Investing in college rental properties may be ideal for some industry members

CNNMoney calls college properties "real estate investors' best kept secret," but investing in a rental property near a college campus has both good and bad aspects.

The source states that owning property in a college town is a smart investment because vacancies are often very low, regardless of the current state of the economy. Owning a property as close to the campus as possible will practically guarantee that students will be clamoring for rental applications.

However, according to Tom Kelly, a real estate professional with Inman News, potential college rental property owners should take a few other things into consideration. Kelly advises them to think about the realities of owning a property lived in by residents who are young and whose primary employment is going to school. Property reparations and cleanup of college rental properties can  potentially be more than many owners expected.

Second, landlords should consider how long they plan to own the property and how much it might appreciate during that time. For parents of college students looking to purchase a property to rent while their child is in school, Kelly recommends holding off.

But for property managers who want a longer-term investment, Kelly estimates that the cost of a mortgage and property upkeep would be equalized by rent paid, especially in larger properties.