Realtors are preparing for what they hope will be a pretty active season of buying and selling.
They do a good chunk of their work during spring, and on Wednesday they gathered to talk about ways to encourage homebuyers to choose St. Joseph County.
“Home sales are up year over year about ten percent in South Bend,” said Scott Ford, executive director of community investment for the City of South Bend.
Ford, along with Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood, and the head of the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Rea, met with real estate agents during a forum organized by local Realtors.
“We’re still coming out of the recession and homebuilding is coming back, but it’s coming back slow,” said Myron Larimer, CEO of the Greater South Bend-Mishawaka Association of Realtors.
Most agents agree that they'd like to see more development like shops, restaurants, storefronts, and commercial space. All of that helps buoy the housing market.
But there is more homebuilding activity in this region now than there's been in quite a while. Look no further than the triangle development near Notre Dame.
South Bend hasn't seen that level of activity in years.
Another realtor expressed disappointment that the gateways to South Bend, like the roads near the airport, don't exactly make a great impression on newcomers.
The city says it's working on it -- trying to find out how they might re-zone parts of town to encourage visitors to at least think about calling St. Joseph County, home.