Showhomes Provides New Option for Mobile Workforce: ‘Test Driving a New Home’

In the pre-recession economy when you moved to a new city to start a job, you’d likely plan on buying a home as soon as possible. You might even buy a new home before your old house sold.

Showhomes uses furniture of Home Managers to make home come alive.

Not anymore.

These days, buying a home is risky and people can’t afford to make a mistake. But where do the mobile professionals seeking new employment live if they can’t buy a home and don’t want an apartment or an executive hotel suite.

Showhomes Home Staging offers job seekers in new cities an unusual housing solution: move into a vacant house for sale and let Showhomes use your furniture to help stage the home for potential  buyers. The Home Manager gets the perks of living in upscale homes for a fraction of the cost and provides the homeowner with peace of mind.

That’s exactly what Chris and Jennifer Taylor did when they moved to Minneapolis from downtown Chicago during the recession. Over a period of four years, the Taylors lived in luxury homes that Showhomes staged with list prices from $500,000 to $2 million.

“We didn’t want to rush out and buy a home, and we didn’t want to sign a 12-month lease either,” Chris Taylor says. “We enjoyed four years as Home Managers and ended up saving over $50,000.”

Home Managers like the Taylors not only save money but also can “test drive” homes in different neighborhoods to learn about the local real estate market.

“One of the best things about the program is that it allowed us to get to know the city and its neighborhoods and communities,” Taylor added.  “When we were ready to buy, we knew where we wanted to live.“

Jose Torrealba has a similar story. He was transferred from Toronto to Milwaukee, Wis. during the height of the recession and chose Showhomes’ Home Manager program over immediate home ownership. Torrealba and his family lived in a $1.5 million lakeside home for less than half of his previous mortgage payments in Toronto. The Torrealbas moved back to Toronto after a year with $20,000 in savings.

The homes Showhomes stages with live-in Home Managers typically sell much faster and for far closer to the list price in today’s market. Having an occupant lowers the owner’s insurance costs, makes the home less vulnerable to low-ball offers and vandalism and generally makes it show far better than vacant houses. With today’s housing market flooded with vacant houses and foreclosures, business is better than it has ever been.

“Showhomes is one of the most creative housing solutions available for mobile professionals and families on the move,” says Matt Kelton, Showhomes COO. “Our ‘home staging with a twist’ is a win-win-win for the homeowner, Realtor and Home Manager.”

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