It's been a week, I have not woken up screaming, and no one has asked me if I've lost my mind, so....I think I can safely say that I am now, officially, a College Housing Investor! Yep, Whoop, and all that, I went to College Station on a mission and bought one right on the spot. Made an offer they couldn't refuse; wanted it quick and painless....QUICK being the operative word (before I changed my mind!)
WHAT???? did I buy? A 2 Story 4 Bedroom Townhome. Thinking: no yard to mow, pool, gated, on the bus route, exterior cared for, tight-knit community for "socializing" and/or safety. It will house 4 girls with shared double sink vanity bathrooms and large kitchen and living area. I decided to average all the bills and charge the roommates a flat fee, all bills paid. (Electric being the exception; will provide for electric overages by holding from deposit) Compared to area apartments, it's a deal. Why a 4 bedroom? I did the math, and yes it hurt, but it's easy to see that dividing the HOA maintenance fee, Cable, Electric, and Water by 4 was the economical. Also, If one moves out it's not as painful when it's one of four.
WHY??? I interviewed many college parents present and past that have made the leap to investment and not ONE single family regretted buying. Many who rented the whole time regretted NOT buying. Thought it was a smart idea, just didn't know where to start. Some said there were unexpected hassles (usually house or roommate related) but in the end they felt it was a great investment. There are few investments that have this kind of following. I also did the math over and over and it works, works really well for upper classmen who prefer to stay in town for the summer to work or catch summer school sessions.
I'll keep you posted on the move in and ensuing dramas, hopefully answering questions if you've considered just such an adventure. I thought I'd better do it before I recommend it for others. But, if you're on the fence for next year, now is the time to find out about where and when to look. It's helpful to find a good realtor to keep you in the loop as far as which are the better investments. I can help with finding you a Realtor on the other end in Dallas, Austin, or College Station/Bryan. I have good working relationships with agents in each city and can take the guessing out of that part of the job for you. I also have a wonderful loan officer who helped me with the best way to finance. She's done this many times for others and knows the ropes.