Student Housing Real Estate Guide

One of the most crucial traits that any successful real estate investor must possess is the ability to spot a good opportunity. And in a market as volatile as real estate is these days; that’s not always easy. Keeping your hand on the pulse of the latest real estate development trends is a complicated thing. But there is one strategy that is always consistent in its success: becoming a student landlord.

Obviously, most landlords don’t feel comfortable renting to people who have probably never lived by themselvesin their lives; which is certainly correct. But despite such legitimate concerns, if you invest in a university-adjacent property, you could actually net quite a tidy profit. On average, a house that’s near a college campus can give you profits almost 40% higher than the same house in a different neighborhood. That’s precisely why we’ve prepared a guide for you right here!

The Benefits of Investing in Student Housing

Let’s face it – millions of brand-new students enroll in universities each year, all over the country. That’s why college towns are actually one of the most certain real estate investments when it comes to residential rental properties. You’ll never lack demand, as campuses will provide a source of new tenantswhenever you need them. And all of that competition will drive rents higher, which is great for property owners. 

So, if you’re looking to shore up your retirement strategy and expand your portfolio as a real estate investor, this is a great opportunity for all that and some neat passive income that doesn’t require much input past the initial investment. Andif you’re an investor who can’t boast with a huge marketing budget, all the better! Being a student landlord means your tenants will basically find you. 

This is a good idea for people who want to sell their home in a college area and move somewhere else as well – a great way to enter the real estate game! Just calculate your moving expenses in advance, and use the remainder of your disposable income to spruce up the place. You’ll soon have college tenants knocking on your door. And then, instead of selling your home, you’ll have a constant influx of steady profit. 

Rental Demand

So, just how good is the demand when it comes to rentals in college towns? The official statistics show that you definitely won’t be wrong in renting out student housing, from that perspective. Two years ago, The College Board published a study dealing with the average life of an undergraduate student. And one of the interesting pieces of information is the fact that almost 45% of students don’t live on campus. Obviously, these numbers slightly differ between private and public universities, with more people living on campus in private universities.

So, before you decide to sell your propertyfor a tidy profit, consider renting it out long-term to college students, gaining a respectable source of steady income in the process. And if you’re scared that this trend of high demand in college areas will change over time, you can rest easy! Earlier studies show that this is a trend that has been one of the most consistent ones in the entire real estate industry, even throughout the mortgage crisis of 2008!

Sure, rental demand in college towns sees tiny fluctuations throughout the academic year, but college towns still produce a consistent stream of housing demand; not just from students, but from the accompanying staff and professors.This makes such areas extremely attractive for mid-range investors. 

High Rental Yield

There are quite a few reasons why real estate investors are attracted to such a rental niche, but the main one is simply that it pays consistently. With the constant high demand in mind, it’s no wonder that college rental properties don’t have problems generating quite a steady cash flow for their owners, at least compared to traditional rental properties. A lot of students simply choose to search for housing off-campus, as living on campus can prove to be even more costly than renting a home. 

You can predict a sizable return on investment compared to traditional rental investments! /alt: A graph representing rental finances. 

As a study from relevant industry sources shows, real estate owners who decide to invest their resourcesin a student housing property can actually hope for a return on investment that’s bigger than 10%. To give you some perspective on that – many real estate owners and investors believe that a return on investment that’s higher than 5% is a pretty sweet deal. 

Tenant Expectations

One of the toughest things with residential rental properties is managing tenant expectations. But when your tenants are students, that isn’t too big of an issue. Remember – most of these people haven’t lived by themselves anywhere before, or they have just lived in a dorm room. So, especially since these are mostly young people, they don’t expect the condition of the property to be as pristine as a suburban family that’s renting out the place might. You can save quite a bit of money on the property investment alone. Trust us, the quality of the flooring and the perfection of the paint job isn’t something you’ll have to think about when you’re renting out to students. 

Tenant expectations are much lower when they are students! /alt: A student reading a book in a library. 


As you can conclude, renting to students is not such a daunting proposition as it first seems. Sure, you need to be prepared to deal with younger tenants, but the constantly top-tier demand and solid return on investment you can achieve is definitely a tantalizing idea. 

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

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