New York town selling mansion for $50K - but there's a catch

A city in New York is offering citizens the chance to own a Victorian mansion for just $50,000 if they can provide a fully-formed restoration plan for the property.

The 6,000 square-foot home in Auburn is on sale as part of a contest hosted by the city and a real estate agent. The three-story, 10-bedroom home was built in 1861, and the city later purchased it as a foreclosure.

Auburn’s planning department, along with real estate agent Michael DeRosa, concocted the plan to sell it to the most creative bidder.

“It’s not so much the buyer who offers the best price that is of importance here, it’s the buyer with the best intended use and plan to restore this mansion that really matters,” DeRosa said.

Interested buyers have to provide a plan that includes time frames and costs as well as explain in detail what they want to do with the nearly 1-acre property. Applicants have until 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 8 to finalize their offers, according to DeRosa.

The Auburn City Council will choose a winner with the most creative idea that night with a vote.

DeRosa said that Christine McConnell, who stars in the Neftlix series “The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell,” is one of the people who submitted an offer and plan.

The home, which was built by Auburn banker James Sheldon Seymour, also contains hardwood floors, four marble fireplaces, three full bathrooms and two half baths. There is a two-story carriage house on the property as well.

“The James Seymour Mansion is attracting passionate historic home lovers from all over the country, and it’s not only the home that’s intriguing to buyers - it’s the beautiful, historic city of Auburn that’s fascinating to them as well,” DeRosa said.

Auburn is about four hours away from New York City.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.