It is now surprisingly easy to buy real estate on a golf course, thanks to the end of a golf course-building boom dating back to 1990.In fact, people are resorting to desperate measures to sell their golf course property, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Nancy Keates.
She writes that the housing market downturn, coupled with America’s gradual disinterest in golf, has ruined the golf course real estate market.
Back when golfing with the boys was a more popular pastime (circa 1988), the National Golf Foundation pledged to build one golf course a day across America. As a result, 3,000 new golf courses were built in the U.S. from 1990 to 2003 — courses that no novice golfer could play (or pay dues for).
Now, more than 350 golf courses have closed since 2005. Since 2000, the number of golfers in the U.S. has decreased more than 10 per cent. The number of rounds U.S. golfers have played also fell 10 per cent — from 518 million in 2000 to 463 million in 2011. And residents at golf course communities around the nation want out.
The WSJ spoke to an Ohio couple that just bought a lot on South Carolina’s Colleton River Plantation, one of the nation’s most premiere golf communities.
The lot’s seller offered to pay the $15,000 club initiation fee and $17,000 worth of membership dues to the club. The couple bought the lot the same day, and their 3,000-square-foot dream home is now under construction.
Elsewhere, golf course residents trying to sell are drastically price-chopping their homes. Lots are selling for a mere $1, down from $500,000 just a few years before.
But hey, if you’re looking to live on a golf course, you have the real estate market on a string. There has never been a better time to move to your dream course.
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