Feature

Students living large in suburbia

It's less expensive for students to rent five-bedroom suburban homes in areas hit hard by the foreclosure crisis than it is to pay for on-campus housing. 

In central California, the McMansion has become the new Animal House, said Patricia Leigh Brown in The New York Times. Students at the University of California, Merced, are renting five-bedroom suburban homes for a song in subdivisions hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of students are renting bedrooms near campus for $200 to $350 a month, far cheaper than on-campus housing. For that price they can enjoy “three-car garages, wall-to-wall carpeting, whirlpool baths,” and walk-in closets. “I mean, I have it all!” said senior Patricia Dugan. That delight isn’t universal. “Everybody on this street is underwater,” said John Angus, an unemployed teacher who paid $532,000 for a house now worth $221,000. “I think they’re the luckiest students I’ve ever come across,” he added somewhat bitterly.

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