In the Spring of 2020 the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC) completed another development contract through the Osceola Building Incentive Program, making it the fourth home built in the city through the plan. The new home, located off Kossuth and Washington, was built using resources available through a revolving fund program created by the CCDC.
“The demand for development properties and real estate in general has been higher than expected,” said Bill Trickey, CCDC Executive Director. “This program really gives homebuilders a boost up on financing and creating the home of their dreams, right here in our community.”
In 2017, the Clarke County Development Corporation created the Osceola Building Incentive Program as a revolving fund to help developers and new homebuilders acquire land to develop in the city. Qualified applicants can apply for money to pay for the land in their proposed development. This financing exchange would be in lieu of a tax abatement that many homebuyers receive on the purchase of a new home.
The advantages to building in Osceola versus the Des Moines Metro or other areas are significant. Properties similar to those that go for $80,000 to $120,000 in the metro can often be found in Osceola for a fraction of that, sometimes around $20,000 to $30,000. The revolving fund is used to purchase this land for the builder, giving them immediate equity for the financing of the construction and materials for the project. Local banks have been able to use the land purchased through the Building Incentive Program as an equity down payment required for financing developments of this nature.
“The beauty of this program, besides lowering the entry costs for builders, is its flexibility,” said Trickey. “Qualified candidates can build on virtually any parcel of land, anywhere within the city, if it meets certain requirements. They aren’t tied down to a specific development area or even contracted builders.”
To date, the program has helped fund the new construction of four homes in Osceola, the newest being the one on Kossuth. Others can be found around the city including a beautiful home built on Golf View Drive, another overlooking Grade Lake Park, and one just South and East of Clarke County Hospital.
Trickey went on to emphasize the ongoing availability of funds through the program, saying that there’s still room for two, maybe three more development candidates to apply. The CCDC board has also considered adding to the fund to help further incentivize builders looking to develop multi-home projects. Once funds are distributed for the purchase of a property, the money that would normally go toward a tax abatement is then used to replenish the account.