I had a feeling you were talking about your own home all along!LOL
Personally, if it were my home I would want to read the essays myself. I think having each family member pick one favorite essay is a great idea…then to turn it to an impartial party takes you out of the final decision-brilliant!
I think the limit on the total number of entries is important-can people submit more than one essay and get additionalchances to win? I might spend $500 for 5 essays if I knew it improved my chances and I wanted a house in that area…just playing devil’s advocate here.
Good luck and let us know what you decide to do, ok?