A Seattle-based engineer may have just started a new real estate trend in Washington. 23-year-old Cary Kuo, who works in the aerospace industry, has beaten out competing bids on a $415,000 USD home in Tukila, Washington by offering to make his down payment in Bitcoin Cash.
CNBC describes purchasing a home with bitcoin or cryptocurrency as “easier than one might think.” All a buyer must do is get the owner or seller to accept digital currency in exchange for the property.
And that’s exactly what Kuo did, although it took some convincing before seller Allan Ponio accepted the offer.
Kuo is one of the few that feels nothing but positivity towards crypto. The recent college grad began trading digital currencies back in June. He has since placed all his spare income into cryptocurrency, and the investments have ultimately paid off. Kuo used a combination of Bitcoin Cash and several other (smaller) cryptocurrencies to help secure the three-bedroom house and cover his closing costs.
Ponio admits he was skeptical at first when Kuo came to him with his offer.
“I wasn’t crazy about the whole idea,” he said.
“I would look at it and say, ‘Is this real money? Is that in his account?’”
Ponio eventually decided to keep an open mind and accept Kuo’s offer, though. The seller said he did “extra due diligence with the buyer’s loan officer at Guild Mortgage,” which is one of the few loan companies to deal in cryptocurrency.
“From my side, it was seamless,” he mentioned.
“It went just as it would with a conventional transaction.”
Paying for homes with cryptocurrency certainly sounds novel, but realty firm Sotheby’s Realty International has reported that using bitcoin to buy and sell property is becoming more common. Sotheby’s said it has recently encountered a growing number of bitcoin-based property transactions. But instead of half-million dollar estates, the firm said most transactions come from people selling smaller properties — like condos — as a way to get their hands on cryptocurrency.
One of the first bitcoin-based property purchase on record in the US took place in Texas last year. Bitcoin payment processor BitPay handled a bitcoin transaction for a single-family home purchase that took place in Texas last year. Describing the transaction in Texas, real estate broker J. Kuper of Sotheby’s International explained, “The challenge, which actually wasn’t all that challenging, was to figure out who would do an exchange that large.”
BitPay said it has handled a few other property purchases, going back as far as 2014.
Commenting on the growth in bitcoin-based property trading, Manhattan real estate developer Benjamin Shaoul said buying properties with the cryptocurrency will become increasingly common over the coming years.
Shaoul added that several of his buyers have already expressed interest in paying with bitcoin, said there’s “still a lot of nervousness for newcomers to the currency. Much of the concern may be around the lack of regulation so far in cryptocurrency, and the lack of understanding as to how gains in bitcoin are taxed.”
However, Shaoul is ultimately optimistic. “I think it will become a long-term means to make a payment,” he said.
Will we continue to see homes purchased and sold for bitcoin? Post your comments below.
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