The City of Lincoln is offering free build-ready lots to individuals and families interested in moving to the community and/or building a new home. The lots are available in a residential development (complete with streets, water, sewer, etc) within the city limits and located just a few blocks from the high school, hospital, football field, city park, and the downtown with a locally-owned grocery store, several restaurants, movie theater, pharmacy, banks, and most any of the other daily conveniences a family needs.
The residential lots range in size from 14,000 to 35,000 sq. ft. The lots are located at the east ends (cul de sacs) of Lost Street and School Street and are easily viewed using Google maps (satellite view) and streetview.
The City will deed over lots to individuals who agree to build a house on the lot within an agreed upon amount of time meeting certain design guidelines. Please review the Restrictive Covenants & Design Criteria, Application, and Agreement template. A visit to the site and to the community is also highly recommended.
The general process for the program is:
- Applicant reviews the Restricted Covenants on the property.
- Complete the application which includes:
- Application to Purchase Sheppard Subdivision Property
- Proof of financial means (i.e. a lender’s pre-approval letter)
- Plans for the proposed house the applicant will construct (at minimum this should include floor plans and elevations with dimensions and materials)
- Applications will not be considered until ALL requested information has been received.
- The City of Lincoln reviews all information at city council meeting; if approved, the City drafts an Agreement;
- Execute Agreement with the City of Lincoln and include deposit ($.08 per square foot, ranges from approx. $1,100-2,900 depending on size of lot) for selected lot;
- City of Lincoln will send Agreement to Security First (local business) for title insurance;
- Completion of deed process;
- Applicant builds house;
- Deposit refunded after all terms of the Agreement have been completed.
DESIGN CRITERIA & OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
The primary design criteria for building on any of the lots include the house having a minimum footprint of 1300 sq.ft. (exclusive of basements, garages, porches, etc) for a one story house and 900 sq.ft. for a two-story house. Each house shall have a 2-car garage, shall be on a permanent foundation, have a minimum roof slope of 5:12 pitch, and overhangs no less than 12 inches.
Some of the lots do have a high underground water table. For homeowners who desire a basement, additional fill may be needed in order to raise the basement and house up to a higher elevation.
FEMA has recently begun mapping Lincoln County for flood plain. A few of the lots may be impacted once the mapping has been finalized in the coming years.
The subdivision does not have a homeowner’s association or any homeowner’s association fees. There is a special tax assessment on all the lots (as expected in most any subdivision most anywhere); however, individuals may qualify for the Neighborhood Revitalization Program, providing a property tax rebate on the improvements made to the lot.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Can I have a horse, cows, chickens or other farm animals?
- No, the lots are within city limits and farm animals/livestock are not allowed within the subdivision.
- Are there any grants to help build the house?
- No, the City is granting the land to a new owner. All costs associated with constructing the house are the owner’s responsibility.
- Can I park an RV on the lot while I build the house?
- No, the City will not allow the owner to set up a temporary residence on the lot while the house is under construction.
- Are modular houses (manufactured at an off-site facility and then transported to the site) allowed?
- Yes, modular houses are allowed as long as they meet the design criteria; however, mobile homes are not allowed.
- Can I build a house using non-traditional methods (i.e. house made of recycled materials, underground, ‘dome’ homes, etc.)?
- The design criteria was written with traditional/common building methods in mind. The City may consider non-traditional construction methods but the owner will have to provide plans for the proposed house first before the City can determine if they would approve a waiver. The City must consider the safety of the construction method, insurability, and assessed and taxable values along with many other factors.
- Do I have to be a resident of Lincoln or the State of Kansas or a legal resident of the United States?
- Can I build a house with the goal of flipping it and reselling it?
- Yes. The City highly encourages any individuals who are speculatively building to carefully analyze our housing market. The owner is still responsible for maintaining the property along with all property taxes, special assessments, utility costs, insurance and any other carrying costs until the property is resold to a new owner.
- Can I build a house ‘off the grid’?
- No, the lots are located within city limits and the house will be required to connect to all utilities including the city’s electricity, water, sewer and trash services along with gas services.
- What kind of job opportunities are there in Lincoln, KS?
- A current list of job opportunities is available at https://www.livelincolncounty.com/category/work/jobs/
- Where can I find other information about the community?
For more information, contact Kelly Gourley at the Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation at 785-524-8954.
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