Photo (cc) by Ian Muttoo
If you’re in the market for a unique piece of real estate and you love a good bargain, look no further than Swett, South Dakota.
The tiny six-acre prairie town is for sale for $250,000. That’s quite the bargain. You can own an entire town, complete with its own watering hole, for just a bit more than the median home price in the United States.
But Swett isn’t just any town. According to its real estate listing, Swett is an honest-to-goodness ghost town located about two hours southeast of Rapid City, near the Nebraska border. Included in the $250,000 sale — in addition to “I own my own town” bragging rights — is the rustic Swett Tavern (now closed), a big garage and a house that’s rumored to be haunted.
The town first went on the market about 16 months ago with a $399,000 asking price, the Rapid City Journal reported in 2014. Despite generating international media attention and several purchase offers, the town didn’t sell.
Now Swett is on the market again, but this time with a significantly reduced asking price of $250,000. According to a recent Journal article, the town has been spruced up a bit since its initial 2014 listing. Three decaying mobile homes and an old transport truck were removed.
“They even installed shiny new town signs for Swett,” the town’s listing agent, Stacie Montgomery, told the Journal. “The old ones had bullet holes in them.”
Montgomery said she’s fielded hundreds of calls and emails from prospective buyers since the town was first listed.
“Some of the types of individuals who have been interested in the past included people who wanted to be their own mayor, people who wanted to live off-grid, several production companies thinking about reality shows, hunters who wanted to create a hunting lodge, or somebody who wants to own a bar,” Montgomery told the Journal.
The town of Swett is not the only town to hang up a “For Sale” sign. Aladdin, Wyoming, and the deserted Connecticut town of Johnsonville both hit the real estate market last year, but their asking prices were much higher, CNN Money reports. Aladdin was listed for $1.5 million, and the ghost town in Connecticut was auctioned off with a starting bid of $800,000.
Scenic, South Dakota, an abandoned 12-acre township not far from Swett, sold for $799,000 in 2011 to a Philippines-based church called Iglesia ni Cristo, according to the Journal.
Nearly 40 people called Swett home in the 1940s, when the town had a grocery store, post office, tavern and a handful of houses. But its population dwindled as inhabitants moved to more urban areas, the Journal reports.
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