Campus Condos: The Payoff Is Shrinking

The calculus of owning off-campus housing has changed as home sales have slowed and expectations of fast appreciation have disappeared

David Maier, a junior at the University of Colorado at Boulder, wanted to live on campus this fall but housing officials didn't have enough room even for the freshman class—the largest in the school's history—and were forced to temporarily book dozens of students into a local hotel. So Maier's parents turned to another option. They bought him a one-bedroom condo that's just a short bike or bus ride to campus. The cost: $147,000.

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