The housing and financial industries are an ever-changing world and the rise in cryptocurrency has started a purchasing trend like no other. Professional athletes, like NFL tight end Sean Culkin, have converted entire salaries into bitcoin. This demonstrates the growing popularity of cryptocurrency and the new money trend of the 21st century.
With the rise of cryptocurrency, many are wondering what they can spend their crypto-cash on. From everyday small purchases to large investments, there is a lot you can do with cryptocurrency. But can you buy a house with Bitcoin?
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital currency that has no centralized authority and is not backed by any bank or government. There is no thing as a physical ‘Bitcoin’, as it is more just a ledger of transactions that anyone can see, known as a blockchain. Bitcoin is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies there is. If you are interested, you can learn more about Bitcoin here.
There are other cryptocurrencies, with perhaps Ethereum (ETH) being the most popular alternative to Bitcoin. Another well-known cryptocurrency is Litecoin (LTC), which is seen as a later version of Bitcoin.
Can Bitcoin be taxed?
Bitcoin can be taxed, depending on the country. For example, in the United States, cryptocurrency is considered property and is subject to capital gains tax in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This means that if you are a U.S. taxpayer, you have to report bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions on your tax return. Given that cryptocurrency is considered a form of property and not as money, it is taxed similarly to stocks.
How do you purchase a home with Bitcoin?
The first home ever purchased entirely with cryptocurrency was in 2017 in Texas. In a matter of minutes, the closing was done, and the transaction was completed with Bitcoin.
When purchasing a home using Bitcoin, the two parties must agree on the transaction, and both buyer and seller must have Bitcoin accounts. The transaction, once completed, is irreversible and cannot be undone. Some considerations are needed when looking to buy a house using cryptocurrency:
- The seller and their representatives need to understand the options and methods of cryptocurrency.
- The price is highly volatile, given that cryptocurrency is not backed by any tangible product.
- There can be a lot of risks involved for the seller, especially in a 1031 exchange.
Benefits of using cryptocurrencies for home buying:
Buying a home is a huge investment and not one to be taken lightly. There are a lot of benefits to using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies when purchasing a home. For one, it can be like a cakewalk moving through the process, along with saving you a lot of stress. Some benefits include:
- Less paperwork, which helps the environment
- Minimal settlement time
- Secure and proof of ownership
- Minimal transaction fee
- Some sellers are interested in investing in cryptocurrency and may offer a discount
- Fewer fees due to the absence of intermediaries
Challenges of using cryptocurrencies for home buying:
Just as there are benefits, there are also challenges that can come with buying a home using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Despite having existed since 2009, there is still hesitancy amongst the general public to jump into the world of Bitcoin. Some challenges of using Bitcoin to pay mortgages include:
- The volatility of the price is extremely high
- Contract default risk is high due to cryptocurrency price volatility
- Some sellers may not accept cryptocurrency for the purchase of their home
- U.S. income tax liability to convert cryptocurrency to USD
There is a helpful table that compares Bitcoin transactions to standard USD transactions for purchasing a home here. The table also compares the different ways you can buy a home using Bitcoin and the pros and cons of each method.
Where can I buy a house with Bitcoin?
It can be difficult to find a place that lists what houses accept Bitcoin like a traditional real estate website. This can complicate a rather seamless process. Add on the stress of moving and packing, it can be a lot to try and find the right home.
Here are some websites to get you started on your search:
If you are just starting your home-buying journey, it is important to remember that things can change on a dime. The right home for you will pop up eventually, so it is important to stay optimistic and have hope.
Turn your Bitcoin into a tangible investment.
When it comes time to buy a home, you can consider cryptocurrency as a payment option. It is a great way to implement the money you earn through Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency services into larger life ambitions, goals, and dreams. The changing world of cryptocurrency has already gained a steady trend in availability and interest. And with services like Bitcoin, you can achieve things that were perhaps not possible with traditional money spending power.
If you are ready to start your home buying journey, reach out to specialists at Hero Home Programs™. They work hard to save you thousands of dollars on the home buying process. From discounted vendors to local grants, they can help you attain your homeownership goal.