We've had the postcode lottery. Now here's the oast-house raffle

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The Independent Online

Many people hope to win the lottery and buy a house. But one Kentish couple have decided to play the gamble the other way around. They intend to raffle their £270,000 home to fund a new life in south-west France.



Many people hope to win the lottery and buy a house. But one Kentish couple have decided to play the gamble the other way around. They intend to raffle their £270,000 home to fund a new life in south-west France.

Angela Brown, 31, and Andrew Jewitt, 35, are selling raffle tickets at £5 each through the internet for the chance to own their converted oast-house in the idyllic rural village of Chilham, near Canterbury, Kent.

The couple have adopted the novel way of selling their home to avoid the hassle of using estate agents and give first-time buyers unable to get on the property ladder the chance of owning a stunning country property.

They want to run a bed-and-breakfast in Limousin, and hope to live off the land.

If their reserve price of £270,000 is not met by their 14 August deadline, they can extend the raffle for a month.

Ms Brown said if they fail to sell the house by then the raffle winner will get all the money collected minus 10 per cent for marketing costs and legal fees.

The landscape gardener, who is originally from the village of Turriff, near Aberdeen, has lived at the late 19th-century converted oast-house for the past four years. She works in Kent, but her partner, Andrew, spends hours every day commuting to London.

Ms Brown said: "Andrew is fed up with commuting to London; it takes him two to three hours to get to work and then the same to get home. We are looking for a better quality of life and maybe to start a family."

She added: "We have found a house to buy in a beautiful country area in south-west France. We will run a bed-and-breakfast, and live off the land as much as possible, sort of The Good Life with our own vegetables and goats. There are so many people in the South-east now, we just want our own space."

The couple decided to raffle off their house to be able to move quickly and meet the deadline for their French dream.

Ms Brown said: "We thought it was a good idea with interest rate rises and first-time buyers struggling to get on the property ladder.

"A raffle gives the opportunity to get a home for just a fiver and it is quite exciting."

The 31-year-old added: "As we have already found a house in France we wanted to control the deadline of the sale.

"Doing it the conventional way so many property sales fall through. A raffle just seemed like a lot less hassle," she said.

They have set up a website, www.winahouseforafiver.co.uk, so people can enter the draw.

She has been encouraged by the response, saying, "We are on target for a sale so far".

But if the reserve price is not met by 14 September they will have to turn to an estate agent and put their planned move to France on hold. She said: "I hope it will not come to this."

To meet gambling laws, entrants have to answer a multiple choice question so there is an element of skill involved and not a pure lottery.

But the winner will get the converted oast-house which has a second-floor reception room giving stunning views across orchards and farmland.

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