Tips for Parents

Buying property near your college student’s campus

Finding off-campus housing can be tough for college students. For some parents, providing a place to call home is important enough that they buy a property in the area as an investment.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the housing market is recovering, with home sales up more than 11 percent since last year.

Consider the following, if you’re thinking about purchasing property where your student attends college:

Experience. If you have experience in property management or renting spaces, this could be a win-win for you and your student. Your student can rent from someone he knows and trusts (you), and the feeling is mutual. When your student graduates and moves on, your experience dealing with strangers as renters will come into play. If that scenario makes you uncomfortable, don’t buy an investment property.

Logistics. Do you have the finances, time and energy to research neighborhoods, work with a realtor, find the right house … and then pay for it and take care of the upkeep? That’s a tall order. But it will pay off in the long-run, through rent checks from college students whose proximity to campus is the utmost importance. If you don’t live within driving distance of the campus, your job as landlord would be much more difficult, throughout the purchasing process and after. You’ll want to check up on renters periodically and be available for maintenance needs.

Perks. One of the up-sides to renting a home near a college is that as long as the school is enrolling new students, there’s a demand for a place to live. Also, college students aren’t as picky as other renters, like new parents or retirees. As long as the utilities are in working order and the house delivers what is promised, the college student renters won’t be concerned with luxuries or family-friendly amenities.

Drawbacks. The other side to that coin is that college students rent very temporarily. As a landlord, you might have new students moving in and out every year – or as often as your lease allows. Because they’re still transitioning to adulthood, college students will be learning responsibility and might not pay their rent on time, take care of appliances as well and might be careless and damage property. Your confidence in your skills as an active and forceful landlord will help determine if buying and renting your property is a good decision for you.

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