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Buying A University Pad For The Kids
The happy day has come and little Jonny or Jenny is ready to leave the washing machine and food service that is home in favour of life in the real world... ok University first for 3 or 4 years, then the real world. Thousands of young adults head off to higher education each year for an experience that can cost their parents an absolute fortune. (To sound a little older than I really am) Back in my day, we got a University Grant to pay for our accommodation on and off campus, our books and some money in the bank for expenses like... er... paper and pens and other essential things that all students spend their money on (stop the laughing in the back). Today of course there are student loans which mean graduates leaving University enter the 'real world' with the albatross of debt already firmly fixed around their necks.
Buying a home for your kids when they head off to university may sound a little drastic, but there are some very convincing financial arguments to persuade you that it is something to seriously consider.
Buying a property in the right location within your financial means is almost always a good investment. If it's located close to a University campus you will have a steady flow of potential tenants on your doorstep to produce an income. Because you selected the property and ensured that it was safe and sound you can sleep easier knowing your kin are not in some rat infested death trap that they found the day before their semester stated. Buying a 3 bedroom house will enable you or them (given lender permission of course) to rent out the other two rooms to classmates to supplement the mortgage payments. Then when their time at Education High is finally over, you can either continue to rent the property and keep it as an investment or sell it and with a little good luck and judgment have made a profit over the three or four years that you've owned it. With this profit you could potentially see your kids leave University one step ahead of their peers, debt free and unburdened to launch into the real world.
OK, nothing comes with a guarantee, and you've all read the small print on any mortgage agreement or heard it on the TV in an advert for a lender telling you that property prices can go down as well as up. Whether you do or do not make a profit on a property is governed a little by your research and care when searching for the property, not over spending, and buying a home suitable for the purpose of housing students, but quite frankly it mostly depends on luck as nobody can truthfully tell which way the market will turn over a 3-4 year period, but for all the other reasons mentioned it is still well worth considering.
Another thing to consider is that buying the property jointly with your kids can also be a way of giving them valuable real world responsibilities. Give them the job of finding and choosing their tenants, dealing with estate agents or University administration, paying the mortgage and collecting the rent. They are young adults after all, they can handle it, and you are always there to lend a parenting hand if need be. There are some tax issues that you will need to investigate before doing any of this, and you should speak to an accountant about them, but all in all buying a University home for your kids seems like a good option.
About the Author: Richard Cohn, Founding Director of www.sharedspaces.co.uk, the UK's co-buyer network. Join thousands already registered looking for someone to co-buy, co-invest or co-rent with.