| 6.8°C Dublin

Why I’m raffling my property

Anne Marie Sparks explains why she has decided to dispose of her Delgany apartment by lottery, not by sale

Close

Anne Marie Sparks on the balcony of the apartment she is raffling in Co Wicklow. Photo: Bryan Meade

Anne Marie Sparks on the balcony of the apartment she is raffling in Co Wicklow. Photo: Bryan Meade

Exterior view of the Eden Gate apartment

Exterior view of the Eden Gate apartment

Anne Marie with one of the bane-of-her-life clothes horses

Anne Marie with one of the bane-of-her-life clothes horses

The Happy Pear in Greystones

The Happy Pear in Greystones

Greystones beach

Greystones beach

Greystones Harbour

Greystones Harbour

Inside the apartment

Inside the apartment

/

Anne Marie Sparks on the balcony of the apartment she is raffling in Co Wicklow. Photo: Bryan Meade

56 Priory Court, Eden Gate, Delgany, Co Wicklow

Ticket Price: €23 Lottery Agent: Raffall

How the hell did I end up in a situation where I am raffling my Delgany apartment with seven weeks to go to the draw?

It started with me sitting in the kitchen, looking at my two worst enemies. My life seems to revolve around these two clothes horses and the mountains of clothes hanging off chairs, beds, over the bannisters and, of course, the floor. Teenagers!

We live in a bog-standard three-bedroom house in Delgany. Myself, my husband Alan and my two boys, aged 15 and 12, and our dog. Lately we’ve been finding life cramped. When we bought the house 15 years ago (I moved in with a bump), they were throwing cash at people for mortgages, so we also bought an investment at the same time. A lovely one-bedroom, first-floor apartment at the swishy upmarket Eden Gate scheme nearby in Delgany.

Close

Exterior view of the Eden Gate apartment

Exterior view of the Eden Gate apartment

Exterior view of the Eden Gate apartment

Now we need an extension badly. A new living room, a utility and an extra bedroom. So we decided we’d have to sell the apartment to fund it. We called in an estate agent and they’ve valued it at €235,000. So last May were all set to stick up the ‘for sale’ sign.

But one day, fleeing the usual cramped kitchen, I go into the sitting room to escape the mess. Six-footer son and his friends give me a double take: “Like, what the hell, mum, we’re watching a movie.” Fine, I retreat. Up to my bedroom for a little bit of Netflix with the new television I have just bought. Here I meet five-footer son who is in my bed. “Just chillaxing in here mum, this TV is sooo great...’. With nowhere to go, I head back to the kitchen, switch on my computer and jump into the world of @pipsy_pie, aka Pippa O’ Connor, on social media. Total escape!

Close

Anne Marie with one of the bane-of-her-life clothes horses

Anne Marie with one of the bane-of-her-life clothes horses

Anne Marie with one of the bane-of-her-life clothes horses

Pippa shows me her fabulous home renovation, compliments of Neptune, her new garden, her parties... then, out of nowhere, a pop-up appears about a couple who are raffling their property in Sligo — I am totally intrigued.

Researching it online, I find a number of GAA clubs raffling houses to raise funds too. They use a London-based company called Raffall which sets up and conducts lotteries for homes around the world. They’ve done a number of draws here in Ireland, working a model which offers punters a chance to win a home by purchasing a ticket (from €23 up to €100). The raffle also raises big money for a nominated charity. AND the owners of the property also stand to make far more money than if they sold the home in the usual way. I am interested!

Close

The Happy Pear in Greystones

The Happy Pear in Greystones

The Happy Pear in Greystones

I got in touch. They ran a model for a mortgage-free property valued at €235,000. The model showed a raised amount of €460,000 through a 20,000 ticket requirement. It forecast an owner benefit roughly at €170,000 more than a regular sales process for a property like this. This seemed quite amazing.

It also detailed a €23,000 sum for the nominated charity and a fee of 10pc (€46,000) for Raffall as the organiser, some of which would also be spent for an intensive marketing campaign in the final weeks. And one lucky ticket buyer would win a home, for €23!

Close

Greystones beach

Greystones beach

Greystones beach

They told me that given ours is an investment property, our costs also would include capital gains tax. I got onto my accountant Jane for advice. It seems the Raffall fee might be claimable against this.

And it gives a little dream of hope to people who otherwise have no hope of getting on the property ladder. Surely we all need a bit of hope? But was it all too good to be true?

The only raffles I remembered were the pink and yellow tickets for a bottle of TK and a packet of custard creams sort. But a home, for God’s sake? In the coming weeks, I followed a Sligo couple online on their home-raffle journey, two lovely nurses looking to emigrate to Australia. I started my career in healthcare as an ICU nurse and so I bought a ticket immediately. If I didn’t win my family a holiday home in Sligo, I was definitely happy to help these guys on their way.

Close

Greystones Harbour

Greystones Harbour

Greystones Harbour

My main concern was the legals. But Raffall already had lawyers here in Ireland and everything checked out as being completely above board.

But what if we couldn’t sell enough tickets? They explained that if this happens, the money raised goes into a cash jackpot which is raffled anyway. And we can walk away. No charges. The ticket buyers are made fully aware of this.

So the worst that could happen was that we would walk away and end up selling our home through the conventional route anyway. I followed the next three Irish home raffles, in Kilkenny, Waterford and Donegal. Two out of three were successfully raffled. That was it, I decided to go for it and raffle our apartment!

Next I had to persuade Alan. But after studying the model, the numbers and the track record, he was won over.

So we held our breaths and pressed ‘go’ and we nominated the Ross Nugent Foundation as our charity. Ross was my nephew who left us way too soon after fighting cancer and his wonderful family — Emma, Don and Sandra — today do trojan work meeting the requests from the oncology wards in Crumlin and Beaumont Hospitals. If we get the tickets sold, the Trust gets €23,000. So three winners on a plate (four if you include Raffall). What more could you ask for?

Close

Inside the apartment

Inside the apartment

Inside the apartment

So buy a ticket now for the chance to own our fully-furnished one-bed apartment with a sun balcony in the lovely Eden Gate coastal scheme in Delgany adjoining Greystones, Co Wicklow. Beside the sea, just 30 minutes to Dublin (yes, I am marketing here!).

Just look up the ‘Win a Home in Delgany’ profile. We need 20,000 tickets at €23/£20 per ticket to be sold by October 31, 2021. Since May, I have been a one-woman, two-son online marketing machine (my boys set up Facebook and Instagram accounts). Sarah from Raffall tells me: “Ann Marie, you have to get your sons to post three times a day to build followers, where is your morning post!” I certainly couldn’t do this without her.

Now all we have to do is sell 16,000 more tickets at €23 a piece by October 31. Tickets can be bought on our website, winahomeindelgany.com. And there you’ll see all the details and the lovely apartment you could win. I’ll be back a week before the draw to tell you how we got on and if we made 20,000 ticket sales.

Get your ticket now! Oh God!


Most Watched





Privacy