- A Canadian woman is selling her $US1.3 million home for the low cost of $US19 and an essay, the BBC reported on Monday.
- The three-bedroom house in Millarville, Alberta, is the subject of a Facebook page that has been liked by more than 15,000 people.
- But the contest will be canceled if the owner does not reach enough entries to cover the asking price. At $US19 per entry, that would more than 60,000.
A Canadian named Alla Wagner is selling her $US1.3 million (1.7 million Canadian dollars) three-bedroom luxury home in Millarville, Alberta, for $US19 through an essay contest called “Write a Letter, Win a House,”BBC News reported on Monday.
The contest began on January 5 and is set to end in early April, with a possible extension of up to three months if Wagner is close to the required number of entries.
In a post on the competition’s Facebook page, Wagner said that her family was selling the home because of her declining health and that the contest would ensure her beloved home goes to the right person. The Wagners listed the house in 2018.
Wagner’s contest asks that interested parties use a maximum of 350 words to answer the question “Why would moving to this lakefront dream home change your life?” She said a panel of judges would choose the winner from a group of 500 finalists determined by votes on social media.
However, there’s a significant catch to the competition.
If Wagner does not receive enough entries to cover the asking price of the house, the contest will be canceled and the house will not be awarded to any applicant – applicants would receive a refund for their entry fee, minus the cost of postage. At $US19 per entry, that would mean more she needs than 60,000 entries.
The terms of the contest have raised concerns. The BBC cited criticism of previous housing competitions that failed to meet their required entry count, including one in Maine and another in Hampshire, England. In both cases, the properties never changed hands.
In her explanation for listing the house via the contest, Wagner referred to Alberta’s “current turmoil.” While a Canadian real-estate company recently described the Calgary market as “remarkably resilient” despite oil prices in an interview with BNN Bloomberg, Geoffrey Morgan of the Financial Post has linked higher unemployment rates and layoffs in Calgary with economists’ predictions of slower home sales and falling prices in 2019.
Housing-market statistics from the Alberta Real Estate Association reflected declines in 2018. And Business Insider’s Dennis Green has reported on McMansions in the area being abandoned because of flood problems.
Excluding the area’s housing concerns, saving for a million-dollar home has its challenges. As Business Insider has reported, a person would have to save between $US1,152 and $US12,392 a month for several years to afford a 10% down payment on a $US1.5 million house.
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