From Georgia to Nevada, 12 Towns for Sale

Good Morning America
From Georgia to Nevada, 12 Towns for Sale

View photo

From Georgia to Nevada, 12 Towns for Sale (ABC News)

American homeownership levels are at a 15-year low as many people are renting instead of buying. But perhaps the opportunity to own your town could stir some potential homeowners out of their caves.

On sale for $2.5 million, the town of Toomsboro, Ga., about halfway between Atlanta and Savannah, is the latest in a slew of towns around the country that have drawn public attention for offering others the opportunity to play mayor.

Here are 12 towns that have been for sale.

Toomsboro, Georgia

David Bumgardner, a developer in south Georgia, is trying to sell 28 properties in the town of Toomsboro, which has 700 residents. Bumgardner purchased over 50 acres from preservationist Bill Lucado and through an auction about a decade ago, the Associated Press reported.

About 119 miles southwest of Atlanta and 137 miles northeast of Savannah, Toomsboro may be ideal for a movie production company that needs a set, Lucado told the AP. Lucado said he is now working for Bumgardner to help sell the properties.

Lucado calls it an "almost complete town from the early 19th century" in "amazing" condition.

The town has an old opera house that seats 500 people, a barber shop, and a hotel with 18 bedrooms and baths built in the 1880s. Lucado said it is in "immaculate, A-1 condition," with over $1 million in restoration work. The town also has an old bank with brass teller cages that is "off the charts."

The town also includes an operating grist mill, syrup mill, cotton warehouse, railroad station and about a dozen houses.

Henry River Mill Village, North Carolina

Henry River Mill Village, N.C. is on sale for $1.4 million after being used as the set of the downtrodden community of District 12 in the film "The Hunger Games." Wade Shepard, 83, is selling the 72-acre property, which has over 20 buildings. The mill burned down in 1977, but no matter to die-hard fans of the book by Suzanne Collins and the film, which has topped the box office for three straight weeks.

"Day and night, they're driving through, taking pictures, getting out and walking," Wade told the Associated Press. "I'm just bombarded with people."

Wade told ABC News he has had about eight interested parties.

The village is about 70 miles east of Asheville and south of the town of Hildebran and Interstate 40.

Pray, Montana

Located 22 miles from Livingston, Mont. and 30 miles from Yellowstone National Park, the town of Pray, Mont. is on sale for $1.4 million. Sitting on five acres, the town is named after the congressman Charles M. Pray, who helped officially incorporate the town, which has been privately owned since it was founded in 1909. The current owner and mayor since 2007, Barbara Walker, is a professional photographer whose business has become more mobile, reported the Aspen Business Journal. Mason and Morse Ranch Company has the listing.

Buford, Wyoming

Called "the nation's smallest town" at about 10 acres, Buford, Wyo. was auctioned on April 5 for $900,000. Don Sammons, Buford's only resident, sold the town through Williams and Williams, an auction company.

Bidding for Buford, 28 miles west of Cheyenne and just north of the border with Colorado, began at $100,000. Included in the sale were the Buford Trading Post, which is a convenience store and gas station, U.S. post office boxes, a cellular tower with lease, five buildings and about 10 acres of land.

Reported to be the second-oldest town in Wyoming, Buford was built in 1866 for workers building a railroad but the population, once 2,000, plummeted when the railroad bypassed the town, Williams and Williams reported.

The Sammons family moved from Los Angeles to Buford in 1980 after Don Sammons bought the town's trading post in 1992, the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle reported.

Monse, Wash.

Set between Seattle and Spokane, the small mountain town of Monse, Wash., was on sale for $575,000 in 2003. The town had an old schoolhouse, seven houses, a general store and a post office. But even with views of the Okanogan River and several serious offers, it remained unsold for years until the town's owners split up the 60 acres of land it into parcels.

Donna and Fritz Van Doren decided to sell the land when they moved out of Monse, according to the Associated Press. One family bought six acres of land in 2006 "for peace and quiet and to get out of the rat race."

Courbefy, France

The French village of Courbefy was up for auction in February for an asking price of $400,000, or 300,000 euro, but no one bid. Interested buyers should take note: The Associated Press reports the bank that owns the village, 280 miles southwest of Paris, hopes to put it up for auction again.

The bank, Credit Agricole, holds the mortgage to this French hamlet after its owners, who had run a luxury hotel and restaurant, stopped making payments and abandoned it around 2008. The bank plans to set an auction date after being unable to sell it thus far. The property has a tennis court, horse stable, more than a dozen buildings and a swimming pool. The village's 12th century chapel, however, is not for sale.

Among the interested buyers are a group of former college friends who hope to live in a commune together, a group of retirees and others looking for a film set a studio, the AP reports.

Scenic, South Dakota

The 46 acres around Scenic, S.D., were on sale for two years with an asking price of $3 million until the price dropped to $799,000 in July 2011. The owner, rodeo legend Twila Merrill, had bought the land slowly over several decades but she and her family decided to sell because of her declining health.

In August, the Iglesia ni Cristo church, established in the Philippines in 1914, bought the 12-acre town and surrounding land, but the group has not made its plans known.

David Olsen, the Coldwell Banker real estate selling agent in Rapid City for Merrill, said there is someone from the church living in the town and making basic repairs. Though Scenic has had a relatively mild winter without much snow, it is still difficult to move dirt because the ground is frozen.

"Come spring, we'll see a lot of activity," Olsen told ABC News.

There's still a post office in the town, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service. No decision has been made if it will close; there is a moratorium on office closings until May 15.

Garryowen, Montana

In January 2008, Chris Kortlander, owner of Garryowen, near the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, announced plans to sell the town and the Elizabeth Bacon Custer Manuscript Archive for $6.5 million.

Garryowen comprised part of Sitting Bull's camp in 1876 when the Battle of the Little Bighorn began. Sioux and Cheyenne Indians defeated five companies of the 7th Cavalry under Lt. Col. George Custer.

The property includes a trading post, museum, office complex, bed and breakfast, post office, gas station, restaurant and a 4,000-square-foot residence, according to the Associated Press.

Kortlander has been in a protracted legal battle with the government which has raided his memorabilia for alleged dealings in fraudulent artifacts. No charges were filed and the government dropped its investigation in 2009.

The Grove, Texas

Founded in 1859, The Grove was a farming community until it became a ghost town after a highway was re-routed away from it in the 1930s because some residents wanted less traffic. An antique collector, Moody Anderson, bought the old buildings in 1972 and opened the Country Life Museum there. Anderson attracted tourists but failed to attract eBay bidders in 2008. Instead, he held a sale through the Burley Auction Group and a woman from San Jose, Calif., whose grandfather formerly owned the town's general store, bought it for $200,000, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Eustis, Florida

It may not be an entire town, but the Orlando Sentinel reported in October 2008, that downtown Eustis, Fla., was on sale for $7.8 million on eBay in October 2008.

The Lake Community Foundation listed the 11-acre property in the lakefront city. There were no serious offers. The foundation received the property in 2003 after the previous owner, a hospital, moved to a neighboring town. Soon, the collapse of the real estate market led to difficulties in developing the land.

Virginia Barker, executive director of the charitable foundation, told ABC News four city blocks are still for sale, three of which cost around $1 million each.

Rocky Bar, Idaho

In June 2007, half of the ghost town of Rocky Bar, Idaho, sold for $250,000. The buyer was Michael Ciluaga, a construction company owner from Boise. He got 8.9 acres of land, a hotel, mine, wading pool, town jail plus timber and mineral rights, the Associated Press reported.

Ciluaga told the AP he wants to restore the old buildings, which date back to the 19th century, with the help of preservationists.

"I'm a third-generation Boisean," Ciluaga said. "When I read the story about it being for sale, I knew immediately that I wanted it."

Palisade, Nevada

View Comments (0)

Recommended for You

  • Ariana Grande, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Mudcrutch and More Music Reviews

    This week Ariana Grande returns with a more mature image, Bob Dylan drops another collection of standards, Eric Clapton hints at a goodbye, Tom Petty reforms his pre-Heartbreakers band Mudcrutch for their second outing, Blake Shelton sings about falling-apart relationships and blossoming new ones,…

    Good Morning America42 mins ago
  • Chaotic Scene Erupts Outside Trump Rally in New Mexico

    Throngs of protesters gathered outside the rally in Albuquerque and several protesters were escorted out of the rally earlier. At one point, protesters broke through a barricade erected by police, rushing the convention center where Trump was speaking. While Albuquerque police prevented them from…

    Good Morning America54 mins ago
  • ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Finale 2016: Nyle DiMarco Wins Mirror Ball Trophy in Season 22

    Model/actor Nyle DiMarco won season 22 of “Dancing With the Stars” tonight, beating out UFC fighter Paige VanZant and “GMA” meteorologist Ginger Zee to take the coveted mirror ball trophy. DiMarco jumped when the results were revealed before being quickly engulfed in hugs from supporters and his…

    Good Morning America
  • Craig Sager to Receive Jimmy V Perseverance Award at ESPYS

    It wouldn't be the ESPYS without the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, and this year's recipient couldn't be more deserving. Craig Sager, 64, was diagnosed with leukemia just two years ago and has shared his battle with the sports world while still working on the sidelines at TNT. Sager -- who has…

    Good Morning America
  • CDC Official Says Thousands May Have Arrived in US With Zika

    Federal health officials today said they believe thousands of people may have contracted the Zika virus before returning to the U.S. and they remain concerned that the virus might commence ongoing transmission in the U.S. Speaking at a panel at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars,…

    Good Morning America
  • Cosby Ordered to Stand Trial in Sex Assault Case

    Comedian Bill Cosby has been ordered to stand trial in the 2004 indecent assault case brought against him last December. The 78-year-old comedian appeared today in a Pennsylvania courtroom, where District Judge Elizabeth McHugh heard portions of accuser Andrea Constand’s statements to police. …

    Good Morning America
  • Brad Pitt Helps Save Young Fan From Being Crushed in Crowd

    While shooting his upcoming World War II film, "Allied," in Spain's Canary Islands, the actor took a break to greet fans. In a video of the incident, Pitt can be seen pointing to the girl before rushing over to help her.

    Good Morning America
  • Lawmakers Occupy Hot Car in Push to Allow Pet-Saving Bystanders to Smash Windows

    The proposed bill would allow passersby to smash car windows to rescue pets trapped in hot cars. To drive home the point, Assemblymembers Ling Ling Chang, Kristin Olsen and Marc Steinorth, who drafted the bill, filmed themselves locked inside a car for 21 minutes while the temperature outside was…

    Good Morning America
  • American ISIS Wannabe Nabbed in Elaborate Sting, FBI Says

    Federal officials arrested a young New York City man today for allegedly supporting ISIS — the culmination of an elaborate FBI and NYPD sting operation in which the 22-year-old was duped by at least four undercover law enforcement agents, according to court documents. Bronx resident Sajmir…

    Good Morning America
  • Feds Seeking Death Penalty Against Alleged Charleston Church Shooter Dylann Roof

    The Justice Department is seeking the death penalty against Dylann Roof, who allegedly opened fire inside a Charleston, South Carolina, church last year, killing nine people. "Following the department’s rigorous review process to thoroughly consider all relevant factual and legal issues, I have…

    Good Morning America
  • Chelsea Handler Doesn’t Care What People Think of Her New Show

    Chelsea Handler has made a career out of being unapologetic, unafraid and sometimes half-naked. On "Chelsea," Handler has done everything from having dinner parties with movie stars to trips to Japan so she can learn how to become a geisha and a Harajuku girl. And while it's a late-night talk…

    Good Morning America
  • Paul McCartney Reveals What Really Split Up the Beatles

    Paul McCartney is now opening up about the tough times after the Beatles split in 1970. After the breakup, McCartney added, he wasn't sure "whether I was still going to continue in music." Fortunately for the music world, he ended up recording upward of 25 studio albums post-Beatles. He dropped…

    Good Morning America
  • Sophisticated Burglary of NYC Bank Through Roof Is the Latest in Series of Heists by 'Pros,' Police Say

    Thieves robbed a New York City bank over the weekend, apparently by cutting a wide hole in the roof, police said, noting that the sophisticated heist at the Maspeth Federal Savings branch in Rego Park, Queens, is the tenth of its kind across New York City. A bank employee first saw the gaping hole…

    Good Morning America
  • Stray Feline Believed to Be a Rare ‘Werewolf’ Kitten Found in South Africa

    Skeptical of Eyona's identity, Mandy Store, the feline expert at TEARS, contacted Dr. Johnny Gobble, a veterinarian from Sweetwater, Tennessee, whose wife, Brittney, established the Lykoi as a breed. Gobble confirmed to the rescue group that Eyona was a rare Lykoi -- a natural mutation of the…

    Good Morning America
  • Bernie Sanders Blasts Hillary Clinton's Refusal to Debate as 'Insulting' to Voters

    Bernie Sanders blasted Hillary Clinton for her refusal to debate him two weeks before the California Democratic primary. "Our campaign and her campaign had reached an agreement on a number of debates including one here in California in May," Sanders said during a rally in Santa Monica, California,…

    Good Morning America
  • Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Celebrate Their Second Wedding Anniversary

    Yes, it has been two years since Kim Kardashian and Kanye West tied the knot. Kardashian, 35, also posted other pics, including one of her huge engagement ring. West, 38, and Kardashian were married two years ago in Florence.

    Good Morning America
  • Tye Sheridan Talks Challenges of Playing Cyclops in 'X-Men: Apocalypse'

    The film finds the mutant superheros battling the world's first mutant, Apocalypse, (Oscar Isaac), who recruits his Four Horsemen - Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Angel (Ben Hardy) to carry out his nefarious plans. "It's me and Brian Smrz, our…

    Good Morning America
  • Ferocious Solar Storms May Have Helped Life Take Root on Earth, NASA Says

    Ferocious solar storms 4 billion years ago may have been key to warming the Earth and creating the right conditions for life to form on the planet, according to a new study by a team of NASA scientists. NASA's Kepler mission discovered young sun-like stars and found they released "superflares,"…

    Good Morning America
  • Police Officers Join Kids for Soccer Game After Complaint Calls

    A group of police officers who responded to complaint calls about kids playing in a parking lot started a pick-up game of soccer with the kids instead of kicking them off the lot. Birmingham, Alabama, police officer Jordan Burke told ABC News his department had received several complaints over a…

    Good Morning America
  • Middle School Band Brings End-of-Year Concert to Bandmate's Front Yard

    A middle school band brought its end-of-year concert to the home of its missing flutist, who was home recovering from a kidney transplant. Emily underwent a kidney transplant earlier this year and an extended hospital stay forced her to miss her band’s final concert of the year on May 12. “She…

    Good Morning America