Buy a campus rental and get $60,000 FREE
I'm working right now with a gentleman who's looking for a house to purchase for his kids while they are attending the University of Wisconsin in Madison. It seems like a reasonably good idea. Invest now and in a few years sell for a little profit rather than pay the landlord for 5 years (let's be honest, there are a lot of kids that don't finish a 4 year degree in 4 years). Then if the kids decide to stay in the Madison area afterwards they will already have their housing needs taken care. I think this is a tremendously good idea. The only better idea might have been to purchase a house when the kids were born, put it on a 15 year amortization schedule, then when they are ready for college they would have a house free and clear to pay for school.
The city of Madison is also in favor of owner occupied housing in some student housing rental areas. In fact, if you buy a home in the Bassett Neighborhood, the city will even give you $60,000. Wow, that's incredible. And I hear people say, "I can't afford to buy because I don't have a down payment." Would you like $60,000? There is of course a little bit of catch. The borrowers must occupy the property as their principal residence for 10 years in order to forgive 100% of the $60,000 "loan". Why would the city do this? "This pilot program will help convert downtown housing back to owner occupancy and it will help protect downtown's historic building stock," said Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. "If it works as predicted we will look to expand it in the future."
If you've ever driven through this neighborhood you would notice an interesting dichotomy. There are many older (70+ years old), run down, single family homes that are typically rented by college students. Then very close by there is a bustling of new construction activity. Metropolitan Place, Nolan Shore, and Capitol West are a handful of very large brand new beautiful condominium complexes. I think it will be interesting to see what continues to happen on this part of the Isthmus as downtown redevelopment continues.
It could be a good time to buy a run down old house in the Bassett Neighborhood. If you're in a position to do a few improvements and live there for 10 years, you could come out way ahead. Contact me for some more information about the most current inventory in this area.