You are thinking about purchasing a property that is in a golf course community association, what a great idea. You know the obvious perks. The beauty of a meticulously manicured fairway and of course the golf, are some of the biggest motivations for such a decision. What you do not know, however, is what you need to find out.
There are three major aspects to consider when buying a home in a golf course community...
- The Course
- The Community and Association
- The Amenities
Considerations about the course and the community or association can have a potentially considerable impact on your home, while the amenities are more like icing on the cake.
How well does the course drain? What is the financial state of the golf course? Where is my home located on the course?
These are questions to which the answers can ultimately determine the value of your home. A golf course that has drainage issues may not be doing well financially. Speaking of financial considerations, a golf course that is dying or that eventually closes can have staggering consequences on the resale value of your home.
Even the location of your home can make a practical difference. Is there or has there been an issue with a home getting hit by golf balls because it's curious if the not the location on the course? Speaking of which, although homeowners insurance will generally cover such incidents, double-check with your agent.
The Community or Association
How old is the community? Is this a finished community? Is the course managed by the HOA? The answers to these questions will help you to understand exactly what it is you are buying.
Older golfing communities have a tendency for more narrow fairways and that is often accompanied by houses sitting much closer to the course. If the course is part of an ongoing community project, that means your current landscape and community may undergo some definitive changes.
HOA-managed courses will commonly use member dues for upkeep and maintaining such amenities
This is really a subtle and maybe more polite way of asking, "Is there free golf?"
Unfortunately, free golf for those who buy a home in a golf course community either public, private, or HOA managed don't automatically get such an incentive. While discounts and other offers may be extended, generally free golf isn't a standard part of the deal.
While going through the checklist, don't forget to make a special note to be mindful of those not-so-obvious real-world concerns.
People, Profanity, and Panhandlers
Not all golf course community associations are created equal. What this means for the potential owner is the need to have some idea about the culture of the community. Should drunken and profanity-laden shouts fill the air throughout the peak season? If you might be joining that crowd on your 4th of July weekend off, great - if not, that could be a headache, literally.
Is your backyard in a perfect location to be a landing pad for stray shots off of the 3rd tee box? Does that also mean you can expect golf ball panhandlers searching your yard at random times of the day for "their" ball?
These are some of the other aspects that may fly under the radar but have a real and practical impact on what you call your home and community. Communities that are run and well managed by HOA or private ownership can be everything you hoped for and more.