Want to Rent to College Students? 5 Cities Where You'll Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

By Jerry Kronenberg

Rental properties in college towns can offer great returns to real estate investors and parents of university students alike, a Realtor.com study finds.

"College towns have a natural cycle of tenant flow," Realtor.com's Jennifer DuBois said. "You know [a student] is going to be in town for four years -- and when they move out, the next bevy of students will be moving in."

DuBois says parents who face big tuition bills might find buying a rental that their child can live in while at school will take some sting out of high college costs.

"Owning a condo that your child can live in while at school can make a college education more affordable, depending on how long you hold it and how much home prices appreciate," she says. "It certainly won't pay for an entire college education, but it's a good way to at least get some money back."

To help investors and parents find the best returns on college-area real estate, Realtor.com recently analyzed market conditions in cities hosting the top 25 national universities in U.S. News & World Report's annual school rankings.

The five cities below offer the highest rents relative to what you'd pay each month on a mortgage for a typical property in each locale.

All rental prices refer to average asking rents on Rentbits.com as of July, while monthly mortgage bills reflect what you'd pay for a median-priced home advertised on Realtor.com for each city during the same period. (The study assumes you'd take out a 30-year-fixed mortgage with 20 percent down and today's average interest rate of about 3.6 percent interest rate.)


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