Source AP ©

Italian buyer acquires unpopulated and one-house town in Texas

An unknown Italian purchased a 13-acre (5-hectare) unpopulated and one-house town in Texas for $3.8 million (2.57 million EUR).

But before Bobby Cave, who currently owns the town of Albert, signs the deed over, he must first figure out if the winning bid is legitimate. Cave said that unlike the usual items bought through eBay, there are no contractual obligations when it comes to real estate.

"It all turned out great," said Cave, 47, an Austin, Texas, real estate agent. "There's just not any way to insist that a guy from Italy write me a check for three million."

If the deal goes through, the winning buyer will inherit an icehouse created from the frame of the old general store, a pavilion, an 85-year-old dance hall, a tractor shed and a three-bedroom house. All of that, plus peach and pecan orchards, come with the land.

The reserve price for the town was $2.5 million (1.69 million EUR). Even if the deal does not go through, Cave said he has about five other prospective buyers genuinely interested in the town.

Bridgeville, in northern California, was the first town ever put on the eBay auction block. The 83 acres (34 hectares) were twice sold on the site, in 2002 (that deal fell through) and again last year.

Albert is about 60 miles (96 kilometers) north of San Antonio.

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