Entire California Town on Sale for $6.6M

By: Beth Moreton | Published: May 23, 2024

Most people are lucky if they can buy a house in a neighborhood that they genuinely love. However, a rare opportunity has come up for one lucky buyer to purchase an entire California town for $6.6 million.

The owner will be able to do whatever they want with the town. However, there is a slight catch: It requires a lot of work to benefit the current inhabitants and make it more appealing to tourists while keeping true to itself.

Why People Are Leaving California

One issue that may be found with whoever decides to buy this California town is that people choose to leave California for several reasons.

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A green sign that says, “Now leaving California. Welcome to America.”

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Issues such as a high cost of living, high house prices, high taxes and a lack of employment opportunities are why people are choosing to leave the Golden State for more affordable states and better opportunities. 

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The California Housing Market Is at an All Time Low

A reason why an entire California town is on sale for just $6.6 million is because the California housing market is currently at an all-time low, which has seen many houses being reduced in price by as much as 40%.

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A blue neon arrow pointing downward.

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Even the price reductions still aren’t encouraging people to buy houses in the state, causing real estate agents to go out of business. Even with these reductions, the California housing market is still at an all time high, putting people off from settling down. 

California Town Near San Diego

The California town, known as Campo, is 50 miles southeast of San Diego and is just a mile from the Mexican border. It has quite a Wild West feel to it, with abandoned buildings, old dirt tracks and wooden cabins.

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A brown-paneled building with a white sign that says “Campo.”

Source: Eric Bekins/Wikimedia Commons

This might seem like the perfect location for some as it is close enough to the city where people can commute to work. However, it doesn’t come with city prices and is in a quieter area where people can relax after work or possibly retire. 

Campo Has Some Interested Buyers

Campo has been for sale since 2019 and was initially listed for $5.5 million. However, that price has now gone up, and five years on, some people are still interested in it.

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A white and blue sold sign outside a red brick house.

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It’s not just ordinary people who are interested in it either. Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk, who previously appeared on “The Masked Singer,” has shown some interest. But as of May 2024, no one has officially bought it. 

What Is on Offer at Campo

For $6.6 million, a lot would have to be included to attract the right buyer. Luckily, for whoever decides to buy Campo, plenty of land and buildings are available.

A painting of an old building with some trees in Campo, California.

Source: The American News Company/Wikimedia Commons

This includes 28 buildings, former Army barracks turned into apartments and single-family homes, and commercial properties. The sale price has increased since 2019 due to the amount of rent costs increasing

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$71 per Square Foot

Now, the town has around 100 residents who rent their homes from the current owner. At just $71 per square foot and spanning 92,000 square feet of building property and 16 acres of land, the owner hopes the price of $6.6 million will be attractive to the right buyer. 

A view of the Laguna Mountains that can be seen from Campo, California.

Source: Adbar/Wikimedia Commons

The area is surrounded by the Laguna Mountains, which provide a beautiful view for residents to wake up to each morning. A further 3,000 residents live in the surrounding area, but this isn’t part of the listing. 

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A Las Vegas Investor Has Owned Campo Since the 2000s

Las Vegas investor John Ray has owned Campo since the early 2000s. He is very keen to sell the area, so he is open to any and all offers and has even come up with a few offers himself.

A view of the road that goes through Campo. Two buildings are on either side of the road, with cars parked outside them.

Source: @thedesidiaries/Instagram

Ray is selling the town because he no longer wants to be a landlord with all the work that comes with it, including finding and hiring contractors to carry out work. He is even willing to offer financing to anyone willing to put just 50% down. 

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Campo Was Established During World War II

Campo has some history, as it was established during the World War II. Prior to that, buffalo soldiers had been housed there. 

A black and white photo of buffalo soldiers.

Source: Chr. Barthelmess/Wikimedia Commons

It has a history of a non-Native American settlement in the 1860s, but World War II was when the structures started being built. It also housed German and Italian prisoners of war.

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Locals Want the Town to Be Preserved and Rejuvenated

As there are 100 residents currently living in Campo, they have all had their say on what they would like to happen to the town when the new buyer owns it.

A view of the Espinosa trail around the Laguna Mountains in Campo, California.

Source: @michael_berrier/Instagram

While many want to see the town rejuvenated, they also want its history and tranquility preserved. This makes Campo attractive to them, as they have peace and quiet and are just a short drive from San Diego. 

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Vacant Structures Will Give the Buyer Freedom

Alongside the buildings that are currently lived in and used for other purposes, there are a few other vacant structures that the buyer will have the freedom to use as they please.

A railway line with some abandoned trains and sheds. People are walking down the railway line.

Source: @metalsnake.photography/Instagram

As the residents want to see some changes to Campo, the buyer could use these properties to build new homes, use them for commercial purposes, or knock them down and use the land in that area for other purposes. 

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A Buyer With a Vision

The right buyer will likely have to have some creative bones in their body, as while Campo is already somewhat established, it does need a lot of work.

A view of the mountains near Campo, California.

Source: @zsummerton/Instagram

With the right creative mindset, the town could be transformed into something that is a shadow of how it currently looks while still paying homage to its history and respecting its current residents’ wants, needs and views. 

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