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Here is a good way to get your self and your kids ahead of the game.

You might occasionally joke that your children should pay you rent. Well, once they go to university, they really could.

Buying a property for teenaged Dave or Davina for when they’re living away from home is the best investment you can make. There’s no money wasted on rent, parents get their investment back and children have to learn even more responsibility than finally doing their own laundry.

So, what are the pros here?

Money

Plain and simple, if your child is going to be living away from home and paying rent, they might as well be paying you, or rather, paying down a mortgage. If you can balance the initial cost and whatever improvements might be needed, plus possible rent from other students, then you could be in for a very safe investment.

Location

As with any property deal, this is a key factor, but particularly so when higher education is involved. How close is the home to college or university classes? Is it a good area? Will the proximity to campus make it easier or harder to sell on later? The closer to campus you can get, the better the chance another parent will want to make the same investment — but at a higher price obviously — a few years down the line.

Security

As a university student, I lived in some fairly dodgy places. But as a parent, I want to be more confident about the location, quality and security of my child’s home-away-from-home, without having to worry about a landlord who may not share my security fears. When you buy your child a property to live in during the university years, you become the landlord, so you can make sure it is a safe place for your child to live.

Maturity

You’ve already sent Dave/Davina off into the big, bad world — no sense skimping on the life lessons now. By buying a property for them, you provide an incentive to keep the place tidy…because if they do, you could offer to split the profit once studies are finished (after expenses and parental down payment). That gives them a nest egg to buy their own property after university and can be a powerful force to show the maturity you wish they’d shown during the rebellious teenaged years. You’re the owner and landlord, but you’re also putting the future in their hands. They learn to manage money, a home and respect a property. It’s an ideal set up for life after higher education.

It can be almost impossible sometimes for young people to get on the property ladder, especially with the size of university debt these days. Tuition fees continue to climb and living on campus is rarely attractive beyond a year or two of a degree. Buying a property for your children while they attend university helps ensure that at least some of that student loan money that would have gone to rent anyway, has gone towards a good investment. Plus, it will make the first rung of that ladder all the easier to put a foot on.

If there’s one property deal worth considering, this is it.