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Apr 11, 2016
Happiest Community in America


(TRAVELERS REST, SC) Don’t worry. Be happy. They certainly are at The Cliffs where the collection of seven private luxury mountain and lake communities was recently recognized by Real Estate Scorecard as the "Happiest Community in America." The award took into consideration rave reviews from property owners, who praised The Cliffs' quality of life and unique blend of family recreation, entertaining, well-being and life-enriching experiences. Most likely helping to keep a smile on their faces is the real estate roll they have been on. A total of 146 real estate transactions closed in 2015, representing a 20-percent increase over 2014 sales, and year-to-date sales in the first quarter of 2016 are up 16 percent over last year. The Cliffs continues to see an increase in land and home values across all seven communities, and sales leads with prospective buyers have increased 129 percent since 2014. To date, there are 1,532 completed homes and 111 homes under construction. The happiness doesn’t end there. The Cliffs was also honored in the February 2016 issue of GOLF Magazine as one of the "25 Best Golf Communities in North America."

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Apr 08, 2016
Cashing in at Augusta


(AUGUSTA, GA) Like everything else about the Masters, they have the rental housing market down to a science. While Augusta National has been busy over the years gobbling up (and tearing down) neighboring homes, the Masters Housing Bureau has been busy going about the business of coordinating the rental market for patrons. There are millions of dollars at stake during this week. The Masters Housing Bureau—among others—operates an online database to manage their listings. The Bureau, operated by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, collects seven percent on every contract. In exchange, they help homeowners advertise and negotiate rates. The returns for homeowners, especially those with multi-bedroom homes, can be lucrative, bringing in over $10,000 for the week. According to The Augusta Chronicle, independent rental company, Corporate Quarters, rents primarily to corporations and fetches up $25,000 for an eight- or 10-bedroom house. But here’s the surprising news…in recent years supply has exceeded demand. Might to pay to shop around if you're looking for a place to stay at your next visit to the Masters.

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Augusta House

Apr 06, 2016
Last House Standing


(AUGUSTA, GA) If you’re lucky enough (or spent enough money) to get a badge to this week’s Masters and find a parking space in the lot across from Gate 6-A, give a little wave to Herman and Elizabeth Tucker. That’s their house at the edge of the parking lot, sitting incongruously all by itself. And that parking lot you’re walking through? Augusta National spent over $40 million buying up all the Tucker’s neighbors’ houses and bulldozing them down so you could have a convenient place to park. But the world’s most powerful golf club couldn’t convince Herman and Elizabeth to sell their little three-bedroom home. Nope. Not even enticing seven-figure offers could pry their little piece of paradise away.  “Money ain't everything,” Herman told NJ.com. Don’t feel bad for the Tuckers though. They once owned another nearby home that they sold for nearly a million dollars to Augusta National. Makes it a bit easier to say “no.”

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Apr 04, 2016
Golf with Guns


(EDGEFIELD, SC) While the world flocks to Augusta, Ga., this week, just over the state border a new course is giving customers plenty of bang for their buck. As WRDW News reports, at this course that management calls “golf with guns,” dogwoods outnumber the azaleas, you rack shotguns instead of clubs, and instead of yelling “fore!” you yell “pull!” The Palmetto Shooting Complex, owned by the National Wild Turkey Federation, features two sporting clay courses navigable by golf carts. And much like their more-heralded neighbor, they have a section with a special nickname. “Just like at the Masters we call it our Amen Corner because if you can survive this terrain right here and the targets we have, you want to say a little prayer,” says Manager Rhett Simmons.

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Apr 01, 2016
Sun Belt Surge


(MCLEAN, VA) For golfers, the lure of the Sun Belt, with its promise of year-round play, is almost a no-brainer. Golf courses and private golf communities have always sought the sun-soaked regions of the U.S. in far greater numbers than the northern regions. While last decade’s recession put a bit of a freeze on the move south, new U.S. Census Bureau numbers indicate that Sun Belt cities, like Tampa, Dallas, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Atlanta, were among the country’s fastest growing last year. That growth coincides, not incidentally, with an improvement in the employment opportunities in those cities. Brookings Institution demographer William Frey, who, according to USA Today, closely follows the migration south, sees this as the beginning of a longer-term trend. On the other side of the coin, the same Census data shows growth slowed in the greater New York area, as well as Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and their suburbs.

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