In some college towns, buying a condo is more affordable than a dorm

October 6, 2017 - 2 min read

Goodbye dorms, hello condo? It seems that may be most financially savvy decision for students at 15 of the nation’s biggest public colleges where, according to new Redfin data, buying a condo is actually more affordable than an on-campus dormitory.

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Saving by buying

According to Redfin, dorms cost students about $705 per month, with some paying as much as $1,817 in parts of the country. For many students, this makes investing in real estate a more cost-effective option in the long run.

At the University of Arizona (Tuscon, Arizona), for example, the average monthly cost for a condo is $545. Compared to the average dorm price of $811 per month, a condo could save students $266 every month or $3,191 per year. At Miami University (Oxford, Ohio), students stand to save even more—about $342 a month or $4,104 per year.

Redfin’s list also included:

  • Georgia State University (Atlanta)
  • University of South Carolina (Columbia, South Carolina)
  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
  • University at Buffalo (Buffalo, New York)
  • Kent State University (Kent, Ohio)
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky)
  • University of Oklahoma (Norman, Oklahoma)
  • The University of Texas at El Paso (El Paso, Texas)
  • The University of Texas at Dallas (Richardson, Texas)
  • University of Delaware (Newark, Delaware)
  • University of North Carolina (Greensboro, North Carolina)
  • Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, Texas)
  • University of Akron (Akron, Ohio)

Georgia State University came in with the most expensive dorms on the list. GSU students pay $1,139 per month on average for on-campus living.

Other benefits

Buying a condo can certainly help students save on monthly housing costs in the near-term. But according to experts, homeownership also has more far-reaching benefits for today’s undergrads.

Misty Hurley, a real estate agent with Redfin, says buying a home can also help them build wealth. And that could help with student debt later on.

“Students will build equity that they can one day use as a down payment on a move-up home or to pay off student loans,” Hurley said. “If they choose not to sell right away, they’ll have a piece of property that’s ripe for renting, as there are always new college students looking for rentals.”

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Don’t throw money away on overly expensive dorms. Do you want to see if buying real estate can save you money or help you build wealth in the long run? Check today’s mortgage rates now.

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Aly J. Yale
Authored By: Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor
Aly J. Yale is a mortgage and real estate writer based in Houston who has contributed to Forbes and worked for organizations such as The Dallas Morning News, PBS, NBC, and Radio Disney.