14-Year-Old Girl Profits from Foreclosures, Becomes Landlord

Willow Tufano of Florida has just made the leap to homeowner and landlord. During the housing boom in 2005, her mother became a real estate agent. But over the years, Willow began to see more and more of the houses her mom was selling being foreclosed on. Her own neighborhood started turning into a ghost town.

Her mother, Shannon, saw an opportunity and started working with investors who wanted to bid on the cheap, empty homes. Willow tagged along and started to notice that some of the homes still contained their previous ownerís belongings. So she asked the investor if she could have the items and sell them on Craigslist.

She started doing this with more and more of her motherís houses, eventually making around $500 a month. And then, one day, Willow and Shannon saw a $100,000 2 bedroom home at auction for only $12,000. They split the cost. (Willow plans to buy out her momís portion of the house and have her name put on the deed when she turns 18.)

Now, Willow is thinking of saving up for a second property, and renting her home to a young couple for $700 a month.

Itís really hard to know what to make of this story Ė while some are praising Willow for her entrepreneurship and hard work, some are questioning the inspirational value of the story. Should we really be looking up to someone who profited from selling other peopleís abandoned belongings from a foreclosure on the internet?

Itís hard to say. After all, Willow didnít cause the foreclosure crisis, and if she hadnít sold the furniture, it likely would have simply been thrown away. Some might say this is one of the better things to come out of the market crash. What do Care2 readers think?


Related stories:

Bank of America Gets Foreclosed

Cash-Starved States Look To†Foreclosure†Settlements For Relief

Foreclosure Fraud Comes To Light

Photo credit: Basic Gov


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

It would be more of a success story if she had been donating these things or using it to help others

LD B6 years ago

I've a problem with anyone profiting from the misfortunes of others, particularly here where such personal property did not become that of the foreclosing entity.

If it need be disposed of owing to the inability of the rightful owner to remove it, then better that it or the proceeds from its sale go to public good, such as helping the homeless.

colleen p.
colleen p6 years ago

it would of been cooler if she found a way to do this without her mom "being in the biz" like amazing talents who get discoverd because their family alredy works in media "billy's dad owns a publishing company, that is why there are books published from a 7 year old writer. go billy go! you are so amazing, you got published, many famous professionals got shot down, but you! you did it with little to no effort"

colleen p.
colleen p6 years ago

i want to be a super scavanger like her. but do it better by convincing people that the rent fee is worth the price I ask. smooth talking. but at my age. I should of been a home owner at 24. it's the American way.

good thing she sold people's left overs. they don't own anything anymore. it's the same as any auction from seized property from people who can't pay up.

it's an American dream, a night mare.

sell everything, loose everything or be a bum on the street.

of course, unless it happens to you, then it's differnt.

Debbie L.
Debbie Lim6 years ago

Not too sure how I feel about this, but thanks for the article.

Paul B.
Paul B6 years ago

Robyn, and it is the talents she is learning to be self-sufficient that will enable her to remain "off the streets." In the end isn't that what we are supposed to do.

This should be a lesson for everyone. Dependence on others is never a guarantee of success or safety, or happiness. Dependence on the government is one step above being dependent on the mafia. Both are corrupt, greedy, power-hungry and only out for themselves.

What they offer today as security, they can just as easily change their mind and take it away tomorrow. "Easy come, easy go," was a phrase I learned at a very young age... and it still applies today.

Ernie Miller
william Miller6 years ago

government is making it harder for small investers like her to buy Hud homes. a 30 day wait for small investers so peopl who want to live in them can buy but at the same time putting groups of 50-100 homes in a package for large investers before the public even gets a chance.

Leigh Anne Burnette

Good for her!!!

David Noiret
David N6 years ago

Good for her! It seems to me she made money on what other people discarded. Instead of complaining about her using other people's misfortune to profit, we should admire her entrepreneurial spirit.

Christine C.
Chandra C6 years ago

Good job Willow!