which were priced at $50,000, were an affordable investment, certain to at least double in value.
I sold property there to several buyers who planned to flip a lot or two and use the profits to pay off the more expensive lot they planned to keep.
But many of those investors were caught by the abrupt end to the Florida real estate boom. Unable to sell their Florida homes, they haven't been able to build on their mountain land here. And many buyers who were in real estate related fields lost their source of income and couldn't keep up the payments on two or three vacant lots.
Today there are an unknown number of lots in Grand Vista in various stages of the foreclosure process. Two are listed in this morning's edition of the Cherokee Scout, slated to be sold on the courthouse steps next week.
As of June 1, there are 9 lots at Grand Vista subdivision listed for sale on www.Realtor.com:
- 1 at $12,900 - Lot 36, a bank foreclosure
- 1 at $19,900
- 3 at 29,900
- 4 at $30,000
I know of two other bank REOs that haven't been put on the market yet.
In the last 12 months, there has only been one Grand Vista lot sale recorded on the Mountain Lakes MLS. Lot 19 was reported as sold for $60,000 on 6/22/09. It has one of the best long range mountain views in the development and was originally listed for sale by the developer in 2006 for $120,000.
So what does the future hold for Grand Vista and its property owners?
Read Part 3 of my Grand Vista Market Report tomorrow.