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College Town Homeowners Can Make Extra Cash on Game Day

Nov. 1, 2016
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Homeowners in popular college football towns can more easily tackle their mortgage payments by renting out their homes during game day weekends, according to a new NerdWallet study using 2016 data from vacation rental giant HomeAway.

The study reviewed data for 10 cities that had a football team in the AP Top 25 last season and found that nightly rates leap significantly on game weekends, offering a potentially lucrative opportunity for homeowners willing to pack their bags for a night.

In the college towns reviewed, the median nightly listing price on HomeAway for all days of the week more than doubles during game day weekends — it’s 2.37 times more, to be exact. This is an increase of $410 from the median nightly rate.

Homeowners' lucrative home-field advantage

Because of this price surge, homeowners in these towns could on average pay off 70% of a month’s homeownership costs by renting out their homes for just one Friday or Saturday night during football game weekends. Monthly homeownership costs, a 2015 figure from the U.S. Census Bureau, include mortgage payments, utilities and real estate taxes.

In some towns, the potential returns are even greater: Residents of South Bend, Indiana — home to the University of Notre Dame — stand to make enough to pay a whopping 144% of a month’s homeownership costs by renting for one night during a game day weekend.

Read the full report for more details.

Emily Starbuck Crone is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @emstarbuck. Dan Tonkovich is a data analyst at NerdWallet. Email: [email protected]. Franny Canine is a visual designer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected].