Cliffs gets $60M loan; Tiger does not get it

        Waiters, check please.  Scores of owners at The Cliffs Communities have taken a wait and see attitude before committing $100,000 or more to the Cliffs financial bailout program.  They pledged to contribute if The Cliffs raised the $60 million minimum that it needs to complete all its planned projects, including the first U.S. golf course design by

The $60 million loan from property owners means work on Tiger Woods' first U.S. golf course can go ahead.

Tiger Woods.  As of a few days ago, the combination of pledges and the $47.5 million collected cash surpassed the $60 million mark; therefore, it appears developer Jim Anthony will be able to finish all the amenities at Mountain Park (including the Gary Player golf course) and High Carolina (the Tiger Woods golf course).  As we reported earlier, the loan by the owners will return 7% in interest over seven years, with the added benefit to club members of a dues waiver, the equivalent of another 7% interest.  With news of the impending successful loan deal and Tiger Woods’ return to competitive golf, tours of The Cliffs Communities are reportedly up significantly.  A Dow Jones Industrial average above 11,000 doesn’t hurt either.

        Speaking of Tiger Woods. He played some impressive golf at Augusta National last weekend after his long layoff.  Those who have watched him over the years would not expect him to be happy with anything but winning, but his post-round interviews on Sunday showed him at his most self-absorbed and ungenerous, implying that his failure to execute lost the tournament rather than acknowledging that others had simply played better.  Under the duress of competitive golf, it may take time for Woods to live up to his promise of no tantrums or cursing and an overall friendlier demeanor; by those measures, he did not exactly distinguish himself this weekend (except for a few robotic smiles to the galleries).  It was after the tournament, though, where his true stripes still showed.

        Time for buyers to get off the sidelines? Like the song says, “The best things in life are free”…but only if you take advantage of them.   In our latest free Home On The Course newsletter, sent to subscribers yesterday, we tackle the issue of whether this is the right time to stop putting off a move to a new home in a warmer climate.  With such beacons of light as the Wall Street Journal declaring in a headline today that “Evidence Mounts of Strong Recovery” and the Dow Jones Industrials average settling above the magic threshold of 11,000, baby boomers are starting to reconsider their plans to move to a place where they can play year-round golf.  Golf community developers are reporting increased traffic across the southeast; owners at The Cliffs (see above) tell me that more than 100 tours are planned there in coming weeks.  Real estate prices operate exclusively on supply and demand; a large inventory remains but, with increasing demand, we may start to see prices increase by the end of the year.  So should you keep your powder dry or pull the trigger?  For some thoughts on that question, sign-up for our monthly newsletter (see box at top left of this page), and I will personally send you the April issue.  It’s free and, who knows, it could also save you money. (Note:  Not guaranteed; we have to say that.)

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