Looking for a fixer upper? Faro's abandoned homes are on the market but it's 'buyer beware'

The Town of Faro is ready to sell the abandoned buildings scattered throughout the community.

Mayor says some of them are in 'remarkably good shape'... and some of them aren't

This house could be yours in August, should you bid on it. (Ian Dunlop/Town of Faro)

The Town of Faro is selling the abandoned buildings scattered throughout the community.

Twenty-seven of the town's 37 abandoned properties are now on the market. Council is considering using a sealed bid process to sell the rest. 

The buildings have been empty since the Faro mine closed, in 1997. They range from single family homes to row houses, duplexes and triplexes — totalling 170 housing units.

For years, mayor and council  have been trying to figure out what to do with the houses, which have become an eyesore. 

Last year, Faro acquired 37 properties through a tax lien and earlier this year, council approved the sale of 27 of them. 

Some of the houses are in better shape than others, but all have the design look of the '70s or '80s. (Ian Dunlop/Town of Faro)

The price for the properties is based on how much property tax was owed when the town took them over. Bidding for the remaining ten, should council vote to follow that process, would start at the value of the land. 

'We are the only community in the Yukon right now that actually has surplus housing,' says Faro mayor Jack Bowers. (Submitted by Jack Bowers)

Jack Bowers, mayor of Faro, says there are some really good deals to be found.

"Some of them are in remarkably good shape," he says. "Some of them look like the family just moved out a few days ago. There's actually still furniture left, with groceries on the counter and in the cupboards."

"And, of course, some of them are not nearly as good. Some of them have bad foundations or leaky roofs."

The town says the homes are being sold on an "as-is, where is, buyer beware" basis.

A hazardous materials reports shows the houses contain some asbestos, mainly in the drywall and flooring. 

Only community with surplus housing

The town created an extra incentive for buying the properties. 

Bowers says buyers who renovate or demolish the property for a future use within three years will be refunded half the purchase price of the house. 

He says the town hopes to attract another 100 people to live in the community from the sale of housing. 400 people call Faro home, currently.

"We are the only community in the Yukon right now that actually has surplus housing and we would like to see that as a positive thing," says Bowers.

Abandoned housing in Faro ranges from single family homes to row houses, duplexes and triplexes. (Ian Dunlop/Town of Faro)

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.