Builder Offers No-Risk Condos

Atlanta developer Cousins Properties is promising to return any down payments to condo buyers if their property declines in value over the next three years.

The program is being offered at a condo tower in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborwood where units start at $300,000. Buyers can put as little as 5% down. Cousins is providing loans at 4% interest. If the buyer wants out within three years and the property has not gained any value, he can just hand the keys back to Cousins.

In another unusual deal, Cousins will also allow a buyer to not make payments for a full year, as long as they are trying to sell another house and put 20% down on the condo.

Cousins says this approach makes more sense for them than merely slashing prices or selling units in bulk in an auction, as many condo developers have done.

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