Glenwood Springs is kind of a big deal. It was a favorite spot of the Potawatomi Indians more than likely because of the springs that the area is named after, springs that were running 50,000 gallons of fresh water into the lake each day. In the early 1830’s, John Kinzie and friends first viewed Geneva Lake (then Big Foot Lake) from the hills that are now Glenwood Springs. Kinzie found the lake and got a street named after him, while Potawatomi and pals only got a one way ticket to Kansas. I feel terrible for those Indians, but that’s another post for another day.
Glenwood Springs is having a very strange year, no matter how you look at it. I’ve sold real estate full time in Lake Geneva for 13 years, and up until two years ago, Glenwood had very little inventory. I mean very, very little inventory. It wasn’t uncommon for there to be one or two offerings a year in the association, and some years there wouldn’t be anything available at all. Today, there are eight properties available in Glenwood, not including one condominium unit at the Fontana Club. As a side note, the Fontana Club is located on the lakefront in Glenwood Springs, and its mere presence is a anomaly for the lakefront. This is the only condominium building of this style located in a solely residential neighborhood, and the only reason it was ever permitted to be built was because it was replacing a dilapidated old hotel. Back to Glenwood. With eight properties available today, the inventory is indeed at a record high, and prices have suffered substantially as a result of that increased inventory.
Year to date, there have been three sales in Glenwood, priced at $425k, $605k, and $1.21MM respectively. A great example of the pricing fatigue that is plaguing Glenwood is the home I sold on Elm Street this summer. Originally priced at $895k, I finally sold the home for $605k. The other lesser priced sale at $425k was a great value, and I think that would have been a $625k home just two years ago. Values have fallen as much as 30%, and the steady flow of price reductions on most of the active listings is proving that there may be a little further to go.
It’s interesting to note that the three sales in the association this year actually represent a volume rebound from the average of the peak years. 2005 had only two sales YTD, 2007 just one sale. 2006 saw three sales over the same time period, but of those three, two were lakefront and one was new construction with a lake view. The volume this year is deceiving, as normally a volume increase is a good thing for the health of a particular association. In the case of Glenwood Springs, the volume increase isn’t such a good thing, as it really only points to such a significant increase in inventory numbers.
Regardless of the difficult year, Glenwood Springs remains a wonderful association for lake loving vacationers. The narrow, undulating streets, and the predominantly white cottages that line them are the stuff of summer home dreams. A large lakefront park runs the length of the association, with swim piers and boating piers both available. Every owner is Glenwood has access to a buoy, though the Glenwood board has final say on that availability. The Fontana location is just about perfect, with Gordy’s and Chuck’s both just a short 1/2 mile walk from just about any location within Glenwood. With winter coming and inventory numbers still high, November and December of this year might just to the perfect time to buy a vacation home in this classic lake access association. If it was good enough for Cheif Potawatomi, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s good enough for you too.