A private course can add up to 20% to the value of your home and the fact that many people who live on these courses don’t even play golf tells you all you need to know about the benefits and prestige of living there. For many, golf is a way of life. Whether you’re five or 85 years old, it’s one of the few sports that you can enjoy no matter how old you are. As is the nature of golf, the courses inarguably create some of the most beautiful scenery around the world in which to enjoy four hours in. From the swampland courses of Florida to the coastal island courses of Bermuda, golf can be played in some truly exotic locations. All of which would never have happened if King James IV of Scotland didn’t lift the ban on golf in the mid-15th century and allow everyone to play.
Fast-forward several centuries and in 1997, Tiger Woods would further change the golfing world when he became the youngest person ever to win the Masters. The demographic of people who took up the sport was gradually changing and this single moment popularised the sport beyond any prior event, and played a major part in the onset of the vast amounts of golf course properties that would be built over the following 20 years. Today, golfers and non-golfers alike have fallen in love with living on golf courses. Besides the previously-mentioned scenery, the clubhouses, facilities, as well as the prestige of living within these luxury developments are a major draw. As of this year, the U.S.A. boasts the largest number of golf courses, at about seven times more than Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom. We look at three locations with properties priced from under USD one million to more than USD 15 million, where you can play some of the best golf in the world, while living in the peak of luxury.
An increase in collaborations between big property development names and top golf designers have given rise to the number of golf courses with residential developments and resorts. Central Florida isn’t new to the concept of golf course communities being a draw for both local and foreign investors. In fact, they’ve been building them here for decades. The draw is that they’re just becoming more luxurious. According to Zillow, Central Florida can expect home value increases of 5.7% in 2017. This is the highest rate out of the top 100 metro areas in the United States. Thus, this year could be the perfect time to purchase a golfing home in the Sunshine State.
Speaking with Stacy Burgess of Global Resort Homes, she says “with Orlando being the number one vacation destination in the world, second homes and investment home sales are at an all-time high”. It seems that compared to cities in Asia, in Orlando she says, “single family homes are more popular that condominiums because people prefer to stay in a vacation home with their own swimming pool and the Home Owners Association fees can be much higher, which reduces your overall return on investment”.
One such development that is leading the field in residential and golf course community design is ChampionsGate, in Central Florida. It features a four-diamond resort by Omni, 36-holes of golf designed by the Shark, Greg Norman, a David Leadbetter golf school and gated residential homes. It also happens to be a very short drive from Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and many other attractions Orlando is well-known for.
Lennar Properties is a developer building stunning homes in the development. Marketed in Asia by Universal Trust Properties, the townhouses within the development, known as Champions Club at ChampionsGate, start at USD 193,990. They also include between two and three spacious bedrooms with two bathrooms. Residents have access to many amenities including a clubhouse with a restaurant, swimming pool with water slides and a lazy river, fitness centre, multiple sports courts and children areas to name a few. It’s also gated with security officers, so you have the added benefit of safety and security at home 24-hours a day.
These townhouses range in size from 1,558 sq. ft. to 2,025 sq. ft. Single family homes of 1,738 sq. ft. start at USD 307,990 and the Retreat at ChampionsGate goes up to USD 517,990 for the 3,812 sq. ft. model. You can even have a private pool on many of the homes. With the ability to have vacation homes in the development, it offers a great incentive for the nearly than 113 million tourists who visit Central Florida annually to choose ChampionsGate as their place to temporarily call home. Stacy adds, “owning on a golf course opens up the door to attract groups of golfers in the off season, which increases your occupancy rate”.
New Zealand can quite easily hold its own when it comes to golfing in the South Pacific. Blessed with beautiful natural scenery that offers an array of golf course designs, beginners all the way to professionals can enjoy many different challenging options. Christchurch, on New Zealand’s South Island, is one of its top golfing destinations. Although as of late the property market in Christchurch has been relatively flat, New Zealand as a whole has been performing rather well, topping the world house price growth charts last year, according to Knight Frank. And in comparison to neighbouring Australia, the actual cost of living in New Zealand tends to be lower, making it a great place to invest and live.
Located in the Clearwater Golf Club, a short drive from the international airport and only 11 km from the city centre, is 22 East Stream Lane. This golf course property offers an abundance of character and charm as it brings the local environment into the home. Magnificent views of the surrounding golf course and countryside are all in clear sight from the large windows and expansive outdoor space of the 2,215 sqm (approx. 23,842 sq. ft.) lot. The tastefully designed home is built out of solid brick, which creates a warmth to the building that you won’t find in other materials. Its architect, Darren O’Neil, incorporated a sense of harmony between each of the different living areas within the house. At 452 sqm (approx. 4,865 sq. ft.) this property is large by any standards and the approx. USD 2.32 million home has a layout that includes four bedrooms and three bathrooms. O’Neil made full use of the space available with amenities such as an office, spacious patios, a fully-appointed bar, large foyer with Oak wood flooring, a sheltered outdoor room for entertaining and a putting green.
With its contemporary décor furnishing and Riverstone features, the property has a modern feel while still being homey. The large open plan kitchen with its Butlers pantry is an extension of the expansiveness of the home and everything flows between indoor and outdoor living. The four bedrooms are spread evenly across both levels. The master suite upstairs enjoys a double en-suite, plus a separate sitting room, huge dressing room and a wrap-around balcony perfect for enjoying breakfast or a drink in the evening. Downstairs, the two double bedrooms have access to their own private deck with a water feature. With a three-car garage and direct golf cart access, this is the perfect contemporary home for the golfer in New Zealand.
A mere two hours from New York and seven hours from London, the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda offers some of the best golf course property anywhere in the world. In fact, there are more golf courses per capita here than anywhere else. The island’s 21 square miles are home to six golf courses. The beautiful clear waters as a backdrop and the Bermudan-style architecture make the island a destination like no other.
According to Coldwell Banker, sales on the island rounded out 2016 on par with the previous year at around 300 homes sold. Some political unrest might have caused investors to hold off on their purchases, but transactions are now back to normal. Interestingly, 24% of Coldwell Banker’s transactions were taking place at or above selling price with one third of property buyers having strong cash positions. This allowed them to move quickly on a property when they found it.
Notably, the licensing time for foreign purchasers has decreased substantially from six to nine months, and can now be completed in as little as six weeks. The number of applications was actually up last year as well. For investment purchasers, the island has an excellent rental market, especially in the West End due to sporting events like the America’s Cup and the Bermuda Golf Classic this year. The America’s Cup in particular, will bring in a lot of international visitors and substantial disposable income.
Conveniently located in Tucker’s Town, Roughhill at 6 Long Lane is perfect for the avid golfer with a big family or lots of friends. The stately home sits 90 ft. above sea level, overlooking the 2nd, 14th and 15th holes at the Mid Ocean Club. This home is huge, with a total of 15,216 sq. ft. compromising a total of 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms on 2.5 acres. There’s a main house, several pool cottages and staff accommodation. The main house features six bedrooms: four on the ground floor in the guest wing, which also has maid’s quarters and two more guest rooms up the Australian Cypress staircase.
You’ll also find the Master suite and office there as well. A beautiful cherry-wood kitchen was designed by Wilkinson in London, perfect for the resident with a personal chef. However, the most unique feature of the house and actually in any house, is the bar, as you head through a pair of magnificent French stained-glass doors. It was actually taken from the world-famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. As far as golfing estates go, 6 Long Lane is up there with the best. It offers breath-taking ocean views, a spa and swimming pool as well as the aforementioned games room, bar and office. Your golf cart will even have its own garage. For USD 15.75 million, this home is one-of-a-kind and the lucky new owner will definitely enjoy living here full time or visiting for golfing holidays.
Top 5 Tips for Buying a Golf Course Home
1. Choose a gated community
2. Have a clear view of the course
3. Purchase at a branded golf club
4. Don’t be in the direct line of golf balls
5. Ensure you have a secure space to park your golf cart