Nice Duplex near a University

8 Replies

I am looking to do my first deal with a house hack.  There is a very nice Duplex in Mobile.  It is a new build in a nice area and also very close to the University of South Alabama. I am having mixed emotions due to all of the competition with large apartment buildings in the area.  I am just concerned with renters not choosing to rent the one side of the duplex that I am not living in, when they could rent an apartment with much more amenities.  The one side I would rent is a 4 bed, 3 bathroom so I could possibly rent it by the room to separate students or just hope for a nice family to rent the entire side.  Single rooms with bathrooms rent for $600 - $700 per month in large apartments, so if I have a price point of $500 per room I may be able to get tenants and easily cover my expenses. The goal here is not to make boat loads of money, rather to just offset my personal housing expense to save more money monthly.  Any experience renting houses in the area of the college with all of the competition?

What is the vacancy rate of the area? @Matthew Ladner If there is a housing shortage, like in Berkeley, CA, a duplex is a solid investment. Generally, students choose an apartment by price and may not appreciate 'nice'. Grad students are a different pool. They want to work and do their studies, so 4 bedroom may be too big.

Research the size of the student body of your nearby college. Is enrollment going up? How many ads are you seeing for leasing? Will students be back in the fall? Will students want to share common areas? (Testing for antibodies would be a nice criteria for roommate selection.) Your apartment sounds huge, large enough for a family. Is there a demand for family housing?

Berkeley, Ca ?    Goodness....the (non paying) renters there would have just as much protection as the ones in San Francisco. In the current environment I don't know if I would be buying a rental in Berkeley with the hope that students will move in.    

@Matthew Ladner

I live in Mobile and have rental properties in the Mobile Area. Some are close to the university and I haven’t had a problem keeping houses full.

In my experience, some college student don’t want to live in apartments.

A typical duplex in the area can easily rent out for $600-700.

are you meaning per room or entire side? This duplex is in a nice area and pretty expensive. I was thinking renting it out by the room, so 4 bedrooms at $400 or $450 per month. The property is 185k per side, so at $450 per room I could get $1,800 per month. 

@Matthew Ladner
Hello,  I know I am late to the thread. How is your property going? I am a college student at South and I am looking to invest in a duplex/triplex in the area. I am just starting out and would love to learn and assist you if you need!! I am eager and a very fast learner. I do not have much experience yet. Although I do have some great ideas on marketing smaller homes to college student to make them more appealing than the larger commercial buildings! As well as, how to maintain tenancy during times like summer and in between semesters. Please reply so we can get in contact, if you are interested!