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Creative Financing

Posted by: Maya Roney on June 4, 2007

Struggling to pay your mortgage? Try making your home work for you. That’s what Los Angeles-based publicist Darren Shuster did— by turning his house into an advertisement.

Shuster found a corporate sponsor— Swedish VoIP company—that was willing to pay him $75,000 to turn his home into “the world’s first telecom-sponsored home in America.” Logos will be placed around the house and it will be painted company colors.

“It took me a year to get the company into the idea, and I was just trying to use my creativity to pay the mortgage,” Shuster says. He bought the home from his father last year with an 80/20 loan, one that allows the buyer to take out a first loan for 80% of the purchase price and another (the “piggyback”) for 20%, with no money down. Shuster’s monthly payment is about $4,000. “The 75k will go toward my mortgage payment and has made a big difference already,” he says.

Reader Comments

David Porter

June 4, 2007 3:09 PM


Interesting article. My advice to Darren is to keep his head low with his lender. It is certainly conceivable that they could protest by declaring that he is in default of the terms of his Trust Deed/Mortgage.

Why? Some would argue that his home is no longer a typical "primary residence" and all the paint and signs would pose a detriment to the value of the home. The logic being that "most" people would not by this home all painted as a bulletin board.

Just a little friendly advice. Very creative idea however.

Darren Shuster

June 4, 2007 9:58 PM

David, thanks. Actually, it will only be 'sponsored' for about 30 days or so over the Summer and won't necessarily include signs (the media attention alone is doing most of the job!), Darren.


June 5, 2007 9:02 AM

repaint the home before any sale listing.

this could hardly be called a "detriment" to sale if no sale is planned.

generally no lender is gonna call a loan due if the payments are current.

kinda reminds me of the barns painted w "mailpouch" logos.

good idea.

Darren Shuster

June 6, 2007 4:03 AM

Ok, you guys inspired me! I set up!

alex de jong

June 28, 2007 1:44 AM

Interesting take on advertising this: i've been toying with the idea of having my hybrid recumbent branded this way... but a whole house, that's in a completely different category


May 14, 2009 6:47 AM

here is an interesting link about the creative finance campaign! absolutely stunning!

Have a look! you won't miss it anymore :> xoxo

Alex Moiseyev

July 6, 2009 6:22 PM

Great Idea to generate media attention. That's where great marketing idea is!

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BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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