How one woman used TikTok to trade a hairpin for a house

woman holding house keyIf you cast your mind back to May 2020, you may have been deep in a quarantine project.

Perhaps you decided to do some DIY, learn how to knit, write the next great British novel, or binge all five seasons of Breaking Bad in a week.

For one Californian woman, her quarantine project was more ambitious than most.

It started with a hairpin. A common object you might have lying around your bedroom, down the back of the sofa, or stuffed in a drawer somewhere.

It ended with a house in Clarksville, Tennessee.

It may sound like an impossible situation – the kind of thing you see in movies, not in real life. But for the 29-year-old TikTok star Demi Skipper, this two-year trade-up was the real deal.

A simple idea with an epic payoff

It would be easy to assume that Demi Skipper, a now-famous social media star with more than 5 million followers, was just a rich kid playing at trading for fun. In actual fact, she was an architecture student in Virginia – an average newlywed who was determined to make this project work.

Back in 2020, Skipper, known as @trademeproject on TikTok, declared she would trade up one hairpin for various objects that would increase in value until she had a house, with three simple rules:

  1. No trading with family or friends
  2. No money will be spent (except for mandatory shipping costs)
  3. No trade-backs.

People accused Skipper of being a scammer, and of selling her followers a silly pipe dream. Skipper joined so many Facebook trading groups that she was temporarily banned because the site thought she was a bot.

Luckily, one woman decided to take a gamble on Skipper’s idea and trade a pair of earrings she’d received as a gift, in exchange for this single hairpin.

From there, 27 more trades occurred over a 19-month period. From a pair of Jordans, to an Apple Mac, to a $2,000 diamond necklace, to a “celebrity Chipotle card” traded by none other than Paris Hilton, Skipper worked her way up the chain and wound up with her goal prize: a house, which she and her husband are planning to renovate and live in eventually.

What you can learn from this “impossible” trade-up

Demi Skipper is a proud homeowner with no mortgage. Her deposit? A 1-cent hairpin.

While this is not exactly a typical house-buying situation, there is something to be learned from Skipper’s story: innovation can be the key to success.

Using the same social media channels that many of us visit daily, Skipper turned what some would see as a ridiculous idea into a solid asset – a home in which she can live and work.

“This feels so surreal,” she admits in her TikTok video from November 2021, in which she walks up to her new home for the first time.

In the middle of a global pandemic, this young woman turned a seemingly invaluable object into a home. This may not be your path to becoming a homeowner, but the innovation and perseverance Skipper displays throughout her heavily documented journey could inspire you to get creative when looking for your dream home.

You might not be flogging your hair accessories on Facebook to pay for your house, but you might feel motivated by Skipper’s story when it comes to finding the home you’ve always wanted.

Get in touch

If you are looking for your dream home and need professional guidance, get in touch with us today. Working with an experienced mortgage expert could put you one step closer to achieving your goals.

Email [email protected] or call 0131 339 2281 to speak to us.

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