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Real Estate Speculation in College Towns

Aerial View of College Campus and Surrounding AreaFew real estate rental markets can give the type of constant need for rental homes required in a college town. Nevertheless, there is much to understand before deciding to invest in a rental property in these areas. No two college towns are exactly alike, and different types of institutions will influence an owner’s ability to competitively lease off-campus housing. Although with constant demand and a likelihood to appreciate well, investing in one or more rental homes close to a college or university can be an effective way to achieve your long-term financial goals.

All over the United States, each college city has something in common: the students, faculty, and staff who reside there all require housing close to campus. Such constant need can mean buying an investment property in a college town seem like an attractive option. Although this is usually the situation, there are a few crucial things to consider before starting your property search.

For instance, it may be sensible to research the campus and surrounding community before selecting one city over another. Collecting details on enrollment history, the projected growth of the school, the current and projected ratio of students to on-campus housing, and any planned developments can aid you in estimating the current and future potential of any provided district. Assuming a school has a shrinking enrollment or is opening a second campus in another community, both could incite a sharp decrease in demand for off-campus housing. Facts like this are vital to possess before investing in any university community.

One more essential concern is the type of institution that is at the core of the town or city. Private universities and colleges may have strict housing policies and more on-campus housing available, thereby reducing the need for off-campus options. Public universities, contrastingly, may have less on-campus housing when compared to the number of students attending but may bear a high percentage of local, part-time, or commuting students who do not need or desire a house close to campus. These are all circumstances you should research your best to find out before choosing whether to purchase a rental property in a college town.

It is also critical to evaluate the area’s available investment properties to ensure that any potential options have features commonly found in profitable rentals. The condition of the house and the neighboring community are part of the deciding factors. Crime rates, amenities, age of the house, and the most recent updates will all influence your capability to attract tenants and charge a competitive rental rate. Another fundamental attribute is understanding the tax implications of your purchase. The amount of property tax, both current and future, must be included in the cost of owning the property, as should any required homeowners’ association fees. You should also examine whatever restrictive codes or laws that might prohibit you from renting out the property; each city and town has its own set of regulations that can vary widely from here and there.

If your analysis is optimistic and you have resolved to proceed with a property acquisition in your appointed location, you can significantly narrow your search parameters if you determine first how much you need to spend, how much risk you can comfortably assume, and how much time you possess to devote to property management. Maintaining a rental property is a critical time commitment, particularly if you are preparing to execute it all by yourself. Rental homes in college towns are somewhat unique in that they lean to having a high rate of turnover. Assuming that students are your target demographic, it’s essential to recognize that there will be several more tasks required in marketing, screening, and leasing your property from year to year, perhaps even semester to semester. Alternatively, if you expect to rent to graduate students or faculty, you will need to understand how to market your rental effectively in order to entice them to your property.

Regardless of who your target renter is, it is essential to be practical about your capacity to furnish consistent and high-quality property oversight and maintenance. Property management can be a hands-on job, one that demands around the clock readiness should an emergency occur. If you want to handle a property yourself, you are also restricted to areas that you can enter swiftly or automatically, usually somewhat near to your hometown.

The alternative to doing it yourself is to employ an excellent property management company to handle your property for you. There are advantages to doing so, particularly if you are planning to rent to students. Placing ads, interviewing renters, showing your property, performing routine maintenance, handling move-in, and move-out efficiently – all of these can be turned over to a team of professionals dedicated to protecting the value of your investment property. Furthermore, if you select a national company like Real Property Management Rental Direction, you are not limited to buying in your home market. Your investment options are wide open with the aid of a network of reliable property management franchise offices coast to coast.

At Real Property Management Rental Direction we can assist property investors like you determine if purchasing one or more rental properties in a college town seems right. We have market data and industry experts who can give you the information you require to decide upon a good choice. Contact us today for more information.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.