Notre Dame Rental Condos

by Nick Molnar on February 21, 2008

There are few people who can knowledgeably and professionally help you buy a Notre Dame condo. There are none who can help you rent one. Or if there are they are keeping tight-lipped about it.

I’ve been working with people buying and selling condos near the University for about two years now, and learned the market pretty well. I’d put myself up against anyone in the area as to having a handle on the South Bend condo scene. If you tell me what you’re looking for, new/old, how many bedrooms, pets?, parking?, I can tell you where you should be looking, if the available units are priced right and what you can expect in the complexes. This is pretty basic stuff. But I was shocked at how many people who you might go to buy or sell a condo didn’t know any of it. Forget about having been in the condos to preview them, they couldn’t name three complexes. When I realized that, I put together a web-site that profiles South Bend condos. I thought it would be a useful guide for my clients, but it’s found a wider audience – renters.

I’ve received upwards of a dozen calls and e-mails from Notre Dame students looking to rent a condo in the last month. There is an unmet need for a simple, honest website to visit or person to call to get basic information on condos for rent. There is a group of students who would like to live off-campus, but not one of the louder apartment complexes, and not in a marginally acceptable “student house.” Buying is an option for some of them, but some people want the simplicity of renting, or they want a home for a single semester or year.

I’ve stopped keeping a list of people who want to rent a condo in case I come across one. I’ve resorted to sending prospective renters to Craig’s List, the local classifieds and to “watch for fliers on campus.” Those may be the best option available, but they are woefully inadequate if you’re facing a deadline to decide on campus housing for next year and need to make a good decision quickly.

Has anyone found any useful sources to find ND rentals? I’m ready to create an online help guide for students looking to get off campus. But I don’t have anything beyond a few apartment complexes and a link to Craig’s List to put in the section on renting. Do you know of something that should go in it? What kind of information would you like to see in it? You can help shape it by commenting below.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy Drewien February 21, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Wow! What a real need in college towns. Every now and then I’ve gotten a call from an out-of-state colleague who needed help finding something for their college bound child. We have the same problem here.

If we – as professionals with a real knowledge of the market – have a tough time finding rentals, how does the college student’s parents get any peace of mind?

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BG February 21, 2008 at 11:35 pm

ND used to have a spreadsheet that had homes, condos, apartments, and rooms for rent. It appears that it is no longer available to the general public, only ND students or faculty.

http://och.nd.edu is the website where landlords can list their places.

Honestly though I would send these students to an apartment complex like Hurwich Farms, Indian Lakes, or Williamsburg.

They may not be able to sign a 9-month lease. But the rents would be so much cheaper per month than the rents for a typical student rental that paying the early termination fee after 9 months would make it a wash financially.

And speaking as a small-time landlord, some of us don’t want college students — even mature grad students — for a few reasons:

1. The landlord knows that they will only be around for a short time — the best case scenario two or three years. Then it will be time to clean the house up and deal with the hassle of finding another renter.

2. It isn’t unusual for them to leave for nearly a month around Christmas and possibly all summer. What would happen to the yard of a single family home during that time?

3. You might get some smarty pants law school type who will try to find a way to void the lease agreement because of some technicality. I would never rent to a law student.

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MM February 22, 2008 at 5:57 pm

BG – Your posts, esp. #3 was the best post ever! Too funny….and I agree. It good for a laugh. Students and single family homes just don’t mix.

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Condo Man March 2, 2008 at 2:40 am

FYI – Looks like “Stadium Club” (formerly College Park) is going pretty much all rental now for the fall. The sales as condos was a bust I guess….did ANY actually sell as condos???????

Whoever bought this thing took a full apartment complex and turned it into a ghost town. If you know the history there, it was condo, then a lot of rental, then basically apartments, attempt at condo, now all rentals again. The only thing it missed was becoming Section 8, but then again I don’t know who they all rented to……….

It is a pity, they had the opportunity to make them more of a high end student apartments and make some money. But instead they decided to paint them the ugliest color yellow I have seen.

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Drew Mitchell June 16, 2009 at 10:22 am

Nick,

What a great idea – I’d be a potential end user as a provider of student housing. I do know that at Purdue there is a site called http://www.boilerapartments.com/ that enables landlords and students to connect. It’s probably a little slower here in South Bend / Notre Dame due to the smaller student population base, but I do think there is an entrepreneurial opportunity.

You’re right that the media used is mixed (Observer, Craigslist, Signage, and SB Tribune Classifieds). Students are confused and the process could be refined.

We’ve recently undergone a web overhaul of our site http://www.rentlikeachampion.com, and we generate traffic through a variety of means, but it would be helpful to a central location for students to go. I’d love to discuss this further if you’re ever interested!

Drew Mitchell
Double Domer Properties

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Renee Crabtree July 21, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Sorry to comment on a 2 year old post BUT there’s a wonderful site (no bias) that help students find off-campus housing http://www.campushomesonline.com. It’s a national website that lets you find and advertise homes for sale/rent, apartments for rent, and gameday housing.

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