I get a lot of calls from people looking to buy investment property in Harrisonburg near JMU to rent to students. Whether you’re a first-time investor, experienced investor, curious JMU student or alum, or JMU parent looking at buying instead of renting, these tips are for you.
The biggest upside with this kind of investment is cash flow: Student housing typically cash flows very well on a monthly basis because you can rent by the bedroom. With student housing rents ranging on average from $450 to $600 per bedroom, you could see gross rents around $25,000 for the year.
The biggest downside is maintenance. Students are typically very rough on rental properties, so your turnover costs can be a lot higher. It’s possible to mitigate risk by collecting higher security deposits, cleaning fees, etc., but know that if they really tear the place up, it’s a pain to collect back on it. I typically tell people to count on at least a full month’s rent as a maintenance reserve for the year.
I really recommend hiring a property manager. The headaches of dealing with potentially four different tenants with four different sets of parents or guarantors, joint leases vs. separate leases, and knowing when leasing season is at its prime are all nuances that you want a professional to handle.
Stay tuned for part two with more Harrisonburg-specific considerations.
If you have any questions for me in the meantime, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.