If you’re a fan of property and enjoy entering competitions you’ll no doubt have heard of the Omaze dream house prize draws.
If you haven’t, then here’s a quick summary of how they work: each month, a fabulous multi-million-pound home is up for grabs for the price of a raffle ticket, with part of the proceeds going to charity.
While the thought of sunning yourself in the lavish gardens or entertaining friends in the vast dining rooms of these luxury houses is the stuff of daydreams, some people have raised concerns about problems with these houses and the upkeep.
They feel that there are often problems with the location of the prize draw homes and with how affordable they really are for the average person to own if they were to win.
Problems with the Omaze dream homes
Omaze house Cotswolds 3 problems
The June 2023 Omaze prize house draw saw a third Cotswolds house up for grabs.
The £3.5million home in Conduit Hill near Chipping Campden seemed perfect in every way.
But it wasn’t long until people started commenting on one major problem with the luxury home.
It was located immediately next door to Westington Quarry and stone merchants. In fact, only a thin strip of land and a few trees separate the property from the business.
However, no quarrying actually takes place anymore, although the stone merchants’ business is still active and is run by Pavestone UK Ltd.
This means there’s likely to be a steady stream of traffic to and from the site, including HGVs.
And whether the sound of vehicle reversing alarms coming from lorries and forklift trucks carries over to the grounds of the idyllic property, well only the lucky owner will know.
Related post: View the Omaze Cotswolds 3 house including location map
Omaze house Cotswolds 1 problems
In 2021 a £2.5million property in the hamlet of Radford near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire was raffled off by Omaze, with the Prince’s Trust being the charity to benefit.
However, The Wordons family which won the property, a mansion known as Willowbrook House, soon began to complain that the property had been built in a valley that was prone to repeated flooding.
When the issue found it’s way onto the pages of the national media, long-standing residents living near to the home claimed it was well-know locally that the valley had been flooding for hundreds of years.
These reports were accompanied by dramatic photos of the Omaze property, which had been built on the site of an old cottage, and parts of the surrounding 2.5 acres of land submerged in floodwater.
The company which built Willowbrook House was forced to spend thousands of pounds to remedy the problem.
Omaze house Devon (Combe Martin Bay) problems
In 2021 a luxurious home overlooking Combe Martin Bay in Devon was won in the Omaze prize draw.
At the time the £3million five-bedroomed property, known as Stealth House, was singled out for its ‘James Bond’ style, but its new owner moved out within days due to the risks presented by coastal erosion.
A story on MailOnline in August 2023 highlighted the problems the Omaze Devon house winner had.
It stated that the winner, Glen Elmy, handed back to keys to Omaze within three days of moving in in October 2021 and asked for the cash equivalent, which is allowed under the Omaze terms and conditions.
Since then, the property has remained empty. It is not clear whether Omaze agreed to pay Mr Elmy an equivalent cash amount or not.
How difficult is it to sell the Omaze dream Homes?
The more expensive a property is, the more limited the pool of potential buyers can be.
And with the Omaze prize houses regularly being valued at upwards of £2 million or even £3 million, there’s going to be a limited market if you win and choose to sell up.
In terms of problems selling an Omaze dream home, valuable properties generally take longer to sell than those which are affordable to the average UK buyer.
So, if you luck out and win the top prize and need to sell quickly you might have to offer a hefty discount to tempt buyers.
Looking at the winners over the past couple of years, the trend seems to be to spend a couple of months in the property before selling up.
A few winners have kept their prize property to either live in, rent out or use as a holiday home, but it seems most people want to get their hands on the cash to buy a new home somewhere else.
The fact that many of the Omaze properties are in fairly remote locations could be the reason for this.
However, it’s not always the case. In May 2023 a lucky winner scooped a fabulous waterside home in the picturesque Cornish town of Fowey.
The winner chose to take a summer holiday in the property before promptly advertising it for sale on Rightmove.
Are the Omaze house running costs a problem?
One complaint that’s often made about Omaze dream homes is the problems surrounding the cost of their upkeep and how the average person could afford it, especially as many feature stunning landscaped gardens which would need a team of gardeners to maintain.
While there are clearly significant costs involved in keeping and maintaining a lavish home, there are other factors to consider.
The main point to remember is that the property is mortgage free so for most people that’s automatically a large chunk of cash that they can use towards maintenance if they were lucky enough to win and sold their existing home.
Then you need to think of the proceeds from the sale of your existing property which, if you’ve managed to build up a decent amount of equity, will go a long way to paying the council tax, covering utility bills and ensuring any repairs are promptly fixed.
The homes are also ‘free and clear’ from any of the other costs associated with buying a property, such as Stamp Duty and conveyancing fees.
Also, you may have noticed that the stunning photos taken to illustrate the homes each month feature luxurious furniture and top-of-the-range appliances. Well, these are included in the prize so that’s another cost you won’t have to worry about.
And, of course, there’s the £100,000 tax free cash prize that comes with the dream home for one lucky winner each month.
This will also be enough to cover all the likely bills and expenses for a significant period, giving you enough time to get a handle on just how affordable owning the property would be.