Buying a boarding house - Posted by Al W

Posted by Kate (VA) on February 27, 2001 at 11:04:43:

A couple things came to mind. If you put in a kitchen you could try to rent it:

  • to a company with a corporate training center nearby. (A company I worked for was always sending people for up to 3 month certification courses and had to pick up the tab for individual hotel bills for each person)

  • to a fraternity or some other college group, if you live near a college or university.

  • as temporary housing for military personnel, if there is a base nearby.

  • to a church that has does a lot of retreats or youth group get togethers.

  • to an organization that helps abused women/troubled teens, etc…

I’m new to this game, so someone else may have a better suggestion for you.

Good luck,

Buying a boarding house - Posted by Al W

Posted by Al W on February 27, 2001 at 24:04:03:

An 11 room apartment sits right behind my Victorian threeplex.
The out of state owner wants to sell. The 11 room
boarding house has 3 bathrooms which the tenants
share and no kitchens. The tenants are low income in
an upside, relatively young working class rental area.

I would like to buy the place and find a new use for
it. Commercial is out due to lack of parking. Should
I do a MAJOR rehab and put bathrooms and kitchens in.
Possibly make it into 5 two bedrooms and 1 studio? Or
is there a clever option that I’m not considering?

It currently grosses $4k/mo and I probably could buy it
for $225K. Built around 1930. Thanks for any ideas!

Re: Buying a boarding house - Posted by Brent_IL

Posted by Brent_IL on February 27, 2001 at 20:36:03:

Review the maintenence records carefully. Each room is subject to more abuse than those of a sfh. 1930 was a long time ago. Would your rehab need to be brought up to code?

One thing I’ve noticed about rooming houses without kitchens is that it doesn’t slow down the cooking a whole lot. Residents use hotplates, charcoal grills, slow cookers, and others to avoid the expense of dining out for every meal. Increased electrical and fire risk, which may not be covered under your policy.

Maybe you could increase the rents. In the Southwestern suburbs of Chicago, weekly rents range from $125 to $189, in advance.

I would consider giving your biggest tenant a break on the rent in return for acting as your resident manager and keeping an eye on the place. Prevention cheaper than repair.