Brian Brady has a great post discussing the value of purchasing property that is being pitched on TV.
Years ago a real estate development company marketed "Colorado Ranchettes" to the people of Chicago.
I knew because every so often I would get a call from a "ranchette owner" who wanted me to sell it or value it. On several occasions they would provide me with the original marketing materials that had promoted them to purchase this property. The brochures depicted wonderful Colorado settings taken against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.
Ironically, the photos told the story, but not all of it. The ranchettes were located in a place called Southpark, by Hartsell, Colorado. Southpark is surrounded on all sides by mountains and protected by the Pike National Forest. Southpark itself is flat, it has no trees. To visualize what it looks like, think high plains desert. At one time a few million years ago, Southpark was the bottom of a lake. It is at an altitude of 8000 feet. The climate is best described by an experience I had.
One summer I was driving to meet my family in Breckenridge. There was a cloud on the road, I drove through it, immediately losing visibility. When I exited the cloud my car had 3 inches of snow on it. Yes, this is summer in Southpark!
The road going through Southpark forks to the southwest or northwest. It doesn't matter which way you go, it's 40 miles across. Boring, flat, windy 40 miles. The only antidote is to drive faster.
Many Chicagoland folks purchased land here. I know the developers had good intentions, because once I went ballooning over the area. From high above I could see the roads cut through the subdivision. This man-made feature is not as noticeable from the ground, as there are only a few houses in the area.
So did the landowners make a killing? Depends on how long they live.
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