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Just like the game of golf itself, there is more involved in the purchase of real estate in golf communities than meets the eye.
For those who have dreamed about owning a piece of land where your favorite pastime is just out your front or back door, consider that those golf balls will also be in your front or back yard.
And you'll have to clean them up as you dodge more flying golf balls.
While this may seem like an extreme case, there is a list of things potential buyers should consider before signing on the dotted line for their piece of putting heaven.
If you're searching for a year-round residence...
Sure, the Arizona heat feels nice in the dead of winter if you're from Michigan.
But that Arizona heat will be almost unbearable in the summer.
If you have your heart set on a golf course with a view of the Grand Canyon, real estate agents suggest employing a snowbird approach.
Use the Arizona home as your winter home and keep another home, preferably somewhere cooler, for the summer months.
Locales that are nice year-round include Florida, South Carolina, and California.
What real estate agents look at
  • Golf carts: the little things are cute, harmless and seem like a good way to get around.
    But if a course uses gas golf carts, you will be hearing the hum of the golf carts' motors all day long.
    If a course is cart path only year-round, you will have the carts close to your home year-round.
  • Homeowners' Association: Most condos and golf communities are part of an HA.
    These HAs can prevent you from putting up netting to stop the golf balls from flying into your yard.
    Check out how strict the HA rules are before signing on.
  • How much does it cost to play a round of golf? There should be a logical ratio between the cost of your home and the cost of a round of golf.
    If it is a daily fee course and a round of golf goes for $25 in the winter, and your house costs $200,000, the cost of the house is probably inflated.
    If the course is private, check out the initiation and monthly fees.
  • Your yard: Does your dream golf home involve the course as an extension of your backyard? Developers have tapped into this, and have eliminated the backyards in some golf communities.
    This means balls will have a shorter distance to travel before smacking into your windows or house walls.
    You may also be out of luck if you want to put in a pool to cool yourself off in during the summer.
  • Location: Property values along a course usually vary with location.
    Homes located on the tee box or the greens typically fetch the highest price, and those along the fairways are lower priced.
    However, you should take this a step further.
    Your house would get pelted with balls all day long if you are on the right side of a par 4, 180 yards down.
    It would be more preferable to be on the left side of a par 3 or the left side of a par 4, 20 yards out of most golfers' driving ranges.
  • Decrease in property values: When golf communities become overbuilt, they lose value because the interest is not as high in living there.
    Look at what the development plans are for the community and the area.
    This is where it may be advantageous to have strong HA rules that prohibit the number of homes going over a certain amount.
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