Fake-Millionairs live like Ghosts in empty Villas

Das ist dann auch einer der strangesten Jobs, von denen ich jemals gehört hab': Immobilienmakler lassen ehemalige und in der Housing-Bubble pleite gegangene Millionäre in leerstehenden Villen wohnen, damit die „belebt“ wirken, nennt sich Showhome Manager. Die Familien müssen bei Terminen das Haus vorbereiten und verlassen, es gibt Regeln für persönliche Gegenstände und ihr „Zuhause“ muss immer und stets gleich aussehen, die müssen immer auszugsbereit sein und jeder Winkel in der Bude stinkt nach Fake, und für den bezahlen die Leute tatsächlich auch noch 1200 Dollar im Monat. The Horror The Horror.

When the Mueller family sits for dinner, the leftover broccoli and crepes are already wrapped in plastic, the kitchen is beyond spotless, and the rest of the home is so tucked-away tidy it looks like they just moved in. In a way, they have: Every inch of furnishing, every little trinket and votive candle, sits precisely as designers placed it five months ago. That would make them the most perfect suburban ideal, except for one catch: This isn't actually their home. Bob and Dareda Mueller and their three grown sons are, instead, part of an "elite group" of middle-class nomads who have agreed to an outlandish deal. They can live cheaply in this for-sale luxury home if it looks as if they never lived here at all. […]

The Muellers once lived in an opulent lake house bigger even than this $750,000 estate, which graces the 10th hole of an exclusive golf course in one of Tampa's wealthiest suburbs. But after a financially shattering fall from grace, this home, their fifth in two years, has become a surprising lifeline: Bob, 60, and Dareda, 56, now both work at McDonald's and scrape to pay the bills.

Tampa Bay Times: 'Human props' stay in luxury homes but live like ghosts (via Boing Boing)