Outside Deer Creek Golf Course with a scenic mountain view in the back

Due Diligence when buying a golf course home

In Buyers, Golf Course Living, Homeowners by Doug Phelps

Content also published in Divot Magazine, link give at the end of the article

Did you know that home buyers who aren’t even avid golfers love living in golf course communities? 

That’s exactly what happened to Lloyd Gottman and his wife when they decided to buy a home at Deer Creek Golf Course back in 2001. The couple were empty nesters and looking to downsize their home. Located in the Meadow Ranch neighborhood of Litteton, Deer Creek Golf Course offered beautiful views, attentive staff and an extremely well maintenanced course. Funny enough the Gottman’s are not avid golfers but fell in love with the scenic course. “It was a great opportunity looking over the fairway,” Gottman said, referring to the gorgeous green view his backyard faced. The Gottman’s also looked forward to no yard work since the grounds were maintained by the course and HOA.

Why Golf Course Living Can Be Great For Everyone

Golf course living can be great for all walks of life including singles, empty-nesters and families alike. If maintained and managed well, a golf course home can bring higher than average property values. In fact, depending on the community, according to the National Recreation and Parks Association homes that have golf course views, or sit on a golf course, can have up to 15-30% higher property values compared to homes that do not. There are plenty of golf courses in Colorado to pick from with 79 golf course communities throughout Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Greeley.

The Gottman’s bought their golf course home in 2001, as a new build, and the rest of the community finished construction around 2002. Upon moving in, The Gottman’s also enjoyed meeting golfers who played the course, though the golfers never interfered with privacy. The only drawback the Gottman’s had about buying a golf course home? “Watch where your home is sitting on the course, make sure it’s not a direct hit from the driving range or tee box,” Lloyd cautioned.  

While the Gottman’s were happy with their home and community, Deer Creek Golf Course is rumored to have had ongoing financial problems due to various reasons, including family issues with the course owner that led to the ultimate closure. Google Maps lists the course as  “Temporarily Closed” but neighbors in the community don’t have high hopes that the course will open any time soon, if ever.  “It is now covered in weeds,” Lloyd says of the once beautiful course. “I wonder what it will be like 10 or 20 years from now.”

Neighbors are in talks of maintenancing the grounds themselves and possibly trying to buy the property, but to no avail. Part of the course had been sold, prior to the closure, to a developer who is actively building homes as part of another community separate from the Gottman’s. 

Time will tell what may happen, but this brings up how homeowners who are looking at golf course property can do their due diligence in order to ensure their investment.  Buyers and their agents need to be hyper-aware of news surrounding the golf course, zoning, maintenance and potential issues with the builder which are all reasons why golf courses close.

Due Diligence When Buying Golf Course Property

First off, it’s pertinent to navigate potential community perils through the resources of an experienced real estate professional. A great agent will know potential pitfalls of a neighborhood and will keep up with issues like rezoning, or monetary issues that the course itself or builder may be having. A knowledgable agent is priceless.

A homebuyer can also do their own research when looking at homes in planned communities. Doing research about financial projections and overall reputation of the course and developer could make a difference. 

Also, some golf courses close due to zoning issues so looking up community council minutes and doing some research is a great start. Due diligence would include looking for news of funding issues or mismanagement on behalf of the builder or the course, assuming these are multiple different organizations.  

In the case of mismanaged golf courses, which can kill property value and send a course into closure, homebuyers can again stay vigilant especially when on the property and touring. A few great indications of a well managed course are manicured greens, well watered plant life and grass as well as great online reviews and attentive staff. 

Things are not all bad at Deer Creek Golf Course though, despite the golf course closure and growing weeds, homes are still being bought and sold in the community. While homeowners may not fetch the premium price they would if the course was open, the Gottman’s and their neighbors who have held onto their property for the last 20+ years have no doubt gained considerable equity. Lloyd and his wife also have no intention of moving and he suspects many neighbors feel the same. Overall, the Denver real estate market has been hot for the past few years with a main factor being simple supply and demand: not enough homes for the market of buyers. So even with the golf course closure, this once again proves that real estate usually turns out to be a good investment, especially in the long run.

See the Divot Magazine article here

Do you want to search for homes on a golf course? Are you in the market to buy or sell your home?  Call and text me at (720) 323-4176 or email me at [email protected]

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