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Ever dream of owning a vacation home? In this economy, it seems like prices are just going up and up. But don’t fret over that right now, because your dream is alive and well in Maine, where you could get your hands on a beautiful country inn for the low, low price of $125 (USD), a stamp and a 200-word essay.

Don’t let the price tag fool you. This place is truly the stuff of John Irving novels: Wrap-around porch? Check. White Mountain views? Check. Copious amounts of New England charm? Check. All you need is a girl dressed in a bear suit and you’ve got yourself all the makings of a best-seller.

We spoke to the current owner, Janice Sage, on the phone about the eligibility requirements, and she said that Canadians can definitely apply. “Oh yes, it’s actually gone international,” she said with a meek kindness.

Sage originally secured the property in 1993 from Bil and Susie Mosca, who held an essay contest and charged $100 for the cost of entry. (Damn, that inflation!) The contest didn’t have quite the reach it does today, though the couple was lucky enough to get a spot on The Phil Donahue Show. Thanks to the Internet, this humble essay-writing contest has gone viral.

So, how does it work? You go to the rules and regulations page, print everything out, write 200 words to show why you deserve the opportunity to move in and work as an innkeeper for at least one year, and then it’s all up to chance. Just make sure you fasten that essay to the application nice and tight!

Bonus: according to the rules, if there are at least 7,500 entries, the winner of the title to the property will also receive $20,000 (USD).

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