Ellen: 14-Year-Old Willow Tufano Buys a Florida House


Ellen: Willow Buys a House

Willow is a 14-year-old girl who saved enough money to buy herself a house. Ellen praised her fiscal sense, since most young people aren’t great at hanging on to money.

She said she would buy and sell things on Craigslist and at auctions. She looked for good deals or got things for free. She said she specialized in electronics and appliances. Over the last year and a half, she saved $6,000.


Ellen: 14-Year-Old Landlord

Ellen met 14-year-old Willow Tufano, who saved money, bought a house and is now a landlord.

Ellen: 14-Year-Old Saves Money For House

At first, Willow said her father was resistant to her entrepreneurial ways, but after seeing how successful she was, now he is on board with the idea.

Willow lives in Florida, which was hit hard when the housing bubble burst. Willow learned of a $100,000 home that was listed for $16,000. She asked her mother to go in on it with her, and they managed to get the house for $12,000.


“What a smart idea,” Ellen said. Willow purchased the house on a short sale, and Ellen showed Before and After pictures of the upgrades she made to the property, which she is now renting for $700 a month.

Willow Tufano: 14-Year-Old Landlord

“Now you have an income,” Ellen said. “You’re a landlord at 14 years old. This is amazing.”

Ellen said she wished she would have been so shrewd as a teen, and didn’t really think about her long term future as a teen. Willow said she was just saving money, and didn’t know what she would do with it.

Read about the Student Who Tap Dances to Pay For College.

How Willow Finds Time To Sell Used Goods

Willow attends her high school classes online through Florida Virtual School, giving her a flexible schedule that allowed her to pounce on good deals for her resale business. “People throw things at the curb for garbage day,” Willow said. “It’s crazy the things people throw away. It’s profit.”

Willow’s friends don’t know what to make of the fact that she owns a house and has tenants. Her early success has inspired her to continue being a landlord. She plans to buy her mother out on the current house before expanding her real estate holdings.

Ellen: $10,000 Ace Hardware Gift Card & New Dryer

There is something the house needs: a new dryer, to replace one that broke. Ellen surprised Willow with a new dryer for the rental house.

Also, to encourage her to keep up with her interesting pursuits, Ellen and Ace Hardware gave Willow a $10,000 gift card to spend at Ace Hardware home improvement stores.


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