My wife is putting on the pressure again that we sell our home and buy in a local golf course community. She knows I like to golf and even though she has never played, she said she just likes the homes and the neighborhood. I know that several months ago you spoke of pricing and value in our golf course communities, but I am worried about all of the economic problems golf courses in our valley (and nationwide, for that matter) have had in the past several years. Do you think I have a legitimate reason to worry?
I would say you “did” have a legitimate worry, in general, from sometime in 2008 to the start of 2012. However, in the past couple of years, the economic outlook for golf courses has greatly improved. Not all golf courses were in trouble during those years, but several locally and many nationwide did struggle, with some going into foreclosure, including three in our valley. Two of those have recovered and are growing and doing well and one is at least temporarily shut down.
According to Steven Ekovich, VP for Marcus & Millichap Inc.’s National Golf and Resort Properties Group, “after bottoming out in 2012, the golf course sales market looks to be recovering and stabilizing.” Ekovich goes on to say that the prices for golf courses nationwide climbed 57 percent in 2013. He also said that “bank financing is slowly returning, the average sales price is rebounding, there are fewer foreclosures and bank repossessions, and more courses are back to positive cash flow.”
Henry DeLozier, principal in the Global Golf Advisors consultancy, recently wrote an article entitled “Better to be smart than lucky,” where he states that “golf is experiencing dramatic change as the economy recovers and as people attracted to the game revise their list of wants and needs.”
He points out that women are making a huge percentage of the decisions on home purchases and women like the lifestyle that accompanies living in the golf course communities. DeLozier mentions fun, friendship, fresh air, wellness, inclusivity, safety and security as those lifestyle desires. These are all lifestyle qualities that are becoming more important to today’s modern family and as the economy strengthens, families are able to concentrate more on their wants now that their needs are taken care of.
So, in summary, as someone who lives in a golf course community, I would say that things are looking much stronger for the economy in general and golf course communities specifically. And, even when the golf courses in our local areas were in trouble, there was still the beauty, the fresh air, the open space and the sense of community that remained. I suggest you have your qualified Realtor do a little research for you on the community, golf club financials and the housing prices in the area of your choice, so you can feel comfortable with any decision you make. Plus this might be a great time to sell your existing home! Some places in the valley have low inventory. Good luck with your decision.
Joan Harned is an owner/broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at Joan@TeamBlackBear.com, 970-337-7777 or www.SkiAndTeeHomes.com.