Home Buying in York>Question Details

Joe, Other/Just Looking in 21784

I am looking to buy a house in the York area for our child in college and to also rent to other students.

Asked by Joe, 21784 Wed Dec 19, 2007

Are there any special issues I should be aware of renting to college students?

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There are plenty of homes near York college and Penn State York that would fit your needs. a few things that you could be conserened about are damages to the property that might happen while they are living there or rent not getting paid on time. A good thing to do to make sure this doesn't happen it to get a parent to cosign the lease for them.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 20, 2007
Hi Joe - In particular look for the possibility of renting 'rooms' to each student, paid in advance each quarter or annually...This coupled with a good management team will give you control and flexibility over your investment.
There will be specific ways to arrange to 'fit into' the building and safety codes etc for each township and college area community so...
CALL a local real estate property management company in the area and ask them if they know of landlords that rent to students and how student housing works in that area - you will be surprised how much you can learn and then adapt your strategy.
It takes work, time and effort to realize a strong portfolio...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 28, 2008
Hi, Joe! Tina & Mim gave you great answers! I would like to add that the City of York DOES have quite a strict code and regulations for property owners in the city. I understand they have recently changed how they handle things in the Permits & Zoning Departments, so you really need to call and talk with the zoning officer before making an investment. You need to stay on top of the details to stay within compliance of all the regulations. Having said that, the area you are considering is notorious for a lot of rental properties being owned by absent landlords, so you would have to put a plan into action that would put you above the local opinion of those landlords. That could be accomplished by having your student somehow have a vested interest in, and responsibility for, the property and its reputation and outcome. You may want to expand your house search a little beyond the perimeter that is usually considered, to give you more options of type of house to purchase, as well.
If you would like any further information or have any questions about the York area, please do not hesitate to contact me, if you'd like, or any other reputable REALTOR® in the area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 25, 2008
I congratulate you in taking the first step to a great financial backbone in your retirement planning. I suggest you find a good local agent and property manahgement company that can guide you in all the phases of buying and legal issues involved. Best of luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 25, 2008
I like Tina's answer, but would like to add that there are some other things to consider. Are you comfortable that your student can stand up to peer pressure and keep a lid on things in your investment, or should you hire a seasoned property manager to look after things for you? Areas near college campus's often have a reputation for being noisier and more rowdy than others, but that doesn't always hold true. Are students required to live on campus as a freshman? If your child has already been at the college for a year, they likely know what neighborhoods are more conducive to good study habits.'-)
There may also be unique city (rental or zoning) codes that come into play when you consider such a property purchase. For instance, boro or city code may require that you hire an on-site, (or at least local) property manager if you (the owner) live more than a few miles away. What about restrictions on # of unrelated occupants in a unit? Parking requirements? etc. Check with the local municipality- or ask around for references to a good property manager who will know what hurdles there are and can help you get over them safely.
That being said, it can be a great financial choice for a family, especially if you involve your student in the learning process and they have some responsibility for the outcomes. I have helped several families purchase an investment/ home for their college students here in SHippensburg, and it has been a good investment for most.
Hope that helps
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 19, 2008
I am not sure if I would want to “own” a property in that area due to liability. The police have been really cracking down on the college kids partying in that area. I would not say that crime is really high in that area. It’s just the typical things that college kids do. What would scare me is if someone were to get hurt on your property, is there a possibility that they could find the property owner liable? I don’t know the answer to that question. Just something to think about.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 27, 2008
You are a wise parent. Teaching your college age kids to be fiscally responsible is a great way for them to build equity for the future! It is also a fabulous way for you to offset the cost of ever rising dorm fees on college campuses. For a nominal investment of $50-75-100K, you could easily purchase a property in York, use it for a few years and then either turn it into investment property or sell it, living rent-free the entire years of college.

If you manage the property yourself, you may need a strong contract/lease form with the other students as well as a large deposit. You could also choose to pay a local property management company, for a fee, to handle the middle of the night toilet flooding issues. Either way, it is a great investment to ask your tax advisor about when you see them this April. In the meanwhile, if you'd like to view any potential properties, don't hesitate to ask.

Tina Llorente
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 27, 2008
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