MANHATTAN (AFP) — Donald Trump's childhood home in New York — already sold twice since 2016 — is back on the market.
But this time, the real estate agency is appealing directly to the president's fans to buy the house for the unprecedented price of $3 million and offer it to Trump as a gift.
Paramount Realty agency on Tuesday launched a fundraiser on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe, calling on Trump fans to contribute toward the goal of reaching $3 million.
If the money is raised, the house will be given to the outgoing president.
The agency had recently tried to sell the house, located in the affluent Jamaica Estates neighborhood in New York's Queens borough, for $3 million at classic auctions, but without success.
But then they came up with the crowdfunding strategy, which has "never been done before," Paramount real estate agent Misha Haghani told AFP.
"It is more likely that one million people who love Trump would each give three dollars, rather than a wealthy buyer giving three million," he said.
Based on his real estate criteria, the mock Tudor five bedroom, four bathroom house — where Trump lived until age four, when he moved to a more affluent home nearby — is barely worth more than $1 million.
But its "intangible value" makes it "unique," Haghani said.
The house was sold for $2.14 million in March 2017, shortly after Trump took office. And now that the former real estate mogul is about to leave the White House in January, buying the house is "almost like a thank you or a going away present for those who do love him," Haghani explained.
The goal is to capitalize on the fervor sparked by the "polarizing" leader, he said.
Trump, who changed his state of residence to Florida from New York in October 2019, was not consulted for the house project, Haghani added.
Even if he no longer wants the house — though he said he would like to buy it when it went on sale in 2016 — his fans wouldn't have invested for nothing: the GoFundMe page states the house would then go to a charity chosen by Trump.
And if he doesn't choose a charity, "we will make a selection for him," Haghani said.
Will Trump fans take the bait? Just after the GoFundMe went live Tuesday, the fundraiser had received a single donation of $45.
© Agence France-Presse
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