scorecardA Canadian woman is selling her 3-bedroom, $1.7 million mansion for $25 and an essay, but the contest has a catch
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  3. A Canadian woman is selling her 3-bedroom, $1.7 million mansion for $25 and an essay, but the contest has a catch

A Canadian woman is selling her 3-bedroom, $1.7 million mansion for $25 and an essay, but the contest has a catch

alberta canada contest house

Write a Letter, Win a House/Facebook

The home is located approximately 40 miles from the city of Calgary.

  • A Canadian woman is selling her $1.7 million home for the low cost of $25 and an essay, the BBC reports.
  • The Millarville, Alberta house is the subject of a viral Facebook page that was liked by more than 15,000 people at the time this article was published.
  • However, the contest will be canceled if the owner does not reach 60,000 entries. At $25 per entry, this number would be enough to cover the initial asking price of $1.7 million.

Canadian homeowner Alla Wagner is selling her $1.7 million luxury home for $25 through an essay contest titled "Write a Letter, Win a House," BBC News reports.

The contest began on January 5 and is set to end March 5, with a possible extension of up to three months if Wagner is close to the required number of entries. According to Canadian law, if she still does not reach the required number by July 5, the contest will end.

In a post on the competition page, Wagner explains that her family is selling the home due to her declining health and that the contest will ensure her beloved home goes to the right person. The Wagners listed the house in 2018 before looking for an alternative solution.

Wagner's contest asks that interested parties answer the question, "Why would moving to this lakefront dream home change your life?" in a maximum of 350 words. The essays will be read only by a panel of judges, instead of an originally proposed public social media vote.

Read more: What a $250,000 home looks like in the biggest city in every state

However, there's a significant catch to the competition.

If Wagner does not receive 60,000 letter entries at $25 a piece, the contest will be canceled and the house will not be awarded to any applicant; in this case, applicants will receive a refund for their entry fee, minus the cost of postage. This stipulation is a financial means of reaching the original $1.7 million asking price.

alberta canada contest house

Write a Letter, Win a House

One of the home's three bedrooms.

The terms of the contest have raised legality concerns. BBC cited previous housing competition controversies, including a canceled competition in Maine and a criticized cash prize value in Hampshire, England. Both competitions faced issues after failing to meet their required entry count, and the properties never changed hands.

In her explanation for listing the house via contest, Wagner references Alberta's "current turmoil." While BNN Bloomberg recently described the Calgary market as "remarkably resilient" despite low oil prices, Geoffrey Morgan of the Financial Post noted that rising unemployment rates are part of the reason economists are predicting slow home sales and falling prices in Calgary in 2019. Statistics from the Alberta Real Estate Association confirmed record declines from this past year. Prior Business Insider reporting by Dennis Green also noted abandoned McMansions due to past flood problems in the area.

Excluding the location's housing crisis, saving for a million-dollar home has its challenges. As previously reported by Business Insider's Andy Kiersz, to buy a house valued at $1.5 million, a buyer would have to save anywhere between $1,152 and $12,392 per month for several years to afford a 10% down payment.

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