Is it a good idea to buy a rental property near San Diego State University?

  • September 21 2010 - College West
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Answers (13)

Profile picture for Al McCaw
Do a net sheet, which will tell you if you are profitable or not. If yes and the profit reaches your desired goal, then this would be a viable investment particularly San Diego State U area is a prime area.

Be prepared to be a landlord! It's a lot of headaches especially if you don't get a good tenant. My advice is for you to hire a property manager, especially if you will be buying more than one property. Property Managers typically charge between 7% to 15% of the gross rent amount.

If what you are concerned about is the bottom line, I can email you plenty of positive cash flow investment properties in Las Vegas. It doesn't have to be San Diego! I will also present to you the numbers in writing so that it is worth your while, as well as teaching you how you can buy without ever lifting a finger when your future tenants complain about every little thing! I know about the headaches. I'm a landlord too in Los Angeles!

My offer to you is to remove the headaches, reduce the expenses, save you time and money, and make sure the investment you acquire yields a positive cash flow.

Click my photo to get my contact info. Thank you and good luck!
  • February 10 2011
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it is a good idea to buy rental property when you can get a good price and a good local rental market... pencil out the numers and make sure you are making money, not negative... and have a good exit stragity... before you buy.. good luck
  • February 04 2011
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Around SDSU you will have to deal with marketing the property every year because chances are slim that you'll have the tenants stay longer than the 12 month duration of a lease. The homes are old, built in the 40's-60's and may or may not be in a good state of repair. When I lived in that area, a water line broke and flooded the back yard. The landlord came out in the middle of the night with his friend, dug it up and repaired the broken pipe. Also, the tenants will definitely be partiers, so like someone else said, make sure the house has simple, cheap and durable fixtures and surfaces. Cheap hard wood floors are definitely the way to go.

That said, you can charge astronomical rent and students will pay it to be walking distance to their classes and frat parties, and you will always have huge demand to live there, so you don't have much of a vacancy factor.

Now: a better question would be why there are so many old/retired people living by SDSU? and why do they complain about noise? they're living by a university, what do they expect.
  • February 01 2011
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I lived in the area of 56th & University about 30 years ago. I would describe the experience as "Animal Housex10". Like others have said, make sure you know what you're getting into!
  • November 23 2010
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I live near there and in the past few years there have been many articles in the paper. You would have to look into this further but from what I have heard...Tentants and owners have been getting in trouble because, for example it is a two bedroom house, but there are 4-6 people living there. Neighbors complain then the city gets invoved. Whether you are renting 4+ people or your renters are subrenting to others, it seems there will be problems. I think the city even passed some ordinance regulating this. Just look into that aspect of it before you buy.
  • October 06 2010
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Yes there are horror stories about renting to College Students, but in my experience with my tenants they pay their rent on time and often will handle the subletting during the summer to friends. Their parents are co signed on the lease and there is of course a deposit.

Talk it over with your financial advisor, broker and accountant and if there is a solid return on investment and it makes sense on paper for your portfolio then it might be something worth looking into.

Also, if you live close by and can manage it yourself you will save a ton on management fees and have the peace of mind because you will be able to keep an eye on it.  Just make sure that you have a good handyman that can keep the place looking good.

Good luck and let us know if you have any specific questions about being a landlord. Also, be sure to do your homework of course before rushing into it.

  • September 21 2010
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If the numbers work and the ROI is good then by all means go for it.  I think Cory hit the nail on the head in terms of advice.
  • September 21 2010
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If the numbers work, and you like the area, then it could be a good investment!

Choose your finishes carefully - tile instead of carpet, solid surface counter tops instead of granite/tile, nothing high end, just sturdy, but nice, and you'll be a happier landlord!

Renting out rooms to students has it's pros and cons. You could make more in rent, but you'll have to figure out vacancy during the summer, or allow subletting. Families don't necessarily mean easier or better kept rentals!
  • September 21 2010
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That all depends on the exact sub-area around SDS. A better question to ask is who will be your target tenant?  Like beach area owners, you need to decide if you want year-round or student rentals.

I like the area around Baja Drive because you can appeal to both markets and there are usually many good rental homes to buy. Also, further up around the 5300 to 5700 block of Adams there are other good homes that I think are a little undervalued.
  • September 21 2010
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Do you own other properties? As a first investment I would stick with something with less management responsibility and less hassles. A nice boring rental - not student rental - might be a better idea. Find something that is cash flow positive by at least a few percentage points on your equity investment. San Diego is a great place to invest, but stick with something simple at first.
  • September 21 2010
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Profile picture for broker_GRI
Jon,
The web address in your screen name is an outstanding idea but is considered spam.
  • September 21 2010
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REAL investors crunch their own numbers, and make their own decision; they don't ask random com mentors whether or not this or that is a good investment.

So, calculate price/rent, and figure out if it is a good investment or not.
  • September 21 2010
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If the investment numbers work it may be a good idea, just remember that the student population will not be the best caretakers of the home, so plan accordingly.  (Co-signers, not putting in the highest end fixtures, or upgrades, etc...) 

Marcie Sands

  • September 21 2010
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