Oct 23, 2015
Caveat Emptor

(ORLANDO, FL) File this under a disturbing trend. According to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, redeveloping golf courses into housing is gaining traction in Central Florida, where “developers are ramping up plans to carve up fairways, greens and clubhouses so new houses and apartments can be built where golf carts once roamed.” There are two factors at work here: big demand for housing in Central Florida and hundreds of course closings in the state. So, the push by developers to turn dying golf courses into houses, apartments, and townhomes makes sense. But it’s two quotes in the article by a local planning director that give pause. The first: "If you were buying a house in 2015 on a golf course, buyer beware." The second refers to the trend of developing courses that were built primarily to help sell houses. "The residential ones were just a marketing play anyway." Buyer beware, indeed.

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Oct 21, 2015
Britney Spears' Golf Course

(THOUSAND OAKS, CA) This could be the first and last time we get to write about Britney Spears as she relates to golf real estate. But her colossal (13,264-sq. ft.) new home in Thousand Oaks, full of extravagance, comes with an amenity we didn’t expect: a three-hole golf course complete with sand traps. That gives her props in our book. As for the rest of the 21-acre estate, it’s what you’d expect from a millionaire celebrity. A master suite with private terrace, custom-fitted walk-in closets, and his-and-hers baths (there are seven bathrooms in all), four en-suite guest bedrooms, 3,500-bottle wine-cellar, poolside pavilion with full kitchen and bath, lighted tennis court, six-car garage, and oak-paneled library (okay, that last one confuses us, too). 

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Oct 19, 2015
Marco Multi-Million Dollar Homes

(MARCO ISLAND, FL) With only a tenth the number of homes in the $5 million range of nearby Naples, Marco Island is experiencing a veritable run on high-end homes, reports Naples Daily News. “Even if they’re inland, multi-million-dollar homes are in demand on Marco because there’s very little inventory available, and because they tend to be less expensive than comparable homes in Old Naples,” real estate agent Jennifer Drake tells the News. “You get a lot more bang for your buck on Marco.”  Problem is there are only 12 or so homes listed for over $5 million on the island that TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards named America’s best last year. That kind of publicity and low inventory creates interest that has home sellers and agents licking their chops. This year started with a bang on Marco Island when a nearly 12,000-sq. ft. home—with a 10-seat movie theater, two master suites, and a steam room—sold for $7.5 million.  

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Oct 16, 2015
Now This is Waterfront

(PORTSMOUTH, RI) Here’s an opportunity that only comes around once in a lifetime: The chance to own a private, oceanfront sporting estate complete with a Donald Steel designed, waterfront links-style golf course, 70,000-sq. ft. clubhouse, and a full practice facility. The Carnegie Abbey Club, a 280-acre golf and sporting club on Narragansett Bay, is looking for qualified principals (through exclusive agents The Flynn Company and Golf Property Analysts) who would like to acquire the whole kit and caboodle. And there’s quite a bit of caboodle, including The Golf Lodge (five residential units, all sold), tennis pavilion, seaside swimming pool, equestrian center, fitness center, European spa, and a restaurant on the water. No word on the asking price, but as they say, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”

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Oct 14, 2015
Sale of the Century

(NORTHWEST TEXAS) It’s the real estate listing that’s nearly as big as Texas. Waggoner Ranch, bigger than New York City and Los Angeles combined, spans half-a-million acres and is loaded with history and oil reserves. A favorite of Will Rogers and Teddy Roosevelt, the ranch comes with more than 1,000 oil wells, 6,800 head of cattle, and 30,000 acres of cropland. But interested buyers have only until October 20 to submit an offer on the asking price of $725 million. The largest U.S. ranch within a single fence has been owned by just one family for its 165 years and is being sold to liquidate the trust that manages it. Before you get too excited about the prospect of striking it rich with this real estate (only 10% of the ranch’s land has been explored for oil), you’ll need to have a net worth around $7 to $8 billion to afford to buy and run the place. And one more thing, the current owners will retain 25% of the mineral rights (just in case one of those oil wells strikes it big). 

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