Sonoma State University Students - Where will you live?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Safe Haven Realty CalBRE# 01433049

SSU campus

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.


Posted by

Safe Haven Realty

Cynthia Larsen (707-332-2560) is an independent broker and owner of Safe Haven Realty in Sonoma County, California. Visit to view available homes for sale and to learn more about this beautiful wine country destination.

CA Broker License #01433049




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Barbara Carter
C21 Alliance Realty Group - New Paltz, NY
Serving Your Real Estate Needs in the Hudson Valle


I also work in a college town, New Paltz New York. Parents purchasing a home is a trend here as well. There are not enough rentals and it makes sense to purchase for their student to live in a home they own for the 4 years, renting the extra rooms to the friends of their child. After the 4 years they will decide whether they will rent, sell and a few plan to retire in the college town.

Great Post- good luck


Aug 28, 2012 04:57 AM #1
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

A home in a college community is always a best bet.

Experienced this myself in Ann Arbor, MI.

Aug 28, 2012 05:10 AM #2
Scott Hayes
(512) 786-8300 - Austin, TX
Realty Austin, Broker Associate



I live in a big university town myself. I always encourage parents to look at buying property, rather than spending four years (at the minimum) renting. And the parents with multiple children- it's must.

Another benefit is those visits to see the young ones offer a chance to keep up with the rental investment, and I'm sure there's some tax benefit as well.


Aug 28, 2012 05:25 AM #3
Cynthia Larsen
Safe Haven Realty - Cotati, CA
Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA

Barbara - with home and rental prices the way they are right now, it only makes sense.

Pete - You're right, a home in a college community means you will always have available renters ... usually with parents who co-sign as well.

Scott - I didn't even think of the sibling aspect ... or cousins? Just another positive reason to buy!

Aug 28, 2012 05:34 AM #4
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

we have three local colleges here and many parents do the same thing.  Frankly kids getting to choose their roommates is really important.  Good friend has a son in college in another state and complex just rented a "room" in his apartment to a druggie.  When he went to management they just said call the police.  Really like a 19 year old needs to be worried about the retaliation after the druggie gets out in 15 minutes.  

Aug 28, 2012 05:42 AM #5
Cynthia Larsen
Safe Haven Realty - Cotati, CA
Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA

Tammy - I sold a home to parents whose son didn't drink. His son was able to choose other non-drinkers to room with him which helped him with his studies ... which you can well imagine.

Aug 28, 2012 06:24 AM #6
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

It really makes sense Cynthia, if the parents can afford to do it, why not, and it's great for the children for many reasons.  Selecting their own roommates is a big one!

Aug 28, 2012 06:49 AM #7
Cynthia Larsen
Safe Haven Realty - Cotati, CA
Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA

Roger - I agree, you have much more control on who you live with, and you can establish the ground rules as well.

Aug 28, 2012 09:47 AM #8
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Cynthia Larsen

Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA
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