The don’t give it away for nothing

Posted: October 6, 2009 by datechguy in oddities
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You would think that particularly in this economy the prospect of free land would motivate people, apparently not:

The town of Anderson – population 300 – is foreclosing on 18 of 26 large, spruce-covered lots it gave away because the new owners did not develop them as required.

“It sounded good in theory. Oh yeah, free land. But the reality is it costs a lot of money to build up here,” said Eric Warner, one of the few to build a home, on Monday.

Hey how hard could it have been?

The March 2007 giveaway prompted thousands of calls from around the world. By the day of the land grab, 44 waited in line. Many camped out in weather as cold as minus-25 for a shot at the 1.3-acre lots, which went to the first 26 people to claim them and put down nonrefundable $500 deposits.

Under the rules, winning applicants were supposed to build a house measuring at least 1,000 square feet within two years.

Many of the winners, however, never came back or communicated with the town, even to respond to formal letters asking what their intentions were, City Clerk Darla Coghill said. She still hears daily from others interested in getting some free land, but she tells them Anderson is out of that business these days.

She thinks most outsiders couldn’t cut living in a place where the nearest gasoline and groceries are a 20-mile drive away.

As the grandson of people who came thousands of miles across the ocean to settle in a strange land I really don’t get this. I guess this is just one more thing Americans won’t do.

I’ll wager if they made the offer to immigrants having a chance to come over the majority of them would have managed.

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