Christmas Eve surprise!
My nephew is a very smart, always responsible young man: Eagle Scout, valedictorian at his East Bay suburban high school, graduate of top California university, respected government employee and rising artist in the San Francisco art scene.
He announced, with mischievous glee, that he and his partner had just bought their piece of the American dream: land. And they bought in that great American state of Texas. And in a location that would make Sarah Palin proud: just outside a very small town. You know, a small town in West Texas: where real Americans live. The town, west of Lubbock, only has about 120 people, and it’s close to the New Mexico border. My nephew and his partner paid $450 for it, which includes all the fees for eBay processing, title transfer and so on.
Just, $450 to buy a piece of the American Dream. That’s still a lot cheaper than the $200,000 or so you’d have to pay for a foreclosure home in parts of Oakland, Richmond, east Contra Costa, or the Central Valley.
I don’t have the actual picture of my nephew’s new purchase, but here is a photo of another piece of property for sale in the same area, so you can get an idea of the flat, scrubby terrain. It is in Cochran County, which is said to have an arid climate and mild temperatures. My nephew’s land has no electricity, and no water and sewage hook up. I checked on eBay (yesterday, Christmas Day) and there were several other properties in the same “subdivision” that were being auctioned off. One was an acre lot starting at $105. When I checked this morning, just after I woke up at about 5:30 a.m., all those properties were gone. Maybe there is something about this section of West Texas that is highly desirable and that people are snapping up as “investment opportunities.” Or for other more nefarious purposes.
No one could pin my nephew down on exactly why they bought the property, but he was open to suggestions for how they should develop it.
The obvious thing would be to put a trailer on it, dig a well for water, stock it with a few head of cattle, and start a ranch. But my nephew is an artist, so is therefore a creative, outside-the-box thinking guy. Who knows, maybe the purchase was an artistic statement.
But if anyone else has any ideas, chime in.