Village Viewpoint – July

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Happy summer and cheers to a wonderful and safe 4th of July holiday! Well, there is no rest for BAPA as we charge on through the summer bringing the community together with lots of fun filled events supporting local businesses. We hope you were able to enjoy some of our popular Family Fun Nights held throughout the month of June. Now on to the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic, Bikes and Brews on July 14. We have secured plenty of beer from local breweries and a variety of food trucks. Enjoy all the races — No lines, no waiting – I promise!

As you know, Beverly/Morgan Park families have enjoyed a stable integrated community for many decades. While BAPA has no reason to think that would change, responding to situations that may undermine the stability of our community is BAPA’s job. Over the past few weeks, BAPA has received several calls from neighborhood residents reporting real estate solicitation from multiple sources. BAPA’s long-held position, and that of most fair housing groups, is that any type of unsolicited contacts by real estate sales agents inviting owners to sell their homes can create alarm, given the history of unscrupulous real estate practices that caused the rapid racial change of neighborhoods on the south side of Chicago.

It has been BAPA’s experience that a solicitation from one realtor may not disturb a homeowner, but multiple solicitations, even if nothing is said that could be construed as panic peddling, can have the effect of panic peddling in a neighborhood that is racially diverse. Real estate solicitation is not illegal, but it is not encouraged. Unsolicited communications that offer to buy a home “as is,” ask “if you knew what your home was worth would you sell?” or encourage you to “call NOW” can undermine a homeowner’s faith in the stability of a neighborhood.

As neighbors report incidents of solicitation, BAPA is contacting the companies with a request that they not continue this kind of marketing. If you receive a real estate solicitation on postcard, phone call, email or business card in your door, please notify BAPA at 773-233-3100 or mholland@bapa.org, and provide the company name and contact info, a summary of the content and, if possible, a copy of the solicitation.

If you are planning to sell your home or purchase a home in the community, BAPA recommends you work with a local real estate company staffed by community residents who can offer expert information on local home values and market trends, and professional services that will benefit you as a buyer or seller. Thank you for attention to this important issue.

All the Best,

Margot