This four-bedroom house in rural Valencia was given to its newest owner after winning a raffle.
When the previous owners, the Bolumar family, first wanted to sell the house they had inherited two years ago in Segorbe, a town of 9,300, they tried to do it the traditional way, listing it for €90,000. But the struggling Spanish housing market yielded few potential buyers.
The family began considering other ways to sell. Most ideas were dismissed quickly, save one. “Raffling it off seemed interesting – people would have the chance to acquire a home for a low cost and we would still end up covering the cost,” Bolumar said.
From there began a year-long project, with the family wrestling their way through seemingly endless amounts of red tape to obtain authorisation from the country’s tax authorities to be the first in Spain to raffle off a house.
The €10 tickets, sold from a kiosk in Valencia as well as online, offered the chance to win the 141 sq metre home, no strings attached.
As news of the raffle spread through Facebook and Twitter, 32,000 tickets were sold, the majority of them in Spain but also as far away as Australia and Canada. Those in Florida, he said, seemed to be particularly taken with the idea. “Lots of people from Florida called us, also from England,” said Bolumar.
As the family prepared to gather together with a notary to watch the numbered balls drop from a borrowed lottery machine, Bolumar was confident that the family had recouped the original sale price of the house, estimating it would walk away with further €10,000.
“It’s less than what it appears. We didn’t receive €320,000, because we have to cover our costs of the past year,” he said, pointing to publicity as well as the cost of servers and maintenance for the website. The family will also cover any taxes incurred by the winner from the transfer of the house. “The winner doesn’t have to pay a thing more.”
Throughout the process, Bolumar said the family regularly received phone calls from others interesting in raffling off their own houses. It now plans on keeping its website open to offer guidance to others looking to do the same.