Ridiculously Expensive College Towns: 2009 Edition

  • College towns for millionaires

    We don’t typically think of college towns as unaffordable havens for the ultra-wealthy, but some of them are just that. You see, Coldwell Banker recently released the results of its annual College Home Price Comparison Index (HPCI) and some of the numbers shocked us. If you’re a professor who’s going to be teaching in one of these schools, you should probably make sure you have tenure (or an endowed chair) before you commit to buying a house. And, obviously, students probably shouldn’t think of buying even a modest home in any of these 10 gilded college towns unless they have a lucrative Web side business, loaded parents, a seven-figure inheritance, or any combination thereof. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    #10: Seattle, Wash.
  • #10: Seattle, Wash.

    Home to University of Washington students, the 2009 average price for a four-bedroom home is $568,317. Luckily, Microsoft is headquartered in nearby Redmond—with the right job there, maybe you can actually afford to live in Seattle! Photo Credit: bala
    #9: Boulder, Colo.
  • #9: Boulder, Colo.

    You can expect to pay, on average, $622,000 for a four-bedroom home in Boulder. We’ve heard that U of Colorado is a patently outrageous party school, so maybe it’s best to rent anyway—you don’t want a bunch of fraternity brothers wrecking your four-bedroom Victorian, bro. Photo Credit: Richard Masoner
    #8: Evanston, Ill.
  • #8: Evanston, Ill.

    $663,250 is the average price tag for a four-bedroom home in Evanston—home to Northwestern University. I know exactly two things about Northwestern: it is supposed to have an excellent medical program, and Zach Braff went to school at Northwestern. With a salary of more than $300,000 per TV episode, he can probably afford to live there—but what about the rest of you? Photo Credit: ejojola
    #7: Annapolis, Md.
  • #7: Annapolis, Md.

    $687,475, on average, for a four-bedroom abode in the city that’s home to the U.S. Naval Academy. Yeah, try making that work on a military salary… Photo Credit: jeffweese
    #6: Honolulu, Hawaii
  • #6: Honolulu, Hawaii

    An average of $712,500 for a four-bedroom home. I wonder how many of the professors at the University of Hawaii are also professional surfers with nice endorsement deals. Still, it’s a beautiful place, so if you’re going to go into massive debt, you might as well do it in paradise. Photo Credit: sheepbackcabin
    #5: San Jose, Calif.
  • #5: San Jose, Calif.

    An average of $808,926 for a four-bedroom home, because everything in California is predictably expensive. San Jose State University students, don’t worry, there’s more to life than hoarding real estate… Hang out in one of San Jose’s free, beautiful parks instead. Photo Credit: roarofthefour
    #4: Berkeley, Calif.
  • #4: Berkeley, Calif.

    University of California Berkeley prospective students, faculty and staff take note. We’ve officially hit seven-digit territory: a four-bedroom home will cost, on average, $1,299,750. I personally remember college as a time of soul-crushing frugality, so I don’t even know how to absorb a price like that. Photo Credit: livenature
    #3: Boston/Chestnut Hill, Mass.
  • #3: Boston/Chestnut Hill, Mass.

    The average four-bedroom home around Boston College will run you $1,337,578. Seriously? I understand that Boston is a major city, with significant history and whatnot, but have you ever been there in the winter? I would want to be paid $1,337,578 to live there during the winter months. Photo Credit: pearbiter
    #2: Los Angeles, Calif.
  • #2: Los Angeles, Calif.

    University of California LA & University of Southern California students, well, no surprises here… Los Angeles is crazy expensive. Everyone knows that. $1,347,125 for the average four-bedroom, post-modern monstrosity. Photo Credit: kla4067
    #1: Palo Alto, Calif.
  • #1: Palo Alto, Calif.

    Stanford University students, congratulations! Back in ’08, Oprah Winfrey spoke at your school’s graduation ceremony about feelings and stuff. Pretty cool, right? Hopefully she left $1,489,726 under your chair as a surprise gift. Because that’s what you would need to purchase a run-of-the-mill four-bedroom home in uber-expensive Palo Alto. Check out our list of 2009's most affordable college towns as well. Photo Credit: ikkoskinen
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