Pros and cons of living on a golf course
For avid golfers, there is a notable upside to being able to walk out your front door and play golf any time you want. In addition to having your next round of golf right outside your door, living on a golf course often affords views of sprawling green vistas. And if you live in Colorado, the views will most likely include panoramic vistas of the majestic Rocky Mountains.
Even if golf isn’t your cup of tea, the benefits of living in a golfing community may be something worth considering. When looking at real estate in a country club or golf course community, weighing the pros and cons can help determine if a home on the links is the right choice for you.
Privacy: Pro – Gone will be the days of staring into a neighbor’s unkept backyard. Now, you’ll be able to enjoy green views and manicured landscaping. Con – An airborne golf ball landing on you, your car, or your home (breaking a window) is a definite possibility. If you’re especially concerned about dealing with broken windows and ball damage, search for a home further away from the fairways.
With that in mind, you’ll want to make sure you have the right insurance in place. Your homeowners’ insurance typically covers damage to your home, while the comprehensive coverage in your auto policy typically covers damage to your car. Just be aware that comprehensive coverage is optional, so talk to your insurance agent to make sure you have the right protection. And remember, there is usually a deductible on most insurance policies, and you will most likely be responsible for this.
Noise: Pro – Unless the course has lights, golfers can’t golf after dark. Therefore, you’ll be able to enjoy quiet evenings on your deck or patio. Con – Pay attention to the house location in relation to the course layout. Things can get noisy if the home is very close to the course. This is especially true if the house borders a tee box or cart path. These locations are often golfers gathering spots and can be noisier than other locations. Before you buy, take time to walk the property lines and understand the course layout.
Prime views: Pro – Most players enjoy watching golf as much as they enjoy playing golf. Ask for the course’s tournament schedule. You won’t have to fight for prime viewing spots and will be able to watch the foursomes pass right by your backyard.
Top tournaments may also provide an option to rent out your home to visiting spectators, which is another pro. If you decide to rent out your home for a short-term stay, understand what your homeowners’ insurance does and does not cover…or talk to an agent to determine if adding home sharing coverage is a better option.
Con – Large tournaments attract large crowds. A quick trip to the grocery store on tournament day may find you contending with hours of traffic.
Landscaping: Pro – You can’t beat the scenery. Golf courses are known for their lush and well-maintained greens. Con – Courses are typically mowed very early in the morning, which some people may enjoy watching while sipping their morning coffee. If you’re not a morning person, check out the location of the master bedroom. If you have a bedroom that faces out to the course, it’s likely your sleep could be interrupted by noise and headlights of the grounds crew.
Also, many golf courses receive a regular dousing of pesticides and fertilizer. Depending on the products used, runoff may be toxic for people and pets. At each course you visit, consider asking about what type of lawn care products they use and how often the grounds crew treats the greens.
Restrictions: Pro – It’s common for golf communities to be regulated by a homeowners’ association. Some associations stipulate landscaping and maintenance requirements. Always make sure to find out if your community has a homeowners’ association. Con – While the association will ensure neighbors keep their properties looking nice, the restrictions might limit the number of home improvement projects you can do. If the community has an association, look at their rules and restrictions to see of they are doable or too stringent for your taste.
Amenities: Pro – Golf courses sometimes offer special course membership rates to homeowners in the community. Neighborhoods often have other amenities such as tennis, pickleball or a clubhouse. You should understand the rules and restrictions of facility usage, as some amenities may require an additional fee.
If the community has a clubhouse, this often means community events and get-togethers throughout the year. These social events can help you get to know your neighbors, which is an added benefit, if you will be new to the area. It is a good assumption that many of your new neighbors will have an interest in golf, making it easy to pull together a foursome for an outing.
Con – Many courses restrict where you can walk, bicycle, or recreate. If these activities are important to you, find out how easy it is to enjoy non-golf recreation before you buy. Understand the rules around walking and biking on cart paths, since many courses restrict leisure or dog-walking in these areas.