Incoming students push up District's rents

The District is known for many things - plenty of government jobs, a multi-cultural citizenry and great museums. However, with a swarm of revered universities, the city is also regarded by many as a bastion of higher learning. Because of this, it attracts some of the brightest and most gifted students in the country, but this also means it has some of the highest rents in the nation. With this especially true this year, some parents of college students are considering buying one of the homes for sale in Washington, DC, for their children instead of paying staggeringly high rents for four years.

As rents have risen in the past several years, the idea of paying tens of thousands of dollars is becoming less attractive. Instead, some parents believe that buying a house, where the money paid each month is at least going toward a long-term property investment, is a better idea.

Tighter mortgage regulations and a still-volatile housing market have caused rents to rise steeply in DC over the course of 2012. In fact, aside from Boston, the District now holds the title for highest citywide rents, according to Forbes, as the average payment has risen to $2,367.

In this light, the idea of buying a home instead of renting one might make a lot of sense for certain parents of District college students. When viewed as an investment, this idea may be even more logical. Although home prices in the nation's capital have risen starkly in the past few months, homes are still a better value than apartments. The median price for homes in DC has risen to $395,000, which leads to a predicted mortgage of $1,460, according to the source. Clearly, this amount is much lower than monthly rent, which may lead parents to carefully consider the merits of buying one of the houses for sale in Washington, DC.

This tactic might not only apply to parents of college students, however. Enterprising citizens may want to consider buying one of the homes in the city and converting it into a rental property. With rents high and enrollment in the city increasing, this could prove a good strategy for entrepreneurs hoping to take advantage of an historically tight market.

Whether you're a parent or a budding landlord, now might be the ideal time to buy a home in DC to avoid, or cash in on, increasing rents.