Buying Real Estate For Your College Student

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Your son or daughter is heading off to college in pursuit of what you hope will be a valuable degree leading to many wonderful opportunities throughout their lives. Tuition costs are high and you’re resigned to swallowing high dorm costs, knowing that the pay off will eventually come.

Some parents, however, are thinking outside of the box and instead of shelling out the big money to home closing
cover dorm costs, are buying real estate nearby and having their adult child live there while they’re in school. In a recent Bankrate.com article titled, “Buying A Home For A College Student,” author Steve McLinden gave examples of what some families are doing to provide a very different living arrangement for their college aged offspring.

Benefits of Buying a Home for a College Student

Buying a home for your college student to use while they’re attending college can have a number of benefits including:

Avoid dorm living — Dorm life isn’t that big of a deal for some students, while terribly distracting for others. Your son or daughter may have a choice of roommate(s) or they could be stuck with someone whose idea of dorm living is to party, party, party.

Save money — Whatever money you spend on dorm costs is money that can never be recovered. At least with a home you can eventually sell the property and perhaps realize a profit. To cut costs your child could welcome one or more roommates provided that one of the isn’t the roomate from hell.

Tax savings — A tax accountant can help you with this, but you may be able to reap a tax benefit from owning another home. Property taxes are deductible as are many improvements especially when it comes time to sell the real estate.

Disadvantages of Buying a Home For Your Student

With any decision there are disadvantages, and with buying a home near campus there are some too:

Upkeep — If you buy a house, who will keep the house in order? Someone will need to cut the lawn, trim bushes, and keep the house tidy. If you child is too busy with school, will home maintenance be a distraction? If so, you’ll incur another expense by having to hire a lawn service. Maybe a condo would be the best purchase.

Inconvenient — Unless you purchase property within walking distance or on a bus or rail line, the off-campus housing may be a little too remote for your student. Convenience is an important factor as is neighborhood safety, possible resale value, etc.

Expensive — Never mind the cost of buying the property, if you have enough money to buy real estate then money isn’t an issue, right? Well, it could be — if the home can’t be sold without cutting its price will you be able to take a loss later? What if your son or daughter leaves school early? Will you be stuck with the property? Association fees, property taxes, upkeep, and related costs can add up — is it really worth it?

A Buyer’s Market

Fortunately, many homes are selling for much less today than what they sold for in 2006 just before prices began to drop. With careful shopping you could find a bargain not too far away from campus, a piece of property with low maintenance and in a safe neighborhood.

Work with a knowledgeable real estate agent and you could end up with an excellent win-win situation.


Adv. — It isn’t too late to find financial aid for this academic year. At OffToCollege.com, we provide information on a variety of funding choices including private student loans, PLUS loans, scholarships, Federal Pell Grants, and more. Stop by today to check out our college planning tools too!

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