Please take the time to enter your vote. I get e-mails & comments from people on my website & visitors to this blog saying that we need to legalize house raffles, now I need some hard numbers. Thank You!
I watched a video, then read an article on MSNBC this afternoon about a couple in Austria that held a house raffle. The video & printed report have different numbers, but the bottom line is that this house raffle was a success! The house was worth approximately 1 million dollars & they sold approximately 10,000 tickets at 99 euro ($128USD). If the print story attached is correct, they may have slightly over sold the tickets, but in any case it worked. People like the idea of plunking down $100 for the opportunity to win a mortgage free home! The odds of winning their home were 1 in 10,000 compared to any lotto or casino usually 1 in 150 million! In reality, the odds in most house raffles are closer to 1 in 3,500-6,000. The idea that there’s a home at the end of the contest, plus the fact that buying a ticket is actually helping another human being & a Charity is very appealing.
At the rate our country is going, home ownership will be a thing of the past for many middle class Americans. The impossibly high lending standards being imposed on consumers today are already locking regular families out of the game. I feel for young couples & families that may never know the American Dream of home ownership. What has happened to this country?
Here’s why the Austrian raffle worked so well…
THEY WERE ALLOWED TO MARKET, PROMOTE & ADVERTISE THEIR RAFFLE AS A RAFFLE! There was no need to disguise it as an essay contest or game of skill, it was a house raffle, plain & simple!
I thought yes, this is how it should be. I was feeling hopeful, thinking ahead to a time when we’ll see stories just like that about average American homeowners, ahhh, there may still be hope… it was just then that the American reporter ended her story by saying the following:
“The Austrian government doesn’t have any rules for selling houses through a lottery, but officials say they’re considering a CRACKDOWN before more homeowners try this tactic.”
I wanted to scream … CRACKDOWN? She made it sound like they were trafficking drugs or smuggling guns! All they did was ‘sell’ their ownhome, which is a mystifying feat in this day & age! The ONLY reason they resorted to a raffle is because they were unable to sell the house using traditional methods. House raffles are not about making lots of money, they’re about getting out of distress! OMG, I’m simply horrified by the things that people say.
If we’re talking CRACKDOWN why not apply that term to REAL CRIMINALS, like the guys on Wall Street that bilked billions & billions from the American people, then came back for bail-out money, then spent that on trips & bonuses & came back for more??!!!! Oh, no, I guess it’s easier to hold down a middle class homeowner, we’re so tired already that we hardly fight back anymore!
I am outraged by this, so I’m starting a poll in my next post, please visit & vote:
DO YOU THINK HOUSE RAFFLES SHOULD BE LEGALIZED?
Please let me know what you think & ask others to add their opinion. I mentioned in other posts that I’m working on a Petition to Congress to lift the restrictions on house raffles. Now that we have a new administration, let’s see if they can help us get this done.
A note to Realtors: I know there are Realtors out there that don’t like house raffles & you’re working against them. Please know that house raffles are not going to hurt you & may help you. House raffles will be used by homeowners in distress, at short sale level or maybe even farther along. I know you guys hate short sales because of the extra work involved & because so many don’t come to fruition & mainstream Realtors don’t handle foreclosures, so these are not homes that you’d be selling anyway.
If we manage to get some of these homes raffled, it’ll do nothing but help you because the neighborhoods will remain in tact, not littered with foreclosures. It’ll make your job easier, because the houses that go to raffles will have new owners that can afford to keep them. Property taxes will get paid, local merchants will be able to remain open, home values for the neighborhood should start to go up or at least stabilize when we stop the influx of foreclosures.
The faster we can get things back to normal, the faster the market will come back.
HOUSE RAFFLES ARE NOT COMPETITION TO REALTORS ~ PLEASE HELP US
House raffles are the perfect way to fight the millions of foreclosures piling up due to the collapse of the real estate market & the mortgage meltdown, but State & Federal government agencies say they’re illegal gambling!
I’ve come up with a twist on the house raffle that avoids gambling & the over burdensome taxes levied on the winner. Visit my website at: http://www.ownahomefor100.com for all the details & to participate.
House raffles do 4 very important things that this county needs to get over the crippling crunch in the housing sector. Here they are…
- Mortgages & property tax liens get paid in FULL, not partially like on a short sale. The bank doesn’t get stuck with yet another foreclosure. The house is made free & clear.
- Distressed homeowners move on dignity in tact, without the 10 year black mark that foreclosure leaves on credit. Credit may be slightly bruised from late payments, but nothing close to what a foreclosure does. No frightened kids being left in shelters, no pets being abandoned in parks or worse yet left in unoccupied homes. It allows that family to go forward with the chance for a normal life & homeownership again. Unlike after the big F, when buying anything on credit is virtually impossible for 10 years, unless you want to pay 24% interest!
- The raffle winner gets the house, free & clear & with today’s extra strict lending standards, where a credit score over 700 is only considered ok, that family may never have been able to qualify for a mortgage or own an home of their own & now they own a home + they’re mortgage free.
- Each raffle pre-selects a charity & gives a pre-set portion of the money taken in to the charity. Charities aren’t getting what they did. When people are losing their jobs, homes & savings, no one is donating to a charity, even if they want to. The charities look forward to the money they get from these raffles.
Now, can anyone tell me how those 4 positive results are worse than putting people in the street, ruining their lives for at least the next 10 years, displacing their children & pets??? I didn’t think so.
I am considering petitioning Congress to allow house raffles at least until this housing crisis is over & we have some people back on their feet.
I’ll detail my concept in another post. Let me know what you think. Sould house raffles be illegal & if so why? OR Should house raffles be a legal activity that any homeowner can engage in to save his or herself from this awful market.
The big picture seems to escape many of those in high places. They are so committed to their own survival & profit that they don’t care to see what’s happening around them. They don’t want to know the implications of their greedy actions. I suppose that’s easier.
In recent years we’ve taken to naming groups of people as a way to categorize them; Yuppies, Boomers, Gen X, etc. Well, I have a new one…. Gen ‘F’, the Foreclosure Generation!
We’re creating a whole new generation with this housing crisis, a whole new dysfunctional generation. Gen ‘F’ will be comprised of the people, children & even pets that are the by-product of foreclosure.
Imagine for a moment, being the child of parents that are suffering through the horrors of losing their home. Just pretend for a second….. first your parents sit you down & tell you that they’re losing the family home, your room, furniture, back yard, kitchen where you could always go for food will no longer be yours. You can only take a few things with you, because they don’t know where you’re going, most of the furniture and belongings will be left in the house to be put out by the re-po guys. That’s devastating enough, but also imagine you can’t keep your beloved dog, cat, fish, hamster & you’re forced to set them ‘free’, leave them behind or in rare cases take them to a shelter & surrender them. Most distressed families don’t take their beloved pets to a shelter & that’s not because they don’t love them, it’s because there’s a surrender fee involved and that makes it impossible for them. Can you imagine? I can’t even stand to think about it & I’m an adult. I don’t know how these kids are going to make it.
Now, let’s say you get through that part… where do you live, what do your parents drive, how do they get jobs, or buy food when they won’t be able to buy a pack of saltines on credit for at least the next 10 years! Your family lost everything & now you’ll be at the mercy of devious, money grubbing landlords, pay as you go car dealers, paying 3 times as much for insurance because you’re credit is bad & having to settle for any job you can get because you had a foreclosure.
Does anyone but me see the dangers in this kind of emerging society? Not only are the parents suffering the devastating effects of foreclosure, but the children that have watched them go through this will be scarred for life! I can’t even imagine how they’ll get through life. Separation anxiety & insecurity will take on a whole new meaning. How can we expect financially responsible adults to spring up out of a generation of kids that won’t have any clue what that means because they’ll be living hand to mouth with their displaced, foreclosed on parents. They’ll never know what financial security is. Will they ever feel safe or secure? Will Gen ‘F’ kids be able to go to college & live normal adult lives? I really don’t think so. I think this national tragedy is creating a new, dysfunctional generation that may take the next hundred years to correct.
Another issue directly related is the animal issue. Animal groups like the one I support on my website have been working for years to educate people on the proper treatment of animals, to spay & neuter pets to keep the animal population down & prevent unwanted pets. They’ve worked tirelessly to make people understand how important it is to treat our pets with humanity & love, but this housing crisis set them back by 30 years. The number of stray & homeless animals is on the rise again due to the number of foreclosures & it’s only going to get worse.
I had some hope over the last few weeks thinking something was going to happen that would make things better, but no such luck. Things are only getting worse.
Foreclosures are not even close to being done. Most of what they call sub-prime have funneled through the system, but there are 2 new types of mortgage just coming into the picture.
Alt-R? I never heard the term until now, but they are the next group of mortgages to be going down the tubes & apparently from what’s being said said by the experts, for about the next 2 years! That is not good for anyone.
House raffles are illegal gambling, for what reason I don’t know, but our government tends to be greedy & short sighted. They went ahead & allowed Wall Street, insurance companies, hedge funds, auto makers, etc. to gamble with our hard earned money & flush our futures down the proverbial toilet without a thought for what would happen to middle America. But, when we try to save ourselves it’s illegal gambling????
I’m putting together a petition to Congress to waive the restrictions on house raffles until this whole thing settles down. I’ve never done anything like this before & if you’ve read my blog or visited my website, you know I like to do my research & make sure I’m not putting my foot it in before I act. I want to make sure that when I send this it will be taken seriously. I’ll keep everyone posted.
The IRS wants money from everyone for everything, so I know it might not be easy to get this done. The IRS may not get income tax on the raffled houses, but our neighborhoods won’t have empty houses, one after the other with no one paying property taxes, we won’t have displaced families that are totally without hope because they have a foreclosure hanging over their heads for the next 10 years, we won’t have kids being left in shelters & poor helpless pets being left by the side of the road because the families that once loved & cared for them are devastated & can barely care for themselves. Banks would get paid in full instead of collecting foreclosed properties, towns & cities would get the property taxes they need for recovery, we’d be putting folks into homes that may never have been able to own a home given today’s ridiculous lending standards & cash hoarding banks.
In short, the IRS, state & local tax agencies may not get to profit from house raffles when they happen, but long term they would benefit 10 fold by helping us to slowly rebuild our communities, our citizens & our trust in them. The same greed that gave Wall Street the green light to practically wipe out our country is the same greed that keeps them from allowing an idea like the house raffle to move forward. They are so concerned with their short term profit that they don’t see the big picture at all. Let’s hope they finally get it, the damage has already been done, the least they can do is let us salvage what we can.
Did you know…. over 6 million homes are for sale in the US; as of 6/30/2008, 4 million mortgages were at least one payment behind; in some areas of our country the foreclosure rate is 1 in every 74 homes; each month over 1/2 million new foreclosures come into the market; California had 279,561 new foreclosures in September alone; Arizona’s forecloure rate is 1 in 149; Florida 1 in 157; NJ ranks 8th among the top states for foreclosures, people are dropping their kids off at hospitals & municipal buildings because they can’t care for them. I don’t mean babies, I mean full grown kids that understand exactly what’s going on. I can’t even imagine what that feels like as a parent or child; these same homeless people are leaving their poor, helpless pets in parks and worse yet in their abandoned homes. What’s happening to this country? We’re going to end up with masses of displaced families & pets with no where to go & no hope for the future.
These new foreclosure victims won’t be able to buy a pack of saltines on credit for the next 10 years unless they pay 30%. They’ll be forced to drive whatever they can pay cash for or worse yet deal with one of those pay as you go car lots that charge exhorbitant rates just because they know they can. Those same families won’t be able to own a home for the next 10 years either, so that means overpaying for an apartment that’s not as big as one room in their house. And based on the way things have gone to date, I’m sure they’ll be some new scam developed by greedy landlords to overcharge & underservice the hoardes of renters flooding the market.
I mean just emotionally speaking, the damage to one’s spirit must be devastating.
How are the kids of this F generation (Foreclsoure Generation) going to turn out. Always unsure of even the most basic necessities, afriad to leave their belongings for fear they’ll be padlocked, unwanted, unloved, a burden to their families…. that is the recipe for a highly dysfunctional generation of adults, which is so sad. Kids that get damaged or traumatized have a very hard time maturing past that point. If they’re traumatized at 14, I believe with the exception of a very few, they remain at 14, unable to grow emotionally.
That’s not even mentioning the pet problem. I’m an animal lover & it just breaks my heart to hear these kind of stories, what are we becoming? Animal organizations, like the charity I support on my website have been working overtime for the past 20-30 years educating folks about animal rights, advocating spay/neuter programs to cut down on unwanted, unloved & homeless animals & now because Wall Street & Washington were greedy they’ve put us back to the 60’s! There’s going to be more homeless animals than ever, it’s like no one heard the message. The poor animals need help, people cannot leave them in abandoned houses. Animals can’t use the phone, they don’t have credit cards, they can’t prepare themselves a meal or get themselves a drink…. come on, we need to take some responsibility here.
If we were allowed to run the house raffles & openly promote them we could stop alot of this from ever happening, but NOOOOO. It’s more important to stop gambling & I use that term loosely, than it is to help people & helpless animals. Once again, GREED with a capital G. The state doesn’t want anyone making any $$ on gambling unles it’s them, so they trample over families, old people, doggies & little kitties without ever looking back just to get the big bucks! That’s staggering, but unfortunately true
I just published my website & it’s moving slowly through the search engines. I haven’t been contacted by anyone to say it’s illegal, but I’m waiting. I researched this really well & really think I found a way around the gambling aspect & the lottery like taxes imposed on the winner. I just need some participation, any help would be appreciated. I’d like to complete mine successfully & start helping other homeowners do the same thing.
Visit my website: http://www.ownahomefor100.com
It all comes down to greed, I’ve said it a hundred times. Wall Street, Washington, the CEO’s leaving bankrupt companies, but taking $55 million dollars on their way out the door! OMG, where does it stop?
It’s necessary to present house raffles in clandestine ways to avoid being charged with illegal gambling, even though they are nothing but helpful when participation is good & no real loss to the participants if it’s not good because 99.99% of all house raffles return the money if they don’t meet their goals. Try getting your money back at the track, on a lottery ticket or better yet at the casino!
If these ridiculous restrictions were lifted house raffles could be publicized more openly & effectively without the worry of some overzealous state worker putting you on his or her ‘take down’ list like you’re a crazy gambling mobster, instead of an overwrought homeowner trying to save your family. I don’t see the connection there at all.
Rules are changed all the time, just not to help the poor floundering homeowner. In fact, a perfect example is the casinos. There was a smoking ban put in effect just last year for all the casinos in AC. Yesterday, they just changed the rule & lifted the smoking ban, because sadly enough, revenues are down… boo-hooo Since they are as greedy as ever, they think it might have something to do with the smoking ban, so they did away with it. It took forever to get approved, but they blew it out the door in about 10 seconds for $$$$! They never considered the fact that revenue might be down because people can’t pay their mortgage payments, or buy food or put gas in their cars or maybe because tons of people are out of work! NO… they went with the easiest thing to fix, anything to get more revenue! Just outrageous.
They can let people breath in second hand smoke & risk their lives while working & playing there all for the GAMBLING $$$ that they rack in, but they won’t allow a homeowner in distress to hold a house raffle? You explain that one to me… I’m at a total loss.
Try helping the American homeowner, the backbone of this country. I keep saying that very soon there will be no middle class, you’ll either be very, very rich or very, very poor. They are slowly obliterating the middle class & what do they care, they’ll just have more.
I told you in my first post that house raffles are considered illegal gambling by both the State & Federal governments. Sad, since this is the perfect solution to our real estate problems. There are lots of people in this country that feel the same way & refused to abandon the idea, so hundreds of these, if not more are cropping up all over the world. They are presented in all different forms & concepts to avoid being shut down for gambling. I’ve done the same thing, but my concept is slightly different.
House raffles are illegal because participants buy a ticket for a chance to win something of value. I don’t think that applies in these cases, but go figure.
To remove chance from the equation you make your house raffle a game of skill, not a game of chance, mine happens to be a 30 word essay. That should do it, right? Well, that’s what you’d think, but then I’ve heard they tell you even though it’s a game of skill you’re charging an entry fee which still constitutes gambling! Then, when the winner gets the new house, the tax guys swoop in & hit them with a 35-50% tax on the value of the property like they won the lottery!! That puts them in the same spot the original owners were in. They now own a home which they have to take a sizable mortgage on. What if their credit is not perfect, they can’t borrow on the house, they can’t sell it & if they can’t borrow or sell they get a giant tax lien from the Feds that will put them in foreclosure! Why would our government be so selfish & greedy?
I based my concept on a GIFT ECONOMY. I ask for personal gifts from people to help me pay off the mortgage on my home. They are not buying a ticket for a chance to win my home & they are not gambling. The IRS says an individual can gift any one (1) person up to $12,000 in a given year without paying gift tax. The same rule says that an individual can collect gifts, no matter what the amount without paying a gift tax if they are true gifts & not in exchange for services or other considerations. Gifts can be made directly or indirectly.
When my ‘gifters’ have given me their personal gift in the suggested amount of $100, they can submit a 30 word or less essay on what owning my home would mean to them. The essays will be judged 50% on heartfelt content, 40% on sincerity & 10% on grammar, by an independent judge(s) that will choose a winner.
I will then offer the winner the opportunity to purchase my home for $1. At this time my beautiful home is worthless to me, I am relocating. I can ‘t borrow money against it, can’t sell it & right now all it’s doing is losing me money, the longer I stay here the more it costs.
It’s been quite a while, so as far as I’m concerned, as much as I love my home & have maintained it to a high standard, it’s worth $1 & that’s what I’ll sell it for. Selling it for $1 relieves the new owner of paying the crazy lottery tax on the home’s value. That’s a joke anyway… home value barely matters in this market. Even if your home is worth a decent amount of money like mine is, even if it’s in a great area & has been well maintained, no one can buy it, because no one can meet the ridiculously high credit standards being imposed by the banks that are hoarding money & exacerbating the problem with their greed.
The greed of Wall Street & the big boys in Washington is what put us here. They’re the ones that let hedge funds bump up oil prices until middle America couldn’t afford to drive a car or buy food or heat their homes, they allowed investment companies to package up worthless mortgages & sell them like hotcakes, they ignored thousands & thousands of complaints by consumers about deceptive mortgage companies lying & selling mortgages to folks that turned out to be sub-prime pieces of dirt, but no one helped. Now, they’re tyring to tell us that we can’t help ourselves, how can that be?