Florida real estate investors looking for a lesson in purchasing strategy will be interested to hear of a 14-year-old girl who snatched up a 679-square-foot home in Port Charlotte for $12,000.
The girl, whose mother is a real estate broker, purchased the foreclosed home with her mother's help. After completing the transaction, the mother-daughter team set about turning the property into a rental unit. The daughter had been saving money earned through selling appliances and furniture left over in foreclosed properties. Having cleaned up the Port Charlotte home, the family is currently renting the unit out for approximately $700 per month.
Under Florida law, minors cannot own real estate until they reach the age of 18. But the 14-year-old recognized a prime opportunity when she saw it, and she and her mother decided to split the investment. The Port Charlotte area was particularly hard-hit when the housing bubble burst, and current estimates state the area's property is now worth about one-third of its previous overall value. On the whole, the area can be seen as a microcosm for the state of Florida, which currently holds the dubious distinction of being home to 17 of the top 25 metro areas for foreclosures.
While the foreclosure crisis of recent years has cost many Americans their homes, it has also provided people interested in real estate investment with an unprecedented stock of potential rental properties. One thing that has not changed, however, is the complexity of real estate transactions. Buyers and sellers alike are undoubtedly aware of the pitfalls that constantly threaten deals from offer to closing.
Whether buyers are interested in making a home for themselves or turning a once broken house into a rental property, consulting with a professional who is fluent in real estate law may be a solid first step toward sealing the deal.
Source: Time, "Mini mogul: 14-year-old girl buys foreclosed house in Florida," Kate Springer, March 13, 2012