College Students Win With Homebuyer Tax Credit: 19-Year-Old College Sophomore Demonstrates Feasibility

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A 19-year-old college student has gone off-campus, purchased his own house, and received an $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax refund from the IRS. After taking a loan from his parents, Chris Hurley is able to split the costs with three friends he's invited to live with him. He writes about this and other money-making ideas on his blog at

For college students, what could be better than living off-campus in a spacious "crib", having total control over the property, and paying less in housing costs? Purchasing your own home may be just the ticket.

"Nothing can beat this," says Chris Hurley, a 19-year-old starting his sophomore year at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York. "I spent my freshman year 'tripled up' in a dorm room built for two. Now I have my own house two miles from campus, splitting costs with the friends I've invited to live with me, and saving a lot of money."

To top it off, Hurley received an $8,000 check from the U.S Treasury Department for the purchase of his $80,000, three-bedroom home in nearby East Rochester. He qualified for the 10% first-time homebuyer credit, a federal stimulus program that expires on November 30 of this year. He has to remain in the home for at least three years in order to keep the government money, which takes him to his college graduation date.

Hurley's father and mother were able to take out a loan against the equity in on their own home to finance their son's purchase, and the business major now makes regular monthly mortgage payments to his parents. He also handed over his $8,000 tax refund as a down payment on the loan. "I would definitely recommend this strategy to other college students," says Hurley, who plans to sell the home after graduation and hopes to realize substantial equity.

Hurley describes the home-purchase strategy and other innovative money-making ideas on a blog that he and his sister Megan, a 23-year-old and recent graduate of Nazareth College, recently launched at (a "Benjamin" is the slang term for a $100 bill). Along with daily articles written by the brother/sister team, the website includes video interviews of successful young entrepreneurs from around the country. The blog has quickly gained a following for its content and suggestions, including:

  • Becoming a "human guinea pig" in clinical drug trials
  • Offering doggie "poop-scooping" and other personal services
  • Selling or renting unneeded items
  • Pursuing and patenting inventions
  • Avoiding money scams

With college classes starting up, Hurley has also started posting entries describing his day-to-day experience in maintaining the home he shares with three other students. It's not always easy, he admits.

About JFH Innovative LLC

JFH Innovative LLC is run by Megan Hurley, a 23-year-old who graduated from Nazareth College in May 2009 with a degree in environmental science, and her brother Chris Hurley, a 19-year-old sophomore majoring in business management at St. John Fisher College. Both colleges are located in Pittsford, New York. The company launched its website at in June 2009 as a money blog for young entrepreneurs, offering suggestions, descriptive articles, and video interviews.

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Chris Hurley

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