Matter of time: Kilmarlic Golf Club and community ready for a market rebound


The 4th hole at Kilmarlic.  Photos courtesy of Kilmarlic Golf Club.


        Kilmarlic in Powells Point, NC, is the kind of community that has just about everything going for it except market timing; properties there went up for sale just a few years before the recession hit.  The golf course is impressive enough to have hosted two state open championships in a state that boasts one of the best rosters of courses in the nation (think Pinehurst to begin with), and the surrounding real estate, some of which bumps up against the beautiful Albemarle Sound, is fairly priced.  At under-five hours from Washington, D.C. and three from Richmond, retirees who make Kilmarlic their home are within easy drive of their children and friends.  Norfolk International Airport is less than 90 minutes.  The proximity to the Outer Banks beaches, just on the other side of the Wright Memorial Bridge, should be another big plus for families and retirees alike.

        “In 10 minutes,” says Kilmarlic Golf Club owner Bryan Sullivan, “I can have my feet in the Atlantic.”

        Home prices start in the mid $300s and rarely pass beyond $600,000.  A newly developed section of the community, Kilmarlic Estates, features a few high-end homes around $700,000, with outstanding views of golf course, water and a Ducks Unlimited conservation area beyond.

        Developer home sites in Kilmarlic Estates were recently pulled off the market, but when they come back on in a matter of weeks,

Construction costs on the Outer Banks today are about $140 to $160 per square foot, down from over $200 just a few years ago.

local realtors believe they will be bargain-priced, perhaps as low as $100,000. I walked through one of the homes in the Estates section, and it was accessorized to the nines, with wide plank wood floors and high-end cabinetry and appliances, and a pool with a nice view of the golf course and ponds.  It cost a reasonable $160 a square foot to build.  When the remaining 20 lots come back on the market, the cost to build a beautiful 3,000 square foot home will be a modest $550,000 or so, land included.

        With the winds whipping at up to 50 mph and temperatures in the high 30s, I was not about to test out semi-private Kilmarlic’s Tom Steele-designed layout.  It was so cold my camera stayed in the car too (see photos provided by Kilmarlic).  But I could tell from the holes along the half-mile drive into the community, and the finishing hole over water behind the clubhouse, Kilmarlic may not need such challenging conditions to test a golfer’s mettle.  I look forward to returning to play the course later this year.

        Because a combination swim, tennis and fitness club is separately owned (costs are $110 per month to join), Kilmarlic Golf Club members enjoy a pure golf experience for a $10,000 initiation fee and dues of just $225 a month.  Compare that with $125 green fees for vacationing golfers during the height of the season, and Kilmarlic membership is a reasonable alternative for those who average a couple of rounds a week.


The 17th hole at Kilmarlic.

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