The thought of owning investment properties might be intriguing to you, and owning properties in college towns makes a lot of sense. College students need places to live, and many upperclassmen are looking to live off-campus. This means you’ll have plenty of potential renters, and the area will never run out of students looking for housing. But how do you go about buying an investment property and getting renters? Here’s what you need to know about owning property in college towns.
Buy the right property
If you don’t already own property in a college town, your first step is obviously to find the right property. You want to make sure you’re familiar with the area and the patterns of the renters. If you know that numerous students don’t stay in a rental over the summer, you have to be sure you can either find someone else to rent your property during that time or you can afford to lose that income.
Look for a property that meets your needs. For example, if you know you’re not the handiest person, don’t buy a property that will need a lot of maintenance, unless you’re also going to hire a maintenance person. If you know you’d like to start by just managing a few renters, buy a single-family home and list it as available for three to four people. Don’t get yourself in a situation in which you’re stuck with a property that you don’t know how to maintain or don’t want to manage.
Find the right tenants
Renting in a college town means you are most likely renting to students. This can have its pros and cons. You will never lack renters, but you will also have to worry about rowdy college students taking care of your properties. If you’re serious about finding the best tenants for your units, take the time to screen applicants and ask questions about their study and party habits. Having to do extensive work on your units between tenants can make you feel like the ease of finding tenants is not worth the trouble of renting to college students. Take the time to screen your applicants and find people who you trust will take care of your property.
You should also make use of the best landlord software to manage your properties. Your renters will be able to sign and submit documents online (saving both of you time). You can keep track of your properties and your renters’ payments online, so you can access the information anywhere, anytime. Having efficient landlord software will make your job infinitely easier, and your renters will love the easy access to the lease and other forms.
Owning property in a college town has huge benefits
When you own property in a college town, you rarely have to worry about finding renters or not getting as much rent as you’d like. Students who live off campus often have their housing paid for by their parents or the college itself, and because they’re always in need of housing, you won’t have to worry about the price of rent dropping. Because new students are always entering the college, you will always have new tenants, even when your previous renters graduate. This means you won’t have to worry about vacant units, which would lead to a loss of income.
However, you might have to focus more on finding occupants during the summer season because the students are not in school. You can find students attending summer school or adjunct professors who need to stay on campus over the summer. Because your units are in a college town, you won’t have to spend too much time or money on marketing your property. The area draws the tenants, and you just have to let them know that your property is available. This can be an enormous relief for you as the landlord, and you’ll be able to focus on keeping your units well-maintained.
Owning property in a college town can be extremely rewarding. If you follow these tips, you’ll be owning and managing a successful rental (or two or three!) before you know it.