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14-Year-Old Buys Distressed Florida Home For $12,000
The Huffington Post | March 13, 2012 | 11:09 AM EDT

Just a few miles north of the housing market's ground zero, a Lady Gaga fan with sweeping bangs, a bright smile, and homework on the docket is the latest symbol of how bad things have gotten in the Southwest Florida foreclosure landscape — or how alive is the spirit of ingenuity.

As first reported by NPR, 14-year-old Willow Tufano just bought her first house for $12,000.

Well, make that technically half a house. Her real estate agent mom Shannon Moore owns the other 50 percent of the Port Charlotte 3-bedroom, but Willow plans to buy her out in about a year and a half with her share of the $700 monthly rental income.

"In my neighborhood and around where I live, a lot of the houses are empty because people get foreclosed on," the enterprising junior landlord told HuffPost. Statistics from housing data research firm CoreLogic show the area is one of the hardest hit: as of August, more than one in 10 homes in the Fort Myers metropolitan area was in some stage of the foreclosure , and nearly 17 percent of homeowners were delinquent on their mortgage payments by 90 days or more.

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