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Posted on Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 1:44 p.m.

Foreclosed suburban mansions become hotspot for student housing in California community

By Lizzy Alfs

For college students at the University of California, Merced, mansions in overbuilt subdivisions are replacing the typical dorm room experience.

Due to a high foreclosure rate, thousands of students at the six-year-old school are enjoying amenities like hot tubs, three-car garages, granite countertops and walk-in closets, according to a New York Times report.

The price? $200 to $350 a month per student.

The agricultural area in San Joaquin Valley is ranked third nationally in metropolitan-area home foreclosures. Investors and builders flocked to the area as the college was being constructed, building "McMansions" - or large, mass produced houses - in subdivisions near the university campus.

But as the market crashed, many of the homes stood vacant.

The university, which enrolls 5,200 students and only has room to house 1,600 in campus dorms, planned for a gradual expansion, adding 600 new students a year.

With limited space on campus, student tenants are now paying discounted prices to live in the nearby four- or five-bedroom McMansions.

Read the full Times report here.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

Wow, I'll bet the neighbors who actually bought into this McSub just love being surrounded by houses full of students! But UM students should take notice. Paying $200-$300 for a room in a McMansion sure beats paying 4-5 times that for a room in one of the new bare-bones, industrial-looking McHighrises that are currently over-populating Ann Arbor.

John of Saline

Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 8:24 p.m.

I'll bet some of those houses will look pretty rough pretty fast.

Tom Teague

Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 7:08 p.m.

Not a lot of parallels to Ann Arbor because the vacant McMansions appear to be close to campus. But still this is a fascinating story that raises the specter of beer pong played in the cul de sac.