Buy a home for Ferris college student(s) in Big Rapids, Michigan?

Real Estate Agent with Greenridge Realty Oakmont

Is it a good investment to buy a home for Ferris State University college student(s) in Big Rapids, Michigan?


About this time of year, parents start thinking about the costs of paying for college dorms compared to the cost of buying a home that their student can live in during college years.


Sometimes investing in a home can be profitable, yet there are no guarantees. One thing that is sure - you will not get any money back from dorm costs, so you might come out ahead by owning a home short term and then selling it.


Many owners have kept their rental properties for years because college rentals can sometimes bring in a good income - even if you have an agency manage the property for you.


Within the city limits of Big Rapids, Michigan, there are many rules rental properties must abide by, even if your son or daughter occupies part of the home and rents to one other person.


You must qualify and obtain a certificate from the City of Big Rapids that allows you to rent, and comply with all ordinances including proper fire alarm maintenance and inspections.


Stating that "No one ever told me I had to do this" will NOT get you out of the fine and/or consequences of not following the city ordinances, and zoning ordinances.  They are not kidding around!


Zoning plays a large part in what type of rentals can be in what areas of the city, how many people can rent a home, renter relationships, unrelated parties, etc.


Zoning maps showing rental areas are available from the

City of Big Rapids - (231) 592-4000


Visit the City of Big Rapids website for more information on ordinances:


Always contact the City of Big Rapids to determine if the home you are thinking of purchasing falls within the zoning area for the plan you have for your student and/or others renting in the home.


Feel free to call me with your questions, and I will be happy to help you out.

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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I've sold several homes near University of MD for students whose parents or the students themselves didn't want to pay rent.

In 4-6 years, they have a bit of equity, tax decuction, etc.

Apr 13, 2015 08:29 AM #1
Lynn Afton
Greenridge Realty Oakmont - Big Rapids, MI
REALTOR® Near Big Rapids, MI, Mecosta County

Lenn Harley -  It usually works out, except for that little bump when home prices fell drastically in our area.

Apr 14, 2015 12:02 AM #2
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Lynn Afton

REALTOR® Near Big Rapids, MI, Mecosta County
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