11 Tiny Towns You Can Buy—Yes, Really

Aside from being elected mayor, there's one other little-known way to get to run a town: Buy it. Think it's impossible? The “For Sale” signs on a number of great American municipalities prove otherwise. Just take a gander at these 11 entire towns you can buy and find out just how deep your pockets need to be to claim one of them for yourself.

  1. Johnsonville, Connecticut

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    Johnsonville ct

    commons.wikimedia.org via John Phelan

    Founded in 1802, this former mill town and tourist hot spot was all but abandoned by the mid-1990s. In a bid to rescue the peaceful community and reopen its shuttered buildings, an independent church acquired the ghost town this past July for roughly $1.9 million.


    Related: The Best Tiny Towns in Every State

  2. Cal-Nev-Ari, Nevada

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    Cal nev ari

    commons.wikimedia.org via Stan Shebs

    You might need your reading glasses to find this 2.3-square-mile desert hamlet on a map of Nevada. But the tiny town––which is home to a casino, airstrip, and classic diner–– has been up for grabs since 2016 for $8 million.


    Related: 10 U.S. Towns That Are Older Than America

  3. Tiller, Oregon

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    Tiller or

    flickr.com via Thomas Kriese

    Tiller, Oregon, has easy access to a national forest, stunning views of the South Umpqua River, and a larger-than-life view of the Cascade Range. The natural treasures of this abandoned 256-acre Pacific Northwest haunt can be yours for a mere $3.85 million.


    Related: The 20 Best Mountain Towns in America

  4. Hell, Michigan

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    Hell mi

    commons.wikimedia.org via Sswonk

    Don't be fooled by the name. Hell, Michigan, is a veritable paradise that hosts 66 miles of hiking trails, fishing-friendly Hiland Lake, and an annual "Blessing of the Bikes" event. The peculiarly named town comes with a price tag of $900,000.


    Related: The 22 Weirdest Town Names Ever Put on the Map

  5. Pray, Montana

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    Pray mt

    flickr.com via Mark Smith

    You'll need more than a prayer to nab the rights to this tiny town north of Yellowstone National Park. The five-acre community encompasses a mobile home park, a general store, and an office building––and it’s on the market for $1.4 million.


    Related: 18 Small Towns with Strange Claims to Fame

  6. Henry River Mill Village, North Carolina

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    flickr.com via Steve Goodwin

    If the eerily quiet, tree-lined streets of this Carolina town look familiar, it's because the formerly abandoned community served as the location of Katniss Everdeen's home in "The Hunger Games" film franchise. But fame comes at a cost—specifically $1.4 million, the 72-acre town's current asking price.


    Related: 7 Fictional Towns You Can Visit in Real Life

  7. Toomsboro, Georgia

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    Toomsboro

    flickr.com via C Smith

    Founded in the 18th century, this postcard-worthy former railway town boasts a historic inn, a syrup mill, and a railroad depot. But there's no need to pick up a postcard to preserve your memory of the idyllic municipality with 700 inhabitants; you can buy it outright from the developer, who put it up for sale in 2012.


    Related: 18 American Towns Every Old-House Lover Needs to See

  8. Garryowen, Montana

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    Garryowen

    flickr.com via erik shin

    Attention history buffs! You can stake your claim on the same turf where Colonel George Armstrong Custer unsuccessfully made his last stand against the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes. Garryowen, Montana, the site of the Sioux War's Battle of Little Bighorn, can be yours for just $250,000.


    Related: The Most Famous Houses in Every State

  9. Scenic, South Dakota

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    Scenic sd

    flickr.com via orientalizing

    Named after its spectacular setting in the center of Badlands National Park, Scenic fell into disrepair in the 21st century before it was finally put up for sale in 2011 for $799,000. The 12-acre town still bears intriguing vestiges of decades past, including an old saloon, a dance hall, and cowboy barracks.


    Related: Endless Acres: 14 of the Biggest Properties in America

  10. Buford, Wyoming

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    Buford wy

    flickr.com via Jimmy Emerson, DVM

    Paying a visit to this all-but-forgotten town north of the Rockies will double its population. If you want to make the town's gas station and town hall your own and provide permanent company for the area's sole resident, consider making an inquiry with the current owner, who purchased the town for $900,000 in 2012.


    Related: 9 Towns That'll Pay You to Move There

  11. Swett, South Dakota

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    Swett

    Stacie Montgomery/Keller Williams Realty Black Hills

    The only home standing on this six-acre town on the southern border of South Dakota is said to be haunted. But if you find ghost tales thrilling, you can pick up the title to the land for a mere $250,000.


    Related: The Secret Histories of 15 Grand Old American Mansions

  12. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!