Living One year rent free in a Ghost town?
"We didn't sell one house," real-estate agent Michael McKinnon says.
But for the Pfluegers, who won, the outcome appeared to be nothing short of divine intervention. Mr. Pflueger had been out of work for eight weeks.Suddenly they were moving into a new 3,400-square-foot house with an entertainment center, an outdoor hot tub, stainless-steel appliances and more than enough room to store the 61-year-old Mr. Pflueger's collection of guns and antique fishing reels.
The last seven months have been an odd existence. Chickens wander by from a nearby farm, poking around in the brush. Not long ago, someone broke into one of the unoccupied houses around the corner. Now the Pfluegers say they pay close attention to passing traffic, but hardly anybody passes by.
"There's just no noise," Mrs. Pflueger said.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Dennis Pflueger and his wife won a rent-free year in a nice new house in an expensive subdivision not far from the headquarters of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. As part of the prize, they then have the option to buy the four-bedroom home for $452,000.
Mr. Pflueger, a telephone-cable installer who describes himself as an "old redneck," is in the middle of his free year. But the Pfluegers are a bit lonely. Just one other family lives in any of the 28 new or unfinished houses on Foxboro Court. Up the street, a sign announcing "Elegant Homes" sits on a lot choked with weeds. The block is as quiet as an old ghost town.
Since real-estate tanked, many new planned communities across the country are half-empty, with for-sale signs outnumbering residents by a large margin.