Graduate With A Degree & Equity

DC College Condos

Graduate With A Degree & Equity

Each Year

between 50,000 and 70,000 college and university students study in Washington DC. Most move to the District to attend. Some live in dorms, while others scramble for shared off-campus housing in a city known for high rents and low inventory.

But drawbacks of these options, combined with concerns over safety & quality of life, prompt a growing number of families to purchase student housing. In addition to enjoying better living conditions, these students can graduate with home equity, higher credit ratings, and take a major step toward financial independence.

What Are The Pro's And Cons?


  • Est. $33,280-$124,544. loss over 4 years, excluding meals & summer housing
  • GWU  $8,320-$16,560 annually (excluding summer + meals)
  • AU $12,590-$16,620 annually (excluding summer + meals)
  • GU $23,216-$31,136. annually (excluding summer + meals)
  • HU $14,480-$24,656 annually (excluding summer + meals)
  • UDC $11,600. annually (excluding summer + meals)
  • Rates subject to change per institution
  • Summer housing availability, rates, restrictions differ
  • Room & Board can increase student loan debt, which increases a student’s debt-to-income-ratio. The max DTI to qualify for a conventional mortgage is 43% or less. A significant amount of student loan debt can make it difficult to get approved for a loan. While mortgages are also debt, a home is an asset, and debt can be offset or eliminated by selling upon graduation
  • Distractions of dorm life
  • Limited privacy & security
  • Frequent moves, storage & moving costs

*Lowest on-campus rates shown reflect multiple occupancy rooms


  • DC rental rates are among the highest in the nation. Rental rates near DC universities, Metro stations and popular amenities fall into the premium range
  • Est. $126,720-$148,800 loss over 4 years
  • $31,680-$37,200 avg annual rent 1 BR apt (excluding fees, deposits, parking & meals)
  • DC rents increase, no fixed overhead
  • Security fees and deposits, high parking costs
  • Frequent move-in | move-out fees & deposits
  • Adding a roommate increases monthly rent & fees, reducing benefit
  • Limited privacy and freedoms
  • In most cases, you’re not building credit when you rent


  • Invest similarly in a real estate purchase, get tax deductions & potential to realize a profit on sale post-graduation
  • Depending on your choices, achieve monthly break-even or profit, increasing ROI
  • A conventional mortgage payment is set, no increases
  • Buying separates housing costs from student loan debt. While mortgages are also debt, a home is an asset, and debt can be offset or eliminated by selling upon graduation
  • More control over your space when you buy
  • Owner-occupied buildings are less transient, thus safer, than apartments
  • Freedom to add a roommate or long-term guest to offset monthly costs
  • Rent it if you leave for 6 months +
  • Fee simple home owners can use short term rentals when school’s out

How Does It Work?

The goal of a College Condo is to invest the funds families spend on college room and board and required meal plans into a property that will break even or appreciate by the time the student graduates. By adding rental income from a housemate, families can turn a monthly profit as well.

We target properties that are well-suited for the student’s needs with the best investment potential. There are a variety of options for small to large budgets.

The Best Equation

When our clients did the math, they found it was often less expensive–sometimes by a wide margin–to buy rather than rent. And purchasing also offered significant benefits post-graduation. Avoiding high monthly rental housing costs over 4-6 years, and eventually profiting on the sale of their property was the primary plus, but parents & students who co-signed mortgage loans also found it helped the students build a strong credit rating that provides greater financial independence, including the ability to qualify for to rent or purchase housing on their own.

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The Isaacs Team LLC

We've Got This!

Our decade + of buyer representation includes collaboration with parents of university students searching for Washington DC housing choices that make sense. We’ve been through it ourselves, so we understand what parents and students want in neighborhood attributes, home features, price points and transportation choices. We know that parents have particular concerns about safety and ROI. Take advantage of our experience and let us acquaint you and your student with the DC real estate market.