Indiana couple giving away their 6,200 sq. foot log cabin for $150 (and an essay)

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COLUMBUS, Ind. — Tim and Deanna Railing want you to have their house.

The couple’s 6,200 square-foot log cabin can be yours if you’re willing to pay $150 and write a really good essay with the theme “a life well lived.”

While trying to sell their home through conventional means, the Railings heard a story on the nightly news about a woman in Maine who gave her house away through an essay contest. That idea appealed to them, so they decided to do the same thing with their house.

“From the time we bought the house, we’ve looked for ways we could help others with it, whether it was moving people in who were between jobs, we started foster care,” Deanna explained in a Skype interview with WGN Morning News. “So, when this opportunity came up, it seemed to suit the house and our desires fairly well that we could help somebody else out through this and make it a win-win.”

In addition to an indoor pool and hot tub, the home features several bedrooms, a fire pit in the backyard and a large kitchen and dining area.

For more information and to enter the contest, go to


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  • Wingman

    After reading the entry form, the need a minimum of 4500 entrants. It looks like a raffle to me… If the house is worth 500K there and they bring in a min of 675K, that makes a nice profit! Nice ploy.

  • Laura Riley

    Your home is beautiful. I hope you find the right match. Good luck and God bless. Your swimming pool and hot tub are great. My daughter, Hannah, has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since she was eighteen months old…she’s fourteen now. I am also disabled.

  • Richard

    Would be perfect for all of our medical issues, a pool and hot tub is where I drive every day for back therapy. I ha email had 2 failed spinal fusions. Been doing aquatic therapy. . I am 38 with 4 children and wife. My back has been TERRIBLE SINCE 2008. Have not worked since janunary of this year, and they want to permanently disabled me. It’s hard to have a good quality of life when everyday I have to soak in a small bath tub for relief to just wash and dry myself. My own pool and hot tub, would be a God sent, if this is true I can prove all the medical issues in paper reports and cds. Please let this be real. My 2 oldest children, their biological father died when my 1y year old was almost 2 and my wife now of 11 years was pregnant when the father passed, so besides the. 2 my wife wanted more and we now have 3 boys ,16,14,9 and a baby girl who is 7. The house set up would change our lives, I can not even walk up stairs without pain. And all they can do is give me more meds and theraphy.but aquatic helps me sooooo much that to own my own pool and b able to do theraphy without getting a ride to theraphy would be a huge Blessing. Thank you for listening to a little bit of our life story, it could be worse, but this house’s features would help my quality of life more than anyone could understand. Thank you for your time, and God Bless you.

    • teresa furnifur

      That’s so sad…unfortunately we all have it hard..or most do..noone said it was gonna be easy….hopefully one day you and your family will have a pool and a hot tub..I’d love to try to win this house but unfortunately I can’t afford to throw 150 out the window on hopes of a pipe dream…would be amazing tho….

  • Skeptical lady

    After seeing this and checking the website, I am wondering what their goal is. At $150.00 per essay for 4,500 applicants, that is the $675.000 the home is valued at, therefore the couple is making money, no different than if they just sold the property. So, why not just sell?

    Second, taxes and fees, I am sorry but for those of you on disability, you probably do not have enough income to afford taxes on a piece of property valued at $675,000 00. Then, there would be ongoing maitance costs associated with the upkeep of the property and pool. Thefore, who are the property owners really targeting with this contest?

    Third, what repairs and maitance already need done to the property? The website clearly states “as is” in relation to the house and properly.

    These are just the three main observations and questions I have after briefly looking at the website.

    • howellc4

      All good points. But selling “as is” does not implicate there are problems with the property, I suspect they just want to avoid any additional sellers costs like offering a home warranty. I think they should just call it what it is, its a raffle. But alas there are legal issues with that, in Indiana to hold a raffle legally they would need a gaming license, hence the essay contest with an entry fee. I’m sure they consulted with an attorney, seeing how this is structured. I’m more surprised by how many people think this is a pity giveaway contest…

  • Catherine Peralta

    I just lossed my best friend husband and soul mate who literally died in my arms after a tight squeeze and that last gasping breath that has laeft me permanenly devastated. I can now relate to ALL our Troops that suffer with PTSD because I now suffer from Iit too. It’s a terribly devastating thing to loose someone so close to you…your other half and have to hold them while reassuring them it’s okay to stop fighting a battle that is incurable. It would have been selfish not to when you know in your heart they are tired and have witnessed them deteriorate and suffer 41/2 long years only because you are in such denial and don’t ever want to loose them. Especially when the hospital was at fault for giving him the awful Antibiotic Infection that was the problem and what he died from…Not the Cancer! I am all alone now struggling to even eat. I can’t afford nothing but the bills that are always late getting paid or disconnections. It’s hard when your husband was the provider and then you have to figure out ways to survive. Literally:(