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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What couples want (in a golf community)

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    I am currently working with four couples to identify the golf communities that will best suit their lifestyles in retirement.  Their similarities are more striking than their differences.
    They run the gamut from 40 somethings to 60 somethings and currently live in rural Ohio, Connecticut, and New Jersey.  Two are on the cusp of retirement, one has a couple more years of work and one has the resources to retire early.  One couple owns their own business and the others are corporate executives.  The clients in their 40s have small children but the rest are virtually done with child raising and can now focus a little more on themselves (something they are quite conscious of doing).  Two of the couples are targeting private golf clubs but the other two are content to share their membership with some outside players if the
I offer a free, no-obligation consultation about what golf communities might suit your own lifestyle.

best home for them is adjacent to a semi-private club.  Three couples are looking for homes in the near term whereas one couple wants to buy a lot now and build on it in a few years (when they retire from their jobs).  When all is said and done, the types of homes my couples will buy will range in cost from about $400,000 to a little over $1 million.
    All the couples have focused on the Carolinas, but not near the ocean.  One couple is set on Aiken, SC, and is fairly sure of the community they will buy in.  The three others are looking at a range of options but are focusing first on the Chapel Hill area, where Governors Club represents the high end but Chapel Ridge and The Preserve at Lake Jordan offer slightly lower-priced (mid-six-figure) options (Governors Club is private, with 27 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature golf; the others are open to the public).  The lure of Chapel Hill is a stable economy pegged to large universities as well as the cultural and entertainment activities associated with a University of North Carolina, Duke University and the other institutions in the area.  There is some interest in Charlotte and Wilmington as well.
    The ocean, which had always been a lure for generations of northerners moving south, now inspires post-Katrina wariness.  A few of my couples have mentioned the threat of hurricanes and the escalating cost of insurance associated with the storm potential.  The 40 something couple started out looking for a home on the coast but have correctly assessed that the cost of an ocean view from their home would be prohibitive. 
None of my couples are bemoaning the loss of value in their primary homes.

They are contemplating a lake view further inland.  One of my couples is facing something of the same consideration my wife and I have faced; she (my wife) wants to live near the ocean and I prefer the mountains.  I've decided (for now) to cave in and so we have a condo (and a home site) in Pawleys Island on the South Carolina coast (not the worst consequence of a compromise, I must admit).  The couple with whom I am working - I could call them the Solomons -- have decided to consider locations halfway between mountains (his preference) and beach (hers), thus Chapel Hill as a starting point.
    None of my couples are interested in Florida, at least at this point, and all seem content to wear sweaters in winter, if not ski jackets.  I am impressed that none of them are bemoaning the fact that their primary homes up north have dropped in value; they are not holding off on their plans to move south.  They know that if they wait, the prices on their primary homes may (accent on "may") improve in the next few years, but that the cost of the homes or lots they will purchase in the south are likely to increase at a faster rate.
    If you would like a free, no-obligation consultation about what golf communities might suit your own lifestyle, please contact me [click here or on the "Contact" button at the top of this page].

Read 4177 times Last modified on Tuesday, 18 March 2008 05:05
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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.


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