College Towns: Still a Smart Investment

A year ago, Jeff Shea began buying up rental properties around the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, from which he had only recently graduated with a business major. Shea, 23, who lives in Chicago, owns three rental homes near campus, including a four-bedroom house he bought for $138,000 and rents to four students for $1,800 a month.
"It's the best time ever to buy houses," Shea said. "The rent is inflated because so