By Jesse McCarl
When the housing market took a hit circa 2006, house swapping efforts became very popular for homeowners who couldn’t move their properties off the market. It was (and is) basically a “I’ll-buy-yours-if-you-buy-mine” concept.
But for many people, mere real estate trades aren’t good enough. No, these people are looking for more unique bargains. If they housing market has put them up a creek before, why would they want to invest in more real estate? Instead, they got much more creative.
Here’s a look at some unique trades for real estate properties.
This recent news story is what sparked this investigation. The owner of the Detroit home had purchased it in 2010 for $41,000, not knowing that it had been purchased just two weeks before for a quarter of that price. Public records don’t show up that fast, and essentially the owner was duped.
The new owner did not live locally to maintain the property, and as Detroit’s market continued to plummet, he was unable to rent the property or make payments. He owed the county $6,000 is back taxes and desperately wanted to sell the property before it was foreclosed.
The owner hired an agent Larry Else to help sell the house, initially to no success. In a brilliant marketing strategy, the owner listed the home for the low cost of a new iPhone. The new owner would not only pay in iPhone, but agree to take on the $6,000 in taxes.
“I’d be willing to trade it for an iPhone 6 or an iPad 32 GB,” Else remembers the owner telling him.
“If you’re serious about that, I think that’s a really good idea that would make this listing stand out,” Else said.
It did, indeed, make the property stand out. The house sold for less than $1,000 that week after gaining coverage from Buzzfeed and Fox News. An iPhone 6 was even donated to the seller (separate from the transaction) from a gentleman who felt touched by the owner’s story.
The seller of a three-story New Jersey lighthouse (you read that right) listed his property on Craigslist for the low, low price of $125,000. But if that was too much, he was also willing to trade for a sports car, an air conditioned boat, or a motorhome… He was even open to suggestions!
In his ad, he says “It’s not always about money, you know.”
No word yet on the fate of his unique proposition.
Okay, this one should come with a disclaimer. Kyle MacDonald didn’t simply trade a red paperclip for a house. He started with a red paperclip, and continued to trade up until he was able to trade for some valuable real estate.
The actual trade that scored him the house was a role in a movie. It sounds crazy, and that’s because it is. Kyle cataloged his adventures in his book, One Red Paperclip: How an Ordinary Man Achieved His Dream with the Help of a Simple Office Supply.
This subject was a lot of fun to research, but there appear to be limited findings about unique trades for real estate. If you know any good ones, let us know in the comments below!