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RISMEDIA, Nov. 7, 2007-College towns bring together academic minds, alumni, students and sports enthusiasts, especially in the fall when football fans flock to reconnect with the nostalgia of happy college years. The reasons they come – pageantry, culture, tradition and idyllic settings – are also the reason many want to stay and become homeowners in their college town. According to the third annual Coldwell Banker® College Home Price Comparison Index (HPCI), while Ohio State may be leading the nation in the football polls, it is the Ball State Cardinals and Stanford Cardinal and their athletic conferences that hold the distinction of being located in the nation’s most affordable and expensive college towns, respectively.

The Coldwell Banker College HPCI finds that Muncie, Ind., home to Ball State University, ranks as the most affordable college town in the U.S., where a 2,220-foot, 4 bedroom 2 ½ bath home with a family room and two car garage1, would average $150,000. For the third straight year Palo Alto, California, home to Stanford University, is the nation’s most expensive college town, where a similar home would cost $1,677,000.

“College towns remain a popular living destination – whether they are first time homeowners or alumni looking for great retirement spots,” says Jim Gillespie, president and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “School spirit draws many alumni back to their alma mater and for others, continuing their education, pursuing jobs, enjoying cultural activities and following college sports make these communities ideal homes.”

Gillespie, a 1968 University of Illinois graduate and avid fan, also points out that the survey can be a guide for parents interested in buying homes for their college-aged sons and daughters. “Real estate professionals have been doing this for years,” Gillespie says. “Once their child is able to live off-campus, they do so in the family-owned home with classmates paying rent as roommates. Over time, the home appreciates in value and the family can keep it or sell it with the proceeds going toward the college payments.”

Coldwell Banker Ties to College Football

Kevin Moen, a sales manager with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., scored one of the most dramatic touchdowns in college football history 25 years ago on Nov. 20, 1982. After Stanford took a 20-19 lead with a field goal, leaving four seconds on the clock, Moen, then a safety for the University of California, caught the ensuing kickoff and began a wild, lateral-filled scramble that culminated with Moen eventually getting the ball back to score the winning touchdown as time ran out. Moen covered the final 25 yards by navigating through members of the Stanford band, which came out onto the field to celebrate what they thought was a Cardinal win. Moen is best remembered for barreling over Stanford trombone player Gary Tyrrell in the end zone as he celebrated the miraculous play. Moen will be featured on the Versus network during a 25th anniversary show on November 24 at 6 p.m. (Eastern), a week prior to when Stanford and Cal renew their rivalry.

2007 Coldwell Banker College HPCI – Highlights & Interesting Facts

More than $1.5 million separates the Eastern Indiana town of Muncie ($150,000) from the Silicon Valley community of Palo Alto ($1,677,000).

Coincidentally, both Muncie and Palo Alto have benefited from recently renovated or newly constructed football stadiums. Ball State’s renovated Scheumann Stadium features Arby’s Tailgate Town, which includes live bands, giveaways and special exhibits. One-year-old, state-of-the-art Stanford Stadium seats 50,000.

Oklahoma State University and the University of Toledo entered the top 10 most affordable markets list. All 10 of the most expensive college markets repeat on the 2007 list.

Three teams in the top 25 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings hail from towns in the Coldwell Banker College HPCI top 10 most expensive college markets list – Boston College, University of Southern California and University of Hawaii.

The Mid-American Conference again ranks as the most affordable league with 2,200 square-foot, 4 bedroom, 2 ½ bath homes averaging $230,272 in its 12 markets. The PAC-10 tips the scales as the most expensive conference overall for the third straight year, with an average home price of $737,040.

Columbus, Ohio, home to current BCS leader Ohio State, ranks 51st on the home price affordability list for studied homes with an average home price of $238,170. Gainesville, Fla., home to the defending BCS champion University of Florida Gators, is rated 79th at $305,750.

The top 10 most affordable college markets for home prices in 2007 are:

1 Ball State University Muncie, Ind. $150,000
2 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, Texas $151,250
3 University of Tulsa Tulsa, Okla. $153,750
4 Oklahoma State University Stillwater, Okla. $162,000
5 Texas Tech University Lubbock, Texas $163,250
6 University of Toledo Toledo, Ohio $163, 278
7 University of Louisiana Monroe Monroe, La. $164,499
8 University of Houston Houston, Texas $169,736
9 Rice University Houston, Texas $169,736
10 Utah State University Logan, Utah $172,978

The top 10 most expensive college markets for home prices in 2007 are:

1 Stanford University Palo Alto, Calif. $1,677,000
2 Boston College Chestnut Hill, Ma. $1,381,250
3 University of Southern California Los Angeles, Calif. $1,306,333
 4 University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, Calif. $1,306,333
5 University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, Calif. $1,287,500
6 San Jose State University San Jose, Calif. $1,145,000
7 University of Hawaii Honolulu, Hawaii $843,750
8 Northwestern University Evanston, Ill. $708,000
9 Florida International University Miami, Fla. $638,333
10 University of Miami Miami, Fla. $638, 333

The Coldwell Banker College Market HPCI specifically examines the markets that are home to 119 Football Bowl Subdivision (I-A) schools. Additional information about the original HPCI study, which ranked more than 300 markets across the United States and Puerto Rico in affordability for the same 2,200 square-foot subject home, is available at