The second-home market has been a big part of the city’s economic boom, but there is still a lot of uncertainty.
The word spell has been used in both the public and private sectors for some time, but for the first time, the two have crossed paths.
“There is a new level of awareness and excitement,” says Debra Schindler, owner of Second Home Store.
“This is an important time to have these conversations because this is going to impact the economy in the next several years.”
A new wave of second-sale properties are expected to hit the market this year.
The first wave came in the early 1990s and saw some of the biggest developments in the city.
“It was a big market, but a lot was going on behind the scenes,” says Schindlers husband, Mike.
“I had been around this business for 20 years and it had not been this vibrant.”
The current wave is expected to be even bigger than the last one, with thousands of homes being snapped up in the coming weeks.
There are still a couple of big hurdles ahead of the property boom.
Schinders husband is not yet confident about how the second-market is going.
“If it is going well, we are hoping to be able to continue to see more properties pop up, but it is definitely going to be a little slower than normal,” she says.
In a town that prides itself on having a vibrant community, Schinds husband has concerns about the community support for this new wave.
“We do need to be careful that we do not alienate some of our longtime residents, and that we also maintain a level of support,” she adds.
There have also been reports of businesses closing due to the flood of second homes.
But with more than half of the homes in the second home market already occupied, there is little doubt that there will be a positive impact.
“Our community has really been transformed over the past decade,” says Sarah Varela, vice-president of the Chicago Neighborhood Association.
“The fact that this is happening, it has really touched the community.
It has really changed the way we think about the neighborhood.”
Schinder is confident the market will turn out as well.
“Every second home is going into the market and they are selling them for more than double the asking price,” she laughs.
“People are going to look at their old home and say, ‘This is the house I was planning on buying but I just never did.'”
For more information: First Home Store is located at 1030 W. Madison St. in Urbana, Illinois.
Second Home Stores is located in the same building as Second Home, and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The store has three locations: 1) Second Home (at 1030 E. Madison Street), 2) Second Life (at 7600 N. Broadway), and 3) Second Hand (at 1510 W. Broadway).
For more news on second homes, visit the Chicago Tribune.