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By John R. Merlino Jr. Esq.
Founding Attorney

Can I buy a home in bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency that has rocked the financial market. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies operate without the need for a central bank. Bitcoin has surged in popularity in recent years, with more companies now accepting the revolutionary currency. Supporters of cryptocurrencies believe that in the future, all major assets will be purchased using digital currencies, with traditional funds becoming obsolete. Already, the real estate market is starting to consider the use of Bitcoin for selling and purchasing homes.

Selling a Home for Bitcoin

Properties across the country have already been sold for cryptocurrency. Luxury property owners in California, Texas, and elsewhere across the nation have elected to receive cryptocurrency in lieu of cash, despite the wide price fluctuations in the popular digital currency. Currently, at least 140 properties listed across the state for sale or rent incorporate Bitcoin in the listing.

Supporters of the use of cryptocurrency for real estate, like Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran, feel that the future of real estate lies in Bitcoin. The millennial generation is in support of all measures that cut out the middleman, and Bitcoin is just that. As a peer-to-peer currency, Bitcoin can enable transactions without a central bank. In fact, Corcoran has stated that she believes banks will eventually become completely unnecessary.

Detractors to the use of Bitcoin for large ticket purchases like homes point to several major drawbacks to the currency. For one, the peer-to-peer nature of a crypto sale means that there is no insurance or appraisal. This could lead to risky home purchases for the unwitting buyer. Even further, Bitcoin’s value is far from stable. Bitcoin reached a valuation of more than $19,000 in December, before falling to around $7,087 today. Volatility makes it difficult for home sellers to set an accurate valuation as to their property.

Real estate lawyers and professionals can overcome the potential challenges to a Bitcoin based transaction through research, planning, and client education. Several successful Bitcoin transactions have already been conducted nationwide. Anyone interested in selling their home for Bitcoin should contact a real estate attorney for additional assistance.

About the Author
John is a fierce advocate and the office guru for problem-solving and brainstorming. He guides clients through every stage of a real estate transaction from offer to contract, navigating through nerve-shattering home inspection and title clearance concerns, maintaining constant contact with lenders, conducting the actual closing, and continuing to advise clients with regard to any post-closing concerns.  John brings a practical and fair-minded approach to the process which has earned him the respect of his clients and peers.