Photo: R Kulawiak (Shutterstock)
Visiting a ghost town is one of the closest things to time travel. If the city is left undisturbed, it will remain suspended in time. Always stuck in the year it was abandoned. Fortunately, some ghost towns have been incorporated into state and national parks which tend to leave them in their natural ruin state – the most famous example is this former gold mining town of Bodie, California.
But there are at least 3,800 ghost towns Located in the United States (under various conditions), entire cities are for sale on occasion. While owning your own ghost town sounds great in theory, in practice it can be a completely different story (depending on what you want to do with the abandoned property and structures).
Before you even get to this part, you need to go through the process of buying the ghost town – which, it turns out, is a little different from buying an average, non-abandoned home. Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for a ghost town in the market to call courtesy of an article by Joe Pye on Debt.com.
It’s more than just a house
Eye-catching headlines about ghost towns selling at shockingly reasonable prices can create the impression that as long as you have the money, you could be the proud owner of your own abandoned mining village with relative ease.
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But of course it is not that easy, thanks in part to the fact that these cities are considered “not legally competent” and are therefore not part of a local government. “That said, even if the price is good, the uniqueness of these places makes buying more difficult than most homes,” explains Pye.
Good luck with your loan
While it may seem financially feasible for you to make mortgage payments on a $ 200,000 ghost town, it doesn’t mean you will get a loan. “Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac, and FHA aren’t touching these properties,” said Mike Metzger, Utah real estate agent says Debt.com.
“It is very difficult to get a loan on this type of property,” continues Metzger. “In most cases it is a private bank where the loans are based on the individual and the relationships they have with the bank, versus your traditional” square box financing “.”
The basic equipment is probably missing
Potential ghost town buyers know (hopefully) that they have a lot of work to do but may not see the full extent. For example, the abandoned city may not have running water, electricity, or other basic utilities. And it’s not just about installing them and plugging them into existing supplies – sometimes the nearest running water or electricity is miles away.
Then there is security. “Most of the structures in ghost towns don’t conform to the code,” says Metzger. “They were built before the code was invented. You are probably why the code was invented because by the time they finished they ran out of materials. “
Ghost towns currently for sale
While Pye’s article on Debt.com offers interesting insights into buying a ghost town and lists some examples of properties that are supposedly for sale. But before you get too excited, know that none of these cities are currently on the market – some were sold a few years ago. (Including St. Elmo, Colorado which is shown in the image at the top of this article.)
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any other options out there. For example the city Pearce, Arizona is currently on sale for $ 944,000, though it’s more of a turnkey living history museum than a true ghost town. How it is Cleator, Arizona, which is listed for $ 999,000 and still has a few residents and active businesses, which brings it closer to a Schitt’s Creek scenario. But you never know when your dream ghost town will hit the market.