Pictures: 4,000-square-foot house in Indiana selling for $199 (and an essay)

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VEVAY, Ind. — A large house in Indiana is for sale, but the price is well below market value.

It’s known as the River House. It’s along state road 156 in Vevay and the Ohio River.

It’s over 4,000 square feet, with vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, two jetted tubs, and a great room with panoramic views of the river. And it can all be yours for just $199.

The catch is you have to write a persuasive essay about why the house should be sold to you. The essay has to be less than 200 words.

“I do not want the job to judging the essays, that would be tough,” said homeowner Rhonda Penninigton.  “ I graduated from Hanover College, I am an alum. I contacted them and they are supplying an anonymous panel of judges to judge… They pick the winner.”

Each $199 payment received goes into an escrow account for the sale.

The fee and the essay are due by September 28. You can submit your entry online at


  • Ted

    $200 entry fee? And 200 words isn’t an essay…it’s a meager two paragraphs, which means this is a straight up scam or, at best, a superficial, self-congratulatory, popularity contest.

    • Susan Burns

      This is basically a direct copy of another couple who wanted to sell their hobby farm and retire (I can’t remember which state). They’d tried to sell it the traditional way for a while, but they couldn’t get a big enough offer that would cover both the mortgage and their retirement plans. So, they came up with this $200 and essay plan – with the stated desire that the combined fees would be their magic number for retiring. So, yeah, it’s kind of a scam to get around not being able to sell your property – but if all the “winner” has to pay is $200 + taxes/fees then it’s a win/win for both parties (assuming there are plenty of entries). Anyway, I’m sure this woman heard about that and decided to copy it for her property.

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