Thursday, March 31, 2016

In Which We Act Like Future People and See What Would Have Happened if You Had Bought Property from a Comic Book Ad 50 Years Ago

So I was plodding through the rather dry Tales to Astonish when I came upon this ad in issue #91:

The notion of buying a half-acre of land for $299 even 50 years ago was pretty cheap, so I thought I'd do a little follow-up and see what history now tells us would have become of a hopeful real estate tycoon who purchased land in Deming Ranchettes.

Well, it appears that not much has happened.  If you live in Deming Ranchettes, this is what a quick search on the Google tells me you will experience today:

 30 minutes. east/southeast of Deming, New Mexico. 
Homes & Mobile Homes Allowed in Deming Ranchettes.
Horses O.K.
Lots of room to Ride, Hike, Golf or just enjoy the fresh air.
Spacious skies, mountain views.
Breathtaking Sunrises & Sunsets.

Close to Rockhound State Park, Elephant Butte Lake & Old Mexico.
Nice place to camp, vacation or build a home.
O.K. to park your R.V, Build your Dream Home & Mobile Homes O.K.  
Water will need to be hauled or a Well would have to be Drilled.
Well's & Septic's are normal for the area.
Power can be by Solar, Wind or Generator,
Electric was 2 miles away, NOW only .64 miles away on San Pablo Road

and you can get it for less than two thousand bucks!

It's rather telling that the seller has never even seen the lot he's selling.  The story I'm gathering is that the landowner divided up the property and sold it off via magazine ads, and many of the property owners today inherited the property from people who thought there was no way they could lose by buying a piece of property for $299.

As I understand it, it's pretty remote by any definition.  You have a Wal-Mart and a Kmart within a reasonable drive, but anything else takes at least an hour and you're looking at a two hour drive to get to the nearest commercial airport.  The City of Deming has about 15,000 people, which is a higher population than some towns I was unfortunate enough to find myself living briefly over the course of my life.  But I note that the official City of Deming website has links to videos for "industry and growth," "retail opportunities" and "retiring in Deming" that are dead links, so that probably tells you something about what you're in for even if you move to the bigger city.

So, I would say that "lots of room" means you're basically marooning yourself if you go there.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but Yours Truly likes his creature comforts, so I will remain firmly on the grid.  It was interesting to have the advantage of looking back on how things ended up, though.

See you tomorrow!

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