Sunday, May 21, 2006

Only in Caliphony

If you are still holding on to that cherished belief that house prices in California are somehow justified and have not surpassed the point of absurdity, or if you are infected with the 'I've got mine so I don't give a damn' indifference, then this is for you:
The scent of baking scones wafts through the house as children’s feet pound the floors. ‘Dad’ rushes to get things ready as ‘Mom’ lounges on the couch. It’s a birthday party for Camille Chen. ‘Husband’ Jason Simmons has a surprise: He and the kids remodeled the den into a game room and won’t Mom, a notorious poker fiend, be pleased.

Except Chen and Simmons aren’t married, the kids aren’t theirs, they don’t really live in the house and they’re all Centex Homes marketing director Amanda Larson’s employees.

Welcome to the new reality of real estate. They’ve been hired [paid actors] to lounge around a model home, read magazines and occasionally pretend like they’re having breakfast.

Centex has 166 homes to sell in its Milestone development, starting at $507,500 and heading into the $600,000 range, and figured it needed just a little something extra to entice people to come check things out. Centex built four model homes, filled them with furniture, then took things one bizarre step further. The company hired four actors to play the role of a family, in a role that’s half improv, half sales demo.

‘Where does the reality end and the..good God, reality begin?’
Again, it is now time to remove the profit incentive from real estate once and for all. This cannot be allowed to continue or repeat in the future.


Blogger ex_macr said...

this story reminds of this story from San Diego where they had staged "neighbors". The link has some good photos. My wife and I can not figure out what Belinda is wearing. Is that a thong on the outside of her pants?

Selling condos

May 21, 2006, 2:25:00 PM  
Blogger Chuck Ponzi said...

Creeeeepy. Can't say that would make me feel anything by skeeewonky. Eeeeew. I feel dirty and need a bath after reading this one.

May 23, 2006, 5:36:00 PM  

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