Abrams Creek Center is one of the region's premier sites for groups and individuals to gather in a natural setting. It is not just a campground and conference center; it is a regional resource. It has been especially welcoming for personal growth, social change, community-building, healing, wild food, and sustainability-related workshops and events, and has a particular focus on creating a safe space for LGBTQIA+ persons.
The place is quite spectacular; people come for events, workshops, or just somewhere to go that is cool in the summer and beautiful all year round. In addition to the stunning natural beauty, there is a 4000 sq. ft. Guest House and Meeting Center, a commercial-style kitchen, a 2 bedroom cottage, 11 cabins, 40' and 30’ geodesic domes, and 36 campsites. www.abramscreekcenter.com.
Three miles away, in the town of Mount Storm, we also acquired a motel, four houses, a 2-bedroom apartment, and a laundromat on three acres of land. And when the owners retired, we purchased the local store that was the hub of the town. We have expanded the store to include a “free shelf”, to encourage people to re-use and share things when no longer needed; free Wifi access; greatly expanded inventory, and other services for area residents.
We operate these businesses to create a new kind of intentional community that embraces not only people who choose relocate to live and work with us, but also the existing residents of the area, and also people who are drawn to live nearby but do not choose to live on our core properties. We welcome a variety of lifestyles and living arrangements, and encourage entrepreneurialism and individual initiative; all supporting the goal of rural revitalization as well as larger social change. We call this concept the “intentional village”--the Allegheny Crest Intentional Village. http://cfnc.us/aciv
All this has been financed by private investments in the form of loans secured by the properties that we own. This provides a high level of security, yet with an attractive rate of return.
This investment is a private loan, person to person. The loans ("promissory notes") are secured by the properties we own. Due to the cost of setup and maintenance of each account, we ask that the minimum investment be about $5,000.00.
These loans will be used to retire existing loans; they will not increase the debt load on any property. And since we are continually improving, upgrading, and renovating these properties, the security is greater than ever.
The loans are interest-only, 3 or 5-year "balloon notes", which means that the original amount of the loan will be returned at the end of the specified term. At the investor’s choice, interest can be paid:
- compounded monthly and paid annually
- paid at the end of the loan.
The interest rate will depend on the term (length) of the loan:
- 5% for a 3 year term
- 5.5% for a five year term. The five year loan also includes an inflation guarantee: if the inflation rate goes above 5.5%, the interest rate on the loan will increase to match, up to 9%. This would be adjusted twice a year.
When the term of the loan expires, the full amount would come due; this kind of mortgage is often called a "balloon note", and is frequently used in financing business real estate.
We can also create custom terms for particular circumstances, and these investments are eligible for IRA and RothIRA accounts. Please feel free to ask for more details.
Each loan is created as a Promissory Note, which is secured by one of our properties, using the same legal structure that a bank uses when it issues a mortgage (also called a “Deed of Trust”). Since most of the loans are much less than the value of the property, each mortgage will secure the money from several investors, all with equal standing.
In general, real estate is a powerful security. If no other way, the investors (lenders) get paid whenever or however the property is sold. And while market values can fluctuate, for a piece of real estate to lose even 20% of its value is highly unusual. (The financial and real estate crisis of 2008-2009 was not triggered by loss in real estate values; it was caused by improper mortgage practices, which artificially inflated the real estate prices for a while; values in the Mid-Atlantic region have long been stabilized and growing—especially since the pandemic.)
As long as the owner makes payments on time, all goes well. If it happened that the owner cannot continue to make the payments, the investors can then have the property sold to pay back their investment; this process is called foreclosure. West Virginia has a very simple foreclosure processes that can take less than a month or two, start to finish.
Consequently, real estate security creates a more secure investment than anything I know of that isn't an FDIC-guaranteed bank deposit.
We have used this kind of financing for more than a decade: first to refinance Abrams Creek for the previous owner; then to buy an adjoining cottage; then to purchase Abrams Creek; then the Mountaineer Motel; then a 5 bedroom house adjacent to the motel; and then the store. During that time, there has never been a missed monthly payment, and the properties have steadily grown in value because of the ongoing improvements. We can offer references from people who have invested in our previous rounds of financing who are familiar with our operations, activities, and general reputation.
I am not a broker or financial professional of any kind; I am the owner. I have been investing in and managing real estate for over 40 years. If you have any further questions about the details, please contact me directly.