Gillespie can speak first-hand about the benefits of buying a home in a college town, having purchased a townhouse in Champaign, Ill., home to his alma mater, the University of Illinois. â€œI am a huge fan of the culture and events, and found this to be a wonderful investment and an excellent spot for my family when we come to see the Fighting Illini in action,â€ Gillespie said. â€œIn Champaign, a three-bedroom home currently lists at an average of $178,310, which is remarkable considering its unbeatable Midwestern charm and location.â€
Local Testaments to College Town Living
Big and small, affordable or more expensive, many residents and community members attest to all that college towns have to offer. For example, Evanston, Ill., home to Northwestern University, comes with a higher price tag, where an average three-bedroom home listing price is $385,540, but many say it is worth the cost.
â€œEvanston is a great community on the lakefront, just north of Chicago,â€ said Cornelia Steffes, manager of the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Evanston-Central office. â€œWe have easy access to Lake Michigan, beaches and water sports. Plus, we have fabulous arts and culture, festivals and dining, sports and leisure. It is truly a world-class city in a world class location.â€
Other iconic college towns such as Madison, Wis., home to the University of Wisconsin (where a three-bedroom homeâ€™s listing average is $221,100) and Gainesville, Fla., (University of Florida, $192,055) are known for both their college town spirit and affordability.
â€œOne reason Madison is such a great place to live is because of the incredible vitality the University of Wisconsin provides in economic development,â€ said Phil Sveum, broker/owner of Coldwell Banker Success. â€œThe impact of the universityâ€™s research and growth of bio-tech companies has translated to good jobs for those seeking to live in a highly educated environment with many of the cultural opportunities of much larger cities.â€Â
J. Parrish, president of Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish Realtors in Gainesville, Fla., notes that the townâ€™s ties to the University of Florida are parallel to the beauty of the area. â€œSituated in the heart of beautiful north central Florida midway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Gainesvilleâ€™s carefully preserved nature basks in beautiful sunshine,â€ Parrish said. â€œThis is truly a lovely, unique place to live.â€
Below are the most affordable and most expensive markets. Visit hlr.coldwellbanker.com to view the full College HLR and for more details. An infographic comparing the top 10 most expensive markets based on number of students, tuition and city population is also available at http://www.coldwellbanker.com/real_estate/learn/2011_most_expensive_college_towns.
Most Affordable Markets â€“ Coldwell Banker 2011 College Home Listing Report
1)Â Â Â Memphis, Tenn.Â (University of Memphis) - $89,244
2)Â Â Â Muncie, Ind. (Ball State University) - $107,346
3)Â Â Â Ypsilanti, Mich.Â (Eastern Michigan University) - $107,458
4)Â Â Â Toledo, Ohio (University of Toledo) - $112,688
5)Â Â Â Kalamazoo, Mich. (Western Michigan University) - $116,455
6)Â Â Â Buffalo, N.Y. (University of Buffalo) - $123,212
7)Â Â Â Las Vegas, Nev. (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) - $124,955
8)Â Â Â Fort Worth, Texas (Texas Christian University) - $128,491
9)Â Â Â Kent, Ohio (Kent State University) - $130,218
10)Â Â Â Â Lafayette, Ind. (Purdue University) - $132,910
Most Expensive Markets â€“ Coldwell Banker 2011 College Home Listing Report
1)Â Â Â Westwood, Los Angeles, Calif. (University of California, Los Angeles) - $1,271,428
2)Â Â Â Palo Alto, Calif.Â (Stanford University) - $1,232,070
3)Â Â Â Honolulu, Hawaii (University of Hawaii) - $779,419
4)Â Â Â Los Angeles, Calif. (University of Southern California) - $733,473
5)Â Â Â Boulder, Colo. (University of Colorado) - $731,617
6)Â Â Â Berkeley, Calif. (University of California, Berkeley) - $695,520
7)Â Â Â Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Boston College) - $669,617
8)Â Â Â Seattle, Wash. (University of Washington) - $570,535
9)Â Â Â San Jose, Calif. (San Jose State University) - $541,231
10)Â Â Â Â Annapolis, Md. (United States Naval Academy) - $522,420
Methodology: College Home Listing Report
The Coldwell Banker College Home Listing Report includes residential real estate listings appearing on ColdwellBanker.com between August 2010 and August 2011 for real estate markets home to 117* of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools, which each had at least 10 home listings during the timeframe. This market data includes property listings from Coldwell Banker affiliates as well as listings from other Realogy franchise brands that fit the same three-bedroom, two-bathroom criteria.Â
* Note: Tuscaloosa, AL, was not included out of respect for the damage caused by the April 27 tornado.Â Â Bowling Green, Ohio, and Bloomington, Ind., did not meet minimum listing requirements to be included in the report.