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Would you buy in a golf course development?
Old 06-07-2019, 11:26 PM   #1
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Would you buy in a golf course development?

DH and I love going to the Palm Springs area. Someday we may consider a second home or even relocating there. Many of the nicer developments are built around golf courses. However with golf declining in popularity, we are wondering if this would be advisable. Weve heard of certain communities that outsourced their golf course ownership to a third party because they couldnt make it economically viable. Later the third party decided they couldnt make it work either, so either the course is sitting idle and deteriorating, or the course was sold to a developer who built condos on the land.

How big of a risk do you think this is? Obviously it depends on the finances of the HOA and many other variables but Im curious to hear whether this is something that would influence your purchase.
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:30 AM   #2
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I think the risk is significant, especially if the home includes "bundled golf" where by deed you are required to be a member of the private country club whether you golf or not. A friend of mine has such a property in a nice area... he and his wife both golf and it is a very nice life-style for them... but I fear that if golf continues to decline that eventually that at some point the bundled golf will be a liability on the value of their property rather than an asset.

Our Florida condo overlooks a golf course. Some friends of our had a similar situation and then the golf course closed so they overlook land that is bush-hogged occasionally... not as pretty as a golf course. Where my mom lived there were people who paid a premium for homes on the golf course and then the golf course closed so they now overlook bush-hogged land.

In an affluent development near us, the neighborhood formed a special revenus district and bought the golf course that their neighborhood surrounds because the developer/owner of the golf course was considering selling the land for 9 of the 27 holes for houses.
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:44 AM   #3
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I think the risk is significant, especially if the home includes "bundled golf" where by deed you are required to be a member of the private country club whether you golf or not. A friend of mine has such a property in a nice area... he and his wife both golf and it is a very nice life-style for them... but I fear that if golf continues to decline that eventually that at some point the bundled golf will be a liability on the value of their property rather than an asset.

Our Florida condo overlooks a golf course. Some friends of our had a similar situation and then the golf course closed so they overlook land that is bush-hogged occasionally... not as pretty as a golf course. Where my mom lived there were people who paid a premium for homes on the golf course and then the golf course closed so they now overlook bush-hogged land.

In an affluent development near us, the neighborhood formed a special revenus district and bought the golf course that their neighborhood surrounds because the developer/owner of the golf course was considering selling the land for 9 of the 27 holes for houses.
This.
I would keep my golf investment separate from my home investment.
Another issue that has become increasingly obvious to me is the risk that I may get sick, or injured in a way that prevents me from playing golf at some point. Much easier to just walk away from a membership in a club, and to have to divest myself of a home tied to golf course that may or may not be doing well when I have to leave it.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:00 AM   #4
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^^^ Yes, it is one thing to get injured and have your membership dues for a season go to waste... but a whole other thing to be locked into belonging to the country club as the result of a deed restriction.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:06 AM   #5
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We have lived next to a 9 hole public course for 21 years. There is this risk, but we have enjoyed having no houses behind us and watching the golfers from our deck. We do get golf balls in the yard and once in a while one hits the house.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:55 AM   #6
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We have been looking at several houses in the same golf course community outside of Phoenix. The golf membership is separate from the social club membership. Although the development is gated, the golf course remains public until such time that they get a certain number of members from within the development. So although gated, there really isn't much privacy/security. Anyone can get in - just tell the gate guard that you are coming to golf.

Given the decline in golf, I think that there is some risk in buying in a golf course community - even to those that just buy the social membership. When the club's finances start heading south, I would think that their first source of cash would be a dues increase to all members. Sale of the golf course to a 3rd party and options to liquidate the golf course would also not be favorable to the home owners IMO.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:52 AM   #7
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...So although gated, there really isn't much privacy/security. Anyone can get in - just tell the gate guard that you are coming to golf....
At a couple of the gated communities that we golf at, we need to show a driver's license at the gate/guardhouse in order to gain admittance and proceed to the golf course.... others are just as you wrote... you tell the guard that you are there to golf and they let you through.

I always wondered why they don't provide the gate with a tee sheet so someone coming in from outside would have to provide them with a name and time that would be verified by the tee sheet and a driver's license.
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:05 AM   #8
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:16 AM   #9
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The key is to live in a G&CC Community but NOT actually overlooking the course, like we do, membership is not mandatory. We have lakes front an rear, so no neighbors front and rear, other than the wildlife, no golf fairways or misdirected balls. All the Benefits of the G&CC without the membership. Nicely manicured grounds etc. Ours is a private course. All people are checked in at the gate, residents, golf members, visitors etc., no exceptions. Our bunch use that as a selling point. Golf Membership is optional and it is a private not public course. It is privately owned by Club Corp. Seems OK. although the clubhouse is small and up for an update this summer. We will see.

you can see their clubs here: www.clubcorp.com
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
At a couple of the gated communities that we golf at, we need to show a driver's license at the gate/guardhouse in order to gain admittance and proceed to the golf course.... others are just as you wrote... you tell the guard that you are there to golf and they let you through.

I always wondered why they don't provide the gate with a tee sheet so someone coming in from outside would have to provide them with a name and time that would be verified by the tee sheet and a driver's license.
If the course isn't busy they may have some who call for tee times same day. And normally you just give the name of one person, not all four, and they may be driving separately. I guess if you actually give the name of the person who made the tee time it'd be ok.

I suspect there's some profiling at those guardhouses. If they don't like your looks they may send a patrol car after you to see where you actually go, or at least ask for you license to write that info down along with your car and plate, in case there is a break in. And if you are going to break in to homes, do you really want to show your face to anyone, or would you pick a neighborhood with no guardhouse? So it's just a simple deterrent, not bullet proof but mostly effective.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:18 AM   #11
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I live on a golf course but not an elite club. A semi-private club. No deed tied to the club. Still some risk of the club going under at some point and the value of my property going down. But I figure I will probably stay until I can no longer take care of myself and it's well less than 10% of my net worth. So even if it declines in value it won't be a big hit in the whole scheme of things. I enjoy living here so it's worth the small risk.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:22 AM   #12
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We live in a golf course community, but membership is not tied to the house. The surrounding beauty is hard to beat. Its like living in a park. No houses behind us. Quiet with greenery year round. The clubhouse acts like a neighborhood gathering place. I am told only 10% of the neighbors actually play golf. The rest are there for the other amenities like the pool, restaurant, scenery, etc. Home sales around the course are actually increasing and the lots will be all gone probably within 2 years.

We are elevated and balls land occasionally in a rocky open space behind our patio. Our neighbor collects them as a hobby. Only one has hit the house as far as we know. Picture of our backyard.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:54 AM   #13
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You might end up in the middle of a protracted and heated political controversy.

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/lo...228085979.html

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I think it is a win for the county to get this monkey off your back, Nawojczyk said. I think it is a win for the town of Fuquay-Varina. But for the citizens of southern Wake County who need a park, we are not any closer to that goal than we were two years ago.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:53 AM   #14
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We recently bought on a golf course in a community filled with golf courses. We don’t golf and don’t really have an interest in golf, but we love the view we have. One of the adjacent courses is used as a high profile example of the mess it can create. The course went under, it was purchased by a developer to put condos up, he didn’t get approval and so now it sits vacant and full of weeds and bugs. The beautiful views are gone and a chain link fence is up.

I think if you’re depending on your home value for assets in retirement, I would be worried. We expect to be in our home for a long time. If the course went under and the land reverted to wild scrub, we’d still have a beautiful view. If it hits our home value significantly, well, we’ll either stay put or have less $ to use to buy another home.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:25 AM   #15
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We live in a golf course community, but membership is not tied to the house. The surrounding beauty is hard to beat. Its like living in a park. No houses behind us. Quiet with greenery year round. The clubhouse acts like a neighborhood gathering place. I am told only 10% of the neighbors actually play golf. The rest are there for the other amenities like the pool, restaurant, scenery, etc. Home sales around the course are actually increasing and the lots will be all gone probably within 2 years.

We are elevated and balls land occasionally in a rocky open space behind our patio. Our neighbor collects them as a hobby. Only one has hit the house as far as we know. Picture of our backyard.
Very nice.
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:14 AM   #16
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Here in South Carolina there are several golf course communities in peril. The course owners want to build subdivisions on the property and the home owners are in court fighting it. It's all about money and I think many golf courses are not doing too good. I would not consider buying into a golf course development. The future looks bleak for the ones around here.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:49 PM   #17
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Never.
The demographic headwinds say: trouble ahead.
Agree 100%. A number of private courses in nice housing sub divisions here in Chattanooga have been neglected and no good recourse for the members. The owner simply wants the land sold off for new homes. I think once you have bought in, you're pretty much stuck unless you can find a buyer.
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:38 PM   #18
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Here in South Carolina there are several golf course communities in peril. The course owners want to build subdivisions on the property and the home owners are in court fighting it. It's all about money and I think many golf courses are not doing too good. I would not consider buying into a golf course development. The future looks bleak for the ones around here.

I came real close to buying a lot on Callawassie Island (north of Hilton Head) about 20 years ago as my future retirement home. Beautiful area, seemed to have everything I was looking for in outdoor activities, good golf, water sports/fishing. Thankfully I decided to hold off, looked to be a real mess the last time I checked. They went from a voluntary golf membership to mandatory for new property owners and it's been downhill ever since. Hard to sell homes because of new rules, home prices have dropped drastically, stuck with a golf membership even if you can no longer golf.
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:03 PM   #19
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We bought a house in a golf course community and have no interest in golf. We did make sure to buy in an area that has no exposure to the golf course because I was concerned about golf balls coming in the windows and damage to siding and such. Our back yard backs up to a wooded area, creek, and a flood plain beyond that, which will never be built on. Not in our lifetimes anyway.

About six or seven years ago the golf course did close. I'm not aware that it affected home market values much if at all, since few bought into the community for the golf anyway. Right now a bank owns the golf course and we have no idea what if anything will happen with the land. If it gets built on that won't have much effect if any on us, other than perhaps a bit more traffic on nearby roads. Since we rarely go out during commuting hours anyway I don't think it would have any noticeable effect on us.
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:54 PM   #20
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Never.
The demographic headwinds say: trouble ahead.
I agree. Golf is dying...the young people aren't replacing the older folk that are dropping out. Course around here that used to have waiting lists and initiation fees are now advertising for members.
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