Archives For Todd Burkhalter

The real estate market continues to stay red hot! We continue to get more and more questions about investment properties and just those looking to move their primary residence. So, I’m pleased to introduce our readers to our Guest Blogger, Larry Gavrich. Larry is an expert particularly in Golf Communities. He has written extensively on the subject so we should all benefit from his expertise. You can also re-visit my original article on Golf Real Estate for additional information.

 

 

Golf Communites

After visiting and writing about hundreds of golf communities over the last 10 years and helping dozens of couples, mostly retirees or those about to retire, identify the golf community best suited to them, it has become clear to me that some questions about golf communities are worth addressing and some best left alone.

Let’s start with those questions that are pretty much a waste of time:

 

Will the residents in the golf community like us, and will we like them?  When I am asked this question, my response is straightforward:  “Are you likable?”  If so, you will make friends, and probably quickly after you join the community’s golf club.  Keep in mind that in the typical golf community, everyone is from somewhere else.  Current residents recall their own anxieties about moving to a new place, and they will do all they can to make you comfortable.  (From a selfish standpoint, they are also happy you moved there to help stabilize the real estate in the community and pad the membership rolls of the club.)  Also, given human nature, folks who spent a few hundred thousand dollars on a home are not apt to admit readily to a stranger that they made a mistake.

 

Will we be bored if the community is at some distance from an urban area?  Many golf communities, especially those with bargain real estate, can be as much as an hour or more from an urban area that offers entertainment, restaurant and other services.  If you have ongoing medical service needs, the advice here is to look at communities closer to a city with a major hospital.  For others, the boredom question is easily answered with a multi-day visit to a community you are targeting.  Most offer “discovery packages,” low-priced stays that include lodging, maybe a few meals, a round or two of golf and access to the community’s other amenities.  You will learn over the course of a few days if activities “on campus” are enough to sustain you and if the distance to the nearest city is tolerable.  (Note:  I am happy to assist those interested in arranging a discovery package.)

 

Many customers ask me about the financial stability of a community.  Most communities will open their books to serious prospects; and if they don’t, my advice is to move on to another community that has nothing to hide.  If a community you are targeting is owned by its residents, ask specifically about the financial “reserves” available for both the homeowner’s association and the golf club.  These are the monies available in case of unexpected expenses, such as hurricane damage, a lost lawsuit (if insurance doesn’t cover it all), etc.  In most communities, reserves are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range.  If the community is still owned by a developer, read the covenants to determine when the developer turns the community over to its residents and who will own the golf club at that time.  (Note:  In most states, developers are required to turn the community over to residents when property sales reach a certain point, typically around 75%.)

 

Of course, golfers will want to know the extent of the golf costs, both the initiation fee and ongoing monthly dues.  Most initiation fees these days are of the “non-equity” variety, which means you will not get any of it back when you resign your club membership.  I counsel my customers to focus more on the monthly dues than on the initiation fee.  Imagine you have set a budget of $400,000 for your golf home and $10,000 for initiation fees for the club.  Let’s say you fall in love with a community but the initiation fees are $25,000, and yet you identify a home you really like priced at $375,000.  Since your happiness will very much be tied to your social life in and around the club, consider the higher initiation fee as part of the cost of your home, rather than two separate items.  In total, you will still come in under budget.

 

I have visited and researched golf communities in which there are no initiation fees and no dues; golf membership is part of the homeowner association membership dues.  In general, semi-private golf clubs — those with memberships but that permit outsiders to pay green fees to play — have modest initiation fees (a couple thousand dollars) and monthly dues (between $200 and $400).  Fully private clubs tend to charge the highest initiation fees, and dues can approach and pass $1,000 per month, especially if multiple-courses are part of the club.  But, then again, I have visited fine private golf community clubs with initiation fees under $5,000 and dues under $500.

 

There is a lot to consider when searching for a golf community home.  If you would like assistance in sorting out country club and golf community options, please contact me at editor@homeonthecourse to arrange a no-obligation phone discussion.

 

 

Larry Gavrich is the founder and editor of Home On The Course, LLC, whose mission is to assist those looking to relocate to a home in the Southeast US near excellent golf.  In the last 10 years, he has visited and reviewed nearly 200 golf communities.  A licensed real estate agent, he has helped dozens of couples find golf communities that match their requirements and interests.  His blog site, GolfCommunityReviews.com, features more than 1,500 articles and reviews written by Mr. Gavrich. 

It’s always exciting to get to welcome a new Guest Blogger to our platform. Let’s welcome Kathy Manson to The Life You Can Afford to Live! Kathy has an extensive resume and bodies of work within Financial Planning and Money Management. You can view her latest endeavors at Catalina Structured Funding. I feel certain that we will see her back here again soon. However, for now learn from her wisdom on this important subject around Money Management and your Teen!

                                                                                                                                          – Todd Burkhalter and our team at The Life You Can Afford to Live

 

The last thing on your teenager’s mind might be money and budgeting but prioritizing these lessons at this age might be one of the most important undertakings you can do as a parent. While there are certain online sites that provide tools, we believe some good old fashion techniques are a better way to lay the groundwork.  Below are 4 tools to help you get the conversation going (if you can get them to look up from their phone):

 

4 Tips to Teach Your Teen

Budgeting

Budgeting and More Budgeting. Maybe the best way to start teaching your teenager about money is to give them some to control. While some parents provide a monthly allowance, we believe that weekly increments help reinforce the principles on a more consistent and regular basis. By doing the allowance weekly, the teenager is giving the opportunity to “save up” for a larger purchase and understand the ramifications of spur of the moment purchases.

Teach them the Concept of Sales

While for adults shopping for the best price or waiting for an item to go on sale is second nature, the concept of delayed gratification is an additional benefit of showing a teenager to wait to an item they want is discounted.  It also begins to show a teenager that is focused on consumption how finding items at a reduced price may allow them to get more things they desire.

Projecting What They Need

Too often at teenager sees something and then “needs” to have it.  We suggest having your child come up with a list of items they will need for the upcoming semester or seasons. While it is a new backpack, a pair of sneakers or the hottest new jeans on the market, the teenager will learn to respect money more if they independently establish a “wish list” for the near future and then you sit down and distinguish necessities from luxuries. While we are not suggesting every purchase needs to be a necessity, we do think it prudent to make a teenager to set priorities on the non-essentials.  In time this proves a valuable tool instead of a discussion every time the teenager walks into a store and sees an item he or she desires.

Earn The Money

Whether it is on top of a basic allowance or not, and whether it simply being paid to do additional chores around the house, making the teenager earn the money instead of it being given to him or her, is maybe the most basic and powerful took in teaching the “value of the dollar”.

With all the lessons that need to be instilled by parents, and there are countless important ones, understanding and appreciating money should be near the top of the list.

 

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