Investing in a College Town

2 Replies

Good evening. Currently my wife and I own 3 rental properties (5 units) in Athens GA (none currently leased to students). We are pursuing additional rental property purchase opportunities in Athens. I wanted to get some feedback on the positives and negatives folks have experienced buying rental properties and leasing them out in similar college towns.

If you are an owner/investor in a similar college town, do you actively seek out student renters? Did you specifically seek out a college town as a target for your investing? What do you see as the long term benefits of owning in such a town? What are the shortcomings? What are the best types of buy and hold scenarios in terms of buying on the lower end versus the higher end when you have a limited ceiling for rent? Is buy and hold the best strategy in a college town?

Any other thoughts or tips you may have would be appreciated.

@Roy Copeland What a great question, Athens is my town! I invest exclusively in Athens right now and I am a real estate agent here. I do not seek out students as my primary clientele. Mainly because they expect to be close to campus and those properties are hard to find for the right price. Towns like these are supported by their University or better stated they are the economic engine for the town. The strength of that economic engine is why I think college towns are great. But that single strong economic engine can also be the shortcoming. We invest in properties that can be rented to workforce renters because they are usually more responsible for the property and so the wear and tear is less than with students. Also, those properties are easier to find and make the numbers work. Upper-end properties are harder to get in to and usually require the landlord to rent them by the room which increases the amount of foot traffic in your property increasing wear and tear.

If you would like to talk more please reach out to me, you can find my info in my profile or under this post. Thank you. 

Sorry for the delayhed reply Georgui. Same, we do not seek out students but we aren't opposed to it so long as they qualify or can have a cosigner. I think ideally we are seeking tenants that are a part of the college town workforce as you mentioned. I agree with your take on a college being an ecomonmic engine for a college town. You essentailly have a captive audience of potential renters that all need a place to call home. I may have some questions for you as we move forward. Thank you for your feedback.