LUBBOCK, Texas, April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Strapping back for college as you look at one child and scratching your head as you look to your second and third coming right behind?
Maybe it's time to consider buying a house.
Pardon the whiplash on that last one, but the fact is, many parents are investing in real estate close to campus for their college-bound offspring. Oftentimes, it's preferable to shelling out dormitory fees or apartment rent.
"In Lubbock, that's definitely true. We're right in our peak season for families whose children will be attending Texas Tech University in the fall," said Debora Perez-Ruiz of MoVaDe Realty and president of the Lubbock Association of Realtors. "And, the majority of parents who purchase homes have stair-step children, meaning that once one is in college, future kids from the same family will be attending college within the next few years. The cost savings over the long run - especially for this type of family - are exponential."
And the timing is right, Perez-Ruiz added. Lubbock's real estate market has been continuously in better shape than the rest of the state and nation - but even locally, the last three months have outshined the last year.
"Parents of kids who plan to come to Tech next year have every reason to consider home ownership," Perez-Ruiz said. "The market's stable, homes are available and the cost is good."
As the owner of a campus house, Perez-Ruiz explained, the goals are similar to those of any landlord. You want a property that you can keep fully occupied and that will produce rental income to at least cover your costs (mortgage, taxes, insurance). You also want to be sure you have signed leases and security deposits from every renter.
What scares many parents - and keeps the dorms full - are the unknowns. What if I can't rent it? What if my kid drops out? What if the housing market suddenly flatlines? What if? What if?
"The question should be, how much growth is there in the community?" Perez-Ruiz said. "The ideal situation is a town like Lubbock, where we're not too big and not too small - yet the student population is growing."
Additionally, a house you own and can keep full still beats paying thousands each year for student housing. And, Perez-Ruiz said, don't forget the tax breaks on mortgage interest, property taxes and a percentage of utilities and maintenance (if you collect rents).
CONTACT: Kim Davis, (806) 544-4255
SOURCE Lubbock Association of Realtors