Questions from parents with kids at university in Waterloo

Real estate questions

Questions from parents with kids at university in WaterlooI often get email questions from parents with children attending school in Waterloo. I answer every email I get and often answer the same question two or three times a week. Here is one of the most common questions and my answer.

Dear Keith

I have a son attending 1st year at Waterloo. He is in residence now until April…then he will be in co-op work term somewhere. However, next year he will be in an apartment/house.

I am just curious what selling prices are for rental townhouses near the University. I am only kicking around the idea of buying a house/townhouse.. very exploratory….with maybe 4 bedrooms to rent out to students…my son taking one of them. What are typical rent amounts per month….I presume “as is” students bring their own furnishings etc. We actually just bought a cottage this past May so this may be a real stretch from a financial point, but I thought I would  have a very general inquiry. 

Good Evening Terry

Thanks for your email. 
Townhouses near the university are going anywhere from $150,000-$190,000 and houses start at considerably more. To make it make sense for a house you really have to be able to squeeze five or more students in. The general rule of thumb is that you should spend $60,000 – $70,000 per bedroom, the closer to the university you get the higher the price is. What I mean by that is if you buy a 3 bedroom townhouse the price should be $180,000 – $210,000. If you’re paying more than that then you are paying too much.
Rents range $400-$500/month although lower is possible (360-$375) and at the high end $650 is not unheard of. 
And then of course you should know that we have the new landlord licensing laws.
You won’t have to worry about furniture as students supply their own. 
An option that you may want to consider is something like this There are several high-rise condo type student properties along King Street North, Columbia and Erb Streets.
Please let me know if I can be of more help.
Please call 519.729.4116 or email with your comments or questions.
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