Oak Hill Condo Listed For Lowest Price in 5 Years

by Nick Molnar on January 24, 2011

Oak Hill is not fancy. In fact, nearly every other condo/townhouse complex near Notre Dame is bigger, nicer and offers better parking. But Oak Hill is generally the most affordable.  Oak Hill, which was built around 1988, was the the first popular condo complex next to Notre Dame. New London Lake, built around 1978 has age and rental restrictions that prevent it from really appealing to students, Jamison, built around 1984 never gained the same level of visibility and demand, and the other options like North Shore Club (~1971) and Woodbridge (~1972) are further from campus.

And Oak Hill’s position as the place to buy if you wanted a condo near Notre Dame was reflected in the prices it commanded.  From 2001 to 2003, prices trended from about $70,000 to about $90,000. In 2004 they entered six figure territory. By 2006, sales were commonly above $150,000 and a few units sold above $180,000. In March of 2008, one Oak Hill condo sold for $230,000.

But many new maintenance-free communities have developed near Notre Dame:

  • Dublin Village, about 2005/6
  • Wexford Place, about 2007
  • Irish Crossings, first sales about 2007
  • North Douglas Condos, first sales about 2007
  • Keenan Court, first sales about 2007
  • Stadium Village, first sales about 2008
  • Ivy Quad, first sales about 2009
  • Champions Way (at Eddy Street Commons), first sales about 2010

Those new options, combined with upscale rental apartments now available at Irish Row and The Foundry at Eddy Street Commons, have  put tremendous pressure on the prices at Oak Hill. In 2010, there were four sales, from $125,000 to $145,000. There are currently 11 Oak Hill condos listed for sale with Realtors, 10 of those are priced between $117,000 to $149,900.

The eleventh Oak Hill condo currently for sale  is noteworthy: 1525 Oak Hill Drive recently cut its asking price to $99,900. That’s the first time a price at Oak Hill has dipped below $100,000 since May of 2005 when one condo listed for $90k sold for $84k and another listed at $93k sold at full price. 1525 Oak Hill Drive has been for sale since March 2008, when it was priced at $189,900.

1525 Oak Hill Drive is not in bad shape. Here are some candid photos I took today. In its fair condition, the price is a significant test for Oak Hill. There is a place within the broader Notre Dame market for affordable condos. But the price that will quickly sell an Oak Hill condo hasn’t been found. With price cuts like this, we should find it this Spring.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Irish Eyes January 25, 2011 at 4:19 am

OOOO oooo….another post. Now we’re really talking THE South Bend bubble place.

Oak Hill….it was “the” place and sorta had an exclusive vib to it especially among the student population since the off-campus alternatives were run down rental houses, Campus View, Turtle Creek, or more “upscale” (kinda laughable now) Castle Pointe. Plus it was where an unemployed Rudy lived and was employed by Oak Hill for a while doing outside maintenance (mowed the lawn, etc.) until he finally got someone interested in his movie script. Since this isn’t TMZ, I’ll stop at that…plus I don’t want to ruin the movie for others.

Oak Hill does have a nice convenient location….zip down Edison or S.R. 23 and you’re anywhere you need to be. It was started in 1988 and I think was completed around 1992. You can walk to the game but not practical for walking to ND on a daily basis.

Something happened in 2004….someone sold a condo at a far higher record price. If I recall it was for about $155K…it was notable. Condos before that sold for less than $90K if not less than $80K. Not many Oak Hill condos were for sale then and rentals were not out of control. What happened for a condo to sell at 80%-90% more than others? Apparently that comp set the market…for an appreciating market.

Your assessment of other area condos is very good. Oak Hill was pretty much the only option at the start of the national real estate bubble…real estate as some sort of magical risk-free appreciating investment.

1525 looks to be in fair condition as you mentioned. Three years on the market….OUCH, OUCH, OUCH. A $20K remodel and listing at $20K more might have done the trick to attract someone to buy since this market segment wants a new move-in ready refreshed place. But I think now, anyone that does a detached analysis will see that $99K is no bargain….but hey, there are people from expensive real estate markets that may see it as a bargain especially when they compare to other current asking prices in Oak Hill. Looks like 1525 will be the new comp to set the market…for a declining market.

With the for sale by owners, there is probably close to 15 Oak Hill condos for sale…and that has been the case for the last two or so years…prices will go down.

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DJA January 25, 2011 at 11:12 am

I think we were one of the last sales that I am aware of in Oak Hill getting out at around $150,000. We had to negotiate the price up and were only successful in getting to close because it came fully furnished and had been repainted with some other modest updates. We took a loss but Nick gave us very good advice to take the deal – otherwise we would be looking at a much bigger loss today. Thanks Nick!

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Irish Eyes January 29, 2011 at 1:08 am

1525 will sell soon….that’s what I’m told by one in the know.

You should note that Oak Hill also has rental restrictions. Two years total. Not as restrictive as New London Lake though. But good to know since once you use that up…you may have to discount your condo like 1525.

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Nick Molnar January 29, 2011 at 1:25 am

Yes, Oak Hill has rental restrictions. From memory, your lease needs to be approved by the board (to give them the ability to boot disruptive tenants) and there is a two year limit. I think several owners have received exemptions to rent past that limit though. It will be interesting to see if that policy changes now that the property manager position is in transition and the board is investigating what they can do to improve resale values for the complex. I’ve heard they are looking at all ideas, from easing rental restrictions to putting exercise equipment in the clubhouse to drilling wells and installing plumbing for a geothermal heating/cooling system that condo owners could hook into as their 20+ year old HVAC units need to be replaced. Watch for changes to the bylaws at their annual meeting in March.

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Irish Eyes January 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Oak Hill is a “lost cause” with respect to current pricing. It was a bubble and prices have to go down…by a lot. There have been 10+ units continuously for sale for how many years now? Would be interesting to see a monthly inventory chart.

You can’t add parking….you can’t add garages…you can’t create less stairs. They’ve already added windows for basement bedrooms during the real estate bubble in many units. A management change won’t do much just like bad management (talking in general here) was perceived as good during the real estate bubble since no matter what you did you were successful….everyone could be a successful house flipper.

You could allow small dogs…say under 15 lbs. The current “no dog” policy is odd. Allowing small dogs will possibly increase the market a bit of potential buyers.

They will probably ease rental restrictions which will just cause further decline since it would be a student rental complex with 101 different landlords (what a joy that would be if you were owner-occupied). If the rental restrictions go away then Oak Hill become another Stadium Club in 5 years or so.

At this point in the game, the competition (new construction esp. apartments – Irish Row and Eddy Street) is too much for Oak Hill to sustain its niche and it has little pricing power left. It is like those abandoned big box stores that become a run down bingo hall or vacant when they build a new better one in the area. No matter what they invest into this complex, it won’t help. No one is going to pay more for a unit with geothermal or with a clubhouse with a few rinky dinky pieces of fitness equipment

If I owned in Oak Hill and had been trying to sell, then I’d just bit the bullet and get out. A death by a thousand cuts.

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