A 200-Word Essay Could Win You a Gorgeous Catskills Cabin

published Feb 11, 2017
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

If conveying your innermost thoughts via the written word isn’t exactly in your wheelhouse, allow us to kindly encourage you to knock the dust off those essay-writing skills you acquired back in the day. Because the only thing that stands between you and some cushy lakeside digs are a mere 200 words.

According to Curbed, the owners of this gorgeous Catskills cabin are holding an essay-writing contest with plans to give the Bethel, NY home to whoever comes up with the most convincing words. Sure, you might have been hoping your words turned you into a New York Times best seller, but if they can help you become a homeowner in the Empire State (also no small feat), at least you’ll have a cozy spot to hole up in and continue working on your craft.

Wordsmiths will agree that this is an extremely meager word count in exchange for a cabin in the woods, unless of course, we’re talking about the kinds you see in scary movies, but that doesn’t appear to be the case here.

Andrew Bares and Kelly Lavorgna have yet to find a buyer for their two-bedroom, one-bathroom home that sits on 5.5 acres and thought the essay-writing idea would rouse interest. Entrants need only pen a persuasive written response to the question “How would owning the lakefront dream home change your life?” and submit it—along with a $149 entry fee—to have the chance at owning their very own woodsy lakeside escape.

The home was listed at $825,000, but Bares is confident the contest will pan out, telling The New York Times, “The reality is, somebody is going to win this house for $149.”

After a couple of years on the market with no luck selling, Bares and Lavorgna really want someone to win their home. If the essay contest proves successful, they have plans to spread the wealth by creating an “internet platform where sellers could list homes for sale by contest.” The couple even shot a promotional video that serves as an “inspirational” walk-through for entrants to see where they could be turning a key in the near future.

The contest needs 5,500 entrants to proceed (so while someone’s winning the house for $149, they’re effectively selling it for $819,500) and the deadline has been extended to April 27, 2017, so check out the contest guidelines. Don’t forget to thank your English teacher later. But at the moment, you should probably be writing something.