Raleigh, N.C.
Raleigh, N.C.
Name: Matt Durbin
Holdings: Six townhouses
Closest college: North Carolina State University

When Matt Durbin first purchased a three-bedroom townhome just two miles from North Carolina State University's Raleigh campus in 2004, he thought he'd get a lot more in rental income for the place.

The previous owner had told him he could easily charge $1,250 a month, but N.C. State had just opened up new on-campus housing that year, dampening rents. Durbin could only get $1,000 a month.

Even that, though, was enough to pay all his expenses -- including his mortgage of less than $600 a month -- and still turn a profit.

"It worked out great," he said.

So great that, the next year, Durbin sold his home in a Washington, D.C. suburb and used the proceeds to buy three townhouses in Raleigh; two three-bedrooms and one two-bedroom. They're all within a stone's throw of each other, making them easy to care for, and the rents all covered the mortgage payments and other expenses from the start.

After that, Durbin was hooked. He added another home to his portfolio in 2006 and a sixth in 2009, all in Raleigh.

Durbin mostly rents to students and figures he clears about $10,000 to $20,000 a year right now, depending on maintenance and emergency repairs. Once all of the mortgages are paid off, he expects the cash to roll in.

But while he's waiting, he plans to add to his college real estate empire.


By Les Christie @CNNMoney - Last updated April 18 2012: 9:10 AM ET
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