University Realty: Buying A Condo In College Is The Best Decision

university realty

How much do you think it costs to stay on-campus at a college nowadays?

What was once a reasonable expense has continued to rise over the years, with the average cost of a stay in the dorms currently estimated at $8,887 per year for students at public schools.

At private schools, that estimate jumps to $10,089 per year.

Compare that to nearly thirty years ago, when the average cost of tuition, room and board was $6,562 (a substantial increase indeed).


What is Driving this Increase?

Many suspect that the catalyst for this change is the more elaborate nature of current, overhauled dorms at many colleges.

As Architecture Research Office architect Adam Yarinsky sees it, this trend will continue.

In a feature from Curbed, the architect noted that

Students want more of a contemporary, adult lifestyle on campus.

Adding that,

One of the biggest shifts in student housing is the way it’s catching up to the way people live today.

In other words, students in dorms are living in miniature versions of the domiciles that young professionals currently occupy.

While the trend might not be universal, prices in dorms are getting to point that they have students contemplating eating fewer meals to cut back on expenses.

And, in the case of particularly crafty youngsters, building their own living spaces.


University Realty: Should I Buy Instead of Renting?

It stands to reason that if dorms are just becoming "lite" condos, you might as well get your kid a condo and save some money on university realty, no?

Many parents are in agreement with this hypothesis, and it turns out that it very well could be a useful money-saving solution, with a few caveats.


Off-Campus Living

First and foremost, off-campus living isn't right for every student.

Some will find that they are more productive when they remain on campus, or that they prefer being in a communal setting with their close classmates.

Indeed, the reason for some dorm overhauls is to foster that sense of community and bring students closer together.

If you feel that on-campus life is best, forcing yourself off-campus just to save money will probably cause more problems than it solves.


Check The Rules!

You'll need to make sure that the school's rules allow for freshmen to live off-campus. At some schools, it's a requirement that they stay in the dorms for that first year.

You'll also want to ensure that foregoing room and board at the college doesn't negatively affect your financial aid status.

If that's not an issue for you, then carry on.


What if College Isn't For You?

There's also the possibility that you may head to college and find that the school, or, in some cases, school altogether isn't for you.

You may opt to transfer, or withdraw.

In these cases, getting out of dorm leases may be tricky.

If you buy off-campus you can easily rent out your condo if you choose the leave the city.

And you'll earn some cash while doing it!


University Realty: Let's Look at Some Numbers

For example's sake, we'll take a look at the University Of Maryland, located in College Park, MD.

Here, average yearly room and board costs $11,758. According to real estate estimates from, you can get an off-campus one-bedroom condo in nearby Adelphi for as low as $67,000.

With a 20% down payment, the estimated monthly payment for a property like this would be $259, bringing you to a yearly total of $3,108.

There will, of course, be incidental expenses like maintenance, utilities, and the like, but the potential for savings are there.

While the exact figures will vary from location to location, buying a condo instead of renting is something to seriously consider.

Especially if you're looking to save some money and create an asset at the same time!