Here's How You Can Buy a Small Town

NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Investing in stocks and bonds is chicken feed compared to the newest rage – investing in your own small town.

That’s the idea behind an auction to buy a Wyoming town with its own trading post, wireless tower and main street.

Billed as the “Nation’s Smallest Town,” Buford, Wyo., is now on the auction block for April 5. The hope among the town’s principal owner – and sole resident – is that a buyer will show up and buy Buford, lock, stock and barrel.

According to a "buyer’s list" given to MainStreet, the town be small in stature, but is large in amenities, once you get your arms around the idea that you’re buying an entire town out West.

Here’s a look at what the winning auction bidder gets when he or she “buys” Buford:

  • The Buford Trading post, an income-producing convenience and fuel store.
  • United States Postal Office boxes and a Union Wireless cellular tower with lease (also income-producing).
  • Five buildings including a three-bedroom home, a 1905 school house (used as an office), a garage and a 1900s cabin (used as a tool shed).
  • Approximately 10 acres of land.
  • A parking area previously used by an overnight shipping company for nighttime trailer switches.

The town has a rich history, too. Buford is located about halfway between Laramie and Cheyenne, and was built purposely to house families during the construction of the trans-continental railroad in the mid-1860s. There are two state parks near Buford and a national forest only 12 miles away. Tourists tend to flow through the town at a rate of 1,000 per day during the summer season, the town’s website says.

With any real estate deal, however, there are downsides. For one, the closest business is 25 miles away from Buford. The town is also located 8,000 feet above sea level (the highest level for any town on U.S. I-80, which rolls from San Francisco to Teaneck, N.J.).