Investment homes in cool school towns

Ames, Iowa

Address: 3223 West St.
Price: $182,500
Square feet: 2,178
Price per square foot: $84

Located less than one-half mile from the Iowa State University campus, this home built in 1917 is the best deal in our roundup in terms of price per square foot. And its four bedrooms and three bathrooms mean you can accommodate several renters at once. Wide oak floors, oak countertops and leaded glass windows give it a warm, cozy feel. The kitchen has standard appliances and a walk-in pantry. There's a finished attic. Don't miss the rustic back yard, with a stream that flows to a pond, mature trees and two seating areas. The typical mortgage for this home is $759; the average rent on a four-bedroom home is $1,246.

Ames, named the second best college town by the American Institute for Economic Research, is home to the ISU Cyclones. Along with Big 12 athletics, the 35 woodland parks and 55 miles of bike and pedestrian trails are reasons this town is admired.

Steve Bock: Bock Real Estate Group; 515-231-1899