Sonoma State University is a 4 year college located a mere 3 miles from my office. I get calls all year round from college students and their parents asking if I know of any rentals available in the area.
Lately, though, many out-of-area parents are opting to buy a condo or home for several reasons:
1) it provides a stable place for their child to live for the duration of their studies
2) on-campus housing is extremely expensive and temporary
3) home values are at 50% (or less) than they were in 2005
4) it's an investment opportunity that can thrive beyond college years
Rentals haven't grown on trees here for over a decade. There has been relatively no new construction in this area due to the downturn in the market. Supply and demand has driven rental prices to a point where the only way to get by is to have several students pool their resources together for a place to live.
So why not buy a home or condo in the neighborhood of your choice and rent the spare rooms to mutually compatible students? That seems to be working well for many parents who have the means to do so. Rooms rent easily (at the time of this post) for $600 each. A three bedroom unit would provide a home for your student and generate income of $1,200. A four bedroom would generate $1,800.
Real Estate is cyclical, and history has proven that home values go up and home values come down. Home values are down, the only place for them to go now is up. If you factor in probable appreciation, your investment could pay for your child's housing and more.
If you would like to consider buying a home in the Rohnert Park or Cotati area for your Sonoma State University student, give me a call and let's talk. I have lived and worked in this area for over 23 years, I know it well. I'm a resource ... utilize me.