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10 strange and funny mortgage facts through history: 1

Mortgages and houses. Are a serious matter. So we have tried to track down a few fun facs over a series of blogs. 10 quick facts from history, the weird and wonderful. When did mortgages start? How did they start? What were the terms? Over the years i'm sure there are a million and one strange facts, here are a few. Look out for the next post!

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  1. Ancient Mortgages: In ancient Rome, mortgages were quite different from today. If a borrower failed to repay, the lender could literally claim a pound of the borrower’s flesh as collateral. This practice is famously depicted in William Shakespeare’s play “The Merchant of Venice.”
  2. Mortgage Marathons: In 1999, a couple in New Zealand set the world record for the longest continuous kiss to win a house. They locked lips for 33 hours and 45 minutes, winning a $30,000 mortgage towards their dream home.
  3. Haunted House Discounts: In some places, if a house is considered haunted, it might be challenging to sell. To counter this, some creative real estate agents have offered “haunted house discounts” on mortgages to attract buyers.
  4. Mortgages for Pets: In 2017, a Swedish pet insurance company offered the world’s first mortgage for pets. Pet owners could take out loans to cover unexpected veterinary bills, ensuring their furry friends received the best care.
  5. Equity Release for Celebrities: Some celebrities, like actor Robert Wagner, have endorsed equity release mortgages as a way for older individuals to tap into their home equity. It adds a humorous twist to the idea of famous faces promoting financial products.
  6. Mortgage Burning Parties: In the mid-20th century, it was a tradition for homeowners to celebrate paying off their mortgages by hosting “mortgage burning parties.” They would literally burn their mortgage documents as a symbol of financial freedom.
  7. Mortgages for Islands: In 2019, a crowdfunding campaign attempted to raise money to buy an island and turn it into a cryptocurrency utopia. Participants could contribute and, in return, receive a form of ownership represented by a blockchain-based mortgage.
  8. Mortgage for Beer: In 1965, a brewery in England took an unusual approach to financing. To expand their business, they offered a mortgage on the brewery with a unique bonus – investors were rewarded with a lifetime supply of beer.
  9. Subprime Mortgage Crisis Blame: During the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008, some creative thinkers blamed the trouble on the witches in Salem, Massachusetts. A tongue-in-cheek petition was circulated, stating that the witches were angry about the unfair housing market practices.
  10. Mortgage on the Moon: In 1980, Dennis Hope claimed ownership of the moon and started selling lunar real estate. While not legally recognized, Hope’s Lunar Embassy has sold thousands of “moon deeds,” allowing buyers to officially own a piece of the moon and, hypothetically, take out a mortgage on it.
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