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Real Estate Speculation in College Towns

Aerial View of College Campus and Surrounding AreaFew real estate rental markets can offer the kind of constant stream of rental houses required in a college town. Yet there is a lot to know before choosing to invest in rental property in these areas. No two college towns are exactly alike, and different types of institutions will affect an owner’s ability to competitively lease off-campus housing. Nevertheless, with continuous need and an inclination 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.

Throughout the United States, every college city has one thing in common: the students, faculty, and staff who stay there all desire housing close to campus. Such an common request can mean that buying an investment property in a college town is an attractive option. While this is normally the case, there are various details to consider before beginning your property search.

As a precedent, it may be a good idea to research the campus and surrounding community before picking one town over another. Acquiring data on enrollment history, the projected growth of the school, current and projected ratio of students to on-campus housing, and any planned developments can assist you estimate the current and future potential of any specified area. If a school has shrinking enrollments or is opening a second campus in another community, both could cause a sharp decrease in demand for off-campus housing. Details like this are important to know before investing in any university community.

An additional bit of information 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, instead, may have less on-campus housing in connection to the number of students attending, yet it may possess a high percentage of local, part-time, or commuting students who do not demand or need a house close to campus. These are all conditions you should research your best to discover before determining whether to obtain a rental property in a college town.

It is fairly essential 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 peripheral area are some of the most crucial attributes. Crime rates, amenities, age of the house, and the most recent updates will all trigger your capacity to attract tenants and charge a competitive rental rate. An additional characteristics to take note of 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 some required homeowners’ association fees. You must also check if there are any 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 place to place.

If your research is promising and you are determined to continue with a real estate purchase in your desired place, you can significantly narrow your search parameters if you choose early on how much you want to spend, how much risk you can comfortably assume, and how much time you have to devote to property management. Possessing a rental property is an important time responsibility, especially if you are planning to do most of it yourself. Rental homes in college towns are somewhat unique in that they have a high rate of turnover. If students are your target demographic, it’s crucial to see to it that there will be a lot required in marketing, screening, and leasing your property from year to year, perhaps even semester to semester. On the other hand, if you hope to rent to graduate students or faculty, you will want to recognize how to market your rental effectively to lure them to your property.

Regardless of who your target renter is, it is critical to be honest about your capability when it comes to implementing consistent and high-quality property oversight and maintenance. Property management can be a hands-on job, one that necessitates committed readiness should an emergency happen. If you want to manage the property yourself, you are also restricted to areas that you can access fast or effortlessly, often in close proximity to your hometown.

The other option aside from accomplishing it yourself is to appoint a reliable property management company to manage your property for you. There are genuine advantages to doing so, especially 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. What is more, if you pick a national company like Real Property Management Richmond Metro, you are not limited to buying in your home market. Your investment options are wide open with the support of a network of reliable property management franchise offices coast to coast.

At Real Property Management Richmond Metro, we can aid property investors like you decide if getting one or more rental properties in a college town is the best decision. We have market data and industry experts who can deliver the figures you desire to create the best 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.