The recession may have eaten into your 401(k), but it also has produced some of the best real estate deals in years. Here are three golf-rich markets that might yield the golf home of your dreamsfor a fraction of what it once cost.
The market: "Tucson has much more inventory than we've seen in many years," says Janell E. Jellison, a top producer at 80-year-old Long Realty Company in Tucson. "Bank REO properties are continuing to hold prices down, so this year it will be a buyer's market for winter visitors, with a great selection and variety of homes to choose from. And, of course, lots of sunshine to go with that."
Location: Ventana Canyon, with two 18-hole, private resort Tom Fazio designs.
Value: This gated-community home with course views and golf cart access to Ventana started at $1.195 million more than two years ago. It's a spacious 2,892 square feet, has four bedrooms and serves up vistas of the scenic Catalina Mountains and Tucson's city lights.
2 of 3Nestler Poletto Sotheby's International Realty
(Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach)
The market: "South Florida has long been the most sought-after U.S. destination to play and live in a country club community," says Mark Nestler, a partner in Nestler Poletto Sotheby's International Realty in Boca Raton. "Due to the softness in the industry, however, prices in this area have dropped 25 to 30 percent and now reflect price levels as they were in the late 1990s."
Location: St. Andrews Country Club, with two 18-hole private courses, one designed by Arnold Palmer, the other by Gene Bates.
Value: A steal? At nearly $3 million? Yes, because you're practically buying a small village. This pristine, 8,000-square-foot contemporary two-story home on a lake with golf course vistas features six bedrooms, a pool, library, gym, media room and billiard room.
3 of 3Ken Oliver and Assoc.
Hilton Head Island, S.C.
The market: "Short sales and foreclosures have purged the market, and people are taking advantage," says Ken Oliver of the Dunes Marketing Group in Hilton Head. "Prices are off 30 to 35 percent from 2005 levels. The hardest hit are privately owned properties, which have large initiation and transfer fees. So there are great deals in these communities."
Location: Berkeley Hall in Bluffton, with two private, 18-hole Tom Fazio designs.
Value: This 3,657-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bath golf cottage is offered on short sale. The 2001 purchase price was $718,600. It comes fully furnished and is a short walk to the clubhouse and fitness center.
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