While most teenagers are saving up for a used car or blowing their cash on video games, one Florida youngster made a more mature investment.
According to NPR’s Planet Money, 14-year-old Willow Tufano’s area was severely affected by the real-estate crisis. As vacancies swept through the neighborhood, Tufano’s mother, real-estate broker Shannon Moore, began working with investors who wanted to bid on foreclosed homes. When Moore mentioned a two-bedroom, one-bath home in Port Charlotte, Fla., selling for $12,000, her daughter pounced on the opportunity.
Minors can’t own real estate in Florida until they’re 18, so Tufano and her mother split the investment — a concrete-block home estimated to be worth $100,000 at the bubble’s height. Without wasting any time, Tufano and her family cleaned up the 679-square-foot place and started renting it out for $700 a month.
Tufano cashed into the housing market at an opportune time. According to MSNBC, property in Port Charlotte is worth about one-third of what it once was. Though once a booming real estate market, Florida’s home values plunged in 2008 and the southern state is now home to 17 of the top 25 metro areas for foreclosure rates, reports the Huffington Post.
But how did a 14-year-old save enough money to invest in a house? While tagging along with her mom to foreclosed properties, the business-savvy teen saw an entrepreneurial opportunity in the heaps of appliances and belongings left over. She collected and sold forsaken furniture online and was soon raking in around $500 a month.
“If there’s one thing I want people to know, it’s that your age does not matter,” Tufano told ABC News. “If I can inspire another person my age, younger, that would mean the world. Whether it’s buying a house, buying a car, or whatever. If you really work for it and put your mind to it you can do what you want to do.”
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