The Half a Million Dollars Home Raffle

by Osman Parvez

Remember Casey Serin?

He's that 24 year old kid who lied on his mortgage applications and ended up $2 million in the hole buying investment properties. He realized he was in over his head and had to try and get out of the mess he created, he started a blog a few weeks ago. It's called and he's using it to publicize his situation and document his efforts.

Now Casey's got a new trick up his sleeve. He's planning to setup a raffle for one of his $500,000 houses.

While I don't approve of his complete disregard for ethics or law by lying on his mortgage applications, I have to hand it to the kid. He's pretty clever. His blog is getting traffic. He's also gotten a great deal of coverage from other bloggers (including me), radio stations, and the mainstream media (MSM). I think we'll be watching him on Oprah soon. Can he pull off raffling one of his houses?

Maybe. At $50/ticket he's got to sell at least 10,000 tickets to pay off the 100% financed loan.

Do I trust him enough to send him a $50 check? Not on your life. But he knows his credibility is shot and he's looking into a third party escrow company to hold the funds. Stay tuned...

Image: Casey Serin

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  1. Osman, giving this guy any creidit kind of makes you look bad. I took less than one minute of research to find out that this kind of raffel is completely illegal in all the states that he owns houses in.

    He's probably plain lying when he said that his attorney said "it should be very doable." If there really is an attorney that said this, he or she is on the way to loosing their bar card.

  2. Hi Randy,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Casey behaved unethically and illegally in an attempt to get rich quick through real estate. He lied on his mortgage applications. Nothing is admirable in that behavior.

    Although he seems to have come clean, I'm not sure the lesson has sunk in yet. Yes, he appears to be trying to avoid foreclosure. That's better than simply handing the keys to the bank and walking away, which at his age, would have small impact to his financial future. It has yet to be seen whether he crosses the law or ethics again.

    Of course, the whole thing could be a hoax. Fiction designed to create publicity for personal gain. I haven't ruled that out.

    The potential benefit is to readers who are facing foreclosure themselves. There's a mountain of foreclosures in Colorado and it's likely to get worse before it gets better. There's nothing wrong with trying be accountable for one's actions and exercising creativity in the sale of a home.

    For a great writeup on Casey, be sure to check out the Motley Fool article.

  3. The kid needs to be thrown in prison ASAP for falsifying information on his applications.

  4. Randy is correct. A raffle is gaming and is of course highly regulated in all states.


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This document contains forward-looking statements. You are strongly cautioned that investment results are subject to business, economic and other uncertainties. There are no guarantees associated with any forecast and the opinions stated here are subject to change at any time. Always consult your financial advisor before making an investment decision.