I have to admit it when someone comes up with a brilliant idea, and I just read about someone who definitely did that! John Keith of the Boston Real Estate Blog put me on to a story in the New York Times about a graduate student named Julie Hampton, who bought an Italian villa using her sheer genius!
In order to buy the $82,000 Italian home, she convinced 60 people to give her $1,000 in return for a three-week stay there (not all 3 weeks had to be used at one time), and used $12,000 from a retirement account, a $6,000 loan from her parents and $8,000 in loans from her credit union to cover the rest. “She found a lawyer willing to help her create a limited-liability company and draw up simple legal arrangements for the transactions that would implement her plan . . . She also put a six-line classified ad in The New York Times Travel section for four weeks at $270 a week.”
I realize that many people use both family and loans for financing, but I love the concept of offering time in exchange for funds to make a down-payment on that vacation home you always wanted. Good for her. Florence, Italy is absolutely beautiful, and I’m sure the little town of Vitiana, Italy, where her villa is located, is stunning as well!
I wonder how long it would take me to raise the millions I need for that private island I always wanted . . . hmmm.