Students Swap Dorms for McMansions?

November 17, 2011

Some college students are trading in cramped dorm rooms for ultra-large luxury McMansions, complete with Jacuzzis, grand great rooms, five-bedrooms, chandeliers, and three-car garages. 

For example, in Merced, Calif., which has been hard-hit by the foreclosure crisis, college students in the community who are facing a shortage of dorm space are finding housing from the McMansions that had been overbuilt in the area during the housing boom and now stand vacant, The New York Times reports. 

College students are finding good deals too. In Merced, which is home to a University of California campus, sharing a McMansion may only cost them about $200 to $350 per month each, and they get more space to spread out and extra amenities compared to a smaller dorm on-campus that may cost about $13,720 per year. What’s more, the McMansions have also become the answer to a shortage of housing on campus: The university only has room for 1,600 students in campus dorms but 5,200 are enrolled. 

The college students moving into these homes in the suburbs have helped with Merced’s foreclosure problem (the city ranks third in the nation for foreclosures). Students moving in and sharing these houses that had stood empty have been “a blessing,” Ellie Wooten, a real estate broker in Merced, told The New York Times. 

Source: “Animal McMansion: Students Trade Dorm for Suburban Luxury,” The New York Times (Nov. 12, 2011)