With all the concern and speculation about how the real estate market is and how it is going to fluctuate today, tomorrow and in the next few years, the focus hasn’t been on second homes at all. Like the market overall, the second home market has changed and, of course, includes challenges. But a vacation home market still exists. According to a survey of Chicago Agent readers, 43 percent of agents’ clients are looking for a second home – that’s a higher number than one might expect, given clients looking for vacation homes are a smaller market.
Bob Satawake of Keller Williams explains in our cover story that the buyers for second homes are now almost strictly luxury buyers. “They are very mobile people,” he says. “They don’t have a vacation home at a resort that they go to once a year. The age of the timeshare has long since passed in the luxury market. Most of my clients have three or more homes.”
Buyers looking for a second home vary in terms of what they want, from something just a scenic drive away near a lake, like Lake Geneva, Wisc., or something further away to escape to during our nine-month long Midwest winters, like Phoenix, Ariz., or somewhere in Florida. And some buyers want to be even further away – in our cover story, read about two agents who are marketing vacation properties in Hawaii and Turks and Caicos to local buyers. I know I wouldn’t mind jetting off to either of those places for some sun and sand when we’ve got knee-deep snowdrifts here!
Any agent who wants to venture into the second home market needs to realize they can’t without the extra work – which comes in the form of researching the hot spots for second homes. Unsure of where those places are? Maria Davies, president of the Chicago Council of FIABCI USA, tells us where buyers in Chicagoland are looking to for vacation properties more and more. We also have a list of the top 23 cities international buyers look in for a vacation property – so start researching! You’ll have a leg up on the competition in the second homes market.
Enjoy the issue!