This poor homeowner has taken to an essay contest to sell their house:
Any legal experts out there want to comment on the legality of a $1 entry fee but a $25 processing fee? Let me guess, the $25 fee is non-refundable. So even if the house doesn't sell, they keep the fees.
Win the right to buy this Oregon property in the heart of wine country. 1 hour to the beautiful Oregon beaches, and 3 hours to either the Desert or the Mountains. The 1900 sq ft house has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. It is a 1995 triple wide mfr home. All vinyl flooring. It needs some projects finished, but it does have a new roof with new skylights and fresh paint. The Commercial building in front was stick built in 2007. 1550 sq ft with a single car garage. Skylights and a concrete floor. It is unfinished, ready for your creativeness. This all sits on 1 acre of land that is fenced on 3 sides. It does have a 14gpm well with a 2000 gallon holding tank. If you want city water, then you have to apply to be annexed into the city. The property is the first property outside the city limits, so you have more freedom with this commercial property than you would have if you where in the city. The school district is a really great one, that doesn't seem to be hurting like other districts are because of the economy.
The essay needs to be 25 to 50 words, to make it simple, as to why you would like to own this property. There is a $25.00 nonrefundable processing fee. If your essay is chosen as the winner, then you will be given the opportunity to purchase our property for $1.00. We must receive all essays by March 15, 2009.Look at the photos on f l i c k r, watch the videos on you tube, guess what KEY WORDS we will be looking for in the ESSAY.http://youtube.com/k9sleepy1 http://flickr.com/photos/25-25essay http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2004221&id=1417668550&l=052b8
Some more gems:
"Our Timing goal is 45 DAYS, SO DON'T DELAY"Ah yes, the calling card of every deseperate seller and/or scammer, ALL CAPS! HURRY! HURRY! HURRY! SEND IN YOUR CHECK BEFORE YOU REALIZE THAT YOU'RE BEING SCAMMED!!!!
"We reserve the right to extend the Contest in order to reach the desired number of entries"Of course you do. It's no fun to sell your house for $50 is it?
I'll be checking back on March 15 to see if it sold. Given the timing I can't wonder if they need money for taxes.
Thanks Mark for the link!
-Edit, here is a comment from a local Realtor:
"As far as that "auction" is concerned...it is probably legal - at least it can be. Typically they are either set up as a game of chance or a game of skill and require the seller to team up with a non-profit. In most cases the seller cannot make more than the appraised value of the house. Anything above that goes to the non-profit. If the minimum number of tickets doesn't sell by the final drawing date, the organization is obligated to refund everyone’s money - which is what happens in most cases. There was one not too long ago at the coast that ended up shutting down: http://www.win-this-home.com/
More info on this subject at: