Canadian town for sale at £550,000: is it worth it?

Would you buy Canadian Ghost town for £550k?

Canadian ghost town for sale

With a budget of £550,000 you'd be lucky to get a two-bedroom flat in Balham. However, if proximity to central London is not an issue, then you could think bigger - much bigger - because for a few quid more you could help yourself to an entire Canadian town.

Bradian covers 50 acres, about four hours from Vancouver and two hours from Whistler. It sprang up in the 1930s when the gold rush brought people from all over the world.

However, with the fall in the price of gold in 1971, the mine shut and the miners moved on. According to Pique Magazine, it was snapped up in the 1970s by developers, who planned to turn it into a retirement community. However, with the recession in the early 1980s, they were forced to abandon their plans. Over the next decade or so it fell into decline.

In 1997, RT news says it was bought Tom and Katherine Gutenberg from Vancouver, who restored the remaining 22 buildings, and have been using it as a summer holiday spot for their family for 17 years. However, in 2010 when their kids left home, they decided to put it on the market for just over £715,000.

The downside

Unfortunately, despite all sorts of people showing interest in turning it into everything from a historical site to a snowmobile resort, it hasn't sold, and now the price has been cut dramatically.

This could have something to do with the fact that as tourist destinations go it has one serious drawback. It may only be two hours from Whistler, but for nine months of the year the route is blocked by snow and the alternative approach takes four hours - something most tourists wouldn't contemplate.

Fox News adds that there's an enormous amount of work that needs to be put into the buildings and the infrastructure. So the new buyers would need very deep pockets, with absolutely no certainty that they'll get a return on their investment.

Towns for sale

If you fancy buying a town of your own, the good news is that you don't have to go all the way to Canada to snap up a bargain hamlet. In July we reported on the Italian village on eBay for just £194,000. Borgata Calsazio in the Italian Alps offered 14 houses at the foot of the Gran Paradiso National Park not far from Turin. Unfortunately any buyer would need to do extensive work to get any of the houses up to living standard.

Alternatively, as we reported in March you could take your pick from any one of around 3,000 villages in Spain which have been left abandoned - on sale for as little as £50,000. One village was even being given away for free - to anyone who was willing to invest in it and restore life to the village.

But what do you think? Does the idea of owning your own town appeal, or would you prefer that two-bed in Balham?

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