The new Cape Fear National Golf Club is part of the $179 three-day discovery tour courtesy of Brunswick Forest, near Wilmington, NC.
Photo courtesy Cape Fear National.
Golf communities know that if they can get a couple to stay on their property for a few days, try out the golf course, maybe have a nice meal in the clubhouse and partake of the area’s cultural and entertainment activities, they have a fair chance of making a sale. Back when the market was good, some communities told me nearly 20% of those who visited wound up buying property. Today, the number is closer to 5%, but if you are selling dirt for, say, $150,000, a hit rate of 1 in 20 still is not bad if the total acquisition cost is just a few thousand dollars.
Communities use the lure of a cheap vacation to generate traffic to their properties. For a couple hundred dollars or so, they offer “discovery tours” that typically include a couple of days of lodging, golf
Further up the Carolina coast, Ocean Ridge Plantation, a mature and golf-loaded community, is running a $199 3 day, 2 night discovery special to celebrate the opening of new properties. It includes lodging in a golf cottage on site, a round of golf at one of the club’s six courses, and lunch in the clubhouse. Ocean Ridge is substantially built out, and its publicly accessible “Cats” golf courses (all named after jungle felines) are popular, especially Tiger’s Eye. It is just a few miles from the ocean and about 20 minutes from Myrtle Beach.
The lowest priced discovery tour I have seen anywhere is at
These are just a few of the many discovery tours available throughout the southeast, and even those communities that don’t promote them can make arrangements for a stay. (Note: If you are interested in arranging a couple of days at a particular community, contact me and I will make the arrangements for you.)
A few discovery tours packed into a week can make for a nice little vacation, but more importantly, they can bring the nuances of each community into sharper focus when compared with the others. If you do visit, make sure that you:
√ play at least one golf course per community;
√ dine in the clubhouses (lunch, at least) to test the food and the atmosphere;
√ define the type of home and property you are considering, and make sure the developer’s agent shows you a sample of those;
√ resist being smitten by amenities you won’t use, since you will wind up subsidizing them (in your dues payments);
√ and make sure the developer’s agent furnishes you with an accounting of all costs of living in the community, including taxes, homeowner association dues and assessments (insurance and cable TV are typically included), and club dues.
One other suggestion: During your visit, make a call with your cell phone; some properties are on the fringes of cell phone service areas.
So what’s the catch, you might ask? Well, married couples must visit together and you do have to
And you might just discover the community of your dreams.