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Creative Housing Solutions for College Bound Children

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Tuition costs are ridiculous enough, but have you seen what it costs to feed and house your university student lately? There is a growing trend among parents and grandparents of those young people who are off to college to help out with housing in a pretty clever way: buy them a house near their chosen place of study.

Purchasing your student his house for the four years they attend their institute of higher education is an investment in the future and not just a financial investment either. Usually, a parent or grandparent will purchase a small house with enough rooms that can be rented in order to cover the cost of the mortgage payments.

This is a great way to not only save on housing costs, but earn some equity as well. And the child learns some responsibility has he or she can be put in charge of basic maintenance on the property and also collect rents. As the child shares in the savings, he or she has a stake in keeping the property in good shape, also.

As for what one should look for in a student rental house, look for whatever you would if you were in the market for a house of your own with a few added features. A nicely maintained property is one obvious criterion, as well as a reasonably priced one. But also look for enough bedrooms for enough tenants to cover the mortgage cost plus a bit for maintenance, close proximity to campus or bus routes, and a low maintenance property such as a townhouse or condominium.

Austin would be an excellent area for this sort of investment. With its seven institutes of higher education, practically everywhere you turn, there are students seeking housing. If your son or daughter has chosen one of the Austin universities or colleges to further their studies, it would be a fine idea to check out the real estate market near your child's school.

When researching properties for your child, it's best to find a local real estate professional to assist you. He or she knows the local market well and may be able to assist you with the legalities of leasing and becoming a landlord. It's important to make sure you cross every t and dot every i when acquiring rental properties. You should be aware of local laws concerning tenants, also, should the unpleasant task of evicting one arise.

Make sure your real estate agent knows exactly what you're looking for and why and that he or she can inform you when a suitable property becomes available. Have all your ducks in a row and ready for when the property is found financing, any requirements the local laws may call for so that you are able to respond quickly. Once the property is acquired, you can look forward to four rent-free years until it's time to sell when you can expect to reap a decent profit for your efforts.
Joe Cline writes articles for Austin Texas real estate.

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