Student Houseing - Discussion on Timing

3 Replies

Hi BP,

For those who rent out to students.. is there a "best" time to post and start advertising your listing online, and a time I should definitely avoid?

Some background: I'm currently in the market for some small multi-families, and believe I've found a great deal near a research university. I'm nervous about renting to students this close to summer. If I close on the property in June, that means I only have July to to rehab it and get it listed and rented in time for a September semester (is that when school starts? I've been out for 10 years and can't remember, haha). 

Am I cutting it too close? What would you all do? Thank you!


Updated over 2 years ago

PS - Sorry about the typo :P

I have been thinking about the student rental strategy a lot myself lately. 

It sounds like you need to have a GC lined up so he can tell you the details about the time frame for when HE can get the house done and ready. If it takes him 3 months to get it up to par doesn't matter if you close in June since it wouldn't be ready either way.

It seems to me (theory craft only) you want the house ready for move in around 1 month prior to school start. This way parents that come with their kids to check out the college and area can walk the apartment themselves and see where their precious snowflake will be partying on the weekends (errr...studying...that is what I mean). This will probably only be for the first year students who want to live off campus.

There is probably a niche market for students who come to town at the beginning of summer (either for school or work), but that would generally depend if it was a college town or a major city that has work opportunities for college kids.

Also, if it is a major/competitive university you can expect some very last minute arrivals. The students that where put on wait lists to get in and where accepted last minute, causing them to scramble to get everything in place.

My gut tells me you want to close on a house in April, and be ready to sit on it through the summer if need be. This will get you access to the most amount of possible students. But if it is a good deal I would not sit on the sidelines if you are worried about not filling up the apartment for some reason.

I do not think there is a 'right' answer to this question until you get a timeline from a GC. Then you can start weighing the risks of your closing timeline window. Maybe your first year you have to accept non-college students and transition totally in 2019?

I would reach out to the local college and see if you can get a new-student summer schedule type handout. Then you will have an idea on when parents show up, classes start, last minute students, summer classes start, orientation etc.

That's a good idea Michael, perhaps it might be wise to just snap it up and rent it out on a month-to-month or just a shorter lease span so it ends around June or July of next year. Thanks!

I think your best bet is to find and network with other student rental owners in the same student market.  I have one 4-room house for students in a smaller, Southern public university market (heavily commuter, growing its out-of-county population) and I don't quite understand the timing of this particular area.  Granted, I'm offering rooms rather than the whole house (two rooms are more or less permanently rented until those kids graduate), but I have had one legit enquiry in 4 months on Craigslist, and it went nowhere.  Last year (the first year I had the house), we filled up in July.  One of the two moving out has had plans for months to find a place with a girlfriend, but is only just now starting to look (in late May).  Clearly this market is different from many, and I need to do more networking to learn about it.