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Students renting suburban homes in lieu of dorms, living the high life across America

Housing trend – movin’ on up

Although in Austin, where AGBeat is headquartered, college students have lived all over the city as opposed to limiting themselves to the college campus and dorms, other parts of the nation are taking it to a whole new level by renting McMansions that underwater homeowners are looking to rent and hold, or that investors have snatched up, namely in California.

According to a recent NYT column, “While students at other colleges cram into shoebox-size dorm rooms, Ms. Alarab, a management major, and Ms. Foster, who is studying applied math, come home from midterms to chill out under the stars in a curvaceous swimming pool and an adjoining Jacuzzi behind the rapidly depreciating McMansion that they have rented for a song.”

Animal House circa 2011

“Here in Merced, a city in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley and one of the country’s hardest hit by home foreclosures, the downturn in the real estate market has presented an unusual housing opportunity for thousands of college students. Facing a shortage of dorm space, they are moving into hundreds of luxurious homes in overbuilt planned communities. Forget the off-to-college checklist of yesteryear (bedside lamp, laundry bag, under-the-bed storage trays). This is “Animal House” 2011. Double-height Great Room? Check. Five bedrooms? Check. Chandeliers? Check.”

“Now I kind of want to go back to college in the San Joaquin Valley of California or whatever,” says

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If this trend catches on, it is a win for the accidental landlord simply looking to stay afloat and a win for students looking to spend less money and actually get more house. We’ve seen it in Texas and California is witnessing this in their housing market, is this taking place where you are?

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.


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