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Oh, that? It's just razor wire

True, real estate hasn't been selling well in many parts of the US. So this wouldn't seem to be the time to put a roomy Victorian on the market, even at the relatively modest asking price of $200,000. Especially when it's in Skowhegan, Maine, which is, shall we say, somewhat off the beaten track and where winter temperatures in the low single digits aren't unusual and annual snowfall is far above the national average. Yet such a property is, indeed, up for sale, and, according to the latest reports, two prospective buyers already have expressed interest.

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Now, perhaps they're attracted by the fact that the place is historic – it was built in 1897 – and is unencumbered by any zoning restrictions. What's more, it has a spacious dining room, and – perhaps most impressively – a solid security system. Realtors always strive to make their listings appear as close to irresistible as possible, and in this case ERA Dawson-Bradford Co. says the property offers "unlimited potential" even though it needs work to come up to code in certain areas. If all this appeals to you, sorry, it isn't available just yet. That won't happen until sometime this summer when the current residents move to their new quarters with its 200 beds in suburban Madison. Two hundred beds? What is it, an apartment building ... or perhaps a hospital? Ah, no, it's the Somerset County Jail.

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