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Trends in Marketing: Appraisal and Layoff Insurance

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Fresh from the Curbed InBox: "Would you guarantee your condo's value for 3 years? It sounds like a crazy idea. But let's face it, granite counter tops aren't going to sell condos in this market. That's why Atlanta-based developer Cousins Properties (NYSE: CUZ) will guarantee that if you buy a condo today, it will appraise at the same value or above three years from now. If it doesn't, mail your keys back and move out. There's no threat of foreclosure and no damage to a buyer's credit report. The same goes for losing your job or missing out on an expected bonus." Holy hell! According to an Associated Press story, Cousins is using their appraisal and layoff guarantees to lure buyers to a luxury tower they're pushing in Atlanta (pictured). The AP story says a growing list of builders are offering insurance if you get canned. A spokesperson for the Consumer Federation of America calls the cushion—which costs around $650 and pays up to $2,500 to cover the full mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance, for six months—a "gimmick."
· Cousins Properties [Official Site]
· Layoff insurance latest carrot for buyers [AP via Washington Post]