With college graduation season upon us, national real estate behemoth Realtor.com has crunched the numbers on college towns where mortgage costs are outweighed by median county rental rates. While Baltimore, South Bend, Indiana and West Lafayette, Indiana top the list, Philadelphia and Swarthmore round it out in the 5 and 8 spots, respectively.

The researchers defined college towns as entire counties and drew their conclusions from there. So of course Philadelphia's ever-rising rental rates make it seem as if it's possible to buy a home for a song (the median county monthly buying cost – comprised of mortgage, taxes and insurance – is just $964 in Philly) and rent it for a fortune.

The report notes that homes near Penn average about $168,000, but our own glance at University City real estate tells a different story. Then there is the note about undergrads living in Point Breeze and Passyunk because of their "proximity to campus."

Swarthmore also looks attractive to the property investor, with the median Delaware County home priced at $189,125 (a $1,128 monthly homeownership cost) and the median rent payment coming in at $1,252. The report suggests that Swarthmore parents consider investing in a home in Media borough.

The same report notes that the real estate markets are especially strong in Philadelphia and Delaware counties. It does not tackle whether your college-aged student will want to live in the house you are investing in on their behalf.

Know of an interesting property in the Philadelphia or South Jersey region? E-mail us!