Abandoned houses in remote locations

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by Horsefly, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran

    May 14, 2002
    While looking for remote real estate, I have encountered a couple of strange and interesting properties. One such place was a house that was originally built next door to an identical house by the same contractor probably 20 or 30 years ago. The first house was being lived in. The second house, which was about 200 feet away, was never completely finished. The garage door and the outside wooden deck were never installed. The entire front yard was covered in small sapplings about 2 inches in diameter. I looked at the place in 2005 after seeing it listed in a real estate magazine. I called the agent, got directions and drove out to see it. The house was only about a half mile off a major highway but was surrounded by uninhabited land, so it seemed more isolated. I simply drove up one afternoon, grabbed my flashlight, and cautiously walked into the house through the garage door opening. No locks, no gates,...nothing to keep anybody out. According to the realtor, the owners had moved out nearly 20 years earlier!!! I was wary of encountering some winos or crystal meth cookers who might have taken up residence. But since the other house was just a few hundred feet away, apparently bums and vandals had never attacked the place. Very spooky. A broken stairway bannister, a few holes in some sheet rock, and a thermostat ripped from the wall were the only signs of vandal mayhem. A few clothes hung eeriely in the closets. A 20 year old newspaper lay on the kitchen counter. A leak had started in the kitchen roof years earlier and had finally dripped down and rotted away one of the cabinets until it broke loose and crashed down onto the floor where it laid undisturbed. Otherwise, the entire house was a ghost ship. Overall, it wasn't in a very interesting area so I passed on the deal.

    A few months later, I was browsing another real estate site and looking at some pictures of some land for sale. In one corner of one of the pictures, I saw part of a brick wall. I called the agent and was told that there was an abandoned "earth berm" house on the property. That perked my interest so I went to have a look. After driving 65 miles and with fading summertime daylight, I drove up the mountainous driveway to the property. With 2 million candlepower lamp in hand, I started to examine the place. According to the realtor, the owners had moved out of state 15 years earlier to take care of sick relatives. The semi-underground house had been abandoned ever since. As in the first example, another house was a few hundred feet away, and this probably protected the underground house from vandals. The front yard of the house was covered with 2 inch diameter pine trees. The front door was swinging slightly open. Once again, I entered cautiously for fear of bums and crack heads. But all was quiet. The roof had been leaking badly through the years, but the kitchen stove and cabinets were still in place and all the mirrors and plumbing in the bathrooms were still intact. When I walked into one room I was shocked. It wasn't a room, was a garage!!! The garage doors on the front of the house had been SO overgrown with thick pine trees that I had not even noticed that the garage doors were there. They were completely hidden by the thick overgrowth of pine trees. The asking price for the house on 5 acres of land was only $15,000. But unfortunately, the property had originally been 10 acres, but 5 acres had been sold off to other owners who had built a conventional house next door. That house was not for sale and was surrounded by junk and trash. I had no desire to buy such a unique remote retreat, only to be so close to trashy next door neighbors.

    This prompted me to wonder: Let's say that back in the 50s or 60s, some rancher or estate owner out in the remote parts of Montana or South Dakota or other western states passed away and his children on other heirs already lived out of state. They had already established their active lives and had no desire or time to waste on cleaning up the old homestead. So they simply had their lawyers finalize the legalities by mail and then they owned the old homestead and merely mail off the property taxes each year. I wonder if there are any old homes on large pieces of remote property that have been abandoned for 30 or 40 years or more. Protected from vandals by their isolation, they simply waste away because nobody knows they exist except the relatives who don't really care.

    I have also seen an overgrown roadside motel of 1940s vintage that the owner supposedly abandoned and moved out of state. Through the years, it was heavily vandalized because it was right beside an active highway. But nature eventually took over the property, covering it with vines and trees.

    Does anybody have any similiar tales?
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  3. Devilsolsi

    Devilsolsi F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Mar 1, 2007
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    If anyone knows of interesting properties for sale for about nothing in MD please let me know...
  4. Rexcoltrain

    Rexcoltrain Formula Junior

    Nov 6, 2003
    Oahu, Hawaii
    There was a really cool website posted here a while back that had pages of houses like you describe. Some looked as if the owners had just left in the middle of the night and left everything. It was several years ago, and I can't seem to come up with it on google. I'll post a link if I can figure it out. Maybe someone else remembers?
  5. TexasF355F1

    TexasF355F1 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 2, 2004
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    Very cool stories.

    I'd love to see examples of these. It's strange people just up and leave never to return.
  6. M.James

    M.James F1 Rookie

    Jun 6, 2003
    Worcester, MA
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    In today's real estate situation, I would be very surprised if such land deals exist anymore. Greedy listing agents and land developers have seen to that....
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  8. wingfeather

    wingfeather F1 Rookie

    Feb 1, 2007
    rock bottom
    No similar experiences, but I'm always interested in abandoned buildings. I saw an ad for a remote Florida castle in disrepair, but they wanted way too much for it...
  9. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Jul 20, 2003
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    Dirty Harry
  10. WJHMH

    WJHMH Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Sep 5, 2001
    Panther City, Texas
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    Preferred Pronouns: Lord/Master
    I can recommend this site with some amazing photography, however it's all in Japanese but easily navigated. It really amazes me with land being to scarce & expensive in Japan, why are there so many abandoned buildings? (some even still completely furnished)
  11. Rexcoltrain

    Rexcoltrain Formula Junior

    Nov 6, 2003
    Oahu, Hawaii
    This one has been posted before, but still really cool for those who have not seen it. (Click on "begining")

    Still working on finding that site from New Jersey...hopefully it's not offline now.
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  13. XR4turbo

    XR4turbo Rookie

    Jul 11, 2006
    Full Name:
    Around where I live there is a school from the 50's, not very big, that has been abandoned for some time. It has been taken over by all these kind of satanic like cults, so its not very enjoyable to visit.(dead dogs and such inside) Not sure if its still around, but it was called "Emhouse," which is pretty creepy. I took some pictures of a friend of mines Yamaha R6 at a dilapidated country house (with barn and everything) but it is not isolated and is a fan of party folks and the like.
  14. Gershwin

    Gershwin F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 21, 2005
    fellas the auctioneers feed off what the agents can't sell.

    Most homes that are vacant I believe are fallout from divorce.

    And always remember entering someone else's property appearance of abandonment or otherwise is not inherently a good idea.
  15. Whisky

    Whisky F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 27, 2006
    Upper Great Plains aka Nebraska
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    The original Fernando
    That is a cool site, and well-worth the read.

    If anyone wants to read it, please do, but it's not short, give yourself plenty of time, maybe an hour +/- to digest it.
  16. mwarrior

    mwarrior Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 18, 2004
    Ontario and Texas
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    Gagan P
    THat was a good read. Although I wonder, with the places being abandoned and such, would the owners sell to somebody who is willing to restore them? A lot of them look like nice projects, and some are just nice regardless (Abandoned farm in Iceland for example). That and the roller coaster... where is that?
    Anyways, investing in an abandoned building/property? Could be well worth it depending on what you can pick it up for and the area. Its true that some are results of divorces, but definitely not all.

  17. noonblueapples

    noonblueapples Karting

    Dec 19, 2006
    Mid Coast Maine
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    Peter Parker
  18. 2NA

    2NA F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant Owner

    Dec 29, 2006
    Twin Cities
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    Tim Keseluk
    I remember discovering a half built home on an overgrown wooded lot near me about 10 years ago. It was probably about 3000 s.f. on several levels. The story I heard was that it was abandoned about 10 years previous because of divorce.

    I've driven by the area recently and it appears that new houses are on the site.
  19. Far Out

    Far Out F1 Veteran

    Feb 18, 2007
    Stuttgart, Germany
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    Great read, but I remember it somehow turned out fake in the end ... not the "girl riding alone through Chernobyl" story she tells
  20. Aedo

    Aedo F1 Rookie

    Feb 22, 2006
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    I heard that too - but am not sure if that was simply BS. The story is worth reading for the photos and locations (whether or not the details of the ride are true)
  21. Far Out

    Far Out F1 Veteran

    Feb 18, 2007
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Full Name:
    I remember there was something about her taking an 'ordinary' tour through there and posed in her motorcycle clothing here and there, don't know how common such tours are, but certainly a far less dangerous adventure than riding through Chernobyl on your own on a bike...

    Edit: This is what Wikipedia says:

    "However, Chernobyl tour guides and tourists to Chernobyl have claimed that Filatova visited the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone only as part of an organized tour.[2] Chernobyl tour guide Yuriy Tatarchuk recalls that Filatova "booked a tour, wore a leather biker jacket and posed for pictures." Her website appeared soon after."
  22. chamilton83

    chamilton83 Karting

    Jan 3, 2006
    Armpit of America
    Full Name:
    Cliff Hamilton
    Weird NJ?

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