Washington Post

Washington Post 18 Jun 2019

Want to buy your own town? It's not entirely impossible

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Elijah Daniel temporarily bought the unincorporated community of Hell in Michigan and changed its name to "Gay Hell" for Pride Month. Here are other instances in which people have bought towns.


As Trump deals with the fallout from pressuring a U.S. ally to ban two members of Congress, ongoing protests in Hong Kong, and new missile tests in North Korea, the president reportedly wants to purchase Greenland. Nayyera Haq and Maria Echeveste join the Last Word to discuss the state of global politics in the Trump era.
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Reports have emerged that President Trump is considering buying the country of Greenland, the world's largest island. The US already has an air force presence on the base. For their part, Greenland has said it is "not for sale," but their foreign policy is not under their own control. RT America's Michele Greenstein joins Rick Sanchez to explain.

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-Want to buy your own town? -An entire town up for auction,
with a starting bid of $1 million.
-Would you like to own a ghost town?
Now, you can.
-Ghost town in East Haddam has come back on the market.
-It's not impossible.
Anonymous buyers purchased Tiller, Oregon, in 2018.
Their plan was to create a public river resort.
The Caswell family, who bought Tiller up,
piece by piece, over three decades,
listed the 257-acre town for $3point85 million.
The secretive new owners didn't disclose
their final purchase price,
but Tiller was a steal, compared to some other towns.
Cal-Nev-Ari, Nevada, is a desert town home
to around 350 residents about 70 miles south of Las Vegas.
Pilot Nancy Kidwell and her husband built the town up
from nothing when they touched down in 1965.
In 2010, Kidwell tried to sell it for $17 million
and then slashed the price to $8 million in 2016.
-If we hadn't had a strong will and perseverance,
we never coulda made it.
-It doesn't look like she got any takers,
so it might still be on the market.
-So, when you sell this town,
are you gonna take the money and run?
-No. -No?
-I won't leave here.
Where would I go? -How does one sell a town?
Sometimes you have to get creative.
In 2002, Bruce Krall, an Orange County banker,
bought Bridgeville, California, on eBay,
yes, eBay, for $700,000.
The 83 acres had been promoted in eBay's Real Estate section.
Krall allegedly wanted to turn the town into a retreat center,
but personal issues forced him to abandon ship
soon after he acquired it.
He ended up relisting the town four years later,
for $1point75 million.
Three cows, old post office building, and cemetery included.
Like a good shirt, sometimes waiting it out is the way to go.
Everything goes on sale, eventually.
Originally listed at $399,000, Swett,
South Dakota's asking price dropped to 250K in 2015.
The deserted six acres
was originally owned by Lance Benson,
who eventually lost ownership to the bank
that held the property's mortgage.
-Swett has a population of two.
It's home to a tavern,
an old storefront with an adjoining house,
a workshop, a small car lot, and a few trailers.
But it can all be yours.

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