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How Buying a House in College May be Able to Save You Money

Mar 31, 2013

College is expensive, and most college students aren't in a position to pay for it themselves. Their busy schedules don't permit them the time to work well-paying jobs, and most haven't yet established themselves professionally or had the work experience to save before they start classes. As a result, many college students end up in debt that will take them years and years to pay off.

There are many ways that college students can save money to reduce debt, from attending a state school to buying used textbooks. One of the more unconventional ways that students may be able to save money is to buy a house. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, here are a few ways that buying a house in college may be able to save you money:

A Mortgage is Typically Lower than Rent

Let's face it: Most rents are high because the person who owns the house is paying a mortgage and has to charge more to clear a profit. You can cut out the middle man and just pay the mortgage directly. In most cases, you will pay less than rent. Of course, it will depend on your credit, how much you were able to put down and other factors. However, you are likely to save several hundred dollars a month with a mortgage instead of rent.

You Can Get Others to Pay the Mortgage

College students are already used to living with roommates. Why not put those roommates to work for your finances? If you buy a house, you can rent out the rooms and make enough money to cover the full cost of the mortgage (or at least most of it). You'll then be able to live in the house without paying any monthly rent (or at least a very small amount).

You Can Earn Tax Credits

Many of the expenses associated with owning a home are tax deductible. You can write off your interest, and if you're renting out rooms, you may be able to write off some home improvements. Depending on how much you pay and other factors, you may be able to write off thousands of dollars per year on your taxes --all of which could come back to you as a return at the end of the year.

You Can Grow a Garden

When you live in an apartment, you don't have much space to call your own. When you own a home, you have many more opportunities, such as being able to grow a garden or plant fruit trees. By growing your own food, you can save a significant amount of money each month on your grocery bill. If you grow enough food, you may even be able to turn a small profit by selling it to your neighbors or at a local market. With enough land, you can even raise chickens, saving you even more.

Though it may seem unconventional, buying a home while you are still in college may be able to save you a lot of money, helping you to reduce your debt burden after you graduate. You'll also be earning equity, which can provide you big returns on your investment in the years to come. Though buying a home may seem out of reach, there are many loan programs that can make it possible even on a limited income, and you can talk with your parents about the possibility of co-signing. In the end, the savings will be worth it.

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