A family living in Sunset Heights, close to the center of Houston, Texas, is parting with their home for just $1.
But in order to get your hands on the 1,056 square foot, 2-bedroom, 1-bath property, you need to write an essay and submit a $150 entry fee.
So in total, you’re looking at $151 if your essay is selected and the $1 purchase contract is written up.
The house is located at 213 E. 23rd Street, Houston, TX 77008. Per Zillow, it was actually sold on September 30, 2013, and currently has a Zestimate of $339,299.
So the owner would only need about 2,267 entries to get that value. By the way, the home was sold for just $281,000 less than two years ago.
About the Home
The home was built in 1920 and sits on a 5,300 square foot lot across from “the adorable Halbert Park.” I can’t vouch for its adorability seeing that I’ve never been to Houston.
However, it does have a WalkScore of 78, meaning you should be able to get to trendy shops and restaurants without the need for four wheels.
And the owner renovated the bathroom in 2014, adding new tile, a sink, and some plumbing work. Old carpets were also removed to reveal the original hardwood underneath.
The kitchen received some upgrades in 2013 and washer/dryer connections were also added for convenience.
Why They’re Doing It?
If you’re wondering why the owner, Michael Wachs, is selling his home for just a buck, he explains on his website that “we have made home ownership in an expensive and competitive market more affordable.”
But he stresses that he’s not rich, and that the $150 entry fees should be enough to cover the mortgage he has on the home.
Wachs apparently got inspiration from a similar sale in Maine, and figured this would be a good way for a person to acquire a home without a pricey mortgage.
In order to make an offer, you must complete a 200-word essay explaining why you would like to purchase the home and submit a non-refundable $150 offer fee. I’m assuming a heartwarming narrative will work wonders here.
Essays should not contain identifying information so they can be read and judged anonymously.
Assuming your essay is chosen, a contract will be written up for $1 to purchase the home. The buyer will be responsible for all taxes, including real estate transfer taxes, property taxes, and all fees, including lawyer’s fees.
Also keep in mind that a free and clear home still comes with costs such as taxes, insurance, and ongoing maintenance.
The home is being sold as-is and no repairs will be made by the seller.
And here’s the kicker folks – the seller is a Realtor! So that might explain why he’s selling his home this way. Call it “free” marketing and lots of buzz and perhaps even a higher-than-expected sales price.
Offers are being accepted until June 13th if you’re interested.