South Bend Real Estate Report: May 2009

by Nick Molnar on June 1, 2009

There were 251 closed sales totalling $26.69 million through the South Bend Area MLS in May 2009. That’s about 27% higher than last month’s number, which just topped $21 million in sales. May 2009 is also about 35% lower when compared with May 2008. Sales seem to be following typical seasonal patterns  – though at a far reduced volume – as in recent years. If this continues, sales will peak in June or July, remain near that level in August and then fall September through December to a figure closer to January or February’s.

Here is the long term sales graph that shows the seasonal peak and places this years sales in context.


High Price Sales

The highest price sale was at 51330 Grand Oaks Court in Granger’s Woodland Hills neighborhood. It was listed for $859,000 and closed at $800,000. That is 93% of list price. The seller appears to have bought it in 9/2007 for $800,000 so it sold at a net loss after paying fees and commissions. 

Rounding out the top three most expensive sales for the month are two homes in Granger’s Covington Shores neighborhood:
14664 Heatherton was listed at $599k and sold for $560k. That is 93% of list price 
51308 Harbor Ridge was listed at $465k and sold for $442,500. That is 95% of list price.



Low Price Sales

The lowest price sale was $3,500 for 223 E Bronson, which was listed for $9,900 at the time it sold. That is 35% of list price. 

Rounding out the three lowest price sales are:
423 W Garfield in Elkhart, listed at $8,900 and sold for $6,000, or 67% of list price.
1618 Elwood Ave, listed at $7,900 and sold for $6,500, or 82% of list price.


Number of Sales vs. Number of Listings by Price Range

over $500,000… 2 sales leaving 69 homes remaining 
$400,000 – $499,999… 3 sales leaving 56 homes remaining
$300,000 – $399,999… 3 sales leaving 140 homes remaining
$200,000 – $299,999… 16 sales leaving 258 homes remaining
$100,000 – $199,999… 90 sales leaving 844 homes remaining
$50,000 – $99,999… 60 sales leaving 761 homes remaining
$00,001 – $49,999… 77 sales leaving 420 homes remaining

May 2009 Real Estate Sales at a Glance

Here is the scatter graph with the price of every sold home in May 2009.

Notre Dame Condos and Townhomes

It was another slow month for condo sales. Four “Notre Dame condos” sold this month. I’m using that term loosely to cover condos, townhomes and villas – any property that is maintenance-free with a monthly fee. There are 92 such properties listed for sale within 3 miles of Notre Dame’s Golden Dome (photos and details here).

A 3 br, 2.5 ba Pendle Woods villa sold for $403,688. It was listed 10/2006 for $396,900.
A 3 br, 3.5 ba Dublin Village townhouse sold for $225,000. It was listed  07/2008 for $249,900.
A 3 br, 2 ba Woodbridge condo sold for $88,000. It was listed 02/2009 for $115,000.
A 1 br, 1 ba North Shore Club condo sold for $54,000. It was listed 09/2008 for $69,900.

I have a report that two of the entry level condos at Ivy Quad sold outside the mls. They would have been in the low to mid $200,000s

There were no sales this month in Irish Crossings or Oak Hill, each of which have 10+ condos listed for sale. The future of the North Douglas condos project remains uncertain after the developer removed his petition for rezoning from the Mishawaka City Council’s early May agenda. There have been no sales at the Riverwalk Townhomes in Mishawaka, and just a few at the Townes at Kamm Island and at Keenan Court. There are 6 condo-hotel units at Waterford Estates listed for resale in the mls, including one at a reduced price of $89,999 which is below the original prices of the units. Waterford Estates has also begun a time-share program.

Need Real Estate Help?

That’s the May report. If  you need help making sense of it, understanding what is happening in a specific neighborhood or buying or selling real estate in the South Bend Area, contact a agent.


South Bend Real Estate Report: April 2009

by Nick Molnar on May 2, 2009

Month over month things look much better – sales are up 23%. Year over year things look much worse – sales are down 35%.

April 2009 saw 219 closed sales through the South Bend Area MLS and $21.04 million in sales volume. That is markedly higher than this year’s earlier sales numbers, but only about 65% of April 2008’s $32.45 million in sales. It is also roughly half of 2007’s $42.74 million in sales.

Sales continued at the lower price segments of the market:
57 sales closed under $25,000 this month. Previous year’s Aprils closed 43 (2006), 53 (2007) and 60 (2008) sales under $25,000.

This month’s high price sales were $550,000 for a 93 acre Lakeville farm with 2 houses and mulitple buildings.

More typically, the higher price sales included a $520,000 sale in Woodland Hills and 5 sales in Granger and South Bend between $290k and $410k.

The lowest price sale was $6,600. There were 15 cash sales at or below $10,000. 


It was a rough month for Notre Dame condos. The North Douglas condos seem to be headed for a sale and conversion to apartments. There were only two sales that could be considered Notre Dame condos. One at the North Shore Club, a 1,210 square foot 2 bedroom for $90,000. The second wasn’t properly a condo, but a Pendle Woods villa (free-standing like a house, but with a HOA that includes lawn care like a condo) for $292,900. Construction continues at the newNotre Dame condo projects: Irish Crossings, Stadium Village, Ivy Quad and Eddy Commons.

Here’s the scatter graph for all the sales prices at a glance. 

And a breakdown of how the purchases were financed. Cash is king, but FHA is on the rise. Sellers, that matters because FHA loans come with more rules. There are guidelines and regulations that could force further inspections, repairs and appraisals. In these cases, you can participate or risk your buyer losing their loan and you losing the sale. Rehabbers who are selling after holding a property less than six months need to be especially aware of this. 

And the long term graph.

That’s the best and most current public report you’ll find on South Bend real estate. If you need more info, an analysis of a niche market, or professional assistance buying or selling property in the South Bend Area, contact a agent.


Search South Bend Area Foreclosures

by Nick Molnar on April 10, 2009

Foreclosures continue to make the headlines, yet they’ve been difficult to search online. There are a few subscription sites that offer details on bank owned homes, but many of the homes on those sites have already sold. 

Today, I’m happy to open a beta version of’s South Bend Area Foreclosure Search. It is in development and has a few bugs, but you can search all the bank owned properties listed for sale by a Realtor in the Greater South Bend-Mishawaka MLS by map or on a table. You can also filter the results displayed by city, number of bedrooms, or zip-code.


Map View


Table View


This foreclosure search is beta, so it is likely to change both form and function in the future. In the meantime, please try it and send feedback. Are there any details you wish were displayed that aren’t? Do you wish you could search by “days on the market” or sort by 2007 tax bills? Send me feeback by e-mail or in the comments and I’ll try to make it more useful.


North Shore Club: Low Prices and Water Views

by Nick Molnar on April 2, 2009


There are at least 13 condo or townhouse complexes that cluster around Notre Dame and are popular with students, professors and alumni. You can find basic info on them on my Notre Dame Real Estate Guide, But if you are new to South Bend, or researching options with the web as your only resource you’ll want to know more. That’s when you should really call me for up to the minute information, but to bridge the gap I’m going to profile the complexes here on the South Bend Real Estate Blog.

Our lead off complex is the North Shore Club. 



The summary

North Shore Club condos are a good option if you are looking for a well priced condo near Notre Dame, Holy Cross or St. Mary’s, but don’t need to be right next to them. They have a secluded setting on the river, and are one of the rare Notre Dame condo complexes that have three bedroom units priced under $150,000. They are almost 40 years old, so if you need something that feels new you are unlikely to find it here. 

New London Lake Condos have a nice water feature with a pool on an island, Woodbridge Condos have several fountains, and Irish Crossings Townhomes ring a pond, but the North Shore Club has the best water views of any of the Notre Dame condos. If that is your only criteria, no need to read any further. Not every condo in the North Shore Club has a water view, but most do, either of a pond, the St. Joseph River, or both.   


The grounds

The complex has a wooded grounds, a path along the river, a clubhouse, and pool. It’s also the only condo option in South Bend with community tennis courts.


There are really two types of housing at North Shore Club:  Condos and Townhouses

The condos

In the front of the complex, are condos. They were built in 1971 and range from 773 square foot 1 bedroom, 1 bath condos to 1,667 square foot two-story condos with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Condos on Marigold Way are two story units with private entrances. Condos on Wildlfower Way have common hallways.  Condo sales in the North Shore Club have closed between $53,000 and $130,000 and averaged about $74/square foot. Features like detached garages and lack of views obviously impact sales prices, as does the condition of the condos.

The townhouses

In the back of the complex, near the tennis courts, are duplex style townhouses with attached garages. These were mostly built in the 1980s and have sold from $134,500 to $295,000. Most are set on the river, and while they run up to 2,900 square feet, most have about 2,000 square feet. Sales prices for the townhomes have averaged around $101/square foot though there aren’t enough sales for that to be definitive and many of the sales are from several years ago.

The condo fees

Condo fees in South Bend are $100-$200 / month in most complexes. That usually buys you lawn service, snow removal, common area insurances, and often a community pool. At North Shore Club, fees are higher but they include more. Currently, association dues run about $200 – $425 / month but they include common area maintenance and insurance, community pool, clubhouse and tennis courts, as well as heat, water, trash and basic cable TV. 

The rules

  • Pets are OK, including larger dogs. 
  • Parking is not regulated beyond the garages, though it doesn’t seem to be an issue as there are many spaces and North Shore Club is far enough from Notre Dame that it doesn’t get spillover parking on football weekends. 
  • Renting your condo is allowed. Leases must be for 30 days or more with a copy of the lease in the condo office.

Best features

  • Peaceful, park-like setting with water views and woods. No traffic noise.
  • Roughly one mile to Notre Dame, but priced far below complexes billed as “walking distance”
  • Range of options, from smaller 1 bedroom condos to 3 bedroom spaces with 2-story living rooms.

Not so nice features

  • These are older units, the condos were built in 1971. Though they have been maintained, many interiors need paint, carpet, and other updates.
  • High fees. These aren’t bad if you occupy the condo, but if you are looking for a place for occasional use, you will pay a somewhat higher amount here than if you had individual bills for your utilities.

Watch out for

  • The windows. The windows used in the North Shore Club condos have double panes and metal frames. In some of the condos condensation collected on the frames and damaged the drywall over a period of years. Others have seals that have worn out, allowing moisture between the panes and giving the window a premanently fogged look. Both issues can be corrected, but if your are buying, you can ask the seller to pay for the repair.

  • The geese. The woods and water that make North Shore Club so pleasant also attract wildlife, including geese. This isn’t really a drawback, but it’s worth mentioning so you know ahead of time that geese will wander past your patio. I’ve heard that grape kool aid sprinkled in the grass keeps geese away, but haven’t tested it myself.

Available units

Still with me? Here’s a live link to the North Shore Club Condos listed for sale. At the time I’m writing this, there are seven on the market. The pick of the litter is 1565 Wildflower, a listing.


South Bend Real Estate Sales Report: March 2009

by Nick Molnar on March 31, 2009

South Bend Area Sales Statistics

After the two months with the lowest numbers in recent history, sale volume for the Greater South Bend – Mishawaka MLS is up for March 2009. January and February saw sales of a bit over $11 million each month. March brought 191 sales and $17.17 million in volume. 

The lowest price sale in March was $4,500 and the most expensive $450,000. 85 sales were under $50,000 and 6 were over $250,000. Here’s a graph of the closing price of every sale.


Notre Dame Condos

Just one condo near Notre Dame sold in March. It was a furnished second-story Jamison condo with two bedrooms and a loft. It closed at $127,500 despite similar condos selling around $160,000 in 2007 and 2008. 

None of the higher price, new condos or townhomes appear to have closed a sale in March. Several builders that target the Notre Dame market are raising commissions and offering upgrades to buyers in an attempt to spur sales.


South Bend’s March 2009 Real Estate Sales in Context 

March sales were up considerably from last month, but put into larger context the numbers are still far lower than anything we’ve seen as far back as our MLS electronic records reach. Below is a striking visual demonstration of where we’ve been and where we are.

This isn’t a chart of home values, it’s more of a speedometer for the market. I’ll leave pricing and value for another post. But the speed, the volume, the number of sales is down markedly from the past.