Looking for a fixer upper? Faro's abandoned homes are on the market but it's 'buyer beware'
Mayor says some of them are in 'remarkably good shape'... and some of them aren't
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.
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.
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.