As selling houses gets to be more and more of a challenge, owners and agents are turning to more creative means of marketing property. One strategy that crops up whenever the market turns is a house raffle. Lotteries have been successful for centuries, drawing participants in with dreams of a low investment and a huge payoff. House raffles are no different. Most sell tickets for $50-$150 and offer chances of winning in the range of 1 in a few tens of thousands. Better chances than the state lottery, and a win obviously means not having to deal with banks & mortgages to get into a house.
Just a Few Days Left …
In Edgewater, Maryland (not far from Annapolis), the 1840 Alexander Randall House, a newly renovated log home, could be yours for just $50. The home served for many years as the caretakers house for the Church Creek-Gingerville Cove Farm. The log home comes along with an enormous 4400 sq. ft. 3-floor addition. A total of 6000 Sq. ft., 6 bedrooms, 2 kitchens, and 4 1/2 baths. The deadline on ticket sales is Wednesday, January 21, and the chances are likely to be about 1 in 27,000. The value on the house is advertised as over a million dollars. Visit Fifty Dollar House to buy tickets online and check out the virtual tour.
A house raffle can be a great alternative to a traditional sale when the market just isn’t cooperating, but it’s a lot of work to put together. Raffles may or may not be legal depending on what state you live in. Some states require the raffle actually be conducted on behalf of a non-profit organization. Some limit the take on any raffle to the assessed value of the house. Some states, like New York, prohibit them in any form. If you’re thinking about a raffle, nothing can replace advice from a good attorney, but you might also want to check out this site for a set of links to state raffle regulations.
There are several house raffles out there online now, including another historic house in Marin, California. This $2 Million 1910 Shingled Cottage looks out over San Francisco Bay. Check out the Community Action Marin site- it’s a spectacular house. For this raffle, there are 350 cash prizes, starting at $300, and odds of winning the Grand Prize are 1 in 35,000. February 6 is the deadline for buying tickets.
For more information on house raffles, check out this entry on Elaine Fogel’s marketing blog-the post is interesting but it also inspired a great discussion thread full of thoughtful ideas and useful comments on raffling property.