Prize Pigs Buy Teen a House

Three piggies went to market, and one piggy's owner bought a home. Not bad for an 18-year-old! Indeed, the homespun tale of Lindsay Binegar provides a good lesson for all would-be home buyers.

First of all, it required a lot more than just three pigs to save up $40,000. Yet that's how much cash Lindsay Binegar of Greenfield, Ohio managed to save from showing and selling pigs at 4-H competitions and county fairs. Starting at age 4, she simply saved, saved, and saved.

Amazingly, Lindsay used all her accumulated funds to purchase an investment property: a four-bedroom, two-bath, two-car-garage home -- in cash.

Did you just squeal like a pig? You're not alone. Since news of this broke Monday people have been "tossing the pigskin," so to speak, in a series of armchair-quarterback sessions about Miss Binegar's purchase.

So before you add your own thoughts, here's how Lindsay did it and what you can learn from it:
First, and obviously, Lindsay was methodical enough to bank nearly everything she ever earned. (Attention, future farmers: Did you know you could make $15,540 with a prize pig?)

Was the decision to save simple? Yes. Easy? Well ... obviously it's a lot easier to save when your parents are paying your overhead. But no doubt she demonstrated commitment to a financial goal and a "pay yourself first" attitude.

Lindsay originally saved the money to pay for college. But her parents said they would pay for her education if she commuted to school to reduce the cost. Anyone saddled with student loans can appreciate that.

So Lindsay used her funds to purchase an investment property at extreme discount at auction. According to other Greenfield, Ohio listings at AOL Real Estate, she got an entire house for what some pay for foreclosed, empty land. Here she got lucky -- her father owns the auction house.

Once purchased, Lindsay enhanced her investment by painting the interior of the two-story frame house and adding carpeting.

She rents it to her great aunt and uncle. After maintenance expenses, repairs and taxes, she saves the remaining from the $450 per month she collects in rent. She plans to use this money to buy her own house when she marries next year.

Is it a wise financial move? Well, detractors remind us that she's spent her entire nest egg on one investment.

Haters! Her house is paid off, so it will produce cash every month it is rented. Or, the house will provide a place for her to live without the cost of rent or a mortgage. Not bad.

Binegar, now 19, is a freshman at Ohio University's Chillicothe campus. No need to study finance -- this girl already knows how to bring home the bacon!

See homes for sale in Ohio and elsewhere at AOL Real Estate.
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