Willow Tufano
Screengrab via YouTube

Thrifty Teenager Buys and Flips House By Selling Items on Craigslist


A typical 14-year-old girl these days spends time with friends, maybe staring at an iPhone screen and binge-watching television shows. Port Charlotte, Florida teenager Willow Tufano is far from typical and decided to take a crack at the housing market. And buying her first house at such a young age landed her on The Ellen Show

Several years ago, Tufano spent a year and a half saving money, acquiring funds by buying items on Craigslist and at auctions and reselling them for larger amounts. In a short amount of time, Tufano was able to save $6,000. Rather than frivolously spending the money, she bought a house. Tufano searched the local real estate and found a $16,000 listing for a house valued at $100,000. A shrewd negotiator, she got the seller down to $12,000.00, borrowed the remaining funds from her parents and became a homeowner.

Tufano explained the story to Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

"I had six and I was like 'Mom, do you want to go in halves with me?" Tufano told Ellen. "Do you want to pay the other half?' She was like, 'uh...' It sort of shocked her at first. My dad was like, 'I had a paper route when I was a kid! You shouldn't be doing that!' But now he's like really supportive. I think it was just at first he was like 'a house?! You're fourteen!'"

Watch the full story in the clip below.


After purchasing the home, Tufano flipped it by upgrading the exterior and interior through renovations and making it habitable for a renter. She became a landlord to a tenant and charged $700.00 per month, which served as her personal income. Of course, her first order of business was to pay her parents back and own the initial house outright. 

Last we heard from Willow's mom, she moved to Chicago before she turned 18 where she was finishing up high school and supporting herself fully. Who knows, she'll probably be a billionaire in no time, or maybe even a realtor after all her experience.

This post was originally written in 2016 but has since been updated. 

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