3. College Station, Texas: Situated in College Station, which has a population of about 86,000, Texas A&M University has the nation's largest student body not located in a major metropolitan area. The university, with more than 46,000 students, was ranked 61st on U.S. News's Best National Universities list for 2010. The community offers a safe, family-friendly quality of life, which is only enhanced by the university, says Overby. "Aggie sports is a big deal," Overby says. "Whether or not you went to school here, if you live here you can't help but be an Aggie." In addition, local residents can take advantage of the programs and events at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, which is located in College Station. "They bring in world-renowned speakers and dignitaries throughout the year for different things," Overby says. The median home price in the Bryan-College Station area was $107,000 in the first quarter, which IHS Global Insight considers 21 percent undervalued.
Theater productions, sporting events, art exhibits, well-known speakers—life in a college town has all sorts of perks. "There is always something going on because of the university, and the students keep you young," says Shannon Overby, the executive director of the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau, which covers the area where Texas A&M University is located. But if you've always dreamed of moving to a college community, buying low is a key ingredient in a successful real estate investment, as any freshman economics major can tell you. In order to identify the college towns with the most undervalued real estate markets, we turned to IHS Global Insight's first-quarter 2009 House Prices in America report. The report uses population density, household income, and other data to compare a housing market's current value with where it should be on a purely statistical basis. Using this data, U.S. News put together the following look at 15 great, underpriced college towns:
(Quick note: We used a liberal definition of the term "college town" in order to include certain cities—such as Houston—that, although they have strong schools, aren't necessarily defined by their association with a given university.)
6)Ann Arbor, Michigan
14)San Luis Obispo,Calif