If you are the parent of a college-bound teen, you already know that finding a safe, convenient, off-campus rental for your child's home away from home is a difficult task. In any college or university town, apartments, furnished rooms, and small rental homes within close proximity to campus are rented quickly and may even have waiting lists of prospective tenants.
However, even this level of difficulty does not have to keep parents from finding a good student housing option, if they are willing to consider a proactive solution like the one detailed below.
Skip renting and become the landlord
Instead of searching endlessly for that elusive college rental, parents should consider becoming a landlord by searching for single-family homes for sale that their child could share with other college students. When considering this, parents should look for a home with enough bedrooms and bathrooms to house the number of students required to provide income to pay the mortgage, insurance, taxes, and basic maintenance for the home.
Remember to verify rental housing law
In order for this solution to work, parents will need to make sure that the rental housing laws and zoning ordinances in the area where the home is located will allow them to rent out the extra bedrooms in this manner. In most areas of the country, there will also be a maximum occupancy limit that will determine the maximum number of legal tenants a property can safely house, based on square footage, layout, and other property features.
Be prepared to modify when necessary
If there are no suitable properties available that would lend themselves well to becoming a student rental house, parents should consider purchasing a home that could easily be modified to fit their needs. Some types of homes to consider for this include:
- homes with an unfinished basement and/or attic space that could be renovated easily
- homes with large bedrooms that could be split into two smaller ones
- homes with unneeded spaces, such as a formal dining room, formal living room, or den that could easily be converted into more sleeping quarters
If there are enough bedrooms but a lack of suitable bathrooms, look for ways to add additional bathrooms to the home, such as in a large closet, under a staircase, or in a basement area.
To learn more about buying and converting a single-family home into student housing to help offset the cost of housing for your own college student, parents should take time to contact a real estate professional who is familiar with the area in which they plan to purchase the home.