For millions of students in elementary and high school, August is a dreaded month—it means the end of summer and the beginning of another school year with exams, homework and rules.
But for college students, the arrival of August and the new academic year is a reason to celebrate. Back on campus, these young adults return to a space of independence, self-discovery and socialization. The vitality of academia is not only felt by students but also those who make their homes in college towns and near campuses.
While it might seem like housing options near college campuses are only dorms, cheap rentals, or sorority houses, many properties offer luxury living. In cities like New York, San Diego and Santa Fe, some schools lie in neighborhoods home to some of the most sought-after real estate in the world.
New York University, for example, lies in Greenwich Village, where the median sale price starts in the $1.1-million range and runs upward of $30 million. High-dollar areas such as San Diego’s La Jolla neighborhood and Museum Hill in Santa Fe, New Mexico, are where you’ll find the University of California San Diego and St. John’s College, respectively.
Proximity to a university allows residents convenient access to many institutions on campus such as museums, libraries and concert halls, as well as cultural events such as Q&As, performances and public lectures by the world’s most renowned scientists, artists and philosophers.
For sports fans, collegiate athletics are year-round, with most competitions being open to the public. Tailgates and other outdoor fanfare events are also popular on campuses with strong athletic programs.
Local businesses are boosted by the presence of young academics and their interests—coffee shops buzz with the energy of students and faculty deep in discussion; music venues are booked by popular up-and-coming bands; and bookstores feature readings and signings by prominent authors.
Colleges and universities are often stable institutions with centuries-old records to prove it and this consistency extends to the surrounding area as real estate stays in steady demand. While property values in any city boom and bust for various reasons, homes around university campuses remain steady as faculty and students are always in need of housing.
Whether you enjoy cultural or athletic events, want to be nearer to your kids attending school, or love the air of academia, living in a college town or city can get you back into that campus lifestyle without having to live in a dorm.