“With more and more people working from home, the market has exploded with buyers who can now work from anywhere,”

Sales have been brisk in the recently introduced Boat House neighborhood at Heritage Harbor Resort, where only seven low-maintenance, waterfront homes, each with a direct boat slip, remain for sale. 

Less than 90 minutes west of Chicago in Ottawa’s Starved Rock Country, Heritage Harbor overlooks the Illinois River and is centered around the award-winning 152-slip marina with 32-acres of harbor. Boaters and water sport enthusiasts appreciate the 16-mile stretch of waterway between the Marseilles Lock and Starved Rock Lock and access to the Great Loop.  The community also features the Red Dog Restaurant and Tiki Bar, Knot’s Landing sand beach and 3.2-mile Harbor Walk as well numerous neighborhood clubhouses and swimming pools. The Heritage Harbor activity director plans year-round events for residents and guests, including live music on weekends, crafts, cooking classes, tours, and the weekly, Saturday 5K walk and run.  

“With more and more people working from home, the market has exploded with buyers who can now work from anywhere,” said Pierre Alexander, Heritage Harbor Resort Marketing Manager. “Buyers who once thought they didn’t have the time to justify a vacation home investment can now work from their Heritage Harbor home while enjoying all that is offered daily in this recreationally-rich area.” 

According to the National Association of Realtors,  sales of homes intended as vacation getaway totaled 109,100 in the third quarter of 2020, a 44% increase from the same period the year prior.  Not only were more second homes sold July through September of last year, they sold faster with nearly 60% sold within one month – the year prior only 25% sold that quickly.   

Homes in the Boat House neighborhood range from 975 to 1,700 square feet in size with two or three bedrooms, 2 ½ bath, charming front and back porches and finished lower levels that include a recreation room, full bath, storage and covered deck.  Priced from $309,000, the homes boast a modern farmhouse architecture with a nautical flair. 

The Skipper, with main level owner’s suite, has been a popular choice with today’s buyers” Alexander said.  “In addition to the open-concept single-level lifestyle, buyers appreciate the option to finish the lower level, doubling the square footage of the home.  The low-maintenance, turnkey lifestyle allows homeowners to leave for a weekend or for months with peace-of-mind.” 

A charming front porch welcomes visitors to the Skipper and leads to the island kitchen open to the living and dining rooms. A spacious back porch extends entertaining possibilities in warmer months and overlooks the harbor. A powder room is located off the entry hall. Tucked away for optimal privacy, the owner’s suite includes a private bath.  

Buyers may choose to finish the 975 square-foot lower level to the Skipper. A large recreation room, optional wet bar or wine cellar, bedroom with full bath, storage area and outdoor covered deck complete the finished lower level. 

In addition to the Boat House neighborhood, Heritage Harbor offers several distinct neighborhoods, including villas, cottages, low-maintenance single-family homes and luxury, custom residences.  Homes are priced from the low-$300s to over $1 million dollars and offer a variety of 2021 move-in dates 

“Vacation home investors, who want to rent their home when they’re not using it, appreciate our streamlined rental program,” Alexander said. “We handle reservations, cleaning and maintenance and more to make the process seamless. Last year summer rentals were at 98% capacity and we’re already seeing bookings through August of this year.” 

The community is across from the 96-mile I & M Canal Biking trail, is just three miles to charming downtown Ottawa and is only 15 minutes from 2,630-acre Starved Rock State Park, known for its steep sandstone canyons and waterfallsHistoric Ottawa, site of the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas Debate, offers shops, restaurants, craft breweries and more.  Minutes from Heritage Harbor, visitors also enjoy the August Hill Winery and Illinois Sparkling Co. Tasting Room, Illinois River Winery, Utica Electric Bike Rental, LaSalle Canal Boat tours and the Grand Bear Falls Indoor Water Park. Golfers enjoy a host of nearby golf clubs such as Dayton Ridge Golf Club, Pine Hills Golf Club Bar and Restaurant and golf course.  

Heritage Harbor is located at 111 Harbor View Drive in Ottawa. Please call (815) 433-5000 or email tammyb@heritageharborottawa.com . Enjoy a virtual drive-through of the community by visiting  www.visitheritageharbor.com.