Could Buying a Rental Home Really Help Pay for College?

It’s back to school and for many that means school supplies and new clothes, but what about kids who are heading off to college? Their expenses are much greater than a few new outfits, pencils, paper and glue sticks. Besides the cost of tuition, most college students have to deal with the added expenses of room and board. Add it all up and college is definitely expensive. But what if there were a way to make your room and board expenses work for you, in the form of a nice tax break?

It is possible and it could actually be a great way to save. Here’s how it works. You buy a rental property for your own child to live in and have him/her find a few roommates. There are several advantages to this arrangement if you do it right. First, you get to keep the normal tax deductions that you would from owning a rental property. You can also hire your child to be the property manager and then use the net income you pay your child towards his/her tuition, with either very little, or no tax at all. Meanwhile, the monthly rent payments from the roommates can go towards the mortgage payment.

After graduation, you have two options. You can hold onto the property and continue renting it until it’s paid off and then use it as a retirement property. You could also use it for a 1031 exchange, which would allow you to defer the tax on your capital gain if you buy another “like-kind” property. So, if you have the ability to invest in a rental property you could save yourself thousands in college expenses and taxes.

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