My home base in Ferguson is about 2.5 miles from the UMSL campus, so I get a lot of calls from people needing student housing. Most are looking for alternatives to the expensive on-campus dorms, but even “cheap” rentals can run $600-900 around here and some of the neighborhoods are definitely a little sketchy.
So here’s a radical idea, one that I wish I had thought of when I was in college…. Rather than rent a house or apartment, why not buy this 1960 apartment building, live in one unit, and use the extra rental income to pay your way through school?
This all-brick four-family just hit the market 4 days ago, listed through HUD for just $101,000!! It’s located in Old Ferguson East, a safe, beautiful area within walking distance of the farmers market, library and coffee house. And even if you use very conservative numbers, this property is basically guaranteed to give you positive cash flow every month!
There are four units, each with 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and loads of original vintage charm. Back in 1999, when the building was last for sale, the units rented for a total of $1345 per month. Today, I estimate you could live in one unit and still get $1500 at the very minimum – at least $500-600 more than you’d owe in monthly mortgage (with 20% down).
Of course, the building is being sold as-is and a couple of the units appear to need some work, but the good news is HUD prefers to sell to owner-occupants, so if you can live in the property, you can get the first shot at making an offer. Investors have to wait until December 15.
It may seem nuts to take that huge leap between renting an apartment and buying a whole apartment building, but the idea of throwing away years of rent payments, with no equity in return, also seems a little crazy. Especially while you’re racking up student loan debt. Don’t you think?
308 Church Street has 3968 square feet and sits on .678 acres in one of Ferguson’s nicest neighborhoods. It’s listed by Deborah Kiper, RE/MAX.
If you’d like to run the numbers on this unique vintage property, which could be a good investment for almost anyone, give me a call!