Hot High School Graduation Gift: College Home

November 15, 2010

Way back when I went to college, you rented wherever you lived. But if you have a student going to college today, and you can afford the down payment, buying a home in this market makes sense.

Unless your student goes to Northwestern.

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC has released its new College Home Listing Report (College HLR) to find that Evanston is one of the most expensive college towns in the country.

Instead of wasting money on rent or dorm fees, many parents today are taking advantage of bottom-low prices and mortgage rates and buying a home for their college student.

Coldwell Banker compiled a list of average home listing prices on four-bedroom, two-bathroom properties for sale between April and September 2010 in markets home to the 120 schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Beautiful big, yellow home in Evanston

There's a lot of beautiful homes in Evanston, but is it worth it to buy one for your Wildcat?

Close to two-thirds of the markets had homes priced less than $250,000.

Not in Evanston, however, where the average four-bedroom, two-bath home costs $559,855. Your kid better become a doctor to make that worth the investment.

“The College HLR helps bring attention to all the great attributes of college towns,” says Patrick O’Rourke, regional vice president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “The North Shore is home to some of the best schools in the country and Northwestern University adds to the rich culture and character that makes the area one of the best places to live and raise a family.”

Nearby Muncie, Indiana, home to Ball State University, is the most affordable market in the College HLR with an average home price of $105,115.

The most expensive market is Palo Alto, California, Stanford’s hometown, where the average price of the same size home is $1,385,652.

At that price, your student better become an NFL star.

“Towns that are home to major universities have a special vibe you just don’t find anywhere else,” says Jim Gillespie, chief executive officer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate and alumni of the Illinois Fighting Illini. “It’s about more than just great sports and local flavor. College towns offer rich culture and most have steady economic bases oftentimes highlighted by outstanding medical and research facilities.”

Coldwell Banker has discovered that college town are hot spots for real estate investing, regardless of the economy. Sports scores do play a role, however; the firm’s professionals have also found that the better a college sports team performs, the more real estate in that local market is sold.

The top 10 most expensive college towns to invest in a home.

The top 10 most expensive college towns to invest in a home.

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