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Top 10 College Real Estate Buys

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 posted by Tommi Crow

It is the dream of most parents to send their child to college. But, the reality of rising tuition costs, housing, books, activities, etc. are a nightmare for hard working families. There is not much you can do to make the expenses less painful. But, a real estate investment can soften the blow to your wallet.

The cost of housing your college kid keeps going up. Average prices for room and board expenses hovered around $7500 a year in 2005. Instead of paying for pricey dorms or scary apartments, you can opt to write a monthly check to yourself.

College-area real estate can be less vulnerable to declining prices. College’s do not “go under” and in general increase the number of students enrolled each year. This provides a growing demand for college real estate. Also, campus towns tend to offer more cultural activities, which create additional demand based on quality of life issues. Investor returns on college students can be very profitable, especially if your child is one of the tenants.

Forbes Magazine looked at more than 300 metro areas and ranked them by their abundance of colleges and home price appreciation. They combined the rankings into a list of possible Grade A+ college town investments. We highlight the top 10 here, but you can see where your college town ranks at www.forbes.com.

City 5 Year Housing Price Appreciation

Los Angeles, CA 115%
Washington DC 101%
San Diego, CA 118%
New York, NY 80%
Nassau-Suffolk, NY 92%
Boston, MA 75%
Baltimore, MD 83%
Oakland, CA 88%
Riverside/San Bernardino, CA 124%
Philadelphia, PA 68%