Not All Country Clubs Are Created Equal

Real Estate Agent with Floridian International Realty Inc.
Not All Country Clubs Are Created Equal.


 Contrary to many other real estate markets, competition for homes in Boca Raton is fairly intense and has been for at least the past 18 months. The great school district, world class shopping and dining and gorgeous beaches create a very desirable environment for families and investors. So, one has to wonder why it is possible to purchase a 1,200 sqft condo in a prestigious country club for under $15,000 or a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom home in another country club in the area for under $100,000.

These country clubs still have exceptional facilities, renovated clubhouses, enviable golf facilities and dining choices that will guarantee you will never have to leave the neighborhood. But, these are also country clubs in transition, being 25 – 35 years old. The residents, who mostly purchased while they were in their 50’s and 60’s, are now well into their 80’s. They no longer have much use for the club amenities and either return up north to stay with their children or move into assisted living.

What does this mean for potential Buyers who are looking to cities like Boca Raton, Boynton Beach or Palm Beach Gardens for a winter home? Well, you can definitely get an amazing deal on the real estate. As these country clubs transition to younger Buyers over the next 5 – 8 years, homes will be renovated and the communities revitalized with younger blood and renewed energy. Member fees are very low and will probably remain at current levels for many years to come. On the downside, there may be special assessments to consider for renovations to existing facilities and the building of new ones that better meet the needs of a younger community.

How does this compare with newer country clubs? Well, in newer communities the real estate is considerably more expensive, membership fees are significantly higher and there is far less inventory of homes. But, Buyers will be purchasing homes that require very little renovation or maintenance, common area facilities are new and continually improving and most important, association reserves tend to be high with an unlikely chance of any assessments in the near future.

I always advise my clients to consider a number of factors before committing to a particular country club. The most important is the people who will be your neighbors; it really makes the transition into your winter home easier if you know a few people who already live in the community. Consider the amenities that are important to you; are you an avid golfer or tennis player or is being close to the ocean more important. Some country clubs do not have mandatory membership, but you can purchase seasonal membership for use in the winter only. Do you want a large home with space for your family and friends to visit whenever they like? Or, are you going to travel back and forth frequently, in which case, a condo or townhouse may offer the perfect lock up and go convenience.

For Buyers from the northeastern states or Canada looking for a second home in Florida, it’s important to work with a professional who has intimate knowledge of the country clubs in the area and can guide you in the right direction.

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