Athens, Ohio
Athens, Ohio
Name: Sally Linder
Holdings: 13 single family homes
Closest college: Ohio University

Over the past two decades, Sally Linder and her husband Don, have amassed a portfolio of 13 single-family homes near Ohio University

The Linders started buying properties near the campus back in the 1990s, capping it off with their latest purchase in July: a two-bedroom they bought for less than $90,000.

Home prices are so reasonable and rents so robust -- they can charge between $350 and $600 for each bedroom in the house -- that, even after mortgage payments and other expenses, their investments are profitable from day one.

There's always a steady stream of new residents -- students, visiting professors and other school personnel -- who need rentals, said Sally, who is a real estate broker. "Within Athens city limits, more than 70% of the housing stock is rentals," she said.

When the State of Ohio studied the impact of the recession on housing markets, it found that the number of homes sold in college towns saw the smallest decline of any of the other 13 categories it surveyed -- except for high-income suburban towns.

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