Six weeks ago, on 22 April, 2015, the owners of an antique apartment building in Hartford, CT announced that they would be giving the building to the winner of a 200-word essay contest. The original end date of June 9th has now been extended to August 4th.
The concept of the contest is very simple: entrants must compose a 200-word essay (that’s about 2-3 paragraphs) on an 8 ½ by 11 sheet of white paper, and then mail it to Laurelton Place Essay Contest, 2389 Main Street, Glastonbury, CT, 06033, along with the entry form, the $200 entry fee, and two self-addressed stamped envelopes. The owners will then read and evaluate the entries and then, at the end (the new deadline being August 4th), their favorite 20 will go to two completely independent judges, who — without any input from the owners and without any names attached to the entries — will choose the winner, a first runner up, and a second runner up.
The essay must address the subject/theme: “Why I would love to own an antique apartment building in Hartford, Connecticut.”
This excellent short video to watch: http://youtu.be/lO31YdnvCNU
This exact same contest was just very successfully completed in idyllic Lovell, Maine, by the owner of an antique inn. The winner has not yet been announced — that will happen in the next few weeks — but there were enough entries (7500 in that contest’s case) for the prize to be awarded. How exciting!!
“It seemed like such a terrific idea,” said Ethel Steadman, spokeswoman for the husband-wife team offering the building, “It’s a way for someone to acquire a fabulous building mortgage-free, and in this uncertain economy, what could be better? The new owner could live there (or not) and in any case, have a great income in a turn-key operation. So the owners figured: if it can work for an inn in Maine, no reason it shouldn’t work of a beautiful apartment building in Hartford, Connecticut.”
When asked why the extension, Steadman explained that the owners need to reach a specific threshold of entrees in order to be able to ‘sell’ the building for what they would ask if they were going to simply sell it on the open market.
“Marketing is the hardest part — getting the word out. The people who’ve so far entered have sent in wonderful essays! It’s just that the owners need to meet that threshold or they will have to halt the contest.” In which case, of course, they would return the entry fees. And leave a bunch of people very disappointed, which they would hate to do!
Plus, there are always procrastinators. With tongue in cheek, Steadman said, “The owners are hoping that this extra time — an additional 8 weeks — will give those procrastinators all the time they need to get motivated and get moving.”
Entrants will be required to explain, in true essay form — which means it must have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion — why they would love to own an antique apartment building in Hartford, Connecticut. They essays will be judged not only on the basis of structure, but also on the author’s creativity and thoughtfulness, as well as the conveyance of the author’s capability and desire to own the building — all in 200 words or less.
The complete contest rules and the entry form can be downloaded from the website: http://www.laureltonplace.weebly.com
So… if you are reading this, and you have ever thought you might want to be a homeowner or a landlord — or both — but didn’t think you’d have the down-payment or credit history to live your dream, here is your chance! For just $200 and 200 words, plus some closing costs, you could be the next owner of an award-winning, scrupulously-restored, scrupulously-maintained antique building.
There are loads of photos on the website, as well, so you can see the extent of the work the owners did after they purchased the building which, at the time, was abandoned and horribly blighted. Believe me — you’ll be impressed!
About Laurelton Place
The building is an award-winning, completely restored, 7300-square-foot, brick six-family located in Hartford, Connecticut, with a rear parking lot and easy access to Interstate Routes 84 and 91. It is within walking distance or a five-minute drive of the Capitol, the L.O.B. (Legislative Office Building), Hartford Superior Court and Connecticut Supreme Court, five major insurance companies, three superb hospitals, schools, shopping, libraries, the Bushnell Theater for Performing Arts, the Connecticut Expo Center, the science center, and much, much more.