Properties by Price per Square Foot in South Bend, Indiana

by Nick Molnar on June 21, 2008

I’m fortunate in my job that I get to work with smart people from around the country. Recently, I’ve been working with a businessman from Florida considering a purchase in South Bend. He brings an entrepreneur’s eye for value to his home search, and we’ve been discussing price per square foot as a means to screen and “pre-qualify” homes in the South Bend real estate market.

In our last conversation, we decided that any property that strayed too far from the average price per square foot for the area’s upscale homes would require a justification or we wouldn’t even look at it further. If a home is on acreage, offers unusual upgrades, a waterfront location, or some other good reason for a higher price, it could be considered, but most would be eliminated quickly, allowing us to focus on the best value propositions on the market. That sounded like a smart plan to find a nice home at a good price with the least effort spent scanning properties that would just waste time.

A casual acquaintance with South Bend’s real estate market suggested $100 / square foot as a typical price for nicer homes in the area to my client, but I checked the sales data to be sure our benchmark was accurate. A search of homes that sold in the last year with the criteria my client is seeking: sold for more than $300,000, were built in or after the year 2000, and are set on 4 acres or less, excluding townhomes sold at Irish Crossings and Wexford Place yielded 47 sales, enough to draw from for our benchmark. It’s worth noting that our mls rules mostly exclude basement square feet regardless of how well finished that level may be. Since most every home in the search results had finished or walkout lower levels, I think it’s an equal handicap for all the homes and therefore can be reasonably discarded. Looking at the sales, the average sales price per square foot was $164.82. The range is about $87/sf to $305/sq ft, with the bulk of the sales between $130 and $180/sq ft.

With some idea of what homes have recently sold for, we can apply it to the homes for sale in Granger and South Bend. Of course there will be justifiable variances, for example a waterfront all-brick ranch will cost more per square feet than a brick front 2-story on a through street. But we have a starting place for quickly evaluating homes and deciding if they justify a closer look.

If you’re looking for property in South Bend, Mishawaka or Granger, and want data driven searches from Realtors who respect your time, I’d like to talk to you:

Nick Molnar
mobile: 574-309-3758
direct to voice-mail: 574-235-4836


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