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The Smart Approach to College “Room and Board”

By Mike Wheatley | November 24, 2011

While parents whose kids are just starting out in college have every reason to be excited about children growing up and finally making their own way in the big, wide world, the costs associated with their leaving home can be a bit of a downer. With the average cost of room and board in a college dorm approaching $10,000 a year, parents have every right to be concerned about the expense of it all, and that’s without even mentioning the tuition fees.

College town properties

College kids off to school. © mangostock -

But while there's not a lot that can be done about the cost of tuition, smarter and savvier parents can at least do something about the price of their kid’s accommodation for the four years they’ll be studying at uni. Instead of throwing all that money away, one of the fastest growing trends among the parents of college-bound kids is to invest in a home near college instead.

As CBS News reports, “Parent Investors” are on the rise, with nearly 64% of Coldwell Banker agents saying that they had dealt with a buyer of this type.

The benefits are obvious.  Real estate is at an all time low, more affordable now than it has been for years. With the median cost of a four-bedroom home in most college towns being less than $250,000, buying such a property works out to be a very smart investment for those parents in a position to do so.

The price of property in college towns does vary of course. In Stanford UCLA, Los Angeles, the median price for a four bedroom home is $833,087, which is probably beyond the means of most parents. But if your kid is going to study at a place near Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, then the $105,000 asking price seems very reasonable indeed. Get some renters in there to share the home with your kids and suddenly you’re laughing all the way to the bank.

A very smart investment indeed.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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