Investing in Student Housing

Here's an interesting opportunity if you are still looking at housing as an investment: try buying rental properties and consider students as your tenants!

The reason that this is a "new" opportunity now is that there is another population bulge heading our way. They are called the "Echo" generation, and they are the kids of the boomers. This is the generation born between about 1980 and 1995. Given that the front end of this group is now college aged, but the youngest are just over 10, an investment now in student housing should give you good rental income for at least the coming 10-15 years.

The trick with student housing is to invest in properties that allow easy access to your local college or university campus. Many students depend on off-campus housing; in some cases 70% or more of a college population is living off campus, and a great majority of these kids are from out of town. A student's greatest need is good, safe, inexpensive housing. If you can provide this, you can make good money from it.

With the pressures on educational funding, many colleges and universities are depending on private investment to meet student housing needs. In fact, your best places to invest in student housing include Florida, Arizona, California and Texas. However, don't count on investing in student housing if you are near a private university; these schools tend to have a much higher percentage of their student body living on the campus, and you might find that your investment doesn't work out as you might have planned.

When getting into this kind of investment, you'll have to interview and pick your tenants carefully. Student housing can be a bit tricky if you get a group of "party animals" and your property is damaged. Keep in mind that the best student housing is loaded with all the modern bells and whistles, including high speed internet connections for computers, and is generally within walking distance of the campus. What you want to supercede is old, outdated dorm room type accomodation.

Michael

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