Nowadays, it’s common for a girl to receive jewelry, shoes and maybe a phone or some sort of technology for her 13th birthday. But Avee Shabazz of Birmingham, Alabama wanted to give his daughter a gift that would last much longer. So he bought her a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home to help establish her financial future.
“The door is already unlocked,” Shabazz said while handing Ajala the keys to the home.
“I don’t know too many people who had their dad, like, give them a house,” said Ajala Shabazz who turned 13 on July 4, 2020.
His thinking: “Let’s prepare them early,” he said. “Let’s put them in a position early at 13, gift her with a house at 13, teach her how to use that house to build more houses.”
Shabazz said he bought the house for his daughter to help build generational wealth. He saw this house as the starting place to help her begin to create her own financial freedom.
“The objective is to be comfortable,” said Shabazz. “Whatever that means to her is what it means to her. She determines that, right? If she’s cool with having a house without paying bills and working a job, that’s her choice, right? But if she wants to grow it into a multi-million- dollar empire, that’s her choice.”
Ajala says she was excited to receive the big gift, but she also admits she was a little scared.
“I felt like I was too young, you know?” Ajala said. “Like, people always say you’re too young to do this or do that and my dad just gave me a house when I was 13.”
She says she instantly thought of all the things that could possibly go wrong.
“I’m not very good when it comes to responsibility,” she admitted. “And when I’m given responsibility, I suddenly feel anxious and nervous. Am I going to screw this up? Is something bad going to happen? I just think of all the possibilities.”
But her dad stepped in to offer her some encouragement. He believes she is ready and responsible enough. Shabazz is a real estate investor and says Ajala simply needs to do what she’s watched him do over the years.
“They help me work,” explained shabazz. “They do, like, the real estate investing. They do the price quotes. They do the putting address to properties. When we go out, they film. We assess properties together. So, they’re out with me doing the work anyway.”
Shabazz says he started teaching his kids about real estate investment two years ago and will buy them all homes when it’s time.
“I started teaching them at home,” he said. “Then, that developed into ‘Let me really implement this in a real way by gifting each one of them a house and letting them take that and move that forward from that point going into the future.”
Shabazz says he invested about $50,000 in the house. He considers it a small investment toward his daughter’s future and the surrounding community.
“There’s literally 22 empty houses on this street, right, 22,” he explained. “So, if we own all 22 of these houses and we bring them up to this type of standard, then we control the comps of this area. Not only that, we boost the comps. Not only that, we boost the tax intake for the county, which goes to the school system. So, we’re building up our own community by buying up the real estate.”
Ajala will get some landlord experience as she has decided to rent out the home. And although, she may not understand all that her father is doing right now, she knows it’s in good faith.
“I like the idea of giving your child a house when they turn 13,” Ajala said. “I like the idea because it’s unique.”