Become Alice Cooper’s Neighbor And Receive A Free Bentley


January 6, 2009

If you build it, they will come. If you want them to buy it, throw in a free $200,000 Bentley.

At least that’s what an Arizona homebuilder is hoping as it tries to unload a pair of multimillion-dollar custom homes that have been languishing on the market for about a year.

The homes are located in Paradise Valley, a wealthy Phoenix suburb that’s part-time home to heavy metal pioneer Alice Cooper. Each home is selling for about $1 million less than the original price, according to Five Star Development Group, based in Scottsdale.

One property, dubbed the “Old-World European Villa,” measures more than 7,800 square feet and is priced at just under $5 million. The second one, named the “Tuscan Estate,” has five bedrooms, five and a half baths and measures around 7,500 square feet. It’s listed for just under $4 million.

To sweeten the deal, Five Star said Tuesday it is offering buyers for each of the homes a free 2009 Bentley Continental GT valued at around $200,000.

For buyers who don’t dig the Bentley, Five Star is offering either a 50-hour card good for rides on a NetJets aircraft or an annual one-month vacation stay at a New Port Beach Marriott hotel for life.

Should a buyer prefer to knock off $200,000 from the price of the homes, that’s another option, said Five Star spokesman Brendan Mann.

The glitzy incentives definitely raise the stakes in the industry trend. For more than a year, homebuilders have been slashing prices and offering all sorts of incentive items, including upgrades on interior finishes like countertops or flooring, to flat-screen TVs and cars. Last summer, one San Diego developer even offered to buyers a two-for-one deal on homes.

One might expect that for a wealthy buyer, who likely could easily afford a Bentley on their own, the incentive on its face may not be a significant lure.

But Five Star says their offer is more about generating buzz and getting the rich folks out to open houses the next couple of weekends.

“The people that we’re speaking about can go buy anything they want; it isn’t really about that,” Mann said. “We just want people to tune into us.”

Five Star hasn’t bought any Bentleys yet, but will be parking loaners outside the two homes during the open houses.

The developer hopes to appeal to wealthy snowbirds looking to wait out the winter in Arizona. The prospect of having a Bentley come with the house, thereby avoiding the hassle of shipping or buying a car to drive locally, might appeal to them, Mann suggested.

And if the Bentley promotion doesn’t yield a sale? What’s next? A free ticket on a space tourism flight? A yacht?

“We’re probably at the point where it’s unlikely that the offer is going to get sweetened any more,” Mann said.

Courtesy of