Why buy a house when you can buy a town?

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Wauconda, a small town in eastern Washington, US, was recently sold on eBay. The town, located in the Okanogan National Forest on the sunny side of Washington, was established in 1898 during a gold rush and has been in business ever since. Now one lucky buyer has got it all – the zipcode, gas station, bar and grill restaurant, four-bedroom ranch and 100-year-old log cabin that’s been converted into a workshop. There’s even gold in the backyard creek.

It’s not the first time Wauconda has been up for sale. The single owner was ready to retire in 2008 after spending $100,000 remodelling the town. With a previous price tag of US$1.1m, it was sold in April for just US$370,601. The owner emphasises that it’s not a distressed or foreclosed property; in fact, businesses in the town are leasing for almost $3,000 per month. With great frontage and visibility on a busy state highway just a few hours from Whistler in Canada, Wauconda was listed as “the perfect place to raise a family and work from home”.

But if you thought sales like this were one in a million, unusual properties are actually more common than you may think.

In January this year, New Yorks “skinniest” house sold for US$2.1m. The Greenwich Village property is just 2.9 metres wide and 9.1 metres deep, and was built in the space of a carriage entrance in 1873 during a smallpox epidemic. Last year, an 8,250 square foot Gothic castle, complete with turrets and spires, sold in Harlem for the discounted price of US$1.5m. And if you’re wondering where to find the most expensive house, look no further than Mumbai, India, where a 173 metre tall mansion is the first home in the world that exceeds $1bn.

If a unique property appeals to you, you can grab your own slice of history in Newtown, Sydney, where a two-level Victorian terrace that was the scene of a bloody battle between police and union squatters will go up for auction on June 2, 2010.

 

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