Auburn University is one of the largest higher education institutions in Alabama, with an annual enrollment of more than 30,000 students each year. Considering Auburn has a population of only 65,000, it stands to reason that affordable housing is a commodity here. If you’re relocating to take a job at the university as a professor, faculty member, or staff member, you may want to consider home buying rather than worrying about fluctuating rent affordability.
The following home buyer guide to Auburn University should give you an overview of this college town’s housing market and help you make an informed choice about where to put your down payment and monthly payments.
About Auburn University
Auburn University sprouted from humble beginnings, first chartered in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College. Since that time, it has grown into a sprawling campus of 1840 acres and 427 buildings, occupying the very heart of Auburn itself.
As a major hub for research, not only was Auburn University the first land-grant college in the South, it also holds the rare distinction of being a land, sea, and space grant university due to its broad studies in these areas, as well. Niche Magazine and Money Magazine both recently ranked Auburn University as the best university in the State of Alabama.
Besides offering more than 150 majors in diverse fields of study, Auburn University is also highly known for its athletics program. An NCAA Division I-A school, Auburn has only borne the nickname “Tigers” since its first football team started playing in 1892. Each fall, tens of thousands of fans flood into Jordan-Hare Stadium to watch the football team’s home games, filling the air with the familiar chant of “War Eagle!” Auburn also hosts men’s and women’s basketball teams, along with swimming and diving, baseball, women’s golf, track and field, and equestrian teams. Among their teams, Auburn has taken home no less than 17 NCAA championships.
Why Consider Buying in Auburn?
Low vacancy rates and high demand have combined to create a perfect storm of rising rents in Auburn in recent years, especially around the University. As costs for off-campus housing increase, so do the rates of the local rental market.
For students looking to live off-campus, rentals may still make sense since they’re only needed for nine months out of the year. However, for faculty and staff taking up permanent residence, buying a home may make more financial sense for the long term than renting.
Another group that may benefit from buying in Auburn: parents of college students. If you’re footing the rental bill for your student to attend school at Auburn University, you might want to consider buying an investment property as an alternative. It provides your children a lower-cost housing option, plus it may afford opportunities for rental income after your student has graduated.
Where to Buy Your First Home in Auburn
While buying near the University itself may be convenient, it also tends to be more expensive.
Median property values are higher around the University and the areas north and west of the school, while prices tend to be more affordable toward the city’s south and east parts. Fortunately, the city is small enough that you can often find a deal within several miles of campus if you’re willing to commute. The neighboring community of Opelika — just a short drive from Auburn — is another excellent commuter option.
What Kind of Property to Buy
Auburn has existing homes for sale in many different sizes, price points, and architectural styles, ranging from historic fixer-uppers to new constructions. However, the city’s growing population means there are many newer subdivisions available, and a brand-new construction home in Auburn is comparable in value to a pre-existing home of the same size.
For busy university personnel, buying a new construction makes a lot of sense because everything is new, and less upkeep is required.
Find the New Construction Home of Your Dreams
If you’re moving to the Auburn area to be close to the university, Lowder New Homes is a preferred builder in the new Summerlin subdivision. Located just a few miles from campus, Summerlin is known for its brand-new luxury homes at surprisingly affordable prices.
Ready to get started with your new construction home, but need a little help with the home buying process? Our real estate agents can guide you through the entire process, and our preferred mortgage lenders can walk first-time buyers through the home loan process step-by-step — including how credit scores, pre-approval, mortgage rates, homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance, closing costs, and property taxes work.
Contact us today to discuss your homeownership options with one of our real estate agents.