Auctions in everything

A California town just sold on ebay for $700,000:

A Southern California financial adviser is the proud new owner of what he called an “absolutely gorgeous” 32.8-hectare (82-acre) piece of land among the redwoods, about 435 kilometers (270 miles) northwest of San Francisco and 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Pacific Ocean.

“There’s a mile and a half of river frontage. It’s very green and beautiful. Great weather,” said Krall, of Laguna Hills. “In San Francisco, $700,000 doesn’t buy you a one-car garage.”

But selling a whole town is not as easy as you might think:

In December 2002, Bridgeville became the first town “sold” on eBay. Almost 250 bids were cast during the town’s month on the electronic auction block. Bidding started at $5,000 and went well beyond the asking price of $775,000 to close at $1,777,877.

But no buyer ever appeared, no check arrived and the deal fell through.

A dozen more potential deals failed, prompting real estate agent Denise Stuart to post the property last year on more standard listings that brokers routinely share.

Would you want this place?

Bridgeville, which dates to the early 1900s, includes a post office, a cemetery and more than a dozen cabins and houses. It needs a new well and several buildings need to be renovated.

The town, which once had 100 residents, has been “severely neglected,” Krall said. His associates plan to move this summer to start cleaning it up, and will live there as caretakers.

Here is the full story. But that’s not my style. If I had the money, and the acquisitive instinct, I would buy a whole island.


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