Student Housing in Barrie

January 17, 2012

For Sale Friday

There is definitely a stigma attached to student housing. Some investors shy away from that market due to the high turnover rate and the idea that students will damage the property. There’s a new reality, and investors should take note.

In Barrie, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the rentals around Georgian College. One year ago in January, I attended the Ward 1 Town Hall meeting hosted by Mayor Jeff Lehman and Ward 1 Councillor Bonnie Ainsworth. One of the primary concerns was the student housing situation in our neighbourhood. Many people who own homes near the College reported that many of the student houses were basically slums with disenfranchised and often seemingly non-existent landlords. This image can be changed, but we need some local investors!

The need for good student housing in Barrie is great. According to a Barrie Examiner article on rental housing, Georgian supplies 525 on-campus beds for students – less than 10% of the full-time student population! If you ever drive down Duckworth St, you will have noticed that, last year, two new student apartment buildings were built which visibly helps the lack of student housing.

Remember that college and university students are generally good citizens. I remember when I started living in off-campus housing at university about 10 years ago. It’s an exciting time, and living on my own was a big step toward my independence. Although we didn’t own the house, us four girls felt like we owned a small part of it; we had pride of renter-ship!

So many students are like us. They’re growing up, and they want to prove to themselves, their friends, and their parents (when they visit!) that they can take care of themselves.

If you’re considering buying an investment property, consider this: most students rent by the room. If you’re renting a small 4-bedroom house in Barrie, you may pay around $1500 a month. According to an employee from Georgian College’s Housing and Student Life, students generally pay about $450 per room on average. If you multiply that by four rooms, that’s $1800! Granted, it may cost you a bit more for upkeep than renting to a family, but that’s still a larger profit margin for you.

Here are some tips from Georgian College’s Housing and Student Life Department if you’re considering ANY rental property as an investment:

  • Pick up a copy of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) and take some time to read it and understand the rights and responsibilities of both a landlord and a tenant
  • Join a landlord association and understand what being a landlord means. It is important to understand the pros and cons of being a landlord
  • Pick up a copy of the City of Barrie’s Rooming, Lodging and Boarding House By-Law.
  • If after doing all of the above, the potential investor is still interested in becoming a landlord, then s/he should speak with City staff to make sure the property s/he is interested in can be licensed under the City By-Law

Certainly there are varying points of view on this potential investment. As with anything, make sure you do your research. There are even some financial incentives for you to become a student landlord in Barrie! There is no denying that Barrie has a rental shortage in general, but you can make the conscious decision to rent to students. Good luck!

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About Laura

Laura Keller of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty is a real estate agent with a business philosophy of nurturing relationships with her clients. She will walk you through the process of buying, selling, or investing step-by-step so there are no surprises at the end of your transaction.

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2 Responses to “Student Housing in Barrie”

  1. Hayley Cassandra Lynn Nattress Says:

    Hello,
    My friends and I are looking for a 3 bedroom house near Georgian college. Please let me know if you have anything for me. I am having trouble finding a place and it is becoming an emergency.
    Thank you,
    Hayley Nattress

    Reply

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