Rental properties in college towns (Clemson, SC)

4 Replies

Looking to buy a 4/2 condo in Clemson, SC near campus. Has current tenants through August 2019, with solid cash flow and 10% cash on cash return. This would be my first investment property, what are some things to be aware of with renting in college towns and to students? Are college towns better protected against market downturns as the economy is correlated closely to the school?

Hi Adrian! I am a real estate agent for Tiger Properties here in Clemson. I have managed a student community of almost 250 students since January of 2012 and been in sales since May of 2015. Students tend to ware on properties a lot more than you would see from other renters. There is a high turnover because they constantly moving to live near friends they met the previous semester or are graduating. Evictions tend to be very low though because you normally have to require a guarantor for the lease, and parental guarantors do not want to deal with evictions from something their kid is doing. The thing that eats into most profits in the Clemson market is the high HOA dues. If for some reason your condo does not get leased for a semester then you have to pay your PITI on top of monthly dues. I would advise to account for that while considering your numbers. If a property is vacant, it normally is not a 30 day vacancy but a semester vacancy. I hope that this helps! If you are not already working with an agent then I would love to help you find the perfect property! **Disclaimer** If you are already in an agency agreement with a real estate agent then this is not a solicitation of business, everything I have said should be disregarded, and I would advise you to consult your real estate agent.

Price is usually better protected because of demand....

 BUT... Turnover, turnover, turnover.  guaranteed, every 12 months.  

If you have a PM with a leasing fee.. boom.  $ gone every year.  guaranteed. 

Repair calls up the A for stupid stuff because they are kids and kids in this generation are useless.

Add on to that, repairs at turnover for dumb stuff... leaky toilet, they dont call anyone...  They throw a towel on it and leave it for 5 months, rot your whole sub floor... AC is howling... its not hot...oh well, just let it run..  explodes because a fan was stuck...

You almost want to do your repairs and capex $ like its a D property with a section 8 tenant.

If it were me... I target single family homes in college towns in areas where students DONT live.  You get the upward price pressure, which is nice... but not the issues.

I am a local realtor in the area of Clemson.

I have to agree with several points made by both posters above. College students are extremely tough on houses and you need to be aware that there are many restrictions on rentals in Clemson. Even for single-family homes especially rented to students.  

One thing you may want to consider is going to one of the surrounding towns of Clemson where the restrictions can be less. I’m not a property manager, and a full-time realtor. If you need my guidance please reach out to me, I can guide you through the process and avoid the many potential land mines.