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Bitcoin Value Has Come Roaring Back: Why Not Use It To Buy a New House?



Crypto is back.

Bitcoin prices hit a record high of $73,000 on March 13. Though demand briefly dropped for bitcoin‘s exchange-traded funds as investors started to pull their profits out, the cryptocurrency is currently trading at around $65,000. The price will change day to day, yet the fact remains that the cryptocurrency is well above the $44,000 it was valued at earlier in the year.

If you’re a cryptocurrency investor riding the current wild wave of the bitcoin rally, then the thought has probably crossed your mind: Can I buy a house with crypto?


The short answer is yes—and we’ve got the home listings taking bitcoin offers to prove it.

Since owning the digital currency doesn’t come with a field guide to your purchasing power, we got the scoop from several real estate agents from around the country who are seasoned in bitcoin and crypto-backed deals.


Here’s everything you need to know about the history of buying real estate with bitcoin, where it stands now, and how the experts recommend navigating crypto-backed real estate transactions in today’s market.



Why use bitcoin in the housing market?


The experts we spoke to anticipate that buying a house with bitcoin will become more popular in the future. That isn’t just because people want to diversify their original crypto investments. Instead, buying with bitcoin might allow you to grow two investments simultaneously.

“Given that bitcoin is a digital currency, it can be likened to using collateral in mortgages,” says Bozana Cavar, broker associate with Parsiani Real Estate and Miami-based adviser for RealOpen. “Some individuals leverage their bitcoin holdings to secure loans, using their digital currency wallet as an asset to purchase a mortgage.”

According to Cavar, this strategy allows buyers to pay off the mortgage while retaining ownership of their bitcoin without the need for conversion. The practice is gaining popularity, especially in crypto-friendly markets like Miami.



Bitcoin deals have come a long way


Although once met with skepticism, crypto-backed real estate deals have become streamlined since the currency’s early days. The proof is in the history, perfectly illustrated by this story of Southern California’s first-ever bitcoin-backed real estate sale.

In 2016, Los Angeles–based real estate broker Piper Moretti, of The Crypto Realty Group, struggled to figure out how to help her buyer purchase a $3.2 million home with bitcoin.

“The listing agent was positive we were trying to scam everyone from Day 1,” says Moretti. “The escrow’s attorneys heard we were using bitcoin and kicked us out of escrow.”

With seven days until the deal was due to close, Moretti scrambled to find a new escrow company. Meanwhile, bitcoin went up drastically, her client made millions overnight, and they decided to buy a Lamborghini from a dealership that accepted bitcoin.


“I told him to give me everything on the transaction—anything that could prove you could buy high-ticketed items with this new internet-nerd money,” says Moretti. “I sent everything over to the listing agent and the new escrow company, and voilà, we closed.”



No longer just ‘internet-nerd money’


According to Crypto.com, at the close of 2023, there were an estimated 580 million cryptocurrency owners globally, of which 51% (roughly 296 million) were bitcoin owners.

Despite Moretti’s story, cryptocurrency isn’t just for the super-rich. According to a recent report from the digital currency payment solution company Triple-A, cryptocurrency owners’ average global annual salary is just $25,000.

One of the biggest takeaways from talking to real estate agents with cryptocurrency experience is this: Buying property with bitcoin isn’t as complicated as you think.

If you’re considering buying a home with bitcoin or any other widely recognized cryptocurrency, you have several options. Here’s how it works.



Work with a crypto-conversion platform


As we all know, bitcoin is not cold, hard cash; so, find a company that can help facilitate the transaction.

“People aren’t as educated about the new currency, but we do have a lot of platforms out there that will convert it for them,” says Cavar. “When the seller knows they’re getting cash at closing, the fact that the buyer is using digital currency doesn’t affect much.”

Companies such as Propy and RealOpen essentially turn the crypto buyer into a cash buyer by receiving marketable cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum, and converting them into cash for the seller.

“The seller may never even know they’re working with a crypto buyer,” says Cavar.

According to its website, Propy has processed $4 billion in transactions for consumers and agents from Compass, Keller Williams, Re/Max, Realty Austin, and ACME Real Estate, among others.



How to take out a crypto-backed mortgage


Another option for purchasing a home with bitcoin is to take out a crypto-backed mortgage.

“There are so many lenders now that will issue a loan leveraged against crypto,” says Cavar. “So you can keep your crypto investment and still finance a property.”

Rather than forcing you to cash out your investment or season the funds, some lenders will allow you to secure your loan using your active cryptocurrency portfolio.

The key here is to work with an agent who knows the suitable lenders and processes to facilitate the transaction.



Work with a crypto-certified agent


Since lenders might not always advertise their willingness to accept cryptocurrency, having the right connections is essential.

“As crypto-certified real estate agents, we can get really creative,” says Cavar. “I have referrals to lending companies that will convert crypto to loans or exchange transfer companies that handle the transaction and will insure the client.”

Remember that some real estate markets are friendlier than others when accepting cryptocurrency in these kinds of transactions.

Miami is the U.S. crypto hub,” says Houston-based Johnny Schiro, of RealOpen. “New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Las Vegas, and Colorado also have significant crypto real estate activity.”



Will bitcoin in real estate last?


Those in the industry seem optimistic about the future of this latest real estate trend.

“It’s definitely not going anywhere,” says Moretti. “There are cycles that run every few years where we see many more sales, and we’re about to hit another busy one.”

Beyond cycles, there’s also the fact that successful cryptocurrency owners might wish to diversify their portfolios.

“With the recent crypto market run, it’s likely that many investors now hold an outsized portion of their crypto portfolio,” says Shiro. “Which will lead to diversification into investments such as real estate.”

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