Canadian Kyle MacDonald just closed on what may be the real estate deal of the century: a $45,000 house for the price of a paper clip. Last July, on a whim, MacDonald, 26, decided to try to swap his way to a house online. Starting small, he posted a notice on Craigslist offering a red paper clip for something bigger. Within a week, two women from Vancouver ponied up a fish-shaped pen, and the trading began. MacDonald wrangled a generator for a camp stove, then an old truck for a vacation in the Rockies. But things really snowballed when an afternoon with rocker Alice Cooper fetched a Kiss snow globe, which former L.A. Law star Corbin Bernsen snapped up in exchange for a role in the movie he is directing. That caught the attention of officials in the tiny town of Kipling, Sask., who—in search of publicity—offered MacDonald the house he sought all along. On Labor Day he and girlfriend Dominique Dupuis, also 26, plan to move into their new three-bedroom digs. "It's an adventure for the both of us," he says.

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It took MacDonald (with a giant version of his paper clip) exactly one year to make his dream of a new home come true: "When it came through, I was like, Wow!" he says. His blog: oneredpaperclip.blogspot.com.

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FISH PEN

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DOORKNOB

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CAMP STOVE

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GENERATOR

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BEER SIGN AND KEG

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SNOWMOBILE

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VACATION IN THE ROCKIES

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TRUCK

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RECORDING SESSION

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YEAR OF FREE RENT IN PHOENIX

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AFTERNOON WITH ALICE COOPER

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SNOW GLOBE

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MOVIE ROLE

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A NEW HOUSE