Newbie: Investing in future university student housing

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Hello everyone, My name is Jose Torres and i had a question and require some advice and thought why not make a post! I hope this is appropriate to post here. I am a veteran and my current spouse is a student at Marshall University and it will be her last year this coming fall. Due to the pandemic she has all virtual classes, but because of her degree, she has to finish her program in person meaning she will have to go back to school. I've wanted to invest in real estate for the last year but was deployed and am now home. I'm thinking of maybe purchasing real estate in Huntington, WV which is where Marshall U is located, but it's not a very up and coming, or inviting town. I was thinking of maybe doing a house hack or SFH near the university, and once we leave for her graduate program somewhere else, we can rent it out. My concern is with the city not being a popular bustling city, what impact can that have on my investment? Would it still be a good idea seeing as there is not only a University, but a major hospital in the same city? Would attempting this be too much for a first time investor? I want to wait until her and I move somewhere more permanet, but I'm afraid if i keep on waiting i'll never get started. Any advice or suggestions would be great!

Hi Jose, I think you're right on the House Hacking idea. You also don't need a bustling city to make money in Real Estate. I'm not too familiar with Marshall, but it seems to be a too-big-to-fail school, so there will always be the Student population. You just have to become familiar with the culture of the school. Where are the "student" neighborhoods? Try to network with some local owners and find out what a "nice" place rents for vs a run-down crash pad rents for. I've had much more success renting nice homes to student, I find they take care of them much better than giving someone a dump to live in. When is the Student Rental season, Fall or Spring for the following year? Also find a Property Management company that knows how to handle Student Rentals while you're there to take over managing your investment when you and your wife take you wherever your careers take you. Not just any PM company can run Student Rentals, there's an Art to it... Good luck!