Investing in real estate is always a good idea. Why not start with your college student's housing needs for an investment while at Ole Miss?
Most upper-level students do not have on-campus housing available to them at the university since it is secured mainly for freshmen and Greek organizations. Finding an apartment, condo or house to rent off campus is not always easy, especially when your student doesn't have particular roommates.
Off-campus housing will assign your student to a unit in their complex and you meet your apartment-mates usually a week before school starts. While these student-housing facilities do try to match students with people of similar study habits, noise level sensitivities, and interests, it does not always work out. When the year is over, your student is back to looking for another place to live. How many times do you really want to move?
Did you know if a student moves out of one apartment complex and into another for the next school year, move-out date is always July 31st by noon and move-in date is always the week before school starts? If you choose to rent, reserve a storage unit now for next July-August and find a place for your child to stay during those 3 weeks. Storage units, hotel rooms and moving trucks/trailers are hard to find during that time and once reserved, are subject to cancellation without you being told.
Off-campus rental rates are competitive with on-campus dorm rates but get expensive depending on the facility. A single-bedroom unit will cost much more than a 4-bedroom apartment. Many off-campus housing facilities offer amenities your child may not need or use, but these are built into the rental price. Will he or she use the pool, game room, group study rooms, coffee bar, exercise equipment, or shared computers/printer?
Before deciding to pay rent to someone else, consider purchasing a house or condo for your child while they are at college. Here are some benefits to purchasing:
Rather than pay rent (which pays someone else's mortgage), pay down a mortgage loan on the house or condo that your child can live in for the duration of their college experience.
When your child graduates, you can sell the condo. You'll most likely recoup your monthly payments, over the 3-4 years you own it, with the sale price. (You cannot recoup rent payments made to someone else.)
If you have other children who might attend, you already have housing waiting for them.
If your student wants a roommate, rent out one of the extra bedrooms for income. Use it toward the mortgage or as living expenses for your child. You stay in control.
A condo purchase will give you a tax break on mortgage interest each year.
Your child can live away from the hustle and bustle of the off-campus student apartments. While some students want the excitement, many others would rather enjoy the quiet for studying and decompressing after a tough school day.
Choose a condo size wisely. Multiple bedrooms offer you a place to stay when you visit. Ole Miss and the City of Oxford have many events throughout the year you may want to attend. These include: Music, Theatre and Art department events and performances, Homecoming, Parent's weekends, sports games and tailgating, Double Decker Arts Festival and, of course, graduation. While there are hotels and short-term rentals available, why bother with the added expense or the chance of not finding a room? Rates are high for special event's weekends and can book months in advance, if not the year before!
Condos have assigned parking and usually one spot per bedroom in each unit. So a 3-bedroom condo will have 3 parking spots. And don't worry about special events weekends; most have security guards to keep out non-guests so your parking spot is assured.
Most condos are on the public bus route in Oxford so your child can leave their car at home. Commuter parking passes on campus are reasonably priced if using their car is a must.
Condos have restrictive association rules so you know the other residents/owners will guard their property and make the condo community a safe and respected place to live.
Oxford, MS is a rural community and you may qualify for a variety of mortgage loans not available in larger cities. Consult a mortgage banker in Oxford for more information. Meet with your financial planner to find out if purchasing a condo is a wise choice based on your current financial situation. And, talk to a real estate attorney or title company about pros and cons of putting your student's name on both the deed and the mortgage. When you've decided to hunt for a condo or house for your student to live in, call me to show you what is available.
Eileen Saunders is a real estate sales agent with Tommy Morgan Realtors in Oxford, MS. She has been helping parents buy and sell condos and homes in Oxford since 2014.
Tommy Morgan Realtors BOF-Oxford
2092 Old Taylor Road #101, Oxford, MS 38655
662-404-0816 (m) or 662-234-5344 (o)