Seeking Ideas: What my nephew should do with the 1.17-acre lot in West Texas he bought on eBay for $450

Christmas Eve surprise!
My nephew is a very smart, always responsible young man: Eagle Scout, valedictorian at his East Bay suburban high school, graduate of top California university, respected government employee and rising artist in the San Francisco art scene.

He announced, with mischievous glee, that he and his partner had just bought their piece of the American dream: land. And they bought in that great American state of Texas. And in a location that would make Sarah Palin proud: just outside a very small town. You know, a small town in West Texas: where real Americans live. The town, west of Lubbock, only has about 120 people, and it’s close to the New Mexico border. My nephew and his partner paid $450 for it, which includes all the fees for eBay processing, title transfer and so on.

Just, $450 to buy a piece of the American Dream. That’s still a lot cheaper than the $200,000 or so you’d have to pay for a foreclosure home in parts of Oakland, Richmond, east Contra Costa, or the Central Valley.

I don’t have the actual picture of my nephew’s new purchase, but here is a photo of another piece of property for sale in the same area, so you can get an idea of the flat, scrubby terrain. It is in Cochran County, which is said to have an arid climate and mild temperatures. My nephew’s land has no electricity, and no water and sewage hook up. I checked on eBay (yesterday, Christmas Day) and there were several other properties in the same “subdivision” that were being auctioned off. One was an acre lot starting at $105. When I checked this morning, just after I woke up at about 5:30 a.m., all those properties were gone. Maybe there is something about this section of West Texas that is highly desirable and that people are snapping up as “investment opportunities.” Or for other more nefarious purposes.

No one could pin my nephew down on exactly why they bought the property, but he was open to suggestions for how they should develop it.

The obvious thing would be to put a trailer on it, dig a well for water, stock it with a few head of cattle, and start a ranch. But my nephew is an artist, so is therefore a creative, outside-the-box thinking guy. Who knows, maybe the purchase was an artistic statement.

But if anyone else has any ideas, chime in.

11 thoughts on “Seeking Ideas: What my nephew should do with the 1.17-acre lot in West Texas he bought on eBay for $450

  1. Hook up with some supposed Indian tribe that will say that it is their tribal lands and start a casino. Don’t know if Texas allows Indian gaming, but its Texas. Anything goes,right?


  2. I hope the comment about “homosexuals” wasn’t meant to be derogatory. Anyway, if their land is close to New Mexico, are they close to Roswell? Maybe they could invite the government to set up a top-secret classified facility for doing alien autopsies!


  3. I can’t afford to buy a house, or even a room in California. Maybe it’s time I thought about West Texas. A new colony for all us Bay Area-ites, fleeing earthquakes and still too-high home prices.


  4. They could lease their land to the US government to set up a detention facility. Not for detainees from our noble war on terror, but for Bush administration officials forced to face war crimes tribunals. And that would include Bush, who wouldn’t have to travel too far from his new posh digs in Dallas, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and other assorted characters. Lock em up. Don’t let them see lawyers for a couple years. Don’t give them arraignments. Don’t let them see their families or even the Red Cross. Hey, that’s their version of good old American justice.


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