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Competitions to Win A Dream House

Updated on October 16, 2009

The housing market slump over the last couple of years caused a rush of inventive and unusual selling methods to be adopted in the property arena. One was the ‘win a house’ style promotion, which some sellers employed in the absence of buyers as a last-ditch attempt to dispose of their home. Other promoters include builders and developers. Time has proved most ‘house competitions’ are in fact quite legitimate … and there are still a selection you can take part in, as some closing dates have yet to complete. So if you fancy your chances, read on.

Before we take a look at what is on offer in the house competition market, it is important to make a few essential points. Firstly, don’t jump in with both feet without checking the terms and conditions, where applicable, as some house prize rules have clauses that provide the administrators with an option to withdraw the prize or change it, if ticket sales do not reach a certain level. The rules will tell you whether you are entitled to money back in such circumstances or whether a cash prize alternative sum less accrued expenses will be awarded.

Secondly, most competitions of this type tend to run for a long time, because it can take many months to build up sufficient funds to make the house prize profitable. Again, in each case, check the terms and conditions and rules of the particular competition. It is also worthwhile noting that some competitions are limited exclusively to UK participants, but there are others open to the USA and to Europe.

Finally, although the competitions below are all currently being promoted through various agencies, I cannot vouch for the validity of the promoter. Do your homework and confirm each is legitimate, before considering whether to continue. Only after you have satisfied yourself that a particular competition is legal and above board should you think about joining in. I have investigated each one as far as I can and believe them to be genuine, but obviously I cannot and will not accept any liability if they prove otherwise. In other words, if you enter any of these competitions, you do so entirely at your own risk.

Right. That said, let’s explore what kind of properties can be won over the next few weeks in these extraordinary large scale competitions.

Closing date: 19th November 2009.

A spot-the-ball type of contest, except in this case it’s a golf ball, where contestants are required to guess where the missing ball is in a photograph. Each single entry costs £20. The prize is £1million in cash or more than the equivalent in a single prize comprising a luxury house, car and boat. The company running this competition is registered in England and Wales as JTRL Limited. More details are available at

Closing date: 30th October 2009.

In this competition the prize is a newly built property valued at £700,000 plus a £28,000 stamp-duty allowance. The house itself is in Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds and comprises 5 bedrooms and 3 receptions on a quarter acre plot. The prize property is owned by Abbey Property Developments Limited, which is a local building company that has been trading 8 years. Entrants are required to answer three questions and complete a tie-breaker. Each entry costs £36. More details are available from

Closing date: 4th November 2009.

The closing date of this particular competition has recently been extended, because the promoters are trying to achieve 14,000 entries before announcing a winner. The prize is a beautiful mid-terrace cottage in Macclesfield, Cheshire. Legal professional Joanne Fitchcroft, who also undertook most of the renovation work over an 8-year period, owns the property. The competition is designed to speed-up disposal of the property, while at the same time raising funds for charity. Entrants are charged £20 and are required to answer questions about the local area and to provide a tiebreaker. An independent panel will judge the winning entry. More details at

Closing date: 25th December 2009.

Another spot-the-ball type competition where the winner gets a brand new 5-bedroomed detached home thought to be worth around £650,000, complete with a 2004 Porsche with private plates deposited on the driveway. The organisers will close the competition on the due date providing they have 15,500 entrants; otherwise the closing date will be extended. The entry cost is £50 for ten attempts. More details from

Closing date: 31st January 2010.

How good are you at sudoku? If you are one of the millions of championship grade sudoku fans, you might want to give this competition a try. The prize is a £675,000 property at 50 Riverside Drive, Hambleton. The prize will be awarded to the lucky winner, assuming at least 14,000 entrants have been reached by the closing date. The owner and competition promoter is apparently looking to retire and move abroad, hence his reason for devising this creative approach to disposing of his home. If the target 14,000 entrants are not reached, a cash alternative will be awarded, which will be the accrued fund less expenses. More details at


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      Jim Paxtin 6 years ago

      Hi and thanks for this useful post! I've been doing a bit of research on this and I was wondering how those competitions went? I found more information on but I wanted to see if the writer here has anything more to add since their last update? It seems to me the article is now a bit dated I'd be interested in finding out if this is something that can work these days.