It might seem impossible in this day and age, but the town 45 miles north of Kearney is offering free lots to get more people to build homes and move–in.
It's free as long as people use the land; new owners are required to build new homes. There's also a $1,000 deposit to hold a place in–line for a specific lot, though people will get the deposit back.
The land was empty so the city asked why not use the vacant area to bring more people to town.
"I get cars by here all the time that I believe are window shopping, like hmmm," said Diane Loeffelbein, a homeowner on one of the free lots. She built her home in 2012 and thinks her neighboring lots will be snatched up quickly. "It was a super idea to try to get couples, young couples, and young families to be able to afford a new home."
Two lots are still available under the first phase but city leaders hope another six will be offered some time soon. Houses must have a minimum of 1,100 square feet among other guidelines to unify the neighborhood.
"It is not a huge home that is required; it can be a ranch style home, it can be a two story home it can be a two, three car garage, that makes no difference. It can also be a pre-manufactured home," explained Jill Young, Loup City’s economic director.
This is all proposed to tempt more people into moving to the community.
“Loup City though it is small, is still a thriving community," said Young. Loup City has seen an increase in people in the last few years, according to the recent census. "It seems more people want that small town life and I think that's what draws them in here."
"It's quiet. You are kind of in the city but kind of in the country, it's just perfect," added Loeffelbein. Less than 1,000 people live in the city, but for those on the fence about taking up on the free offer: "Do it! These opportunities don't come along often and they will never regret it," urged Loeffelbein.
Loup City also offers up to $20,000 in down payment assistance for income-level qualified homeowners once houses are built, but that offer ends August 31.
Loup City is 45 miles from Grand Island and Kearney. The town is the closest to the Sherman Reservoir, which is only seven miles away.