Living in South Bend – Real Estate Guide

Welcome to Realtor Kevin Foy’s guide to living in South Bend Indiana. This is a thriving city with many improvements in recent years to attract new businesses, a growing population, students who attend nearby universities, and one of the best sports cultures in Northern Indiana.

If you are wondering about what living in South Bend Indiana is like, today’s article should answer some of your important questions. Here’s what this South Bend Real Estate Guide covers:

If you are considering moving to South Bend, I’d love to help you learn more about the neighborhoods and subdivisions using my 35+ years of experience selling real estate in Northern Indiana (South Bend, Mishawaka, Elkhart, Goshen). Reach out via text or call 574-387-2501. Email to get sent a list of homes for sale.

Introduction to South Bend Indiana

The city of South Bend is located in northern Indiana, close to the Michigan border. It is also about 90 miles from the city of Chicago. South Bend derives its name from the St. Joseph River, whose southernmost bend is located near the city. The city is the fourth largest in Indiana. Its population is estimated to be just over 101,000. The general metropolitan area of South Bend is estimated to have a population of around 318,000.

The density of people is 946 square kilometers. South Bend is considered to be the economic and cultural hub of northern Indiana. The famous University of Notre Dame is located in an unincorporated area called Notre Dame close to the city.

The History of South Bend, IN

The history of South Bend revolved around St. Joseph River. The city gained its prominence because of this close access to the river. During the times of the native Americans, the city was a source of rich food and natural resources due to its proximity to the river.

European settlers settled in South Bend to establish fur trading. As America industrialized, the automobile company Studebaker Corporation, sewing machine company Singer, and farm equipment manufacturer Oliver Chilled Plow Company were among the many companies that established base in South Bend in the 19th and 20th centuries. The river access played an important role in the establishment of heavy industry in the city.

In 1842, another significant event for South Bend was the establishment of the University of Notre Dame. The university has since been a major factor in the city’s culture and economy.

The city continued to grow through the 20th century with the arrival of companies like Honeywell and Bendix Corporation. The 1950s was a difficult time for the economy of South Bend and the population declined post 1960 due to the decline of the manufacturing industry. Job losses were the primary factor in the population decline.

The major industries in South Bend today are healthcare, education, and tourism. The city’s mayor Pete Buttigieg has won plaudits for launching several economic initiatives within South Bend. The Studebaker plant has also been redeveloped as Ignition Park. Ignition Park is a technology center positioned towards attracting new talent and establishing a tech industry in the region.

Due to these revitalization efforts, the population of South Bend saw a slight population rise – a first in almost 50 years.

South Bend Transportation & Connectivity

South Bend is well-connected to major highways. The city is linked with state roads 2, 23, and 933. US Route 20 and 31 are also pass through or adjacent to South Bend. Interstate highways 80 and 90 are also in close proximity to South Bend. Cities like Chicago, Detriot, Toledo, Cleveland can all be reached via these state roads and highways.

South Bend is also connected to the Indiana toll road. The original routes of the Dixie Highway and the Lincoln Highway also pass through the city. Eddy Street, Chapin Avenue, Madison Street, and Marion Street together form an informal loop around the central city area.

Public transport is sparse in South Bend. The bus service known as TRANSPO offers services to stops located between South Bend and Mishawaka. The towns of Osceola and Roseland are also covered by TRANSPO buses.

Another bus service connects Notre Dame and South Bend to Chicago O’Hare and Chicago Midway airports.

The South Bend international airport is the aviation hub for the Michiana region. It connects South Bend to larger aviation hubs like Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Orlando.

In terms of rail connectivity, the South Shore Line connects the South Bend International Airport to Millennium Station in Chicago. Amtrak also provides services through its Lake Shore Limited train to the cities of Boston, New York, and Chicago. Amtrak’s Capitol Limited line connects South Bend to Chicago as well as Washington DC.

Looking for Homes for Sale?

Let Team Foy set up a custom search that matches your criteria you’re seeking in a home and our system will send you alerts when new homes come for sale. You’ll also receive an existing list of homes for sale you can look through and let us know ones you’d like to set up showings for seeing. Fill out the form detailed as possible!

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Employment & Jobs in South Bend

Healthcare is one of the biggest contributors to South Bend’s economy. In the year 2012, Memorial Health System merged Elkhart General Hospital to form Beacon Health System. Since then, Beacon Health has become the largest employer in the city.

Well-known businesses like Honeywell, Bosch, PEI Genesis, Tire Rack, Schurz Communications, and Martin’s Supermarkets all have their headquarters/offices in South Bend.

The top employers in South Bend are as follows:

Company Number of Employees
1 Beacon Health System 7088
2 University of Notre Dame 6086
3 South Bend Community School Corporation 3432
4 Indiana University South Bend 1401
5 St. Joseph County 1377
6 City of South Bend 1285
7 Four Winds Casino 1200
8 AM General 1200
9 Honeywell Aerospace 850
10 Press Ganey 688


Education & Universities in South Bend

South Bend has several institutions of learning and higher education within its vicinity. The most famous institution is the University of Notre Dame. Saint Mary’s College and Holy Cross College are also situated near the Notre Dame area.

Indiana University has a South Bend campus. Purdue has a Purdue Polytechnic Institute in South Bend, and there is also the Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. So, plenty of colleges are located in South Bend.

For K-12 education, the South Bend Community School Corporation operates various public schools in the city. There are a total of 18 primary education centers (K-4), 10 intermediate schools (grades 5 to 8), and six high schools (grades 9 to 12).

Indiana’s first charter school, the Veritas Academy is also located in South Bend. Two more charter schools, the Xavier School of Excellence and the Career Academy South Bend, are also operational in South Bend.

If anyone is looking for private schools, then South Bend has the Trinity School at Greenlawn and the Stanley Clark School.

There is a main public library served by the St. Joseph County Public Library along with satellite branches in Francis, Lasalle, and German.

South Bend Sports

Baseball fans will be interested in the South Bend Cubs, the city’s Class A Minor League Baseball team. The South Bed Cubs play at the Coveleski Stadium in downtown South Bend. The team, as the name may suggest, is affiliated with the Chicago Cubs.

The team’s fan store is located in a very unique building known as the Ballpark Synagogue. It is a 1901 synagogue building which also hosts events.

For those interested in College Football, there is no bigger team than the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The city’s sporting scene pretty much revolves around Notre Dame’s college football team. Football Saturdays is a big event in the city, with tailgate parties and game screenings happening everywhere.

Notre Dame’s basketball games are also quite popular among basketball fans. South Bend is also famous for being the location of one of only four artificial whitewater facilities in the United States. The East Race Waterway is an artificial whitewater facility located adjacent to Century Center.

Downtown South Bend Events

Downtown South Bend, a non-profit governed by the local community and city officials, has some interesting events scheduled throughout the year. Their biggest annual event is called Art Beat, which happens in the summer on the streets of downtown South Bend. The event showcases local visual, performing, and culinary artists.

Another event, known as First Fridays, happens all year round on the first Friday of each month. First Fridays features live music, local dining, local art, and retail offerings. Free shuttle service is provided by TRANSPO for this event.

There are other seasonal events like Downtown for the Holidays (Christmas-related), EggStravaganza (Easter-related), Paddy Party (St. Patrick’s Day Celebration), and Trick or Treating (Halloween-related). The city also hosts Oktoberfest and a Restaurant Week.

There is also a Mardi Gras-themed event, known as Fat Tuesday, which is celebrated in downtown South Bend. A summer-based event known as Fridays by the Fountain also happens every Friday throughout the summer. This event is based on live music and local dining offerings.

Music is a big part of the events-scene in South Bend. The South Bend International Festival happens every year. The World Pulse Festival, a Christian music based event, also happens annually. A local version of South by South West called Sounds by South Bend also happens every year in the city.

South Bend Recreation

South Bend is home to the Museum of Art, the History Museum, and the Studebaker National Museum. These museums feature the history and art of the northern Indiana region. The Studebaker Museum has models of old automobiles and wagons on display.

The Morris Performing Arts Center hosts the Broadway Theatre League and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. The South Bend Civic Theatre produces about a dozen plays every year. The Snite Museum of Arts showcases fine art from the region and from the University of Notre Dame.

South Bend is also home to Potawatomi Zoo, the second oldest zoo in Indiana. It has over 400 animals spread across 23 acres. The Rum Village Park in South Bend has a disc golf course, hiking and biking trails, and a nature center.

The East Race Waterway is used for boating and watersport activities. Rafting is a popular leisure activity with locals.

Best Restaurants South Bend IN

South Bend’s restaurants offer a variety of cuisines. American, Chinese, Italian, Indian, Latin, Spanish, and Japanese food are well-represented in South Bend.

The Carriage House is perhaps South Bend’s most famous restaurant. It is located in a historic church with beautiful gardens surrounding the church structure. The chef specially curates a multi-course menu here.

La Salle dining room is also a very well-known restaurant in South Bend. It is located in one of the city’s oldest structures. Being in downtown South Bend, La Salle is a great place to dine before experiencing the nightlife of the city. La Salle is a 22-time AAA Four Diamond Award winner.

Cafe Navarre is very well-known for its European cuisine. The walls of the cafe are adorned with interesting artworks to create an elegant ambiance.

Fiddler’s Hearth Public House is for those looking for the Fighting Irish experience. It is a proper Celtic public house with items like Fish and Chips and Shepherd’s Pie on its menu.

For those wanting to eat small dishes of Spanish Tapas, there is Tapastrie. There are plenty of tapas dishes on the menu, paellas, hotplates, and desserts. The wine selection is also pretty extensive.

Looking for Homes for Sale?

Let Team Foy set up a custom search that matches your criteria you’re seeking in a home and our system will send you alerts when new homes come for sale. You’ll also receive an existing list of homes for sale you can look through and let us know ones you’d like to set up showings for seeing. Fill out the form detailed as possible!

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Thanks for reading,

Kevin Foy & Nick Foy

Team Foy with RE/MAX Oak Crest Realty

Text or Call – 574-387-2501

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