Investment homes in cool school towns

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Address: 604 Nunn St.
Price: $139,000
Square feet: 900
Price per square foot: $154

This small, ranch-style home is less than a mile from the edge of the University of North Carolina, home of the Tar Heels. It's the least expensive on our list. The floor plan includes two bedrooms and one bathroom. You'll find an eat-in kitchen and carpeted floors in both the living room and the dining room. Being sold as-is, this might be a fixer-upper. But it's so close to campus, it might be worth the extra cost. The typical mortgage will cost you just $578 per month; average rent for a two-bedroom home is $894.

Chapel Hill is listed as No. 3 on Southern Living's list of "The South's Best College Towns." Attribute that to the Southern cuisine. Downtown is host to several culinary events. And there are great finds like The Pig, a barbecue joint the magazine says "don't miss." In addition to great food, public murals, colonial residences and cafes abound.

Bronwyn Merritt: Dwell Real Estate; 919-932-1058