The 'turn your house into a billboard' concept actually has some merit from a marketing standpoint.
If you haven't heard, an advertising company is looking at painting selected houses as advertising billboards for their clients, and paying each participating homeowner's mortgage for the length of the contract.
Participants must own and live in the home, and there are some other qualifying points. But in this time of urgency in the real estate community, the thing to do is look at how this could help home sales.
I'm sure some of you are thinking "no way!" and how a home that is a billboard could make a neighborhood less attractive to potential buyers. That could be, but there are a number of positives to consider.
A homeowner having their mortgage paid for several months benefits with the opportunity to sock away a few thousand dollars. That money could be used for a home improvement, toward a down payment of a larger or smaller home in the near future, or to help pay off other debts.
Selfishly, the homeowner doesn't have to deal with an advertisement on the outside. Using my own warped logic over the years, I reason that I spend far more time looking at the inside of my home than the outside. Other people see the outside way more than I do.
Suppose you are a potential home buyer in a community where a home's exterior has been painted to become an advertisement. You would know that the "ad" home will be painted back to its original color(s) within a few months, and in fact will look BETTER at that time because of the fresh paint job. Chances are the seller(s) you approach will be more willing to reduce even further when you act like the "ad" home is a distraction to the neighborhood. Acting that way could get you an even better deal, saving you thousands of dollars, and getting a home sold within that community.
Even if people are annoyed at the "ad" home, they will be talking about it, and probably watching to see when it will be painted back. In today's real estate market, this would be a classic example of the "Any publicity is good publicity" theory of marketing.
With advertising being so omnipresent and scattered these days, having a house being an advertisement might not be any more annoying than large billboards that practically touch an expressway, advertisements in public bathrooms, on trains, buses, and everywhere else we look every day.
Let me add that I know nothing about the company planning this, am not compensated, and have no involvement in this project.
There could be positive benefits for people if this works. The real estate community needs every positive it can get. I can't paint that any clearer!