Student Housing Vs. Cheap Single Family Homes

9 Replies

Hey Everyone, 

Quick question for those of you that live in Florida, especially the Orlando, or Tampa areas. 

I'm wondering if it would be more sensible to buy a quadplex close to UCF and be able to get $1,000 per unit in rent a month but risk the place being destroyed every year and high tenant turn over. 


Buy a cheap single family home that needs some work, something between 25K-50K, put 10K-20K into it to make it nice and somewhere would a family would like to live, and then charge between 800-1000 for rent.....and buy multiple properties like that. Upside is hopefully lower turnover, should be lower maintenance costs depending on how well I fix them up in the first place, and more security of a family paying rent on time each month. 

What does everyone think? 

Originally posted by @Jeremy Tillotson:

buy a place and rent it by the room for students, you will get way more return.

 Is that the standard for student housing? There is a community collage close to me and it seems to be growing quite rapidly. I'd definitely like to get in on some student housing.

If you can find a Quad by UCF buy it.  If you find one and don't want to buy it, contact me and I will buy it and pay you a referral.

@Jeremy Tilloston is right on, rent the place by the room.  Lets face it, college students will be pretty rough on the place.  So unless you land some Grad students, figure on replacing the carpet every year.  

One other benefit is that the often times the people footing the bill for rent and for the security deposit will be mom and dad.  I think this increases your chance of the rent being paid.  

Additionaly, with buying a Quad plex instead of a SFR, when a unit goes vacant on the quad, you still have 3 other income generators. When it is time for a roof, you have 4 units to spread the costs over.

Good Luck

I would recommend getting the parents as guarantors on the lease. When my daughter got an apartment off campus we had to do this and now I am using that concept on my college rental as well. Mommy and Daddy's check don't bounce!

@Richard Allen ,

To Make the @ work do the following:

Hold down the shift key and type the following: @?

Look below this Window, and you will see a list of list of names of people who have posted in this thread.

Click on the name of the person that you want notified via an email that you responded to them.

If you are a Colleague with anyone that has not posted in this thread, and you want them to see your post, hold down the shift key, and type the @ and the first 4 letters of the first or last name.

Look below this Window, and click on your Colleague's name.

They will be notified via an email about your post in this thread.


Originally posted by @Tom Shepard :

I would recommend getting the parents as guarantors on the lease. When my daughter got an apartment off campus we had to do this and now I am using that concept on my college rental as well. Mommy and Daddy's check don't bounce!

This should reduce the risk somewhat.  You still need to screen the parent's and the students.  Also with requiring the parents on the hook financially you probably should be able to demand the maximum allowable security deposit, which is also helpful in reducing risk.

If you are looking at roughly "all-in 50K", a down payment on a college student quad is likely to be a better bet than a cheap SFH.

Hi Jeremy,

We currently own 2 triplexes that are close to a college and primarily rent to students.  If they don't qualify with their income, I use a parent as a personal guarantor, so far (2 years) we haven't had an issue.  Turnover is higher than a SF would be, but about half of the tenants have signed a second year long lease and I am expecting some to go into their 3rd.  

In our area, this seems to generate the best returns, and we are looking to purchase more like them in the same area.  As far as the tenants trashing the place, aside from being messy I haven't had a problem yet.  The non-college students that rent from us seem to be messier FYI!


@Richard Allen ,

I don't know the answer to this question:

I have no problem properly using it with my PC or Macbook , my issues arises when I am using my iPad. Do you have any idea why that is?

Hopefully, @Joshua Dorkin can explain why the @? doesn't work with your iPad, and provide a list of any other devices that is doesn't work with.


Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.