Now that graduation has arrived for many students, parents of high school seniors begin to get their children ready for college life. College has become less and less affordable for people almost every year. Raising tuition prices, cost of books and supplies, and living expenses are just a few of the cost that saddle students with too much student debt every year. Some of those expenses cannot be dramatically altered. However, there is one cost that can work in your favor if done correctly.  Affordable College and University housing options.

Affordable College and University Housing Options
Are you financially ready for your student to start college?

Housing Costs

That cost is housing while your student is away at school.  On campus options are also becoming increasingly more expensive.  Rent at apartments or single family homes are not any better.  The option that many parents overlook for their kids is purchasing a home.  Before you think I’m crazy or say I can’t afford it, please hear me out.

Purchase an Investment Property

The idea of purchasing a home for your student to live in while they are at school is an idea that my father implemented when I was in college.  He figured that with the right property I could live in the house rent free while going to school.  With the right deal you might be able to even make some monthly income. 

How It Works

Here is how it worked.  First he and I found a house that fit both of our needs.  For me it was somewhere close to school that we be a good place to have friends over.  His goal was to find a house that was close enough to campus to rent out or sell quickly if needed, and the property needed to be at the right price.  By meeting both of our needs it allowed this plan to work much more smoothly.  The parents’ role in this is to purchase the property and hold their child accountable.  The child’s role is to make sure the rooms are rented and to collect the payments from their roommates.

Property Acquisition

I will start this section by saying that it is important to speak with a lender to understand if you can qualify for a loan and what the requirements are.  Many times if you are financing an investment property you will just need to show financial stability and have a down payment of 20%.  This may not be true in all cases, but it seems to be common.  The amount of the down payment will likely be much less than what you would spend in rent for your student for on or off campus housing.

Investment Property Example

Here is how it worked in my situation, and this will serve as a good example.  The three bedroom and two bath property was purchased for $112,000.  I occupied one of the rooms which left 2 open.  The mortgage payment with taxes and insurance was roughly $650 per month.  We charged the other two people $350 each per month.  In this case $350 was less than they would have lived on campus for, and it was less than rent at another house or apartment.  The remaining $50 helped with bills and/or was placed into a reserve account for repairs that were needed.  After I graduated, the property was given to me for a graduation present.  Not something that you need to do and would cut into any potential profit, but your kid will truly thank you for it.  It had set me up to be in a good position financially as I moved into the real world.  I eventually sold the property for $147,000.  This worked well for my parents and many friends have told me that their parents wish they had thought of that idea.

Conclusion for Affordable College and University Housing Options

The return on this investment could have been better, but it also could have been worse.  It is important to know the factors that influence a decision like this and if this is something your child can handle.  Please feel free to contact me for any questions about how this would work.  If you are looking to buy for your student in Arizona close to Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University, or any other school in the area I would love to help you.  I have extensive knowledge about properties in these areas, and have personally attended ASU and GCU.  If you are looking outside of these areas I can put you in touch with a qualified real estate professional to help you in your search.


I wish your student an enjoyable and successful college career, and hope that this strategy works as well for you as it did for myself and my family!



William Morris
RE/MAX Omni Consultants
(602) 740-1900

Leave a Reply