With incredible long range mountain views like the one above, a dazzling list of amenities and affordable prices, Grand Vista subdivision in Murphy, North Carolina had almost every lot in Phase 1 under contract within just a few months after opening back in 2006. But today the developers are gone, the remaining 500 acres is in foreclosure, the clubhouse is locked and there is only one house completed in this Cherokee County, NC subdivision.
As a real estate broker and a Grand Vista lot owner, I've been following the status of the development from the beginning. Simply put, Grand Vista is a casualty of the national real estate downturn. As home prices fell in Florida, some lot owners were unable to sell their Sunbelt homes to build in the mountains. Other buyers purchased several lots, planning to keep them for a short time, then flip. When the boom in land sales ground to a halt, cash strapped investors couldn't hold on long enough and with no new lot sales in the last 3 years, neither could the developers.
Currently there are 9 lots on the MLS for sale in Grand Vista and I found two more today on a foreclosure website. Lot prices have tanked and I get calls from other anxious lot owners on a regular basis, hungry for information.
What does the future hold for Grand Vista subdivision?
First, when the legal issues have been resolved between Bank of Hiwassee and the FDIC, the remaining 500 acres of land will be offered for sale. Another investor/developer will step in to continue the project.
Second, a new developer will have to come to terms with the existing lot owners regarding the HOA and use of the clubhouse, tennis courts and all the other amenities that have been built but not transferred to the current HOA.
It would be in the best interests of any developers anxious to sell additional lots at Grand Vista to make sure the lot owners in Phase 1 have good things to say about them.
Third, regardless of what the real estate market has done, all the features that made Grand Vista one of the best new communities to hit Western North Carolina are still in place:
- Incredible long range mountain vistas
- Well designed wide paved roads and spacious lots
- Great location - within 2 hours of metropolitan Atlanta, Chattanooga, Knoxville and Asheville
- Mild year-round climate with shorter winters for Northerners and cooler summers for Southern folks
- Lake Hiwassee and cool mountain rivers and streams nearby for fishing, boating and white water rafting
- Cherokee County - an area rich in natural beauty including miles of US Forest Service to hike and explore
- The appeal of small town living in Murphy with its slower pace of life - no traffic jams or roads crammed with endless strip malls
As for me, I plan to follow Warren Buffet's strategy. I bought a lot in Grand Vista because I believed it was a sound investment with great long term potential. Warren doesn't sell a good investment just because the market takes a downturn - and neither will I.
Get the full story on Grand Vista subdivision in Murphy, North Carolina! Read the rest of my Grand Vista Market Report -