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Why settle for a house when you can have the whole town?

Given the state of Vancouver real-estate prices, some buyers may be willing to drive a few hours to Bradian, B.C. The properties are DIYers, though.

John Lovelace

For sale: a ghost town you could buy for about the price of a home in Vancouver.

Realtor John Lovelace is trying to sell a 20-hectare community called Bradian, built for a successful gold-mining operation about two hours from Whistler. It includes 22 single-family homes.

Asking price: $995,000.

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Media reports in the last week have fuelled 30 calls from as far away as Australia as prospective buyers inquire about the town, vacated in the 1970s when mining petered out after about 40 years.

Mr. Loveless said would-be customers include developers looking to refurbish the town to sell or rent homes, as well as clubs and religious institutions looking for their own space.

There are also families and individuals looking to buy the property as a vacation prospect or family project. "Instead of buying a cottage, they would buy their own town in a valley."

His clients are a Vancouver couple, who bought the town in 1997 to rehabilitate it and use it as a getaway property. However, their kids are grown so they have decided to move on.

Mr. Loveless says the town and its setting combine to be especially alluring – "It's a little Shangri-La in the Mountains" – but the downside is, any buyer would face a lot of work upgrading the property and its fixtures.

"You'd have to, pretty much, do everything," Mr. Loveless said. "The buildings are there, the frames are there. They have got new roofs. They have been repainted, some of them."

But he said the infrastructure, such as plumbing and electricity, dates back to the 1930s when it was installed.

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He said any customer would have to spend more money to deal with these issues than buy the town.

Still, he said he expects to sell the community. Some prospective buyers are doing due diligence to figure out what it would take to upgrade the community.

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About the Author
B.C. reporter

Ian Bailey is a Vancouver-based reporter for The Globe and Mail.  He covers politics and general news. Prior to arriving at The Globe and Mail, he reported from Toronto and St. John’s for The Canadian Press.  He has also covered British Columbia for CP, The National Post and The Province. More

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