Baldwin Landing featured in South Bend Tribune, Our Neighborhoods

Last fall, Paul DeLano took a new marketing approach to Baldwin Landing at Baldwin Lake. He moved his family to a house on the nine-acre development with 18 lots near Union.

“We move out here in November of last year,” says Paul, of Signature Development. “We used to live on Christiana Lake. We decided we needed to get a family out there living in the development.”

“That turned out to be a positive for both our family and the development. We’re there when people come out.”

Lake Home For Sale less than 2 hours from chicagoOne-third of the development is sold, with two spec houses on the market, a buyer who moved in on Labor Day and another who will move in next month.

For the neighbors so far, except the DeLanos, it’s a second home for summers or weekends that brings them closer to Notre Dame than their Chicago houses and gets them out of the city.

“Most of the buyers are coming from Chicago,” Paul says, although one came from Elkhart. “Our other primary market is Granger-South Bend.”

“Out two most recent buyers have been Notre Dame alums,” a Chicago attorney and a couple whose son is a Notre Dame student.

Baldwin Landing is a 25-minute drive – just north of the Indiana Toll Road’s Exit 96 – from the Montessori Academy in Mishawaka where Paul and Claire DeLano’s children, 8-year-old Audrey and 5-year-old Matthew, go to school.

Baldwin Lake AerialPaul is developing a blog highlighting surrounding attractions and amenities, from a restaurant in Elkhart to shopping, eating and entertainment in Mishawaka and South Bend.

Buyers, bucking a general downturn in new-home construction, can’t resist the new-home, maintenance-free lakeside lifestyle in an intact community.

“It’s all set up around community,” Paul says. “The positive is you get the convenience of the community, the control in terms of the architecture and you get to know your neighbors. It’s definitely a community feeling. People talk to each other before they buy.”

“The way we structured the site layout is (that) there is a quite a bit of common area. There’s a creek that runs through the community from one lake to another.”

Common areas, totaling about three acres, include a sand volleyball court, fire pit near the lake, community beach and community garden.

“Everybody gets a beach locker down by the water,” Paul says, and owners can buy an additional “toy barn” garage and a second boat slip as desired. Services include lawn maintenance, snowplowing and concierge.

Prices range from $400,000 to $800,000 and up with a median between $580,000 and $600,000 for the house and lot, with construction cost between $130 and $140 per square foot for home that include granite countertops and composite.

Square One Builders of Elkhart is the exclusive builder and provides the excavation and landscaping as well as the house. Paul says Signature planned to build mostly spec houses, but buyers want more input.

“We’ve seen more of a demand where they want to pick out a plan ad make a couple of changes and pick out a lot,” he says, adding that eight sample floor plans are on the development’s Web site ready for buyers’ tweaks.

Construction of larger home on Baldwin Lake has accelerated since a sewer system was installed about three years ago. Baldwin Landing, on the south side of the 266-acre lake, is the only multi-lot development under way.

Signature Development markets the property on-line as AllLakeNoRake.com, GetNothingDone.com and WorkALotLess.com, different URLs to track the success of different media.

Gene Stowe
South Bend Tribune Correspondent

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