Golf Course &
Waterfront Living: Live, Play, Relax
With today’s planned lifestyle
communities, golf and boating enthusiasts have an opportunity to
purchase the home of their dreams just a chip shot away from the
green or stone’s throw from the marina. In addition to an ideal home
setting, golf and waterfront community residents enjoy an active and
diversified lifestyle experience complete with first-class golf
courses, marinas, beaches, spas, clubhouses, recreation areas, fine
dining and countless other amenities.
Out of the 10,000 master
planned communities across the United States, over 2,500 are built
around golf courses and pristine waterfront property. Making sense
of all the options can be mind boggling. If you are thinking about
relocating to one of these golf and waterfront communities, it is
imperative to be able to distinguish one community from the next and
more importantly, know what to look for before you buy.
In the past, golf and waterfront master planned communities catered
to distinct segments of the housing market, namely middle to upper
income empty nesters and retirees. Things have changed. Today, golf
course and waterfront developments are designed to accommodate
budgets of all levels and generally fall into one of two categories:
multi-generational and age restricted.
The construction of
multi-generational communities represents a recent trend in planned
community home building. The underlying idea is to attract a diverse
population of families including retirees and young professionals of
varying income levels and backgrounds in order to establish a robust
and vibrant community. After decades of building age restricted
communities, builders and developers have recognized that the
traditional elements of planned community living such as security,
on-site amenities and low maintenance housing appeal to home buyers
of all ages.
Most new communities are
multi-generational developments. Vistancia situated in the beautiful
Sonoran desert outside of Peoria, Arizona is a recently opened golf
community attracting individuals and families of all ages. Since
home sales began in March 2004, almost 500 families have moved into
this scenic development with 1,700 total acres of open space and a
900-acre mountain preserve.
Conversely, age restricted
planned communities are developed for the +55 home owner with
amenities and facilities for today’s discerning empty nester and
retiree. Typically, the age restriction requires one household
resident to be at least 55 in order to qualify for home ownership.
Over the last decade, an evolution has occurred with the age
restricted community model of yesteryear making way for contemporary
activity based developments complete with lavish amenities and
world-class recreation areas, not to mention the conventional
facilities required by the +55 demographic.
The undisputed leader in age
restricted master planned community development is Del Webb. Since
the 1960s, Del Webb has constructed numerous age restricted golf and
waterfront communities across the United States. Del Webb’s Sun City
developments are arguably the most recognizable line of age
restricted communities stretching from coast to coast with Sun City
Hilton Head in North Carolina and Sun City Lincoln Hill in
The most important criterion in selecting a traditional home is
location and the same is true when deciding on a golf and waterfront
community. The old adage “location, location, location” aside, one
has to consider whether the new property will serve as a primary
residence, second home getaway or retirement abode. The final
location decision is generally based on three primary factors: home
use, surrounding area and local weather.
For most of us working folk,
our primary residence is located within an hour or so of a major
metropolitan center. Don’t fret, there are hundreds of golf and
waterfront communities centrally located within driving distance
from most major metropolitan areas. If by chance you live near
Dallas, you have several options to choose from including
Stonebridge Ranch in north Dallas and Black Horse Ranch which is
only 25 minutes from downtown. Washington D.C. commuters are also in
luck with conveniently located golf and waterfront communities in
Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. Belmont Country Club, a Toll
Brothers property, is a mere 40 minutes from Washington D.C. in
Ashburn, Virginia. These examples represent only a fraction of the
actual number of suburban golf and waterfront developments.
The location decision is a bit
more complicated and not as clear cut when one considers purchasing
a second home retreat or retirement residence. In this situation,
other factors come in to play such as the activity and cultural
richness of the immediate area and of course, local weather. If you
are looking for a second home, would you like to be nestled in the
woods away from the hustle and bustle of the city, located in a more
suburban area or some in between?
Climate is also an integral
factor to take into consideration when purchasing a home
particularly if you are feeling abused by recent harsh winters. This
may clearly point to a direction that takes you out of your home
state or even to another part of the country. Conversely, the
summer’s never ending heat may drive you to consider the cooler
climates up north. Fortunately, there are 2,500 golf and waterfront
communities spread out across the United States from Minnesota to
Texas and California to Massachusetts.
What is clear in the case of
retirement homes is that good local health care and transportation
facilities are a must. For most retirees, living over 60 miles away
from the closest hospital or airport is just not an option. In the
end, it comes down to striking a balance between modern necessities
and the beauty of the great outdoors.
Once you have settled on a geographic location, the next area to
focus on is amenities. These can vary greatly from one golf and
waterfront development to the next. Typically, these expanded
‘goodies’ fall into two categories: conveniences and lifestyle
enhancements. Conveniences include such things as security services,
home maintenance, gardening services, concierge service, on-site
retail and office space, cable television and high-speed internet.
Lifestyle enhancements relate
to recreation activities and rest and relaxation befitting an
enhanced life of leisure. One can find a mix of facilities at
planned communities which support numerous activities like tennis,
hunting, boating, skiing, and hiking. To balance the rigors of
recreation, planned communities provide residents with rest and
relaxation amenities such as spas, clubhouses, wilderness preserves,
pools, beaches and fine dining.
With real estate opportunities
for every budget, isn’t it about time you looked into moving to a
golf and waterfront community that offers unbelievable vistas, year
round activities, low maintenance living and first-class amenities?
For additional information on
golf and waterfront vacation and retirement homes visit:
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