The Pros and Cons of Buying Rental Property in College Areas

As an investor, you’re always looking for the next big opportunity. For many savvy real estate investors, this means buying properties near college campuses. While this may sound like a bigger risk than reward, there are actually some really good reasons to buy and then rent properties in college areas. Check them out!

You Don’t Have to Work So Hard to Market Your Property

The sheer nature of a college town sells itself. With high walkability ratings, these towns are full of restaurants, entertainment, and shopping. Finding renters in a college town is really easy because there’s always an abundance of people hoping to find housing close to the school and all the activity.

There’s No Shortage of Potential Renters

Many students relocate when they enter college. A good majority of them come from far away, which means they need somewhere to live while they attend school. Renting is the obvious option since most of these students will either return home or move away after graduation. Even if a renter moves out of your unit, there’s always another waiting to move in immediately.

Aside from the student body, there’s also the school’s staff and faculty, as well as graduate students. While many of these people are longer-term residents, they may still prefer to rent rather than buy.

You Can Maintain Competitive Rental Rates

Because there’s such a high demand to live in the area, you can set and maintain competitive rental rates that keep up with the going market value.

Vacancy Rates are Low

Renting in a college area is a balancing act because vacancy rates tend to climb during the summer months when students return home for the break. You can avoid this pitfall of renting to college students by making them sign a year-long lease. This obligates your renters to year-round occupancy, so you don’t have to worry about vacancies during the offseason.

The Risks of Buying Property in a College Town

As with any investment, there are risks to be aware of when buying property in a college town.

College Students are Notorious for Causing Property Damage

While renting in a college town has many benefits, no landlord is immune to the property damage college students almost always cause while living in a rental unit. You can offset this damage by factoring it into the security deposit you require when they sign a lease.

You May Have to Dedicate More Time to Finding Renters

College students move around a lot, so you may have to spend more time looking for new renters than you would in another area. The good news is, there’s usually no shortage of prospective tenants waiting to rent your property.

It Can Be Difficult Finding Renters for the Summer Months

As stated before, summertime tends to result in more vacancies as students return home for the break. Having tenants sign a year-long lease solves the problem of seasonal vacancies in a college area.

College Students Can Be Demanding

Because they’ve never lived away from home before, college students tend to have a lot of questions and be quite demanding when it comes to needing something. It’s easiest if you live nearby so you can address their needs quickly, or if you can’t live nearby, hire a reputable management company to handle all the landlord responsibilities in your place.

If you’re an investor looking to increase your earning potential, consider buying rental property in college areas. While there are some risks involved, there are ways around them to make investing in college town real estate a smart move.