Buy a Texas ghost town for $100,000

Owners of 10-acre Lobo, Texas, looking for right buyer who appreciates its history

A desert road in West Texas (Getty Images)
A desert road in West Texas (Getty Images)

More than 70 people descended on Lobo, Texas, recently for the opportunity to own a ghost town for $100,000.

Alexander Bardoff, who bought Lobo with a group of friends for $20,000 in 2001, is seeking a buyer for the ghost town, provided the buyer appreciates its history, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“It’s difficult for me to let go,” Bardorff told the outlet. “To some of the potential buyers, I say, ‘It’s like Lobo is my baby or our baby and we want to find new good parents.’”

Prospective buyers presented a wide range of ideas for Lobo’s future, including a kangaroo farm, a nudist colony, and an escape-room-style attraction where people escape from the town, not just a room.

Bardoff and two other buyers will make the decision of who the winning bidder will be, but Bardoff is the one who met potential buyers in person.

“Do you respect what I call the soul of Lobo?” Bardorff told the WSJ. “You can have a campground anywhere.”

Lobo’s history dates back to the mid-19th century, when it served as a stopover on the mail route from San Antonio to San Diego. Over time, the town grew, but after its last resident departed in 1991, Lobo remained empty until Bardorff and his friends transformed it into an artistic hub, hosting art installations, film festivals, and musical performances.

The town is composed of 10 acres and has an empty swimming pool as well as a motel, grocery store and post office, all of which are defunct, as well as vacant houses. 

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For many potential buyers, Lobo represents a unique opportunity to create an artistic community or some other unconventional venture. 

One musician envisions desert-inspired art and music as the town’s focus, while others contemplate building a super-powerful radio tower or establishing sustainable agriculture and rental properties. Lobo’s serene desert landscape has a transformative effect, prompting visitors to appreciate the slower pace of life and the opportunity to own a piece of history.

“Just being out here it kind of slows down time,” prospective buyer Andrea Alvarez told the outlet.

The deadline to bid on the town is June 24.

It’s not the only ghost town to have hit the market, but it is one of the least expensive.

There’s one in Arizona that comes complete with a refurbished general store that’s on sale for $1.1 million. A cannabis company recently received $2.5 million from an adult circus for its ghost town. 

And, more recently, a secretive company with the nondescript moniker Ecology Mountain Holdings bought a California ghost town for $22.5 million, SFGate reported. 

— Ted Glanzer

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