A COUPLE who built a £650,000 dream home are raffling off their six-bedroomed mansion because they cannot sell it.

As victims of the housing market crisis, Vicky and Simon Brown have resorted to gambling their house away on the internet at £25 a ticket.

After taking two years to build, they moved into the property ten months ago but were forced to put it on the market soon after when faced with crippling mortgage repayments.

Now they are hoping the raffle will spark enough interest to enable them to hand over the keys to their home in Ingleby Barwick, Stockton.

Mrs Brown, 30, said that despite lowering the price to £595,000 no firm offers had been made.

He said: “It would be fantastic to stay as it is a dream home, but we are having to move out for financial reasons.

We are not trying to make a profit, we just want to break even.

“A friend gave us the idea for the raffle. We have done research on the internet and it has worked for lots of people.”

The three-storey property, on Europe’s largest private housing estate, was designed by Mr Brown, 33, the founder and managing director of Calm Asylum creative agency, based in Middlesbrough.

The top floor has three bedrooms, one with its own dressing room and an en-suite with a double bath. It leads down to a further three bedrooms and a living room, which has a balcony looking down on the ground floor below.

The downstairs features a luxury kitchen, sun room, dining room and another living room, which is fronted by a wall of glass.

Mrs Brown said: “The interior is mainly white. It is really gorgeous and very much a party house.”

The couple, who have a 21- month-year-old daughter, Lexi, and are expecting their second child in November, have put a reserve price on the raffle to protect their investment in case enough tickets are not sold.

A proportion of money raised will go to charity and cover the administration costs of the transaction, which has been approved by a solicitor.

Mrs Brown said that if the reserve was not met, the raffle would still be drawn, with the winner receiving the total prize fund.

She said: “We are hoping that the raffle will generate lots of interest. It has better odds than winning the Lottery.”

■ Tickets are expected to go on sale in the middle of this week. See The Northern Echo for details.