How can a community transform a dilapidated property with an $8000 assessed value to a new home that will return many times more value to the city?
How can a community potentially bring a new family to town to live and work here?
How can local investors create greater wealth for our community school, town services and customers for local businesses?
Randolph, Nebraska, decided to answer those questions by revitalizing one home, one family, one school student, one customer at a time. It’s the first spec home in Randolph in recent memory and was funded by individual local investors.
Gary A. Van Meter, Community Development Director in Randolph, said, “We had 150 visitors during the open house, including a city administrator from a nearby community.”
They’ve done their homework to make it an attractive house to buyers. “Using structurally Insulated Panel (SIP) construction, the super energy efficient all electric home is designed to use just $50/month or less for heating and cooling. In addition, there is a concrete-cast FEMA approved safe room built into the main floor of the home. Also featured are vaulted ceilings in each room, custom-made cabinets, a 650 sq. ft. attached garage, insulated and finished, with built in storage and workshop areas.”
After working with individual investors on this project, Gary said he is looking more deeply into local investing, aka Locavesting.
“I am presently researching how one can craft a self-directed IRA so that retirement accounts can be invested into the local economy instead of banks and brokers in another region or state. This could possibly help to revitalize local communities with local investments. Warren Buffett said it best, ‘Invest in yourself.'”
Thank you to Gary for sharing this story with us.
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Amy Cortese says
Thanks for sharing that, Becky. Residents of Adrian, MI also banded together to restore and rent a downtown building, with rental apartments on the top floors. Would love to hear about other examples!
Becky McCray says
That’s another great example of local investors making a real difference. Thanks, Amy!
Gary Van Meter says
Regarding Amy Cortese query about rentals on top floors. In the 1990s I developed 10 apartments in three different buildings in Wayne, NE.
You can contact me at 402-369-4310. Being in a college town helped a lot, but there are folks who want to be free of yard and snow duties as well. Occupancy was always steady at 90+%. It also creates a neighborhood of local consumers, harkening back to the reason for second floor usage when the buildings were first constructed. Shop owners often lived above their business and raised their families downtown. Call or write–happy to construct a SWOT with you on your project.
Becky McCray says
Gary, thanks for sharing your experiences!
Catherine Sak says
I’m so glad you shared this Becky – great story. Right after I read it I came across this article: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/01/rural-americas-silent-housing-crisis/384885/
Becky McCray says
Catherine, we hear so often about the worst of our rural housing, I was thrilled to hear how Randolph, Nebraska, is taking a positive step.