The sheer numbers of the college age population, prosperity of their parents, and a national job market that demands a college degree, have created a tidal wave of new students. And, there is no end in sight. According to Educational Testing Services, a research and testing organization that administers the SAT, over the next two decades the number of undergraduate students enrolled in college is expected to swell 19 percent to over 16 million.
This growth has presented an incredible challenge to universities. Many are scrambling to find ways to accommodate, educate and house the onslaught of new students. Providing housing is even more daunting for the universities because today’s students will no longer accept the old dormitory lifestyle. Across the country, as housing resources are being drained, universities are forced to be creative. Dorm rooms once meant for two people are being turned into triples, student lounges are becoming extra bedrooms and some colleges are renting off campus hotel rooms for students.
Some universities are trying to provide more and improved housing, but are constrained by the availability of land, and the costs of additional educational facilities that must be constructed. Many universities rely on the private sector to construct off campus housing.
Today’s student is a much more sophisticated consumer than ever before. The new units being constructed by the private sector offer private bedrooms and baths, in‑unit washer and dryer, modern kitchen facilities, Internet connections in each bedroom, cable television, and parking.
Experience has shown that when a student leaves one of these modern student-housing complexes for a reason other than graduation, it is usually to rent a house. Students in their Junior and Senior year of college and those who are in graduate studies, tend to want to separate themselves from the party‑like atmosphere often present in high density student family housing. Also, there are those freshman and sophomores and parents who would prefer a more home‑like setting than can be provided in a typical garden style project. Unfortunately, the supply of houses available for students is very limited, and most are in poor condition. Meridian Homes has identified these students as an underserved segment of the student market.
Satisfying this segment of the student market is no easy task. Most land around colleges and universities is priced with high‑density development in mind. However, there are often scattered lots or close in suburban home sites available that provide an opportunity for placement of a single-family residence or duplex. These sites allow ample parking for student’s automobiles, another plus offered by this opportunity.
There exists an investment opportunity in the student housing market. . . a factory built modular home or duplex. Meridian Homes and its local builder can erect homes or duplexes designed exclusively for students. These homes incorporate the most desirable features of student housing into a homelike setting. In addition to those previously mentioned features, the students will have privacy, solitude, a private porch, a yard, and doorstep parking. These homes are better constructed, more spacious, better insulated, more energy efficient, and provide greater comfort than most other types of student housing.