By James Geddes
It sounds too strange to be true, but An Austrian man really managed to unload his previously unsellable Detroit house in exchange for an iPhone 6, and even landed some pocket cash in the process.
It all started in 2010, when Andreas Gindelhuber bought the house for $41,000 as a foreclosure in an attempt to capitalize on the tanking Detroit housing market. He planned to keep the house as a rental property, which would provide a steady income. But as the market plummeted further and houses around his started to become abandoned, Gindelhuber decided to take his losses and sell the home.
He hired real estate agent Larry Else, and they agreed to list the house for a mere $3000. Even at that bargain basement price tag, there were still no takers after many months. That was when Gindelhuber decided he would swap the house for an iPhone 6 or iPad.
Else decided if Gindelhuber was serious, he would include the offer in the house’s real estate listing. Else felt that the iPhone swap would be a great eye-catcher to make the listing stand out among thousands of others, as the house was a hard sell, even at a price of zero. The property was in bad condition, including smoke damage and missing doors and windows. In addition, it came with a $6000 bill for back property taxes, which Gindelhuber owed the county.
The strategy worked, as the listing soon went viral when the local Fox affiliate reported a house available for swap of an iPhone 6. As a result, the house was quickly sold for less than $1000, although Else refused to disclose the exact amount.
But where does the iPhone 6 come in? The story made it all the way to Germany, where a reader of a German magazine saw it and sent Gindelhuber an email explaining, “I’m not interested in this villa, but I wanted to donate my iPhone 6 to the seller of this house. It’s brand new. The advertisement touched me somehow.”
Gindelhuber is thrilled to have his new iPhone 6, along with an undisclosed amount of cash to boot. We could not contact the German man for comment, as he no longer has an iPhone!