Grab your notepad: Catskills cabin to be given away in essay contest

391 Woodstone Trail (credit:

The owners of a cozy Catskills cabin are ready to part with their pad. But rather than selling it, they’ll be giving it away to the winner of a short essay contest.

Owners Andrew Bares and Kelly Lavorgna did try to sell the place through more traditional means to no avail, reports the New York Times. So now, for 200 words and $149, someone could walk away with a two-bedroom cabin on 5.5-acres in Bethel, N.Y., about two hours north of the city.

Entrants must answer the question: “How would owning the lakefront dream home change your life?”

Of course, nothing in life is actually free, and as such the cabin’s new owners will have to pay around $11,000 in property taxes yearly, plus income tax too.

If the contest doesn’t attract at least 5,500 applicants (which would bring in Bares and Lavorgna a total of $819,500), the contest will be canceled, and participants will receive a $100 refund. The remaining $49 becomes a nonrefundable administrative fee.

This isn’t the first time property owners have turned to untraditional methods to part with their real estate. Last summer, an Australian couple held a raffle to unload their Micronesian island.