December 9 2013 Latest news:
Monday, August 12, 2013
Who lives in a house like this? It could be you – if you’re on the ball.
The one-bedroom penthouse flat overlooking Carrow Road is the prize in an unusual competition organised by Norwich City fan Jonathan Pickess.
When the 38-year-old made the decision to sell the flat, he turned his back on traditional estate agents and has instead set up a spot-the-ball competition in the hope of boosting its price, giving someone a new home for a bargain and raising money for a charity close to his heart.
Entrants pay £10 for three guesses at the ball’s location, with the £160,000 home in Ashman Bank the prize for the winner when the competition closes in January.
Mr Pickess was joined at the competition launch yesterday by friend and former Norwich City striker Iwan Roberts, and confessed friends thought he was “bonkers” when he revealed his plans.
“I like to try different things, and I’m not worried about trying anything,” said the former Army reservist.
“People say it’s too good to be true, but they can look at the flat on the site. It’s the price of two pints of beer to enter – what’s that? - and you could get a property.”
Mr Pickess said he needed to sell the penthouse, which he bought in 2005 and has been renting out as a holiday let, to buy a new home in Norwich after trade at his double-glazing firm slowed, and move out of his parents’ home in London Road North, Lowestoft.
“It’s a mad way to sell a property, I know, but if I can get a bit more than I would by just selling it then I can get back to Norwich,” he said.
Mr Pickess, who served in Iraq attached to the Royal Irish Regiment, hopes to get at least 20,000 entries to recoup the flat’s market value and cover competition costs.
He added: “I would like it to go to a Norwich City fan. It’s in a great location and has fantastic views over the city.”
Ten per cent of the competition’s profits will to the charity Target Ovarian Cancer, after a member of Mr Pickess’s family member was affected by the disease.
“They caught it early and she’s alive, that’s the main thing, so since that happened two years ago they have been my charity.”
Mr Roberts said he thought the competition was “a great idea”, adding: “For a tenner you can get yourself a flat – I think I might have a go myself.”
The competition is capped at 35,000 entries. If there are fewer than 20,000 entries, the penthouse will be replaced with a cash prize of £20,000.