Real Estate – Purchasing Residential Real Estate in College Towns Can Be Highly Profitable

Purchasing real estate in college towns can be extremely rewarding. Colleges and universities across the United States are seeing an increase in enrollment, and dormitory and other student housing has been unable to keep up with this increased demand. Both students and faculty alike have an urgent need for housing, and this can mean great investment opportunities for you. Here are some things to consider when purchasing real estate in a college town.

  • Look for cities with a population of under 500,000. Cities of this size will tend to have a stronger infrastructure of transportation, support facilities such as shopping and hospitals, and industry and employment outside of the school community. People in towns of this size are used to the college or university being the center of activity.
  • Choose a property that is no more than one mile from the college. This will enable your tenants to walk or bicycle to school much of the time, depending on the weather, and save them money for gasoline and parking fees. There is also an opportunity for nearby employment in businesses that directly serve the school community.
  • Properties with two or more bathrooms are most desirable. Young men are more open to sharing a bathroom than young women. The master bedroom will most likely have its own bathroom, and this should rent for more than the other bedrooms would. Bedrooms on opposite sides of the house are also desirable for added privacy.
  • Ask to see transcripts from your potential student tenants. People tend to mirror various aspects of their lives, so a good student is more likely to be a good tenant. Find out what activities the student is involved in away from school to get more of a picture of who you will be renting to.
  • Hire people to take care of the property. Yard maintenance and housekeeping will more than pay for itself over time, and you will have the peace of mind in knowing that your property is being maintained properly. Both students and professors are extremely busy and would appreciate not having to do as much themselves.
  • Do not forget about faculty. Most colleges and universities have visiting professors from all over the world who will be looking for real estate close to the school that they can rent rather than purchase. Many of these people are single or couples with no children and would make an excellent choice as tenants.

If done thoughtfully and conscientiously, this is a real estate investment that will pay off handsomely over the years.

Connie Ragen Green is a Real Estate Broker and State Certified Residential Appraiser in California and has bought and sold over 100 properties since 1983. Visit her at for more information about buying and selling real estate.

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