Despite the Winters, South Bend Could Draw From The Coasts

by Joe Molnar on February 28, 2008

I was talking to my “web 2.0 colleagues” about the high cost of housing on the west coast today and I had an epiphany… I should start marketing to people across the country whose employment is not location dependent that want a great home at a ridiculously low price in a decent Midwest city that has a great university, a multitude of other educational opportunities and is 45 minutes from the white sand beaches of Lake Michigan and only 90 minutes from the center of one of the worlds great cities – Chicago. How do I do this? I wonder what I can do with a targeted blog?

A few years ago I sold a home to clients relocating for exactly the affordability reasons mentioned above. They had a home in the Bay Area that backed to a freeway. They had lived there for 20 years or so. He is a high school teacher, she was a librarian and they have 4 kids. They are a nice family, and despite being very frugal, at the end of every month they struggled to make ends meet.

They sold their modest home in the Bay Area for around 800k, and bought an extremely nice 3,500 square foot home built in 1992 in a great neighborhood on a huge lot with additional space in the finished basement for 315K, paid off all their bills, put around 400K in the bank. Now, their kids are in private schools, he is a religion teacher at a Catholic High School, and she is a stay at home mom. Their lives have improved dramatically.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Stan Wruble February 28, 2008 at 9:10 am

That’s a brilliant idea. In fact, my wife and I moved back to South Bend (my hometown) from Chicago 2years ago. We bought a beautiful 4BR house (with the help of the Molnar team) in a great neighborhood for about 60% of the cost of our 2BR condo in Chicago. The real estate and costs and cost of living, combined with the quality of life, made that a no-brainer for us.


Kathy Drewien February 28, 2008 at 9:26 am

I think you’re on to something, Joe. The BawldGuy has been urging San Diego investors to get out of town. Perhaps the new mantra will be “Go east, young man.”


Prof February 28, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Unfortunately, there are a million other places like SB to move to and those don’t have the cold winters. The quality of local universities/colleges is overrated with Ann Arbor being a much better choice over SB. SB isn’t an intellectual capital of anything really despite a bunch of people patting themselves on the back under a very thin gold foil roof.


Name March 4, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Everything that Prof says is true. Nevertheless the market you describe is huge. If you get even a percent of it, you’re gold.

For example, there are literally thousands to tens of thousands of consultants in a range of companies from IBM Global Services to Accenture who are free to live wherever they please and commute to their job site on Sunday night and return home on Thursday night. I personally know a half dozen such individuals who all stay in the Midwest and the South in small cities.


Jean March 30, 2008 at 3:46 pm

The difference between Ann Arbor and SB is great – you really can’t compare the two ….and real estate there is much higher than it is here.

Great coffeehouses and bookstores, though.


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