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Wendy Reuer, Published March 25 2012

‘Microsite’ aims to draw homebuyers to Moorhead

MOORHEAD – Officials here want prospective homebuyers to know why they should make this city home.

To do that, the city launched a new “microsite” this week at www.makeMoorheadhome.com.

com, which gives potential residents information about finding a home in Moorhead.

The site offers current residents a chance to add comments about why they chose to live in Moorhead. It also features links for those searching for a home, along with details on financing, property taxes and flood information.

Lisa Vatnsdal, the Moorhead Neighborhood Services manager, said the microsite, which cost the city $15,000, will be paid for through the 2012 Economic Development Authority marketing and communications budget.

This year, $84,755 is budgeted for marketing and communications.

“Just over half of this budget is advertising, and the other half is communication and outreach activities,” Vatnsdal said.

The city is working on a marketing campaign with Chris Hagen, Flint Communications public relations director. Hagen said last week that along with the microsite, she is launching a marketing campaign that will advertise the site in traditional print media, such as in The Forum’s homesHQ section. But she also hopes to increase the city’s presence online and through social media, such as Facebook and Google ads.

Vatnsdal said marketing outreach efforts have been continuous throughout the years.

“We’ve always tried to position ourselves for residential recruitment,” Vatnsdal said.

An example of outreach and education is the city’s work with The Village Family Service Center. Moorhead staff attends first-time homebuyer seminars in the metro area, such as those sponsored by The Village, to educate potential homebuyers about incentives to move to Moorhead.

Vatnsdal said Moorhead offers mortgage programs specifically targeted for low- to moderate-income families. Down payment assistance is also available.

The city is also asking state lawmakers to extend a two-year property tax abatement on new construction, Vatnsdal said.

The abatement is not currently available, but Vatnsdal said she is hopeful the state Legislature will allow cities to offer it in the future.


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Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530