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Home for Sale: 100 Dollars, 500 Words
May 14, 2008 5:25 AM   Subscribe

The $100 House Essay Contest. Write a 500 word essay on why you deserve to win the house. Submit it to James Mathias, along with $100. If he receives 2,500 entries... a winner will be chosen and awarded the home. If enough entries aren't received, he'll return the money. Finally, a chance to get that dream home in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Or... an extra $179,900.
posted by avoision (33 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
*cough*
posted by facetious at 5:31 AM on May 14, 2008


"HOW DO I KNOW THIS IS NOT A SCAM?
Well I guess you'll just have to have some faith in a fellow human."


AAAAAhhh-HA HA HA HAHAHAHA !!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:33 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


so basically this guy wants to get paid ~$70,000 (2500*100 - 180000) to read some essays?
posted by ofthestrait at 5:35 AM on May 14, 2008


Nice try, but the barrier to entry is too high. 500 words? Make it 50 words, $50 and 5000 entries and not only do you get more entries but your marketing practically writes itself.

If I get 100 $20 bills by noon, I'll even write the jingle for him.
posted by DU at 5:39 AM on May 14, 2008


I'll even write the jingle for him.

And you'll be sure and post that to MeFi Music, won't you DU?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:40 AM on May 14, 2008


And you'll be sure and post that to MeFi Music, won't you DU?

A stack of $10s an inch high to answer the question, then, if the answer is yes, another 3 stacks to actually do it.
posted by DU at 5:43 AM on May 14, 2008


Hmm, you may be onto something there, DU. I'm gonna go make an FPP on this idea of yours...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:46 AM on May 14, 2008


And he's the first guy that ever thought of this.
posted by yhbc at 5:49 AM on May 14, 2008


Given that home foreclosures are up 65% compared to a year ago, expect to see a lot more of this kind of thing.
posted by ornate insect at 5:49 AM on May 14, 2008


Given that home foreclosures are up 65% compared to a year ago, expect to see a lot more of this kind of thing.

Coming soon: My house <- your pogs
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:53 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Compared to deeds, words are meaningless. If he's interested, I can make him a better offer with the title rights to some 1"² lots of land. Each lot has my personal assurance of containing certain types of mineral commodities, as well as the possibility of bearing lucrative natural gas reserves.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:58 AM on May 14, 2008


Took long enough to find an exterior shot of the house.
posted by RavinDave at 6:06 AM on May 14, 2008


I'll trade him one red paper clip for his house!
posted by ericb at 6:07 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


This was quite a popular way to try to unload your home back in the early '90s. We actually entered one of these contests, but it was canceled because there were not enough entries received (we got our entry fee back pretty quickly).
posted by SteveInMaine at 6:12 AM on May 14, 2008


Took long enough to find an exterior shot of the house.

You don't even get the basketball hoop. Weak.
posted by cashman at 6:22 AM on May 14, 2008


That's an ugly house.
posted by thinkpiece at 7:01 AM on May 14, 2008


"The Laundry Room, cleaning is fun!"
You have no idea how much I hate you...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:16 AM on May 14, 2008


So is that like $35,000 in tax for along with your house if you win? Seems like a crappy deal.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:23 AM on May 14, 2008


Despite the disguise of a contest, it is a raffle, and unless it is for charity it is probably illegal. As yhbc shows with his link, many people have tried this. It feeds on everyone's greed. The homeowner dreams of getting thousands of entries and getting rich, and the people who enter dream of getting a house for nothing.

Usually there are fewer of the latter, especially for this house that doesn't look like it is worth the entry fee.
posted by eye of newt at 7:37 AM on May 14, 2008


Either the house is hideous, or the photographer is.
posted by garlic at 7:44 AM on May 14, 2008


I'm 100% tired of getting blindsided by a system that is supposed to help us get ahead and instead keeps us perpetually behind by making arbitrary rules about what is and what isn't.

In other words; I'm fed up and I'm trying to be proactive.


Hey, sounds great! Do you need $100? I just happen to have it lying around ... but you have to promise that you'll use it to be more proactive.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:50 AM on May 14, 2008


BrotherCaine writes "So is that like $35,000 in tax for along with your house if you win? Seems like a crappy deal."

No, it's $100 for a little hope. We all need a little hope, don't we? Say, I bet if you send me $1000, it would bring you a lot of hope.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:53 AM on May 14, 2008


Just did a news story with the guy for our Idaho radio stations. He seems to be the real deal. If you know anything about the area a hundred bucks would be a good buy. (I'm thinking a summer cabin.) There would be taxes though...
posted by wyldeboi at 9:02 AM on May 14, 2008


wyldeboi writes "He seems to be the real deal."

Is he legal? As in, is this a legal raffle under the state's gambling statutes? I really don't know, but there is no language to that effect on the site, leading me to believe the guy hasn't thought of that. I'd imagine there could be problems with the transaction if not.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:09 AM on May 14, 2008


Bonners Ferry is a nice area; I've been through there many times on ski trips. Just saying.

(It is prone to flooding from the Kootenai River, though.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:28 AM on May 14, 2008


Either the house is hideous, or the photographer is.

false dichotomy, it's very likely both.
posted by DreamerFi at 9:42 AM on May 14, 2008


He seems to be the real deal.

Sincerity is not his only problem.
posted by DU at 11:32 AM on May 14, 2008


Aptly-named. The does indeed look like a $100 house.
posted by rusty at 11:33 AM on May 14, 2008


Is he legal?

By having the essay it keeps it from being a lottery..so that's his way around Idaho's gaming laws and restrictions.
posted by wyldeboi at 11:33 AM on May 14, 2008


Looks like the contest has been cancelled....
posted by cider at 12:17 PM on May 14, 2008


In, like, the last 10 minutes. Neat!
posted by penduluum at 12:19 PM on May 14, 2008


It's dead, Jim.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:22 PM on May 14, 2008


For the sake of posterity, just in case the whole site goes away:

Sorry, The contest was cancelled.

Any and all entries will be returned to sender unopened.

Here's what happened. When I decided to do this contest I contacted a couple of real estate lawyers here and my accountant. They all saw no problem with the contest or selling my home in this way. They also said to keep asking around, I did and I couldn't find anything on it being a problem. So I launched the site, and began the contest.

I got an enormous amount of positive response and a fair amount of negative response.

I've received no entries as of May 14th 2008, if I do receive any in the mail, I will return them to sender unopened from the post office. They are of no use to me.

So today I got a few e-mails telling me that what I was doing was illegal and that I better get a lawyer. So again I made a bunch of calls to see if this was possible. This time the lawyers all told me well we don't know and you should call the attorney general's office. Which I promptly did.

The AGO told me that this was not legal and that if I take the site down and cancel the contest now, I will not reap any repercussions. So that is exactly what I did.

I apologize for any inconvenience I caused anyone or any hopes that have been dashed by this turn of events. But, both jail time and fines are not on the agenda to getting to Nashville. So it goes...

The house is still for sale and you can contact my Real Estate agent for more info. Thanks and peace be with you.

posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:23 PM on May 14, 2008


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