Great restaurants, exciting nightlife, an amazing sense of community—these all sound like the markers of the perfect town—and for some people, they are.
Life in a college town has many benefits. From a distance, many homebuyers are enticed by the promise of low-cost housing, abundant cultural activities, and a fun atmosphere. But before you make the leap into a college town, it’s important to understand that for every advantage, there is an, achem, rowdy group of students to throw a wrench in your plans.
Housing is cheap, but transportation is not
The cost of a mortgage or rent in a college town is generally cheaper. According to a 2017 CNBC report, in places like Milwaukee, home of Marquette University, and Philadelphia, home of the University of Pennsylvania, the average monthly mortgage payment is under $1,000. It can be a relative bargain to move into these areas, mortgage wise, but there’s often a drawback—transportation. In a mid-sized or large city, transportation is generally easily accessible but can be more expensive than in rural areas.
A feel-good community with very little privacy
There’s no questioning the sense of community and camaraderie in a college town. Support for the school and its students is electric—especially at a college or university with a strong athletic program or one that’s known for a specific area of study. But with this close-knit community comes little opportunity for privacy. If you’re looking for a quiet, relaxing atmosphere, you probably won’t find it in a college town.
You can relive your glory days, plus the parties
In a lot of college communities, the school will offer continuing education programs at a discount for residents. This could be an amazing opportunity to pursue an area of study you never got a chance to, but in other aspects, your college town experience might feel like college 2.0, complete with rowdy parties. Whether you move to a middle-of-nowhere school or a big-city campus, you will likely face students with a penchant for band practice at 4 a.m. on a Tuesday.
Community safety is a priority, but not always a guarantee
More than ever, police and other measures of safety are taken very seriously in college towns. School administrations are going further than ever to ensure students (and their parents) are safe on and off campus. However, despite these enhanced safety procedures, sometimes students will find a way to wreak havoc with destructive behavior. From an insurance standpoint, it’s important to consider the likelihood of property damage while living next to a house of twenty-somethings.