Real estate agency asks Trump fans to buy him childhood home

NEW YORK (AFP) – United States (US) President Donald Trump’s (pic below, AFP) 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 USD3 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 towards the goal of reaching USD3 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 neighbourhood in New York’s Queens borough, for USD3 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 USD1 million.

But its “intangible value” makes it “unique”, Haghani said.

The house was sold for USD2.14 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 capitalise on the fervour sparked by the “polarising” 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 on Tuesday, the fundraiser had received a single donation of USD45.