Five Western University Towns with Golden Investment Opportunity

One of the booming real estate sectors in late 2012 revolves around university towns. Whether you are looking to buy and rent or buy and live, these communities have what you need.

With many populations across the United States struggling financially, cities and towns with an academic spine continue to be prized recruits for real estate investors looking to strike gold.

Increasing numbers of students migrating to these learning centers every fall create sneaky ways to make money around the edges of America’s colleges.

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1. Boulder, Colorado (University of Colorado at Boulder)

Talk about a gold mine for investing. Boulder is a high priced, high reward town with unlimited potential. Nestled right up against the Rocky Mountains and just 30 minutes north of Denver, it becomes a target for realty profit. There are condos close and distant to a 32,000 student campus, vintage hillside houses and a variety of student apartment complexes.

Boulder is a hot spot for academia, gourmet food, art, sports and the wild outdoors. Investment would be most profitable in an area called “The Hill”. The location is just across the street from campus and options are aplenty.

There are certain old-fashioned houses there where 9-10 students will pay over $900 each for monthly rent. Do the math. If you were able to get your hands on any of those, or anything remotely similar, the investment would be substantial and pay itself off pretty quickly.Downtown, specifically near Pearl Street, is another place to look. Boulder represents a high cost, high reward investment.

2. Boise, Idaho (Boise State University)

Boise is a dark horse in the investment world, mainly because it isn’t seen as an active mine quite yet. It has potential to be a solid investment spot because of the growing university and the quality of life that Idaho offers. As a city, it has similar attributes and population to Boulder, but without the expensive price tag.

With a thriving football program that demands national attention and a progressive academic setting that competes with the rest of the country, Boise could be a great place for a first investment. The high desert setting offers unbelievable mountain biking and skiing just out the backdoor.

The areas adjacent to the Boise State campus are quaint, nice neighborhoods that draw students as well as professionals. This would increase your rent and house turnover chances. Boise represents a low cost, moderate reward investment.

3. San Diego, California (University of California San Diego, among others)

Southern California is already a stomping ground for investment gurus, but it had to make the list. The type of students, graduates and people that contribute to the community make it worthy of being a late 2012 university town. With over 20 universities and colleges, along with a medical school, San Diego is a very educated city with a lot of potential.

Mission Beach highlights a coastline famous for what it does best. The real estate along Mission is stable investment material for vacation homes and student rentals. La Jolla, an upscale community in the northern part of the city, is also a place to look at for a higher investment ceiling.

A bustling city just a couple hours south of Los Angeles on the coast will always be a good investment opportunity. The areas around the various campuses and beaches are chalk full of financial promise. You will pay a premium, but will by no means lose any money. San Diego represents a high cost, high reward investment.

4. Seattle, Washington (University of Washington, among others)

If you’ve never been to Pike Place Market, just traveling to Seattle might be a good investment. In addition, the real estate potential is better than average in this picturesque northwest metropolis. Just a couple hours south of Canada and a few short hours north of Portland, it is a picture-perfect location to own property.

Rent prices are surprisingly high for the region and the city culture, both academic-wise and society-wise, is very unique. A trendy music and art scene, coupled with the natural beauty make Seattle a safe place to invest. The University of Washington is a huge research university with around 30,000 students in a great neighborhood.

Capitol Hill, in-between the coast and the university, could be prime investing soil. This city is substantially larger than a typical university town, but the ideas and types of people it fosters bring it back to the group. Seattle represents a moderate cost, moderate reward investment.

5. Santa Barbara, California (University of California Santa Barbara, among others)

Multiple institutes of education, young people, a pleasant climate and pristine beaches make this city an investment treasure box. Right near the campus of 21,000 student University of California Santa Barbara, the Isla Vista area is where you want to go for investment potential.

Being one of the most expensive areas to buy real estate in the country and with students paying over $800 to share a room each month, the payout and earning potential is sky high. Classy restaurants and widespread culture help make this specific area not only a great place to invest and rent, but an ideal place to buy, live and visit.

Just outside of Isla Vista would be a better place to live, as the center of the location is party crossroads. This southern California city is excruciatingly expensive, but does just enough where it’s worth the price. Santa Barbara represents a very high cost, very high reward investment.

University communities are viable real estate targets because they are safe and always progressing. The chances of these cities drying up are very low, because the institutions pull the population forward during hard economic times. Investments are calculated risks, and I consider the prospective returns of property in these cities to be worth the chance.

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