Auction website offers Houston home starting at just 1 penny

June 18, 2013 9:32:48 PM PDT
The newest numbers show the average and median prices for homes in Houston are at all-time highs. But there's one house that could be yours for as little as $1,000, which is less than one percent of the actual value.

Tommy Allen with the startup auction site pennymansion.com says you could purchase a north Houston home well below market price.

"We're predicting somewhere around a thousand bucks," Allen said.

Yes, he said $1,000 for a four-bedroom, two-bath home valued around $131,000. But what's the catch? Allen says it's done through the penny auction model they're using.

"Register to be a participant. Purchase the reports that they need, that they want to buy. And with each report, they're going to get a certain number of bids," Allen said.

What you're buying are reports of the home. The more you buy, the more bids you'll earn. Purchase all the reports for roughly $243 and you'll get 59 bids. And each time you refer someone and they signup, you'll get three more bids.

"You can only buy each report one time. So there's a maximum number of bids that each user can obtain," Allen said.

It's a plan in place, to keep power bidders from gaining an unfair advantage. Allen tells us there are also tools implemented to prohibit automatic bidding from bots or snipe-like mechanisms.

Once the house sells, Allen says 100 percent of the sale price will be donated to the Red Cross.

"The Red Cross will receive a check, and they've asked that it will go toward our disaster relief fund," said Cameron Ballantyne with the Red Cross. "We've had flooding in San Antonio that our chapter's been asked to help with. We've had tornadoes in North Texas and the last few weeks have been very busy for us."

The auction begins 5pm Sunday, but there is no time limit so there's no telling how long it will last. But the owners predict the home will likely sell for $1,000-$2,000.

Find Patricia on Facebook at ABC13PatriciaLopez or on Twitter at @patricialopez13


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