Purchasing A Property Near CU Makes Good Financial Sense

"Working with Steve was a pleasure. He helped with all aspects of our sale process, from the pre-listing preparation phase through a very challenging period when Covid-19 significantly impacted the real estate sale process, to the offer/negotiation phase and through closing. He has great instincts, lots of knowledge and experience with the local market (Boulder in our case), and he was able to manage several aspects of the process on our behalf since we were remote sellers. Would definitely recommend Steve to others, and would use him again without hesitation."  Michael H.

Click Here For A Custom Rent vs. Buy Analysis

Why rent?  

Purchase a condo or house and rent out additional bedrooms to your child's friends.  It works very well. My name is Steven Carter.  I am a 35+ year real estate expert with RE/MAX of Boulder and the market expert in parent/student real estate purchases near CU.

I have created this web site specifically for University of Colorado parents that would like to explore the opportunities to purchase housing for their child instead of paying rent for the 3-4 years the child is attending CU.

You will soon be faced with the decision to rent off-campus for your child.  Properties near CU currently rent for $1,000 to $1,800 per bedroom, plus utilities.  Leases are 1-year in length and typically go from August 1st to July 31.  Over a 3 year term, your out of pocket rent expense will be ($36,000) to ($64,800), not including the $25-$100 per month rent increases each year.

Most parents begin to consider purchasing a property instead of renting when their child calls and says:  "We found a great place for rent.  We need to sign a lease right now or it will be gone.  My portion will be $1,500 per month and the security deposit is $1,500 to $3,000."  The parent's typical response is:  "Wow, $1,500 a month for rent!  We could buy a place for that!"        

You are correct! 

By purchasing a property near CU and renting to one or more roommates, your cost overall cost will be much less than renting even before appreciation. If you can purchase with cash, your child will live rent-free and you will have a positive cash flow each month. 

The current interest rate envionment makes this model less efficient however, purchasing is still almost always a better financial decision than renting.  Besides the lower overall housing cost, there are tax advantages such as being able to write-off travel and other expenses to visit your "income" property.  After graduation, you may be able to use the IRS Section 1031 to move the capital gain into another property to postpone paying the long-term capital gain taxes from the appreciation.  

The Bonus:  Market Appreciation!

With current market appreciation, it is very possible to pay for some or all of the child's tuition costs of attending the University of Colorado after 3 and 4 years.  The benefit is even greater if the child attends graduate school or siblings come to CU.

Here is an example of what market appreciation can do using a $500,000 condo purchase:

                                              Year 1          Year 2           Year 3          Year 4          Year 5

5% Annual Appreciation

$500,000 $525,000 $551,250 $578,813 $607,753
10% Annual Appreciation $500,000 $550,000 $605,000 $665,500 $732,050
15% Annual Appreciation $500,000 $575,000 $661,250 $760,438 $874,503


Please call or email me to discuss your needs or to answer any questions.  I am happy to provide examples of what the numbers would look like given a certain price range or distance from campus. The CU market is it's own micro real estate market.  Very few poeple have the knowledge and experience that I have.  Save yourself time, money and aggravation.  What you buy matters when you go to sell it.




Steven Carter, MBA, ABR, CRS, GRI
​RE/MAX of Boulder
​2425 Canyon Blvd. #110
Boulder, CO 80302
303-931-4812 Cell/Text


Client Feedback:


Jason and I can’t thank you enough for your assistance.  You have gone above and beyond to make this purchase happen, and we appreciate your continual willingness to share your knowledge and experience with us – as well as your patience as we navigated the process.  You’ve been a tremendous resource.



Mr. Carter,

4 years ago you recommended that we purchase a property in Gold Run.  We couldn't be happier!  You helped us purchase it at a great price and now you have sold it quickly and without any complications.  We are so pleased.  Our son was able to live in a fantastic property and the proceeds from the sale (over $100k) will be used to help him purchase a house in the future.

We were so blessed to find you.

John and Pam (California)


**www.CU-BoulderHousing is not affiliated with the University of Colorado. It servers the parents and students in their need to find off-campus housing after their freshman year.