Boston is the largest "College Town" in the world with over 100 schools in the city limits and hundreds more in the immediate area. With over 500,000 students, from undergraduate through post doctoral work, the demand for apartments in Boston is always strong.
Buying Boston Real Estate for Students:
A great opportunity for parents and students with the means to do so is to be their own landlord. With Boston having a strong record of being a stable market, and the added opportunity to bring roommates from your student's school in to help pay any mortgage, condo fees and taxes, buying will typically be less costly over time than renting. When tax advantages and property value appreciation act favorably, this can even be a profitable investment.
At Boston's Luxury Properties we understand the college market as well as the advantages to investing in Boston Real Estate. We can also act as a property management resource when your students’ home requires maintenance and repairs. This frees you and the student to focus on why they are in Boston in the first place, their studies!
There are unique obstacles that students and their parents will encounter. Primarily, financing will become a difficult process. Banks want buyers to show a minimum of 2 years of income and substantial credit, so parents should expect to guarantee the lease as co-borrowers and co-owners.
Renting in Boston for Students
It is important to understand that Lessors in Boston are typically professional landlords with years of experience handling the needs of students and parents. You should also be aware that in Massachusetts there are many laws that protect consumers and tenants. This creates what many tenants and their parents consider an almost hostile environment where the landlords seem to make extraordinary demands.
This is a common complaint heard by the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and is created because the landlords are put in a position to protect themselves through the application and qualifying process in lieu of legal protection by the state. Having an experienced agent can help you navigate this process and protect your rights.
Although the landlord can be difficult up front, they are usually very capable of managing their buildings and providing quality service to their tenants. Make sure your agent knows the good landlords from the bad landlords and you discuss this with them. At BLP we have over a decade of experience working with most of our landlords and know how well they operate.
You should expect that parents will need to guarantee the lease for their student. You should also expect to leave a deposit equal to one months rent when you apply for the apartment and additional deposits for the last month of rent and a refundable security deposit equal to 1 more month of rent. Finally, you should understand that the agents charge a commission for their services which must be disclosed at the first face to face meeting where property is discussed. Although the landlord may pay a portion or entirety of the fee, the negotiability of this will depend on market conditions.