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Buying Ann Arbor Real Estate for Your University of Michigan Student

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By : Kristine Squiers    99 or more times read
As the parent of a University of Michigan college student, you may be struggling with the costs of housing and be looking for a better solution that has long term benefits, for not just your child, but for your retirement as well.

For the 2009-2010 academic year, the average cost for room and board at public universities like Ann Arbor's University of Michigan is more than $9300. As on campus housing is limited and not available to all the students, there are several high-end, state-of-the-art high rises for student housing that are charging $15,000 per year-per student not including meals. Include the cost of groceries and it's another $3000-$5000 per year.

Parents with kids away at college can expect to pay $30,000 or more for room and board per child for their four year college stay, and hopefully they can complete their studies in four years, but many stay five years to complete a bachelor degree and many others decide to get a graduate degree.

Even if the student is able to get on campus housing, the on campus housing offered is usually small, uncomfortable, and not particularly homey, and the student will usually want to find someplace off campus to share with roommates they like and have more privacy and space. They will also want to find someplace with a nice kitchen and be able to cook more affordable meals. This is where parents then need to think about renting versus buying. Certainly the high end student high rises will be appealing to your University of Michigan student wanting to move off campus, but maybe not very realistic for the family budget. There are other options. Rentals further off campus are certainly a good choice, but consider the value in purchasing a home for your student.

To counter the high costs of on or off campus housing, many parents are purchasing a condo or single family property for their child to live in instead of the traditional rental scenario. Now, while purchasing a property for your student is not for everyone, for some parents, it’s just what their Financial Planner ordered.

Here are some advantages of purchasing housing -vs- renting for your Ann Arbor college child.

  • If you itemize, assuming that you’re not not subject to the alternative minimum tax, you’ll be able to deduct the property taxes paid on the property.

  • If you have a mortgage to finance the purchase any interest you pay will be deductible as well. The property in essence is taxed as if were a second home.

  • When you sell the property and you’ve owned it more than a year, any gain will taxed at 15%, as a long term capital gain.

  • Let your child live in the property and rent rooms out to one or more students. Because they’ll pay rent to you, the residence will become income-producing property-with all the accompanying tax benefits.

  • Operating cost will become tax deductible. These costs include utility bills to insurance. Also, you’ll be able to take depreciation deductions for the real estate, furnishings fixtures and so on.

  • Hire your child to be the property manager. Duties would include screening tenants, upkeep of premises, arranging for maintenance items and so on. For your child’s services you could pay them a management fee of 10% to 12% of rental income provided by tenants. These fees would be deductible for you the property owner. Additionally, these management fees paid to your child will be tax free to your child.

  • Your trips to the college town where the property is located may be deductible if your primary purpose is to check up on your investment property.

    Owning your child’s college accommodations could be very lucrative to you as the parent and indirectly to your child as well. They have the potential to earn some spending money and learn some valuable lessons on capitalism, entrepreneurship and to experience first-hand what it takes to make a profit from a business venture.

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