Bank of America Offers Free House When A Checking Account Is Opened

Real Estate Agent with William Raveis Real Estate

OK, I'm kidding here.  I'm not kidding about the free house, but I am kidding about getting a gift for opening a checking account with Bank of America.Free House

Free HouseBank of America is offering free homes to 150 select people in Chicago.  In her article on, Marcie Geffner writes about Bank of America's plan to offer homes for free to get rid of some foreclosures.  Their plan is to unload of some of their extra properties and help solve urban blight problems in the city.


What would 150 free homes do to home values in Chicago?  I could make a strong argument that putting solid homeowners in vacant bank-owned homes would actually improve home values in these neighborhoods.  While $0 sales may hurt appraisals, having a glut of abandoned, damaged homes will only serve to harm a neighborhood's long term home values.  Few people want to live next to or even near a vacant home, and a home that sits unoccupied will only deteriorate over time.

Free Toaster With CheckingI remember getting a choice of a toaster or a crisp $20 bill for opening an account with one bank about 15 years ago.  I took the money!  Imagine if they offered a house.


Posted by

Scott Silverstone, Realtor®
The Jacobson Team
William Raveis Real Estate
203-815-9118 (Mobile)


Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Pamela Seley 05/17/2011 08:50 AM
  2. Chris Spade 05/18/2011 04:27 AM
  3. Joe Lane Richland 05/18/2011 06:20 AM
Home Buying
Illinois Cook County Chicago
Active Rain Newbies
31 Days of May Challenge 2011
home values
bank of america

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Robert & Leslie Lang
Weichert, REALTORS® - McKee Real Estate - Hawthorn Woods, IL

Well, I'll take the toaster - BoA experience has not been that good. Maybe they will start to improve.

May 18, 2011 06:34 AM #57
Jeff Coon
Annie Mac Home Mortgage - Toms River, NJ
Branch Manager

I agree with many who said they should have worked out the loans with the previous owners....

May 18, 2011 06:49 AM #58
Claudia Williams
Blue Ribbon Properties - Durango, CO
Claudia in Durango

Love it, free house! Too bad it's in Chicago not Colorado...

May 18, 2011 07:07 AM #59
RhondaHeaslip NanaimoRealEstate
RE/MAX of Nanaimo - Nanaimo, BC

Interesting offer...but it could be too good to be true in the end. I see a lot of mistrust in B of A...

May 18, 2011 08:13 AM #60
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

The question no one seems to have asked yet is: How are they going to determine who gets the "free" homes?  Since there are still hundreds, if not thousands who apply for one job opening, can you imagine how many people would apply to get the 150 free homes?  Wonder if there will be a "processing fee" to have your application reviewed?  Hmmm

May 18, 2011 08:16 AM #61
Jayne Clement
Keller Williams Realty - Los Feliz, CA
Los Angeles Short Sale Agents

Would be tough to be the person who lost the home...and now see it "given" to someone else.  ;-(  

May 18, 2011 09:06 AM #62
Dimitri Matsis-REALTOR® (818) 599-6083
Troop Real Estate Inc. Westlake Village CA - West Hills, CA

Hi Scott,

Great blog title.

B of A is trying to get some good press by using their own resources. A little more enticing than a toaster huh? Also, these properties they will be giving away, I assume, are not going to be in the MLS, so you don't have to worry about Realtors® and Appraisers pulling up those $0 comps and thus hurting the value of surrounding properties.

Thanks for posting.

May 18, 2011 09:36 AM #63
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

So who gets the free houses? And I agree, Chicago is an interesting choice of cities.

Seems to me, if B of A wants better PR they could work a little harder to help troubled homeowners KEEP their homes. Not snatch them away and give them to someone else.

At this point, I don't think B of A could do anything that would cause me to trust them.

Meanwhile, you can bet that the bill from B of A to the taxpayers will add to our national debt.

May 18, 2011 10:17 AM #64
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Wow!  That's pretty neat.  A house for opening up a checking account.  Of course it improves their bottom line and maybe someone has a big account.  But of course B of A is one of the top 5, so I doubt it raises their numbers a noticable amount. But still, a good idea to unload a few of their foreclosures and create some happy faces!

May 18, 2011 01:40 PM #65
Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886
That is awesome- I hope the people that receive them have the ability to maintain them and pay taxes!
May 18, 2011 02:54 PM #66
Jeff Getman
Realty Executives of Ravalli County - Hamilton, MT
Realty Executives

BofA and every other bank won't do this without there being something in it for them. I am also suspect that this is going on in Chicago--more freebie paybacks and benefits for supporters of the current administration???

May 18, 2011 03:45 PM #67
Michael Singh

Take it,  then short sale it back to BofA via equator. 

May 18, 2011 06:08 PM #68
Robert Courtney
Lihue, HI
Century 21 All Islands, RA, CDPE, MCRE, CIAS

Wow!  Hope the recipients have to do some qualifying so we do not set some folks up for failure.

May 18, 2011 08:08 PM #69
Jamie R. Bell
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Glastonbury, CT
GRI Your Central CT Realtor

I was always taught if it sounds too good to be true it usually is... I agree with so many of the comments; great article headline got my attention and I too don't trust nor like Bank of America. Taking from one unfortunate homeowner to give to someone else... why not help a homeowner stay in the home instead...

Oh well, good post you got us all talking!

May 19, 2011 12:21 AM #70
Maria Smith
Windermere R/E Lake Tapps, Inc - Lake Tapps, WA

I agree with Lou #43.  Chicago, has always been known for shady politics, corruption etc.  Interesting that they choose Chicago.

May 19, 2011 06:02 AM #71
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I wonder how political this will be.  I have heard of connected people getting sweet deals.  Some of these housing organizations are very political.

May 19, 2011 09:28 AM #72
Daniel J. Hunter
REALTOR® - New Port Richey, FL

trying to buy good will in the city of corruption.  phooey

May 19, 2011 12:27 PM #73
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

Wow Scott, that is hard to imagine.  I don't think it would hurt the appraisals as those would just not be used as comps, I'm sure.  The biggest thing I ever won was an areal shot of my house.  Now that I think about it, I haven't used it and it's probably expired!

May 19, 2011 02:58 PM #74
Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent
BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684 - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

Wow. I can see the line out the door now for a free home.

May 26, 2011 03:38 AM #75
Marsha Cash
RE/MAX Advantage - Stockbridge, GA

It's interesting that it is so hard to get  a short sale done with them but they want to give houses away??? 

May 26, 2011 09:28 AM #76
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