Alison Victoria, the host of HGTV’s Windy City Rehab, has the same concerns many homeowners have as the pandemic crisis continues. She has seven homes currently in various stages of construction and the clock is ticking on their loans in a luxury real estate market that’s currently dead and unlikely to quickly revive.
The former Kitchen Crashers host addressed her worries this morning on the Leading From Home podcast, hosted by business podcaster John Roa as a segment on his The John Roa Show. The segment focuses on executives and leaders from around the country on how they are coping in this time of quarantine.
In Victoria’s case, she’s pondering whether the major investments needed to rehab her properties will pay off in an uncertain future. Her HGTV show focuses on rehab and flipping of residential homes in her native Chicago, but it’s also her full-time job.
“What is the future of residential? And meaning, what’s our pricing gonna look like?” she told Roa. “You know, if I’ve got a house listed for $1.6 million right now. In two months, is it gonna still be $1.6? I don’t know.”
Victoria has seven homes currently in motion, part of her upcoming second season on HGTV that will bow this summer. Her days of enforced confinement at home are being spent “trying to communicate with my bankers and my investors and trying to keep things afloat financially,” she said. “Because all of my own money was used to fund these projects, and if those projects are just sitting, then where is my income? And that is what everybody is thinking right now, when’s my next paycheck? I’m no different.”
Right now, it’s a lot of sitting and waiting. “Meanwhile, I’m sitting here going, ‘I could be finishing these homes,’ But I can’t be in them doing what I would normally do. And so that’s scary to me because obviously I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back in those homes, and scary to me because of what’s happened with all of the financial institutions that I’m dealing with. You know, I’m no longer a priority.”