Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Feb 14, 2012

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Feeling worn out from the weight of an ongoing home mortgage loan? Try turning your house into a permanent billboard in return for payment. That’s one of the newest, albeit unusual, approaches some are taking in order to secure themselves in their home.


Scott and Beth Hostetler did just that, as their fuming neighbors watched their house turn from a classic drab color to the bright, neon orange that it radiates today. For nearly $2,000 a month, a marketing company called Braniacs from Mars is paying this Buena Park couple for this new residential advertisement.


Romeo Mendoza, the CEO of Braniacs for Mars, told Reuters that he is trying to turn 1,000 homes across the United States into these giant, permanent advertisements for his business. For each homeowner that agrees to host his house-billboards, Mendoza will make their mortgage loan payments for one full year.


“If we roll it out to scale and impact the foreclosure crisis, that would be amazing,” the 42-year-old CEO told Reuters.


The Hostetler’s were chosen because Mendoza thought they were a nice and deserving couple. Gaining favor with the CEO is helpful in this selection process, as the marketing firm has reported it has already received over 38,000 applications. Unsurprisingly, most of those applications are from California, Nevada and Florida—the three cities that were his hardest by the housing collapse.


“The response has been overwhelming,” said Mendoza. “People are hurting, and struggling to stay in their homes. If we can help some of them, that would be great.”


The marketing firm is definitely receiving publicity from this stunt too—but it’s not all positive.


“This does not follow with the city codes,” said Fred Smith, a Buena Park city council member, according to Reuters. “They are going to be in trouble. They need to go someplace else.”


And it’s not just the local government’s that’s expressing distaste. Some feel the vibrant colors, pictures, and aesthetic separation from neighboring units create an ugly and embarrassing intrusion.


“If it’s for a month, I’m ok with it,” explained a neighbor named Vivian Largent. “But no longer.”


After sacrificing their home’s aesthetics and perhaps a few of their ties with neighbors, the Hostetler’s have at least bought themselves another year in their home. The question remains though: is it worth it?