Sign of the times? Thousands willing to plaster home with billboard

Company is offering to pay mortgages if homeowners let it turn their house into a giant ad.

By Rebecca at MSN Real Estate Apr 7, 2011 9:38AM
Want your mortgage paid by someone else? Adzookie is covering monthly payments for homeowners who are willing to have an ad painted on their house. (Courtesy of CNBC)Mobile advertising company Adzookie is offering to paint your place, but the palette may not be exactly what the neighbors will love.
The company's website warns that applicants must be ready for the "bright colors and stares from neighbors" when they apply.

But since Adzookie is willing to pay the mortgage for every month the "billboard" remains, many are leaping at the chance. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company received more than 3,000 applications Wednesday alone. "We hit a nerve," CEO Romeo Mendoza told the newspaper.
There are a few rules: You must be willing to let the paint stay on for a minimum of three months, you can extend the contract for up to a year, and you must own the house (sorry, not a good way of getting back at a cranky landlord).  If you change your mind, Adzookie will return it to its original colors.
Mendoza told the Cleveland Leader he was amazed at the response.
"It really blew my mind. I knew the economy was tough, but it's sad to see how many homeowners are really struggling."
Mendoza said he originally wanted to paint about 10 houses, but received thousands of responses. He's now looking for other companies to join in on the plan so he can paint about 100.
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Homeowners may want to research local sign ordinances that may apply. According to the WSJ, the company will not paint anywhere where code restrictions disallow billboards. It also promises to do its "due diligence," confirming mortgages before it breaks out the paint cans.

CNN Money says houses could be painted in as soon as a few weeks by the Anaheim, Calif.-based startup.
 

Rebecca Roberts began her career as an online editor in 1996 with the launch of MSNBC and has worked as the managing editor of Netscape and senior editor of Yahoo! Real Estate. She's currently both a renter and a landlord.

 

 

Tags: loans
 
24Comments
Apr 11, 2011 1:23PM
Apr 11, 2011 12:56PM
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Please check with your city/town building permit department, as there may be regulations forbidding business advertising in residential neighborhoods. Yes, it is clever, but all the monetary benefit can be undone when you have to pay fines or take other remedial actions just because you forgot to check to see if it is legal to do in your town. Bonus idea: if it IS legal in your area, you ought to see if you can make a deal with the same kinds of local companies, and not rely on being one of the only 100 chosen by some national companies. Your local news outlets will find it amusing for a while, too. You'll be famous.

 

Does anyone remember barns painted with farm supply or tobacco ads?

Apr 11, 2011 11:14AM
Apr 11, 2011 7:20AM
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I'd have them do the minimum 3 months of advertising, and bank the 3 months I'd use towards my mortgage, then have them change it back to the original color, which would be like a new paint job for the house for free.  Win-Win
Apr 11, 2011 5:34AM
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I am not really sure how this will "turn the mortgage crisis around" since the company only plans on painting about 100 houses.  I guarantee there are more than 100 families that are struggling.
Apr 11, 2011 4:45AM
Apr 8, 2011 2:36AM
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I would love to get paid to keep my neighbors (who had one of our cars towed) awake all night with a giant lit-up Geico Lizard looking in their window!Devil
Apr 7, 2011 10:13PM
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AS a nation we are capitalists.

This is a brilliant plan (despite the fact that it disturbs my personal sense of aesthetics).

I find it funny that some posters proclaim themselves Proud Americans but are not willing to embrace exactly what American capitalism is all about - exploit what you have for the capital it will bring you.

Bad taste?

Probably.

Realistic?

Absolutely.

Apr 7, 2011 9:45PM
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If you want an ad, I permit you to do it on my house, free of charge.

But, my house is in Vietnam.

Apr 7, 2011 9:25PM
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Why wouldn't I want to do this?  I have a $3500/mo. note. I could save for my son's education, buy some new clothes, take a vacation, and have money in the bank--with just 3 months of advertising. 

 

I live in a snooty neighborhood where my neighbors would not appreciate it, so that makes me welcome the prospect more.

Apr 7, 2011 8:55PM
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Well, lets say you live in a cul-de-sac. Is this company going to pay your (lets say, $2000 a month) mortgage for the same 4 neighbors to see the ad painted on your house? I doubt it.  Or even if you live on a regular street - the audience for this advertisement is going to be the same crowd every day. I can't imagine a business owner paying for that.  What about folks in rural areas?  Does this company advertise to cows?  I doubt it.  This might work for a small percentage of houses on REALLY busy streets with a variety of traffic.  For the rest of us, it's just silly.  
Apr 7, 2011 8:25PM
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i am not paying my mortgage now as it is..i would have it painted for advertising as long as possible.
Apr 7, 2011 7:24PM
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This is friggin' genius!!! This has the potential to literally turn the mortgage crisis around. Even 3 months of no mortgage payments is enough for many Americans to be able to pull themselves out of the hole and begin to put money back into the economy. 
Apr 7, 2011 7:07PM
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Great, but not a new idea. Saw this in Ghana  over three years.
Apr 7, 2011 6:36PM
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I will always be proud to be American, but this is downright obnoxious and embarassing! This does not add a personal or creative touch! In fact, it does just the opposite-why, oh why are we becoming a nation of sell-outs?!?
Apr 7, 2011 6:16PM
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Haha! Where do I sign up! I live on a busy street and don't like my neighbors very much.
Apr 7, 2011 6:06PM
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if done tastefully and in these bright colors id say why not ?if it saves your home from the banks and maybe helps pay the bills go for it it will only give our neighborhoods a bit of local color:)we need character in america!~
Apr 7, 2011 5:44PM
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As a nation, have we really come to this?  I find it appalling enough that recently some vehicles have been turning into driving billboards.  Now houses?  Have we lost all common decency?  What if I want my house (which I own) to be painted with the most controversial subjects?  Maybe -- Up with Gay Marriage! (which I happen to be fine with but maybe my neighbors are less so.)  Or how about adds from pest control companies with giant cockroaches and snakes all over my house?  Do you really want to live across the street from this?  Just say NO to this type of scheme.  I, too, will avoid any product or service advertised this way.
Apr 7, 2011 5:43PM
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i live in maine do you need a sign here my house is yours call me!!!!!!!
Apr 7, 2011 5:08PM
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I would do it on a house I have tenants in but not in the one that I live in. Who wants to look at an ad for menstrual cramps or a laxative when they come home everyday.
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