MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - In Mountain View, a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom fully renovated condo went on the market this week, and immediately caught the neighborhood's attention.
The condo at 2000 Rock Street, listed for $999,999, hit the market on Wednesday, and the seller is entertaining cryptocurrency offers in addition to cash and loan offers.
Cryptocurrency is the digital, decentralized type of currency that's made some investors rich in the last decade. And for some, it's their nest egg, full of gains, that if sold, would saddle them with hefty taxes. Purchasing a home with one's cryptocurrency can allow a buyer to defer taxes, says Re/Max real estate agent Greg Bryant, the listing agent for the Mountain View condo.
"Being able to go with companies like my own that are able to help them diversify and defer taxes, makes it so that it's fantastic that they can maintain buying power, pay taxes later," Bryant said.
And for the seller, being open to offers that come in cryptocurrency lets the seller stand out, and rack up competing offers, to sell at a higher price. Bryant said Re/Max is only aware of two other previously listed Bay Area properties that were open to accepting cryptocurrency offers.
However, with cryptocurrency's high volatility, there are risks for the buyer putting out an offer fully in cryptocurrency. They'd have to liquidate a cryptocurrency investment when buying real estate, and bitcoin, for instance, is experiencing a dip in price.
"For most people who are holding onto cryptocurrency, it's not the time to liquidate right now," Faramarz Moeen-Ziai, an East Bay mortgage advisor with Cross Country Morgage, said.
With interest rates still extremely low, Moeen-Ziai says the safer option when buying a home is still to borrow, and recommends prospective buyers consult with their realtor and lender when considering making a real estate transaction with cryptocurrency.
Still, he's seen a noticeable shift in the last six months toward more borrowers dealing in cryptocurrency.
"We've got a lot of borrowers really trying to stretch and squeeze to try to get into the house that they want," Moeen-Ziai said. "And all of a sudden clients of mine, who held crypto, had an incredible windfall, and a tremendous amount of money sitting in those accounts, and wanted to use that as a down payment to increase their buying power."