Category Archives: college town housing

Reasons to Buy a House or Condo for your college student

Investing in real estate is always a good idea. Why not start with your college student’s housing needs for an investment while at Ole Miss?

Most upper-level students do not have on-campus housing available to them at the university since it is secured mainly for freshman and Greek organizations. Finding an apartment, condo or house to rent off campus is not always easy, especially when your student doesn’t have particular friends to move in with.

Off-campus housing will assign you to a unit in their complex and you meet your apartment-mates usually a week before school starts. While these student-housing facilities do try to match students with people of similar study habits, noise level sensitivities, and interests, it does not always work out. When the year is over, your student is back to looking for another place to live.  How many times do you really want to move?

Did you know if a student moves out of one apartment complex and into another for the next school year, move-out date is always July 31st by noon and move-in date is always the week before school starts. If you choose to rent, reserve a storage unit now for next July-August and find a place for your child to stay during those 3 weeks. Storage units, hotel rooms and moving trucks/trailers are hard to find during that time and once reserved, are subject to cancellation without you being told.

Off-campus rental rates are competitive with on-campus dorm rates but get expensive depending on the facility. A single-bedroom unit will cost much more than a 4-bedroom apartment.  Many off-campus housing facilities offer amenities your child may not need or use, but these are built into the rental price.

Before deciding to pay rent to someone else, consider purchasing a house or condo for your child while they are at college. Here are some benefits to purchasing:

  1. Rather than pay rent (which pays someone else’s mortgage) pay down a mortgage loan on the house or condo that your child can live in for the duration of their college experience.
  2. When your child graduates, you can sell the condo. You’ll most likely recoup your monthly payments, over the 3-4 years you own it, with the sale price. (You cannot recoup rent payments made to someone else.)
  3. If you have other children who might attend, you already have housing waiting for them.
  4. If your student wants a roommate, rent out one of the extra bedrooms for income. Use it toward the mortgage or as living expenses for your child. You stay in control.
  5. A condo purchase will give you a tax break on mortgage interest each year.
  6. Your child can live away from the hustle and bustle of the off-campus student apartments. While some students want the excitement, many others would rather enjoy the quiet for studying and decompressing after a tough school day.
  7. Choose a condo size wisely. Multiple bedrooms offer you a place to stay when you visit.  Ole Miss and the City of Oxford have many events throughout the year you may want to attend. These include: Music, Theatre and Art department events and performances, Homecoming, Parent’s weekends, sports games and tailgating, Double Decker Arts Festival and, of course, graduation. While there are hotels and short-term rentals available, why bother with the added expense or the chance of not finding a room. Rates are high for special event’s weekends and can book months, if not the year, before.
  8. Condos have assigned parking and usually one spot per bedroom in each unit. So a 3-bedroom condo will have 3 parking spots. And don’t worry about special events weekends; most have security guards to keep out non-guests so your parking spot is assured.
  9. Most condos are on the public bus route in Oxford so your child can leave their car at home. Commuter parking passes on campus are reasonably priced if using their car is a must.
  10. Condos have restrictive association rules so you know the other residents/owners will guard their vested interest and make the community a safe and respected place to live.

Oxford, MS is a rural community and you may qualify for a variety of mortgage loans not available in larger cities. Consult a mortgage banker in Oxford for more information. Meet with your financial planner to find out if purchasing a condo is a wise choice based on your current financial situation. And, talk to a real estate attorney or title company about pros and cons of putting your student’s name on both the deed and the mortgage. When you’ve decided to hunt for a condo or house for your student to live in, call me to show you what is available.

Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors BOF-Oxford 2092 Old Taylor Road #101, Oxford, MS 38655  662-404-0816/662-234-5344 eileen@tmhomes.com
This article was written by me and previously published on Parents of Ole Miss website

Football Weekend Rental Income

*Disclaimer: I am not a tax professional. I am a real estate professional. This article is to inform the reader about an IRS tax form that they may want to read if  considering renting their property during college football season in Oxford, MS.  When making decisions that can affect your taxes, always consult a tax professional.

Many Oxford homeowners rent their homes or condos during Ole Miss football weekends. Some live here year-round and stay with local relatives or camp out in the family RV on football weekends in order to make some extra money by renting their home in the fall.  I know of families making $1000+ depending on who the Rebels are playing that weekend.

Others have a second house or condo here and visit for some games, renting their place out during games they can’t get here for.

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Each of these homeowners that rent out their homes for a weekend earn Christmas money, vacation money, pay-the-mortgage money, what-ever-you-want-it-to-be-for money.  The point is that many Oxford homeowners rent their homes short-term.

There are HOAs that don’t allow this practice, so if you live here or plan to buy a house or condo in the near future, check your HOA rules before advertising your home in the fall. But for those who can rent, it can be extra money.

Consider the cost, though, for advertising, cleaning, and staying somewhere else that weekend when you price your rental weekend.  Do you have family in town you can stay with? Do you have an RV you can camp out in while strangers rent your house?  Are you planning to be away that weekend anyway?

Check with local rental companies that specialize in this type of rental.  Ask friends who rent and get their list of pros and cons. Consider the number of new hotel rooms in town.

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Football isn’t the only weekend for rentals. There other Ole Miss sport events, local conferences and festivals that also bring in tourists wishing to rent a house, rather than a hotel room, for the week or weekend. Graduation is a popular time for week-long rentals as student’s family members pile into town to celebrate.  Oxford is also a wonderful wedding town with so many classy venues.  Guests and family members might rather stay in a house than a hotel as they prepare with pre-wedding festivities.

Real estate can be an investment so don’t just consider whether to buy a second home in Oxford based on your ability to rent short-term.  The real value is in the equity you might be able to grow through the years of ownership, and the enjoyment you will have when you use it to visit this great little town.

If you are wondering about how renting your home affects your income taxes, click this link to the IRS form (topic 415) explaining short-term rental income.  It talks about the deductions you might be able to take and the taxes you could pay with a rental property. But it also reads: “There is a special rule if you use a dwelling unit as a personal residence and rent it for fewer than 15 days.” Read up on what this special rule says for your situation.

With only 7 home football games you may not have to worry about keeping track of or reporting your rent income. Laws change year to year and while this one is current as of this writing, it may change tomorrow. Please read carefully and always consult your tax professional for advice before making plans to rent your home.

 

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR, SRES, Tommy Morgan Realtors,  2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655~662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344~Equal Housing

 

Getting Your Condo Ready to Sell… While Your Student Still Lives There

College-town residents come from a variety of backgrounds and parts of the world. While these unique towns are home to full-time, year-round residents, college towns also host part-time residents who own second homes for retirement vacations or to have a place to stay for college, conference or other cultural events. There are, of course, the short-term residents as well. These are the college students whose parents bought a condo for them to live in during their studies at the college or university. The condo purchase serves many functions: student housing, a place for parents, family and friends to stay when they visit and provides an investment. An extra bedroom can be rented to another student for income. Mortgaged condos provide tax benefits and the condo or house can possibly earn equity income when market values rise.

Most condos are bought and sold on an average of a 4-year cycle. Families that choose to keep a home in the college town after their student graduates may move up to a bigger or newer property, although some choose to stay with the property they’ve owned for years.living-room-2155376_1920

Each spring offers a market demand for condo sales in a college town. Buyers of this type of property generally do not need to move in right away, like a single-family house would. This allows condo sellers to put their property on the market early with a closing date after the graduation date.  The student can stay in the house through that time and the family has a place to stay during graduation weekend to save on hotel costs.

So, when is the best time to put the condo on the market?  Buyers start looking after the first of the year for their student’s fall-semester housing needs. The season can pick up in February.  Benefits of early listings include getting sold quicker and alleviating your student from having to deal with showings during exam week.  Later listings may get a higher price due to perceived lack of inventory, but showings may hassle the student during exam time.  Waiting until after graduation means the house is cleaned out and showings do not necessarily need appointments. However, buyers might not be as plentiful at the end of this selling season.  Any way you look at it, when to sell completely up to you, the seller.

Here’s how to get your condo ready to sell.

  1. Professionally clean carpets. If they are very nasty and stained, replace them.
  2. Pack up and send home the extra stuff to eliminate clutter. You want to show how big the closets are, not how much stuff you can force into them. Remove kitchen counter appliances that aren’t used and décor that collects dust. Minimal is best for staging.
  3. Whether your condo is a stand-alone, a townhouse or multi-unit building, meet with your condo association to look at any exterior surfaces that condo fees cover and are in need of repair: these could be soffits, railings, paint on doors, missing screens, non-functioning lamps, broken roof shingles, fences surrounding your patio, etc. You’ve been paying condo fees so these items should be cared for. A buyer wants to know they are purchasing into an association that utilizes its fees to properly care for its properties.
  4. Have the HVAC unit serviced and change the filters. In my experience, this is usually an item an inspector finds issues with so unless you have an annual service contract, make sure the system is working properly.
  5. Look to see if the walls look fresh. If not, paint them or at least the one that looks bad. If you need to paint the entire interior, use a popular, neutral color.
  6. Check for leaks in any faucet and have these fixed.
  7. Professionally clean the interior and the windows
  8. Declutter patios and porches. Remove any broken chairs and tables. If you have use of a garden hose, roll it up out of the way.
  9. Find out if your association allows REALTOR signs. Some do not.
  10. Find a great real estate agent and put the house on the market

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Reasons you should not sell your student condo by yourself.

  1. The student is inconvenienced to make time to be at the house to show it each time.
  2. It limits the available time for potential buyers to view it. If they cannot get in when they want, they might move on to a property they can see on their time. Most condo buyers are parents who are in town for a short time to view what is on the market with their real estate agent.
  3. FSBO properties are not represented by a real estate agent so legally in Mississippi, an agent needs a signed One-Time-Showing Agreement in order to enter the condo with one client. A FSBO owner would have to sign a new one for each agent that wants to show it and for each new client. Arrangements must be made to pick up a key.
  4. There may be several showings in one day. Your student should be spending the day in class or at the library rather than showing the house.
  5. It may also put your student in danger since an unrepresented buyer will know your student lives alone.
  6. Your student would have to let inspectors and contractors into the condo.

The most your student should worry about is keeping the condo clean until it is sold.  By hiring a real estate agent your student should be a student and work toward graduation day.

For more tips and to learn my point of difference, contact me for an appointment.

Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655  662-404-0816 | 662-234-5344 | eileen@tmhomes.com |   equal housing