SWFL “Bundled” Golf Communities…Lower Upfront & Annual Costs!

Real Estate Agent with Downing-Frye Realty, Inc.

I’ve been told by a number of my well-traveled clients that the “bundled” golf community concept is proprietary to Southwest Florida. I haven’t been able to confirm this, but during my 11-years of specializing in residential real estate sales in SWFL golf communities, I’ve definitely observed that a large percentage of my Buyers have opted for the economic advantages of purchasing a home in a “bundled” golf community.


For Buyers that can be down here only a few months of the year, it’s often difficult to justify paying the $15,000-$30,000 upfront initiation fees of even our most-affordable non-bundled, “equity/non-equity” country clubs, let alone those of the higher-priced clubs. “Bundled” golf communities—which include a full-golf/social membership with the purchase of any type of home, without the payment of an initiation fee—offer a viable lower-cost purchase option. In addition, the on-going annual golf fees in “bundled” golf communities are typically about half of those charged by the non-bundled clubs, which range between $8,000-$14,000/year.


The “mix”, or assortment, of homes in “bundled” golf communities also contributes to their overall annual savings, because these communities typically have a larger offering of multi-family homes (ie condos, verandas, carriage homes, and coach homes) which have lower total annual expenses than single family homes. These lower expenses are a result of homeowner’s insurance, exterior building maintenance, lawn & landscaping, and irrigation water expenses being pro-rated to each owner in the building as part of their condo/HOA fees.


Just as retail stores have to pay close attention to the prices of their nearby competitors, “bundled” golf communities have to do the same in order to remain competitive to prospective Buyers. Some “bundled” golf communities can justify higher annual costs by offering additional, and/or renovated, facilities and amenities; but, overall, they have to be very careful about getting out-of-line on their annual costs.


New construction “bundled” golf communities offer a great opportunity to save on annual costs, as their developers typically “buy down” the annual golf fee in order to keep the community ultra-competitive and sell homes faster.


In my experience, most Buyers end up asking the same key question as they compare homes in various golf communities…”What are my annual carrying costs?” Here’s a simplified—but reasonably accurate—recap of the average annual costs for a $300,000 multi-family home in SWFL’s newer and nicer “bundled” golf communities…


Golf/Social Membership Fee               $5,500

Master HOA & Condo/HOA Fees          5,200

Real Estate Taxes                                    3,300

ANNUAL TOTAL                                $14,000


Obviously, taxes will increase with the purchase of a more expensive home. The total annual cost will also increase if the community has a food and beverage minimum, special assessments, CDD charges, etc. Owning your own golf cart will also add a “Trail Fee” to the total.


If you want a lower annual overhead, check focus on somewhat-older (but still extremely well-maintained) “bundled” golf communities. And, as mentioned above, the new construction “bundled” golf communities typically have lower annual golf fees. Keep in mind, though, that this situation is short-term…it only exists until the developer turns the community over to the members, which typically occurs when the community is 90% sold-out; after that, annual costs will rise to a more-normal level.


A suggestion for significantly reducing the annual carrying costs of your SWFL home is to consider renting it out during at least part of the key season (January-April). In most of the nicer “bundled” golf communities, in-season rent will range between $3,500-$4,500/month for a $300,000 multi-family home, and renting it for all four in-season months will typically cover your entire annual expenses (not including principle and interest, if you financed it).


In conclusion, “bundled” golf communities offer a great option for minimizing and controlling BOTH the upfront costs and the annual carrying costs of your new Southwest Florida golf home!


NOTE: For more information regarding SWFL “bundled” golf communities, please go to my website, www.GolfHomeGuru.com. You’ll also be able to review my exclusiveTop 25 SWFL Golf Communities" list.


Joe Morgan--better known as the GOLF HOME GURU—specializes in SWFL golf communities’ real estate, and is an Award-Winning real estate agent with Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. For help Buying or Selling in a golf community, you can call or text him at 239/438-6426 (Cell), or e-mail him at Guru@GolfHomeGuru.com.

Comments (10)

George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Joe Morgan--GOLF HOME GURU welcome to ActiveRain and congratulations on successfully posting your first blog on this site.

Dec 02, 2017 02:34 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Welcome to ActiveRain! 

This was an interesting read, since I'm not that familiar with golf properties (having only taken one lesson many years ago and not being  golfer). I had no idea what the annual cost to join a club was.

Best wishes with your blogging here.

Dec 03, 2017 03:56 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello and Welcome to the Rain where we all help each other and learn from each other.


Dec 03, 2017 07:26 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Welcome to active rain. Good luck in achieving your goals on active rain 

Dec 04, 2017 02:28 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Joe, very nice first post to get the word out.   Welcome to ActiveRain and look forward to more posts.

Dec 04, 2017 08:46 AM
Dave Halpern
Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Welcome to Activerain and congrats on your first blog post. The more you blog, the more visibility you will create for your business.

Dec 05, 2017 01:19 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Welcome to the Rain! 

Congratulations on your first blog post.

Dec 08, 2017 11:05 PM
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

Welcome to Active Rain and congrtulations on your first blog post.  Does the "bunlde" create issues with obtaining a mortgage?

Dec 09, 2017 05:36 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Sounds like an interesting opportunity, thanks for sharing the bundled golf concept.



Dec 10, 2017 11:52 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Welcome to Active Rain, looking forward to reading many more of your posts, let me know if there is anything that I can do to help as you get started here.
All the best of success to you.

Dec 10, 2017 11:52 PM