The question “can you buy a house with bitcoin?” wasn’t even a thing a few years ago. But nowadays reality shows us that crypto has become so popular that there can be nothing impossible in its usage.
The amount of private home sellers, real estate agencies, and mortgage companies who accept Bitcoin and other crypto is growing every day, so we can definitely say that crypto has become an alternative form of payment. Although it hasn’t been completely normalized, there are legal ways out there to buy house with bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
- Can You Buy a House with Bitcoin?
- Can I Pay My Mortgage with Bitcoin?
- The Pros and Cons of Buying a House with Bitcoin
- FAQ: Buy a House with BTC
Can You Buy a House with Bitcoin?
The short answer is yes, as you could have guessed. Two main options are buying directly from the individual and through a financial institution. We will take a look at both options and talk about the pioneer in this field.
The first case of buying property with bitcoin
This happened in 2017 in Austin, Texas, a growing hotspot for technology companies. An anonymous person bought a single-family house through Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty. The agent confessed that they couldn’t believe the speed of the transaction – just under 10 minutes, the BTC was exchanged to USD and the deal was done.
The main challenge to buy a house paying with BTC was finding someone who would accept crypto instead of US dollars.
Buying a house from individuals
If you’re interested in buying a house using bitcoin from an individual, you first need to find someone willing to accept BTC as payment. The most important moment here is: because transferring crypto has no legal paper trail, for both of you need to have a legal representative to coordinate you during the process.
Buying a house from agencies and companies
It is possible to purchase real estate with cryptocurrency outside of private sellers. In 2022 there are several real estate groups that give buyers such an ability, and the amount of these establishments is growing. We will give some examples here.
- Pacaso — allows crypto users to co-own luxury properties like beach houses, city condos, mountain chalets, etc.
- Condos.com — uses BitPay to clear the way for crypto real estate transactions in top U.S. cities like Miami, New York, San Francisco, and more.
Another interesting case study. Non-fungible tokens can be used to confirm the ownership of real-world property. Potentially, NFTs can provide an opportunity to bypass middlemen because blockchain can verify ownership.
NFTs to buy a house
A perfect example of this would be a recent case in Ukraine. In May 2021, Propy, a real estate group of professionals, helped Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch, to list his apartment in Kyiv as a real estate-backed NFT. The price of the property was $93,000 and this purchase became “the world’s first real estate NFT.” The same real estate group sold their next apartment as an NFT in Florida in April 2022.
Can I Pay My Mortgage with Bitcoin?
At first glance, major banks worldwide, unfortunately, don’t accept cryptocurrency yet. But, there is always a loophole. Fortunately, there are quite a lot of crypto-friendly banks out there. By using a crypto debit card you can easily make your monthly payments, but of course, it should be clarified with your bank first.
In case of the successful answer, you will use your crypto card just like any other debit card, but instead of taking funds from a bank account, you will be charged crypto from your wallet.
Another piece of good news: Freddie Mac, from The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, has announced his position regarding the use of Bitcoin in the mortgage qualification process. Apparently, it will be possible to use BTC to secure a mortgage loan if some requirements are met.
The Pros and Cons of Buying a House with Bitcoin
As it is with any big purchase, if you want to buy house with bitcoin there are many things to take into consideration.
- Better deal
If you’re lucky enough to find a seller who believes in BTC value and its potential, you could possibly get a better price. If a seller looks at BTC as an investment, they’d rather receive coins straight into their crypto wallet instead of dealing with banks, exchanges, long waiting times, and commissions. Moreover, when you pay with crypto you may stand out and have a better chance of getting a property compared to people with cash offers.
- Faster deal
As mentioned before, bank transactions may take ages, especially when talking about a big amount of money. Buying property with Bitcoin may accelerate the process.
- Avoiding red tape
In theory, when selling property in one country and moving to another to buy one there, you have to deal with declarations to move money across the border and explain to several authorities where the money is from. After that, you will need to open a local bank account and deposit money there, plus pay the fees for doing so.
When dealing only with crypto this is avoidable. You can deposit crypto to your wallet (or receive money from selling property directly to your wallet) and then use it to buy your home in the next place. But not all the countries are as easy when it comes to buying property without a local bank account.
This world appears everywhere when talking about crypto. Bitcoin is extremely unstable, as we could all see in 2022. You may have enough BTC to buy a particular house today, but tomorrow its value against fiat will go down and you won’t be able to commit the same transaction you intended to do yesterday.
In the USA, the UK, and other countries selling crypto is subjected to taxes. Paying taxes on crypto is not easy and it’s super common to make mistakes when reporting to the IRS/HMRC/other tax offices.
No matter how great user cases are about people who bought houses for Bitcoin, it is still pretty rare in the world. You may be the first person to do this in your city or even on your continent.
- Legal issues
Blockchain technology is great in terms of anonymity. But anonymous transactions are not great from a legal point of view. Also, you need to remember that sending crypto is not a reversible transaction. If something goes wrong in the process, you can’t get your money back.
Buying a house with Bitcoin is tricky but possible. With due diligence, it is possible to find a suitable option, whether you’re looking for a cheap house share or a luxury apartment in a picturesque area.
FAQ: Buy a House with BTC
It is possible but it’s not easy. You either need to find a seller who’s willing to accept BTC, use a crypto debit card for mortgage payments, or withdraw crypto to your bank account to use that money as payment.
For now, the list of countries where these kinds of transactions happened is very low – USA, Portugal, Ukraine, Panama, and Ecuador. But if you can find a seller who accepts BTC in Indonesia or Madagaskar, it is possible to make a deal.
The main reason is that you can avoid bank institutions, which means no fees, no exchange rate issues, no declaring, and no waiting times. Also, there are not many international banks in the country anyway, so crypto became a new opportunity for the real estate market.
It depends on the seller or estate agency, but generally BTC (Bitcoin) and ETH (Ethereum) are the most popular, as well as stable coins, such as USDT (Tether), BUSD (Binance’s stable coin), and so on.