If you have ever dreamed of owning an entire town, it may be more achievable than you think. For as little as $250,000, you can buy an abandoned town and shape the next chapter of its already interesting story. You would be hard-pressed to find a more alternative investment than a ghost town, and these three may just fit the bill.
Cabin Creek, Colorado
People who are browsing items for sale on Denver’s Craigslist site are likely to notice one listing with the headline of “Ghost Town For Sale!” Indeed, for just $350,000, you can own the entire town of Cabin Creek, Colorado, which is a one-hour drive east of Denver.
At just under five acres, it is certainly not a booming metropolis, but the property features its own service station, cafe, and a small motel, all of which are in various states of disrepair. Two small houses, a mobile home, a shooting range, and an eight-site RV park are also included. The old gas station still has pumps outside and, at one time, was a small movie theater.
Cabin Creek Murders
As interesting as this town in the middle of nowhere is, what makes this property truly unique is the story of what happened in Cabin Creek that caused the inhabitants to run for their lives. While the details remain sketchy, in 1987, a couple was found shot to death in their home (one of the houses for sale), and the killers took off in their van. The two fugitive killers, who had recently escaped from prison, were shot and killed in a gunfight with authorities at a Montana campground.
The current owner bought the town with hopes of turning it into a roadside tourist attraction, but other than the old gas station that he uses to work on cars, the rest of the property has been completely neglected for decades.
While you may be jumping at the chance to buy a ghost town with a story straight out of the Wild West, purchasing Cabin Creek is not in the cards for most buyers. Banks are leery of financing the purchase of a “ghost town” with a collection of dilapidated structures that are miles away from civilization.
If $350,000 is a little too steep for your wallet, then consider Swett, South Dakota, which can be yours for just $250,000. The unincorporated community in southern South Dakota is spread across six acres near Badlands National Park and is a two-hour drive south of Rapid City. Included in the sale is the town’s gas station, a tavern, a store, a museum, and one house that, as rumor has it, is haunted.
Now completely abandoned, Swett once had as many as 40 inhabitants in the 1940s, with its own post office, several houses, and a grocery store. Most of the town’s population moved to larger towns over the years, and the most recent owner and only inhabitant was forced out after his mortgage was foreclosed. Swett is not the first town in the area to go up for sale. In 2011, the town of Scenic, South Dakota, was sold to a church from the Philippines for $799,000.
Allies Creek, Australia
Allies Creek, Australia, is a 40-acre decommissioned sawmill with a dam, a power plant, maintained streets, and a water treatment plant. Originally listed for over $2 million in 2008, the property has been reduced to an asking price of AUD$750,000, or around $580,000.
The property includes 16 well-maintained homes with wrap-around balconies. Not only are the houses in livable condition, but many are also generating income through rent-paying tenants. If you are willing to pack up and move halfway around the world, the possibilities for this unique property are endless.