check this out ~ developer offers free car to entice home buyers

11:29 PM EST on Friday, December 19, 2008
By MARK BOONE / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Mark: MBoone@WCNC.COM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With home sales falling nearly 40-percent in the Charlotte region last month, builders are turning to more lucrative incentives to lure in potential buyers.

One developer is offering a free Toyota Prius to the buyer of a new home in Plaza-Midwood.

Landon Massey says he did not like the idea at first, but he knows it is a buyers’ market. “We kicked around ideas to say how do we differentiate ourselves in the market right now,” Massey said.

His answer is the Prius. The vehicle’s sticker price is more than $22,000.

The house is priced at $724,900.

The car “connects exactly to what we're selling already,” said Massey.

The 3800 square-foot home on Attaberry Drive, near The Plaza, is certified by Atlanta-based Earth Craft as energy efficient. Crews used environmentally friendly construction.

Massey says a free hybrid car seems to make sense.

Home builders in other parts of the country have also offered free cars, but this appears to be the first such incentive in Charlotte, where companies are enticing buyers with help on closing costs, or deep discounts on their homes.

Discounts were considered, Massey said, in pricing his home. He said he decided against a price reduction to protect the buyers of other homes his company has built in the same neighborhood.

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