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The Country View Estates development is being promoted in some clever ways, as the city of New York Mills steps up its marketing of the residential lots. Among the ideas, more than 20 incentives offered by local businesses-ranging from a bowling party to pizza certificates.

NY Mills pulls out stops in marketing home lots

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Enjoy a massage, a full season of swimming, free milk for a year and watch a couple free movies in the comfort of your new home.

New York Mills is gearing up for spring and summer sales of lots at the city's Country View addition.

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Marketing these lots has a decidedly innovative twist.

To entice prospective buyers, there are 23 incentives offered by local businesses and agencies-from two free movies a month for a full year, to a $500 discount on the homeowner's natural gas bill.

The unique package of incentives is aimed at accelerating sales of the six lots remaining in phase one of the project, and to spur sales for the 18 lots in the second phase.

Interest in the lots, and real estate in general, is finally starting to pick up, said Deb Porkkonen, Centennial Real Estate, the firm that is marketing the lots for the city.

"It's the newest development in New York Mills...and it is very attractive," she said. If you look to the east, it is a natural, wetland area that is beautiful."

Admittedly, said Porkkonen, it is tougher to qualify for a loan than it was a few years ago.

"It's tight out there for buyers to get credit," she said. "But spring is here, and it's a great time to pick up a lot."

Construction costs have edged downward, which is another plus for prospective buyers.

With the additional 18 lots available in Phase 2 of the project, the city and Centennial is notching up the sales pitch.

"If you are looking for a place to call home, Country View Addition offers great opportunity.  Nestled back on the edge of our community, Country View offers the best of both worlds," states the brochure. Picturesque winding streets with city services, easy access to all that New York Mills has to offer...combined with the quiet beauty of the country right outside your window."

Qualifying buyers can purchase a lot for as little as $2,900 not including assessments. 

Tax increment financing deduction is available to income qualifying buyers which offers $7,500 off the price of your lot when you build a home.  The guidelines are generous. A couple with incomes of up to $73,000, and families of three or more with incomes of up to nearly $84,000, qualify for the TIF deduction.

Assessments range from $10,000 to $16,000, depending on the size of the lot. But the city is offering very affordable terms to finance the assessments, noted Porkkonen. At a modest interest rate of 5 percent, the assessments can be paid back over 10 years.

But the most novel aspect of the NY Mills marketing effort is the list of more than 20 incentives that will be given to any lot-buyer.

Local businesses are participating in an incentive program which totals over $3,700 in special offers.

Examples of these incentives:

$500 credit toward natural gas bills.

$500 credit toward a construction loan from Farmers and Merchants Bank.

A free gallon of milk for a year from Dean's.

Three months of internet service free, from Lakes Area Internet Plus.

Free one-year membership at the Regional Cultural Center.

From Hilltop Homes, a discount of $1,000 to buy a home for the lot.

Homestead Lumber is deducting sales tax for construction materials.

For more information on the lots, contact the city of New York Mills, PO Box H, New York Mills, MN 56567 or call 218-385-2213.

New neighborhood created around new Perham hospital. 38 residential lots on the market

Real estate activity appears to be on the upswing, and that bodes well for the new 38-lot development being marketed by the city of Perham.

"It's better than at this time last year," said City Manager Kelcey Klemm. "We have more new home permits this spring than last year. Also, from last year to this year, real estate values appear to be holding."

After selling most of the lots in the city's Clearwater Estate plat, another 38 lots are now available in the Clearwater First Addition. This residential development is in and around the 60-acre hospital complex which is presently under construction.

Lot prices range from $10,500 to $13,700. Larger lots range from $28,000 to $38,500. There is one lot, zoned for an apartment complex, at $50,000

Most homebuyers will likely qualify for tax increment financing, which means a huge discount on the assessments. Most of the lots have sewer-water-utility assessments at $16,441; but with the TIF, the assessments are only $2,441.

The city is financing the assessments over 15 years, at an interest rate of 4.25 percent.

For one of the largest lots, a 32,000 square-foot parcel, the assessments total $29,275-but are half price with tax increment financing, at $15,275.

Another selling point for building in Perham, said Klemm, is the fact that the city has adopted the state building code-which most cities haven't in this area.

"We do have building inspections, so if somebody is looking for a house built since 1996, they can rest assured that it was inspected and complies with the code," said Klemm.

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