A recent article in the Wall Street Journal explores the growing trend of parents buying property in college towns for their son or daughter to live in while attending school. In today’s real estate market, a mortgage for a single-family home in Boston can be cheaper than the cost to rent an apartment or to live in a dorm. The Boston Globe even noted that housing prices continue to fall while “renters feel no relief” – rents remain the same or increase. At public and private universities nationwide, room and board has increased 5% since last year, averaging $7404 per school year for public universities and $8595 for private. With many families struggling to pay rising college fees, a change in housing options can provide huge relief on monthly expenses.
A search through Boston real estate listings pulls up a three-bedroom, one bath condominium on Grant Street in Boston. Close to the UMass Boston campus, this listing would be ideal for a student and a few roommates. A monthly mortgage payment could cost under $2000. To compare the benefit of owning a home to renting an apartment, parents could use Google Maps’ rental search feature to browse apartments listed around UMass Boston. It can cost anywhere between $1500 and $1800 for a 2-bedroom rental, or between $750 and $900 to rent one of the bedrooms. By purchasing a condominium, parents could rent out the two other rooms and cover part of the mortgage each month. The cost to house their son or daughter would be less than the area’s average monthly rent. The parents would be saving money in the short term. Thinking more long-term, a college town has a recession-proof demand for apartment rentals. After graduation, the family could continue renting out the property to college students or to a family.
Buying property in Boston offers relief for families struggling to keep their student in college. The short-term advantages are just as valuable as the long-term benefits.