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Real Estate: Investing in College Towns

By Suzanne Woolley - 2012-11-05T17:52:30Z

Photograph by Josh Biggs/Arizona Daily Sun/AP Photo

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Flagstaff, Arizona

School: Northern Arizona University
Students: 18,292
Median home value: $229,300

Flagstaff joined Tucson on Outside's 2011 list of best cities, with a writeup stating, "It's almost too perfect: college town (pop. 65,800), ponderosa-scented air, situated below the 12,600-foot San Francisco Peaks." Of course, you have to like snow, since it gets about 100 inches each year. Currently, 46 percent of students are housed on campus. The Arizona Board of Regents has set a target of 25,000 students for the Flagstaff campus of the university. It has no expansion plans for housing, according to Eric Deiterle, the university's public affairs coordinator. The breakeven horizon is three years; a 30-year mortgage would have monthly payments of $1,030. Zillow does not have median rent data for Flagstaff.