Posts Tagged ‘Loon Mountain Real Estate’

Houses for much less than you’d expect

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

We found cheap houses for sale all over the country. My wife and I were on a seven-week drive around the country. It was a vacation, but we looked at houses too, and bought one in a great little town in the mountains of western Anaconda . It cost $17,500, and after $2000 to fix it up, we lived there for several months before selling it for $28,000.

We loved Anaconda. Where else can you fly fish, go to a three-dollar movie  in a beautiful old art-deco theatre (the 5th most beautiful in the country, according to the Smithsonian), eat at a fine restaurant, stop by the bar for a dollar beer, and buy a house for  under $30,000 – all within a four block area! There are good schools and churches, a library with fast internet service, and wildlife (including bears) a few hundred yards from downtown.

Why Are There Cheap Houses For Sale?

Unlike Loon Mountain Real Estate, there are cheap houses in Anaconda, and nearby Butte because there aren’t many good jobs. I easily found jobs in Anaconda – but not good ones. This explains why people left the area in the 80’s, after the mines and smelters closed. 

Thirteen percent of the “housing units” in Anaconda are vacant, according to the 2000 U.S. census. This has driven down the home prices dramatically. Since it still has all the basic amenities, is cleaner now, and is slowly recovering, it’s a great place to retire to or to move to if you have an internet or other non-location-based business. 

A poor local economy is the reason you can buy cheap houses in many parts of the country. These are towns that have seen troubled times, but are often recovering, sometimes with good reasons. Anaconda, for example, now has, in addition to it’s beautiful mountain scenery, a ski resort and a Jack Nicholas golf course. Houses cost four times as much an hour in any direction, and those prices are bound to reach Anaconda eventually.  The Loon Mountain Real Estate market is in a much healthier place.

Cheap Houses You Don’t Want To Buy

There are towns like the one in South Dakota where we stopped for lunch one day. A bulletin board had ads for cheap houses for sale by desperate people trying not to be the last to leave town. There was a photo of a beautiful old five-bedroom farmhouse for $11,000. As we ate, we looked up the deserted street and noticed that most of the buildings were boarded-up. This was a dying town, with nothing to help revive it. A free house wouldn’t be a good enough reason to move here.