It is a buyer’s market for consumers interested in buying property in a golf community, whether a hotel resort with residences or a residential-only development. But before buyers decide to live in such a community, they should consider several factors in order to make an informed decision about buying a golf course home.

Published by GolfShire Homes #LivingLifeToATee
“In good golf communities, many of the employees have been around for decades, and you should definitely like them, because they’re the ones who are going to be helping you."


It's all about the location | GolfShire Homes

1. It's all about the location

First and foremost, even before looking at prospective properties, consider the destinations. “You should like the idea of living where you’re looking,” said Patrick Melton, a co-founder and managing partner of South Street Partners, a private equity real estate investment firm based in Charlotte, N.C., and Charleston, S.C. The firm owns Kiawah Island Club, a golf community near Charleston with residences and two golf courses.

If you’ve spent time in and enjoy Miami or Spain’s Costa del Sol region, both of which have an abundance of golf communities, for example, seek out homes in these areas. On the flip side, if you’re enamored of countryside golf communities but don’t particularly like being in remote settings, look for a site that’s in a suburb and close to a city.

Many consumers fall in love with a golf community and buy a home there, Mr. Melton said, only to realize afterward that they’re not thrilled with the area.

Also, consider whether being near quality medical care, an international airport, noteworthy restaurants and an arts and culture scene is a priority.

“Your home could tick all the boxes in terms of what you’re looking for, but it may be an hour’s drive to a major grocery store or hospital, which could be a hassle,” Mr. Melton said.

And don’t forget about the weather. Some destinations are too cold to play golf or spend time outdoors in winter or may have a rainy or hurricane season, while others are almost too hot in summer, said Liz Rowlinson, editor of A Place in the Sun magazine, a division of the British-based real-estate consulting brand of the same name.

“If you want to play golf year-round and want a home that’s appealing to be in year-round, you should look for a property located in a region with a stable climate, save for maybe a few months,” she said.

But location also means the exact position of your home, Ms. Rowlinson said.

“Living right next to a green or fairway sounds idyllic but early morning mowers can be noisy, sprinklers come on during the night, and fast-moving golf balls landing in your pool is tiresome,” she said.

The bottom line is that if you’re sensitive to noise, the crack of tee shot drives is far louder than the murmur of greenside putts.

Similarly, you may like views across fairways, but will you be happy with golfers staring into your home as they pass by? A strategically placed line of bushes can provide privacy.

If you’re an avid golfer, the number of other good courses nearby should figure in, too; playing at your own club week after week may get dull.

“Ideally, you’d want at least a few public courses less than an hour’s drive from you, so you have the option for some variety when you play,” Ms. Rowlinson said.



Find an experienced broker | GolfShire Homes

2. Find an experienced broker

Buyers interested in a golf course home should work with brokers who are well informed about the areas they’re looking in, said Blake Plumley, the chief executive of Capital Pursuits, a development consulting firm specializing in resort residential communities. When interviewing potential brokers, ask them how many properties they have sold in the communities. Ideally, it should be several.

Also, inquire about three positive aspects and three drawbacks of living in those communities. “Your broker should be able to easily answer this,” Mr. Plumley said.

The broker should personally know the golf club’s membership director, the general manager, the head golf pro and a few other key figures in the communities. “You want a broker who can directly introduce you to these people,” Mr. Plumley said.



Plan to hang out for a while | GolfShire Homes

3. Plan to hang out for a while

It’s vital to spend a few days actually living at a community you are interested in, Mr. Plumley said.

“You want to make sure that you’re comfortable and like being surrounded by the people who will be your neighbors,” he said.

Most communities offer discounted stays for serious buyers, who should take up the offer and play the golf course, use the pool and dine in the restaurants.

While you’re there, be sure to interact with the staff as much as possible, Mr. Melton said.

“In good golf communities, many of the employees have been around for decades, and you should definitely like them, because they’re the ones who are going to be helping you,” he said.

See more considerations for buying a home in a golf course community.



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