Changes at UW- and what it means for the investor

In an attempt to combat overcrowding issues in the UW area, it was announced yesterday that the UW is proposing an 850 million dollar plan to construct apartments and dorms for about 3000 students. The proposal is for eight buildings, located on the West side of campus close to The Ave. If this is approved, the dorms would become available in 2011 and the project would be completed in 2020. (so weird typing that year)

Let's look at some numbers here (and forgive me, I'm not caffeinated yet, these could be off). Let's say you pay for your child to live in the dorms for a year, then pay for three years of renting after that. First 9 months in the dorms run at roughly 4,100 (for 9 months). So, 3 years and 3 months later, (est 1200.00 month for rent), you have lined someone else's pockets in the amount of $22,100. This doesn't include all utilities.

So, instead of doing that, let's take that 22k and put it towards a down payment. 22k down on a condo, and let's say you spend 300k on that condo. For the zip code around UW, 98105, the average appreciation has been 15% over the last five years. So, now…rather than losing that 22k to someone else, you have invested it for yourself and your condo that was worth 300k when your child started school is now worth 456k. So, lose 20k or make 150k?

A great alternative to buying a condo is investing in a townhome instead, which we are seeing more of in the U-District. Zero-lot line townhomes remove Homeowners Dues from the equation, and you can usually buy more square footage than you can in a condo. Currently there are two brand new, move in ready zero-lot line townhome developments within walking distance to UW, and two that will be done within a few short months. (The two developments that are nearing completion are located on 7th Ave NE, below 45th.) Will take pics when I have a clear day, this weekend wasn't ideal.

These places command high rents (my neighbors pay 800.00/room for their two bedroom) and have no hod's. Low energy costs with them being new construction also. I will follow up with more info on the uncompleted ones as I get it, as they aren't listed yet.

Increases in inventory in the U-District right now! Comment or email if you want more info or have questions about investing in the area.