February 15, 2021 Alicia Hutzler

Chicagoland vacation homes are skyrocketing right now

Vacation homes are very popular right now in Chicago!

Everyone wants to buy or build a vacation home right now.

The pandemic has altered a lot of things in our everyday life that we once took for granted. The way we live, work, socialize, and travel has all been uprooted. As we settle into defining this new chapter in how we live our lives, there’s one other area that has been permanently shifted: The requirements for buyers’ when looking to design or buy a vacation home.

Going second-home shopping or even looking for land to develop has been catapulted up the priority list for those interested in the prospect of making their dream home happen now. Having your own personal change of scenery in a time where uncertainty in global travel will remain persistent lends itself to the question – is now the time to make the vacation home possible?

The desire and freedom to work from anywhere is finally here

“As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves from crisis to chronic, the appeal of a remote, off-the-grid vacation place for getting away from it all has been replaced by homebuyers’ determination to transplant work and school to an airier locale — complete with broadband access.” – Chicago Tribune

Working remotely is officially here. With all lingering stigma around this work-from-home model now put to rest and businesses twisting their operating model to accommodate this new blend of working and living, it’s created a shift in how many people view the potential of a vacation home. The pandemic has shown us that we don’t need a strict distinction to separate our work and personal lives – because now they are forever intertwined.

So why not live and work in a place that accommodates the best of both?

Travel-starved, second-home buyers are driving the vacation home market

With a significant decrease in entertainment spending and big travel that we were accustomed to, paired with a resilient stock market, many in the market for a second home have carved out enough that making a vacation property a reality can happen sooner than later. According to a recent report, the increase in pending sales in vacation towns is outpacing an already red-hot housing market across the country and outperforming nationwide sales.

Home shoppers are particularly motivated to shop or look to build a home in a driving-distance market that provides an escape element. With many families embracing this newfound freedom to work from home, and their kids going to school from home, it’s triggered a need for a change of scenery that caters to every family member.

As long as there is reliable internet access, strong cellphone reception, plenty of connection to nature, and easily accessed medical services, these hot spots are being gobbled up for the vacation and travel-starved.

Building your vacation home outside of Chicago can happen now

Popular drive-to weekend destinations within a 300-mile radius of Chicago are a hot commodity in the vacation home market, with many looking for homes near the water instead of right on it. Waterfront acreage can be hard to come by, but it’s not a be-all-end-all for vacation properties, especially with all the upkeep that comes with boating and water sports.

Areas such as Chicago’s North Shore, Beverly Shores, New Buffalo, Michigan, and Williams Bay, Wisconsin, all offer the shoreline’s proximity and charm with the wanderlust feeling of an escape. They are popular markets that won’t need as long a time to recover economically as many other hot-spot locations. People can drive from Indiana, Detroit, and Ohio to get there within a day. They are safe and convenient for the whole family to meet for a vacation, instead of doing the traditional grand week away somewhere abroad.

There has never been a better time to design a vacation home. Find out how easy it is to start the process when you have the backing of a full-service architecture firm behind you. With over 20 years of designing vacation homes – Widler Architecture will bring your vision to life!