The information below is particularly important to consider when purchasing properties in South Bend:
If you are interested in purchasing a vacant lot in South Bend, know that there will likely be a cost to get dormant sewer and water reconnected to the property.
In South Bend, the current average estimates for new construction can range from $150-200 per square foot. So, for example, if you are interested in building a 1400 square foot home, then you need to be able to sell or rent the new construction for at least $210,000. This does not include any of the associated costs with acquiring a property, getting sewer and water connected if it is a vacant property, or other costs.
If you have a specific purpose for the building in mind, make sure that property is zoned correctly for that purpose. Information on South Bend zoning can be found at https://southbendin.gov/department/community-investment/planning-community-resources/zoning/
If you purchase a property at the annual tax sale in September, there is a 12-month waiting period for the original owner to pay off the property taxes before you take ownership of the property. If the original owner does pay off the taxes, you will receive 10% added on to your original investment that the original owner also has to pay. Nevertheless, during the 12-month period, your capital is sunk and not available to be invested elsewhere.
- United Tax Sale Service will do all the legal and administrative requirements for a tax sale purchase for a fee. This is in addition to the $175 that it costs to legally file a tax certificate to tax possession of the property.
- If you purchase a property at the Commissioner Tax Sale in March, the property will only have a four-month redemption period but be aware that these often are the ones that did not sell at the September tax sale.
- At the Sheriff Foreclosure Sale, the properties move in 30-40 minutes and possession is immediate. The process is an auction (where the property is sold for what is owed on it or what the bank is willing to accept) but the qualities of the properties can vary widely. Be aware though that many of these properties can be put up for sale in exploitative ways through land contracts or by requiring little credit.
Think of the title to a property as anything and anyone who currently has a legal claim to the property. If the property was left as an inheritance to a family with multiple people, that can make it very hard to have a “clean” title because several people can have claim on it. You can use the MACOG GIS to determine who owns a property.
A title company can perform a search to make sure there are no liens, claims, or anything that you could be sued for with a property. If there isn’t anything, then that’s what makes the property “clean.” If the property has recently been sold, then it is very likely “clean.” If you purchase a title through a tax sale, then it will likely cost around another $400 to go through a title company or broker (like Meridian) to “clean” the title.
The most common environmental issues with a property in South Bend will be asbestos, lead, and old oil tanks. If the asbestos is limited, then it can be cleaned from a house fairly quickly. Lead is more challenging and costly but can also be fixed. Oil tanks are the most difficult and expensive. You will need to contact a local environmental consultant to help you to assess this.
We have just covered two possible ways that you can run into unexpected costs – through clearing the title and environmental issues. Another possible cost to look out for is the foundation of any existing building – check that it is sound and that there are no water issues.
- If the title, environmental, and foundation check out, then the next big costs will be HVAC, the roof, safety & security issues, and landscaping.
- We cannot repeat this enough: clean, clean, clean. First and foremost, make the outside look nice and appealing. People won’t even go inside if the outside does not look good. Then, for interior expenses like fixtures, install quality products that are simple and elegant. You will eliminate many potential buyers if you get too creative or style-heavy with interior design.
- Consider that smaller is often better; especially in lower-income areas. Think simple but good quality.
This toolkit contains a few proformas. A proforma is a document that allows you to estimate what the costs and income of the project will be. This is crucial for developing a property because a good proforma can help you to see if a project will be profitable and how much financing will be needed in order to complete the project. Again, the first rule comes into play here – do not fall in a love with a property because the proforma may show that the project will not work financially. If you can’t get the revenues, then you just should not do the project.
- Put together a personal financial statement. This will include any tax returns that you have for the past few years (personal and business) and a breakdown of all assets and liabilities. More information is included in the “Secure Financing” section.
- Credit scores are unfortunately part of this process, but they do not have to make or break your project. Consider participating in a credit repair course if this is a concern.
- When you have determined which banks are most likely to offer funding (again, see the “Secure Financing” section), start to build a relationship with one or two bankers. Many bankers want to help people get funding and improve the local community. It is the first loan that is hardest to secure. Once you have proven that you are professional and capable, future funding often just requires a phone call to that banker. So build relationships now! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and provide specifics of your project so that he can help direct you to several credible financial institutions.
Lawsuits happen at the intersection of the trades. This means that if you are bringing in a lot of different workers to have to do something, then there is an increased chance of something going wrong. And if something goes wrong, no one wants to take responsibility to fix it which will mean that you have to take responsibility to fix it. Simpler is better.
- A building that is the most valuable is generally one that will stand the test of time, both in terms of construction and style. Think of building design not as making something super hip or contemporary, but like designing the “little black dress” or blue blazer. Approach the style with an eye to the timeless.
- If you are designing a commercial space, providing shelter, shade, or seating is ideal. Also include large signage (16”+) which is lit and high ceilings on the ground floor (15’ +). Natural light is appealing as well.
227 West Jefferson Blvd.
South Bend, Indiana 46601
IN THE NEWS
October 22, 2021 The City of South Bend announces the Mayflower Road and Sample Street Traffic Improvements Project will get underway Tuesday, October 26. Work includes shifting and reconstructing the existing curb lines along the corners of the intersection to improve the turning movement for large vehicles, like semi-trucks. The project also includes new traffic […]
October 20, 2021 Starting Friday, October 22, Dubail Avenue from Michigan to Fellows streets will close to install underground infrastructure and to reconstruct curbs and sidewalks for the Dubail Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project. Detour routes for the Dubail Avenue closure will be Rush and Michigan streets via Indiana Avenue. The street is expected to reopen […]
October 13, 2021 The City of South Bend was announced as the 2021 winner of the Richard H. Driehaus Form-Based Code Award, an annual prize for achievement selected by the Form-Based Codes Institute for the writing and implementation of zoning codes. “The City zoning ordinance plays an important role in determining the future uses and […]
October 12, 2021 Today Mayor James Mueller signed the City of South Bend’s 2022 budget after its adoption by the South Bend Common Council last night. The 2022 budget is the culmination of months of public hearings and budget input sessions and incorporates the historic funding from the federal American Rescue Plan. “I am grateful […]
October 11, 2021 On Tuesday, October 12, Colfax Avenue from Michigan to Main streets will close for work on a water main valve. The detour route will be Washington Street via Main and Michigan streets. Pedestrian access will be maintained to all businesses in the impacted areas. The street is expected to reopen end of […]
October 7, 2021 The South Bend Fire Department has been awarded a Class 1 Public Protection Classification rating for the first time from ISO (Insurance Services Office), which assesses the municipal fire protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. The Class 1 rating represents superior property fire protection and is the highest of 10 […]
September 29, 2021 The City of South Bend invites residents to attend a series of neighborhood planning workshops for the Kennedy Park and Rum Village Neighborhoods starting at the beginning of October. “I encourage neighbors to get involved during this planning process,” said Mayor James Mueller. “Resident feedback is vital to the development of strong […]
September 28, 2021 Today Mayor James Mueller signed Ordinance No. 10812-21, which the South Bend Common Council approved in a 6-2 vote, appropriating the first $9.8 million of funding for American Rescue Plan projects. This funding will go toward the development of Pre-K and community centers in partnership with the United Way of St. Joseph […]
September 17, 2021 Beginning Tuesday, September 21, Olive Street from Lincoln Way West to Hartzer Street will be closed to install storm sewers for the Lincoln Way West and Olive Streetscape Project. Detour routes will be Hartzer and Meade streets via Bonds Avenue. The anticipated reopening date is end of day Thursday, September 23, weather […]
September 13, 2021 Starting today, September 13, Canadian National is closing its railroad crossing on Ironwood Drive between Hastings Street and Jefferson Boulevard to conduct paving work between the track gates. Detour routes will be 26th Street via Mishawaka Avenue or Jefferson Boulevard. The anticipated completion date is Saturday, September 25. ###
The City of South Bend’s trash and yard waste pickup service will be delayed by one day later than normal during the holiday week of September 6 through September 10. City offices will be closed Monday, September 6 in observance of Labor Day. The holiday week trash and yard waste schedule will be: – Monday, […]
August 2, 2021 Today, the City of South Bend announced that effective Jan. 1, 2022, the South Bend Police Department will take over homicide and all major crimes investigations within South Bend city limits from the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit and Special Victims Unit. “We value regional collaboration and the work provided by […]
August 20, 2021 The City of South Bend has reached an agreement with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) for an amended Clean Water Act consent decree. “This new agreement will result in significant savings for the ratepayers of South […]
August 19, 2021 Construction on the first phase of the Coal Line Trail is scheduled to begin Monday, August 23. The Coal Line Trail is a 12-foot-wide multipurpose trail being built over the abandoned Notre Dame & Western coal line (now Norfolk Southern). The first phase of a two-part project will begin at Lincoln Way […]
Aug. 12, 2021 The release of population data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that the City of South Bend population grew by 2,285 people over the last ten years, the largest increase in the city’s population since the 1960 Census, which tallied population growth throughout the 1950s. “This historic population increase makes clear that […]
July 29, 2021 Below are Mayor James Mueller’s remarks as prepared for the State of the City address: State of the City Good evening South Bend. It’s so wonderful to be back here in the Great Hall of the Century Center, able to gather once again and share the latest chapter in our story. When […]
July 28, 2021 The City of South Bend invites residents to attend a series of neighborhood planning workshops for the Near West Side and Northeast Neighborhoods starting in August. “I encourage neighbors to get involved during this planning process,” said Mayor James Mueller. “Resident feedback is vital to the development of strong neighborhood plans that […]
July 26, 2021 The City of South Bend’s Engagement and Economic Empowerment team announced opening of the third round of Love Your Block “Acts of Kindness” grants. These grants of up to $250 are available to residents or nonprofit organizations to develop new programs, help neighbors, and generally do good in the community. “Last year, […]
July 21, 2021 Mayor James Mueller has announced his appointment of Sandra Kennedy to serve as Corporation Counsel for the City of South Bend. “I’m thrilled to appoint Sandra to this position and look forward to her continued service to the residents of South Bend,” said Mayor James Mueller. “I also want to thank Chuck […]
The City of South Bend’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion is hosting its first Small Business Launch Pad event to celebrate the resilience of our community and small businesses during the economic challenges of the last year. “The Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s ongoing investment Black-, Women-, and minority-owned Businesses will have an impact that […]