That's great, glad you can do that. I stand by my advice. Townhouse over condo unless you just have no desire to either fix or deal with hiring people to fix a townhouses problems. If you need names on any realtors in the area I have seen well the good, the bad and the ugly and you can decide which if any you like. Hope this helps.
I work with many investors currently. For each choice there are pro's and con's. When thinking about buying a rental, it's important to think about the potential rent vs. the cost of the property and what your ROI (return on investment) would be.
This helps you pick a property that meets your financial needs.
Then you identify locations that you're comfortable with. Being closer to the campus is better (higher rents, typically), but just as good is being walkable to the UMD Shuttle stop.
I hope you find this helpful.
I tend to agree with Brent Mendelson's advice about staying away from condos. Although there are a few condos near campus, the condo fee is high and general upkeep is poor. You would probably only be able to sell it down the road to like minded investors which could limit your buyer pool.
You also run into lending issues for re-sale purposes down the road with condos even if totally fix it up for the market. There are huge delinquency problems in condo associations and even if you are completely current it could severely limit who can buy the condo outside of an all-cash buyer like yourself.
I would go with a single family home in College Park (there are many under $200,000), do a little bit of fixing up and move the students in.
There is some good advice from the previous answers. Start with talking to a lender, as well as a financial advisor or tax preparer = you will find out what you can qualify for in regards to a purchase amount with the lender and either of the latter two professionals can tell you how the investment will impact you financially (rental income versus tax deductions & write-offs). This is especially good if you are looking for your first investment property.
Next, talk to a Realtor who is familiar with investors and the College Park area. Determine what properties match your purchase price range; evaluate the type of property (including age of the home and possible maintenance issues) for the pros & cons.
During my last year at Maryland, I lived in old Greenbelt which was great for a rental. Inside of 10 minutes to campus but in a quiet, established neighborhood. You don't have to be in downtown College Park to attract the students. Plus, you can possibly pull from the professional crowds heading into Goddard & NASA.
There are quite few options available for you. It is question of what do you want to purchase. typically a condo is less maintenance required then a detached home but comes with condo fees. Both are available in the immediate area and accessible by UMD shuttles and public transportation. here is the link http://www.transportation.umd.edu/ for transportation to assist you in the process. If you working with an agent they will be able to assist you in the decision making process for what is best for your needs. Feel free to search for home(s) with no hassle on the site below.
I agree, good time to at least see what your options are...secondly, I agree, avoid condos at all costs, condos are like four letter words lately, and hard to finance in many cases.
I suggest you first review all your options in terms of Investment mortgage products, the marketplace regarding mortgage products has really changed over the past few years. Find a great lender and get pre qualified so the numbers are clear to you before you begin your search. Good luck, Jim, HSOA. Go Terps!
I can refer you to someone if you need help finding an agent.
There is a house going on the market shortly, not on the MLS yet....and is near the campus site.
Please email me and I will put you in touch with the Agent that will be handling this particular listing.