Retirees Giving Away Real Estate in Contest

Photo of author

( — April 20, 2015) Hartford, Connecticut, US — After a decade of successfully owning and managing residential investment properties in Hartford, Connecticut, the owners, baby boomers in their sixties, are ready to retire. To that end, they have divested themselves of all their real estate holdings, save one: Laurelton Place, a previously abandoned and blighted six-family antique gem which they put several hundred thousand dollars and twelve months of their lives into, in order to restore it to its former glory. 

This one will not be sold on the open market like the others. For this one, the owners have something special in mind: a unique opportunity for someone who would dearly love to own and manage an investment property, but as yet has not been able to do so through conventional means. Of course, experienced property owners are just as welcome, it’s just that this could be the chance of a lifetime for someone who wants that experience, but has not been able to get it.

“Banks, lenders, mortgage companies — they’re nervous,” explained Ethel Steadman, spokesperson for the husband-wife team offering the building, “It’s hard to get real estate financing, especially for what they call ‘light commercial’ — in this case, meaning a relatively small apartment building — even if it’s a good income producer, which this building is.”  

So instead, the owners are giving it away — for a $200 entry fee and a winning essay. In this manner, they will be affording some lucky person an opportunity which he or she might not otherwise get — and they like that idea!

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. 

Then the entrants must mail their essay, along with their $200 entry fee, the official entry form, and two self-addressed stamped envelopes, with enough time so that their entry will arrive no later than June 9th, 2015.  The complete contest rules can be downloaded from the website:

Because it’s a six-family, the new owner could, if he or she wanted to, eventually move into one of the six units — all of which, at the time of this writing, are occupied — and live rent-free. But it’s even better than that, of course, because there’s an income — a very good income. And, considering how the new owner would acquire the property, it would be mortgage-free. What could be better than that?  How many new homeowners get to come home at the end of every day to a beautiful vintage building, knowing they are secure and worry-free because they are debt-free? 

Of course, not everyone wants to live with their tenants. That’s fine. Then just leave all the tenants in place and enjoy the income from six apartments instead of five. 

Or perhaps the new owner would just like to acquire the building and then simply sell it at a reasonable market price so they can use the profits to improve their life in some other manner. That’s fine with the present owners, too — just explain what and why in the essay.  

Whatever the case may be, this building is an investor’s or property owner’s dream because of its condition. With its authentic 1880s exterior and its updated, luxurious interior, the property is now a turnkey operation, requiring no renovations and very little maintenance. Its restoration was completed with so much attention to quality and detail that it won the “2007 Historic Preservation Award” and is registered with the National Registry for Historic Places.  

There are some caveats, of course. One is that the entrants are warned, on the website as well is in the rules which are attached to the entry form: don’t contact the owners or the tenants, or you’ll be disqualified. The reason for this is simple: fairness. 

The owners decided that the only fair thing to do was to keep themselves as far removed from the entrants as possible. Says Steadman, “They’re deliberately keeping themselves in the background throughout this process. They feel strongly about this part of it. If anyone discusses the contest with either of them, or with their tenants, that gives them an unfair advantage over those who did not. The owners just want to maintain a level playing field so every single entrant has as good a shot at winning as everyone else.”

Steadman suggests that interested parties visit the website noted above, as there are many more photos and a lot more information, in addition to the entry form and rules.  Good luck!

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 Center for Performing Arts, the Connecticut Expo Center, the science center, and much, much more.

For More Information:

Ethel Steadman

Laurelton Place

Hartford, CT, United States, 06106