Disney's Golden Oak Community - A Comparable Nightmare

Real Estate Appraiser with AmcAppraisalsinc.com

I ran across an article today about a new community being developed near Disney.


The "Golden Oak" community was highlighted in a recent Orlando Sentinel article which states this community opened in October 2010.


The Golden Oak residential community is planned for the northeast corner of Walt Disney World resort with homes ranging from $1.5 million to $8 million.


And yet - this is the first I am hearing of it!   No wonder, with homes over $1,000,000 and plans to have a resort hotel INSIDE the community - this one is going to be marketed to a select group of potential buyers!


A couple items I noted in the article:


 Even though it lacks the chain-of-lakes backdrop that has helped establish Isleworth as Central Florida's premier home for pro athletes and entertainers, Golden Oak has perks that appeal to high-end buyers with young family members. Extras include years' worth of passes to Disney theme parks, early and late hours in the parks, and VIP transportation.




 With guards, gates and old-world architecture, Golden Oak in no way resembles Disney's earlier entry in the housing market: Celebration, a community built in the 1990s that was marketed as more town than resort. Disney touted Celebration worldwide but has been more quiet about Golden Oak. 

Estate lots in Golden Oak thread around the 18-hole championship golf course designed by Tom Fazio for the Four Seasons. Homeowners could end up playing on other Disney golf courses, though, because Four Seasons guests have tee-time priority over residents. 

In addition to the amenities down the street at the Four Seasons, residents will have access to the Golden Oak Summerhouse, which is under construction and will feature a pool; yoga room; children's entertainment areas; and temperature-controlled storage for wine and other liqueurs. Membership in the club, mandatory for homebuyers, is $5,000 a year.


WOW - can you imagine perks like THAT when your out of state cousins want to come visit?!!  Not only staying with you because you live in Florida, but also for the season passes and VIP transportation to Disney parks?!


But from an appraiser's point of view my big question is :   Where the heck would you find COMPS for this community?


Isleworth Country Club has homes owned by famous celebrities and has amenities like a championship golf course, country club, and luxury amenities!   But how about your very own resort hotel inside the gated community?  Or access to multiple Disney golf courses?   How do you adjust for the season passes for 4 theme parks?


All challenges that will hopefully make potential purchasers  demand that a truly qualified residential appraiser be selected - rather than the fastest and cheapest typically ordered through most national appraisal management companies. 



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Richard D. Ferris

Florida State Certified (FHA) Appraiser
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