Housing News

83-Year-Old Buys First Home

Retired clerk fulfills his long-term plan.

For 83-year old Alget Campbell, moving in a three-bedroom property that was foreclosed is a long-time dream. In fact, the native Jamaican can’t seem to contain his joy of finally taking title to a South Florida property after decades of working hard in the country. At 83, it’s his first ownership.

The Miami Herald reports, “… After more than a year of looking with help from his daughter, Joan Grant, Campbell found the perfect home… The closing price: $71,425—minus the $8,000 first-time home buyer federal tax credit, of course… Campbell’s monthly payments, including taxes and insurance, are about $550, an amount he can comfortably cover with Social Security, retirement savings, and income from a rental property owned by his wife.”

Campbell and other buyers are reportedly taking advantage of rock-bottom prices in the South Florida area. In case you still don’t know, the entire state has one of the highest cases of foreclosures along with California and Nevada. That’s why renters are starting to move out, and open the doors of their newly purchased properties. In Campbell’s case, it comes at 1,300 square feet for just under $75,000. That’s how low the prices have sunk.

But recently, bloggers and opinion-makers have reacted adversely to stories like Mr. Campbell’s. These people are contesting property taxes in Florida are way too high; and there’s no way that he can arrive at a long-term value from his purchase. It would be impossible to break even in a 15- or 30-year mortgage – especially with the very low monthly payments. Others question the $550 monthly payments as too low, for someone who has no buying history.

If you ask us, we think that this is a combination of hard work and good marketing. First, you get an aging man who can exemplify the value of perseverance (for decades, that is) and you get a bank to maneuver its way of making its very own home-affordable program. If that wouldn’t entice potential buyers to seek lending from the said bank, we don’t know what other promotional means they’ll else take. But for now, it might actually work.

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