Will 2011 be even hotter for Bristol Palin than this year was? Putting her 'Dancing with the Stars' earnings to good use, the young mom recently made a real-estate investment in a sunny climate far from mom Sarah Palin's beloved Alaska.

Mike Smith has confirmed to E! that about a month ago, Bristol purchased his former property in Maricopa, Ariz., approximately 35 miles south of Phoenix -- a region hard hit by the financial recession (ABC's 'Nightline' has called Maricopa the "poster child of the housing crisis"). Public records show the five-bedroom home was originally built in 2006 and sold for $329,560. It went into foreclosure in January, with the most recent owners snapping it up for $137,200; it was then fixed up and flipped back onto the market for resale.

Enter Bristol. The 20-year-old 'DWTS' finalist reportedly paid $172,000 -- in cash -- for the large house. Cynthia Smith says, "It's a nice family home with a big backyard and patio. It's in a great neighborhood....I think [she] will really like it there."

But why would Bristol Palin move to, of all places, a suburb in Arizona?