Housing Appealing to High Point University Students

11 Replies

Hi all!

I'm Gloria and am incredibly new to real estate. I'm currently a full time professional student, and am looking to use real estate as a means of paying off my student loans and attaining financial freedom.

Currently looking at the high point, NC area for investment opportunities. SF and MF homes that would accommodate college and graduate/pharmacy students living with roommates. Does anyone have any thoughts about this group of clients? Has anyone had any experience renting to high point students and can provide any advice on ideal streets or areas they tend to prefer? I know safety is a major concern for parts of high point. Any advice of streets to steer clear of as a newbie investor?

Any and all advice is appreciated!

Thank you!

Hi @Gloria A.

I don't own rentals in HP, but I own in the Triangle and Triad.  Also, I toured HPU a few months ago with my son and I got a good feel for the university and the immediate area surrounding it.

High Point has an incredible amount of inexpensive housing, including in the neighborhoods surrounding HPU.  However, HP is a divided city, with a middle-class population that lives well, and a severely deprived lower-class population.  HPU is surrounded by a 6-foot (or taller) iron fence and the only entrance is constantly manned by one or two guards in a guard booth.  The type of parents and students I met while at the university ... I won't say a lot more about it other than to say I don't think many HPU parents would set up their children in rentals in the immediate area.  The campus and the surrounding area are as far different as you could imagine.  The university's tuition and fees exceed $50K and most of the parents are upper-middle class to upper class.

If you buy rentals in most of the neighborhoods surrounding HPU, you should plan on renting to the citizens who already live in those neighborhoods.  Most of those neighborhoods have dilapidated houses on most streets, many with people living in them.  This area is a long time from gentrifying.  

If you buy cheap houses in HP, you should either live in the area or already have a PM in mind with whom you have a long and trusting relationship.  I don't think it's a bad market overall, and I might buy there in the next year or two.  However, I'm close enough to keep an eye on things, and I have experience renting to a lower-income population.

If you do not live in the HP area, I suggest you look for rentals closer to where you actually live or where you plan to live after you graduate.  Managing low-entry-cost High Point rentals long distance is not something I would recommend for a novice investor.

Hi @Randy E.  

Thank you so much for your reply.

I really do appreciate the insight into that market, and you are right that HPU is an incredibly affluent university whose students likely live in the nicer areas not immediately outside of campus or simply on campus for all four years. I'll be doing more research into figuring out how to appeal to those seniors as well as general HP residents. 

I actually am in school at Chapel Hill, however my childhood home and parents are in the triad near High Point. We're interested in both the triangle and triad markets, but the triad is much more affordable and seems a good place to start. Currently in the learning stage, planning to get my real estate license within the year and trying to absorb as much information about viable options for real estate as a full time student with limited capital to get started. 

Thank you again!

I buy in 27104 zip in Winston-Salem. However,  I was recently sniffing out HP.  A guy told me some of the old furniture buildings are being made into tourist destinations. One guy told me it would go for a b&b for this reason of being a tourist destination.  I am not knowledgeable about that;  I'm only reporting what I heard.  

You could also look and see if any areas in High Point are designated as Opportunity Zones. (recent legislation)  Opportunity Zone funds invest in low income neighborhoods. It is favorable for investors who want to avoid capital gains who hang on for 10 years.  I know that probably is not you.  However, in these zones the theory is that the funds will bring in new money for improving these low income areas.  This in theory then would incentivize the real estate investing and bring up the values.   

  You could also see if the city of HP has any designated areas they are incentivizing or favoring for investors.  I bet they do.

Hey @Gloria A. I don't live in HP but I do work fairly close to HPU. As I'm in the transition from REI being a hobby to being a commitment I have looked at a lot of the area. There are a FEW streets there are flips taking place on right now but its a maze of 90k rehabbed houses being less than 10 or 20 houses away from regular shootings.

Account Closed Thank you for the info on opportunity zones! I had never heard of those, so I'll be sure to look into them and any local incentives they offer for investors. High Point turning into a tourist attraction would be very interesting as well. I might look into more local development projects and ask around to see if things are really heading in that direction.

@Brandon Wall I've definitely kept safety as a key concern when looking around this area. I'm looking at crime maps primarily to see the volume and types of crimes committed. Do you have any other thoughts on ways to get an idea of the safety state of an area aside from driving around through neighborhoods?

Originally posted by @Gloria A. :

@Brandon Wall I've definitely kept safety as a key concern when looking around this area. I'm looking at crime maps primarily to see the volume and types of crimes committed. Do you have any other thoughts on ways to get an idea of the safety state of an area aside from driving around through neighborhoods?

 Driving and looking with your own eyes is the best way.  It's worth the hour's trip from Chapel Hill to ride around High Point and judge the neighborhoods for yourself.

This is what I do when considering a new city.  Identify several houses that appeal to your from an investment POV that are offered on any on-line RE site.  Chose two or three different price points, but all should be within your expected budget.  Visit the city and ride to each of the houses on your list.  Pay particular attention to adjoining neighborhoods as they are a sign of which direction your target neighborhoods might be heading in.

There really is no substitute for actually driving a city.  Make plans to do it this weekend.  The sooner you go, the better.  If you decide HP is for you, can can start investigating more thoroughly.  If you decide HP is not for you, you can stop wasting time on Maybes and What Ifs, and refocus on another city.

Originally posted by @Randy E. :
Originally posted by @Gloria A.:

@Brandon Wall I've definitely kept safety as a key concern when looking around this area. I'm looking at crime maps primarily to see the volume and types of crimes committed. Do you have any other thoughts on ways to get an idea of the safety state of an area aside from driving around through neighborhoods?

 Driving and looking with your own eyes is the best way.  It's worth the hour's trip from Chapel Hill to ride around High Point and judge the neighborhoods for yourself.

This is what I do when considering a new city.  Identify several houses that appeal to your from an investment POV that are offered on any on-line RE site.  Chose two or three different price points, but all should be within your expected budget.  Visit the city and ride to each of the houses on your list.  Pay particular attention to adjoining neighborhoods as they are a sign of which direction your target neighborhoods might be heading in.

There really is no substitute for actually driving a city.  Make plans to do it this weekend.  The sooner you go, the better.  If you decide HP is for you, can can start investigating more thoroughly.  If you decide HP is not for you, you can stop wasting time on Maybes and What Ifs, and refocus on another city.

Good post. I like your Call to action. It's the right answer. 

Questions for Gloria (@ not working...): how many students live on vs. off campus? What size is your addressable market for students living off campus? Is this number growing or shrinking? A quick google map view shows what appears to be a bunch of development (lots of CAROLINA CLAY)  right there at HPU. Is this student housing? I'd recommend you know your market size and statistics before you buy for this targeted market. I have no clue about NC O-zone investing in HP, although there appears to be (pun intended) an opportunity (map via NC DOC) in the immediate areas. 
Originally posted by @Jackie Sanchez :

@Karen Lee are the Opportunity Zones in VA as well?

 Most likely, yes.  I believe there are about 8000 in the US.  If you Google "opportunity zones" you will probably get the chance to enter zip codes or areas.