Should one Buy a Ghost Town?

3 Replies

I have been seeing a ghost town in Colorado that is 30 min to one hour from Denver is up for sale for in the range of $250000-350000.  I know that two of the buildings are in need of a septic tank.  The town was deserted after someone was murdered back in the 1970s.  It has a motel, gas station, store, shop, cafe, 2 homes, and mobile home. 

I am just curious what would you do with a property like this?  How would you go about evaluating it?  Don't just say numbers give me a break down.  Also what about politics, getting a police force, firemen.

@Lelith Walker so where to start. A town by definition is a legal entity by the laws of the state of Colorado. It requires specific criteria. I seriously doubt that the "town" is a legal town in the eyes of the state. That means you are buying a commercial property in the County. The commercial property has a variety of buildings on it which would typically make up the components of a community or a town. The laws of the county govern the use of the property and would provide fire (if available), and law enforcement. The residents of the community would be voting members of the county but there would be no Town Counsel. 

Buying a property that has been vacant for 50 years. You might as well start over and add the cost of demolition and disposal on top of the new construction. 

Vacant gas station probably means leaking underground storage tanks. Very expensive to mitigate and carries long term liability. 

This project is not for the shallow pockets or the faint of heart and it's not because of the presence of ghosts either.

Lol Bill S.  Thanks for the input.  The price was attractive but I had a feeling there were other variables that I probably could not see.

Also, if this is the place I'm thinking of, that "1 hour from Denver" is one of the most desolate stretches of Colorado.  I-70 by-passed this town when it was constructed and while it is "only" 10 miles off I-70, there is literally no reason for anybody to take the extra 10 mile jaunt out to this place when everything they need (gas, lodging, mechanic, etc) is already at the Byers exit that anybody would have to get off at to get these things.

Anybody purchasing this property would need to make it a destination.  That is, instead of a gas station and a place to eat, which you can get anywhere, you'd want to make it a place worth going to.  The hunting is pretty decent out there and there's a reservoir (pond, really) a few miles away where the fishing is decent too, so turning the "town" into a sportsman's paradise might work, but it really would require pretty deep pockets to make it attractive.  Trees don't grow very well out there as the wind can get really brutal and twists anything taller than about 4 feet.  Lots of grazing for wildlife and nesting areas for birds.  The tornadoes we get here tend to target that area as well.

PS:  Here is a link to the property I'm thinking of.  If there's another for sale, then strike everything I just said.

Colorado Ghost Town For Sale

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