Some Treasure Valley parents using real estate to pay for their children's college education –

BOISE, Idaho — Americans owe $1.78 trillion in federal and private student loan debt, according to the Federal Reserve. Now, some parents are turning to real estate to pay for their child’s college education so they don’t end up with that student loan debt. 

It’s a trend happening across the country and here in the Treasure Valley. 

Kate McGwire is the owner of Homes by Kate McGwire at Boise Premier Real Estate. She’s seen a number of her clients invest in real estate to pay for their child’s future.

“Say your child’s just born, or 3 or 4 [years old], buy a home, put it on a 15-year loan, and then use it as a rental as they’re growing up,” McGwire said. “Technically, your renters are then paying for your child’s college education, because by the time they reach college, then you sell the home, use the proceeds to pay for your child’s education.” 

McGwire and her husband are also in the process of doing this right now, to build up their child’s college fund.

“If you can help your child with real estate to pay for college, that could help alleviate that debt for your child’s future,” McGwire said.

If your kid is older though, there’s also a trend of buying a house in the college town where your student lives and rather than pay for room and board, as well as meals on campus, you use that house as a rental.

“Then you charge rent to your child, which helps them develop smart knowledge about budgeting and finances and also their roommates, so you’re still using it as a rental,” McGwire said. 

McGwire told KTVB she had a parent buy a house near the College of Idaho last year for their kid and it is still being used by their kid and their roommates. 

“I also have a parent who is currently shopping, and they are looking for a rental property near BSU,” McGwire said.

Some parents are also turning around and selling the home to their kid.

“Can you imagine graduating at 22, and then you’re a homeowner,” McGwire said. “That is such a great setup and helps them then, you know, they’ve got that beautiful foundation that’s already built.”

As for McGwire, she and her husband are hoping to buy a house for their 4-year-old son’s college fund by the end of the year. 

“We want to do the 15-year loan and then be able to turn around sell the property when he’s ready to go to school and use that money for his college education,” McGwire said.

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