Just came home from Columbus, OH Airport and outside of Athens, OH on Route 33 a roadside billboard ad caught my attention. The large billboard featured a stately home covered with a red brick veneer and a steep roof (likely 12 on 12) and black dimensional shingles. The company advertising is Schumacher Homes and the home featured (my estimate) would be around 5,000 ft2. Now for their ad: They are offering to make your house payments for a full year! Now, all of us know there ain't no free lunch and somebody will have to pay for the year's worth of mortgage payments, right? Most likely scenario will be that the payments for the first year will be built into the mortgage and either will lengthen the loan or make the payments higher when they ' kick in' after the first year. It is creative advertising — flawed though the concept may be.

Vitaliy Katsenelson adds:

I saw a Jeep commercial advertising $3 per gallon gas for a year (limited to 12k miles) if you buy a new car. I guess automakers are using similar tactics to try to sell gas-guzzlers.

Jeff Watson recalls:

I remember telling my wife that the real estate market was hitting a top when I saw signs everywhere, offering mortgages for 130% value with no income verification.

Adam Nelson explains:

I think these sorts of gimmicks are a way for the builder to offer a discount without lowering the house price (which would thereby officially lower the price of the houses they sold to your neighbors as well). Because appraisals are made in part via property records or MLS sales figures which don’t include discounts structured as something given in addition to the house, the builder hopes to preserve the valuation of the other houses by giving this kind of sneaky discount.


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