If you’re considering buying investment property in Provo, you will need to decide whether you want to buy a property that is BYU approved. Many investors assume that all properties below campus are BYU approved, but this is not the case.
In 2007, BYU created a boundary that undergrad students must live within. A map can be found at:
Married couples going to BYU can live anywhere they want, and their apartments don’t have to be BYU approved.
Single students under 24, on the other hand, must live in BYU approved property.
In order for a property to be BYU approved, it must fit certain criteria. A few of the main things BYU requires is that each room have a certain amount of square feet and closet space, depending on whether the room is for one or two students.
Another requirement that keeps a lot of the basement apartments in the older duplexes from becoming BYU approved is the short ceilings. BYU approved properties must also be furnished with beds, dressers, desks etc.
Another thing to consider is that condos that are BYU approved are gender specific. The ratio of available women’s to men’s housing is way off. Condos approved for women usually make up 80-90% of the condos that are available at any given time.
When a project is being built, the developer must decide on one or the other. Once a project is approved for certain gender, it cannot be changed. However, I’ve heard that sometimes BYU makes exceptions and lets the owners family members live in a complex that is approved for the opposite sex.
Duplexes and single family homes are not gender specific, and can be changed from male to female or back again, but the gender must stay the same in the entire complex.
Investment note: While selling property near BYU the last several years, I have noticed that BYU approved properties have generally seen better appreciation than properties that haven’t been BYU approved. I also like to find investments within the undergrad boundary, not only because of proximity to BYU, but because they’ve also seen better appreciation historically.