Appraisal Articles 2019 Free Appraisal Articles for Appraisers and the Public
Converting a golf course to a single-family residential (SFR) use can be an expensive proposition. Some golf courses can simply not be economically adapted for such a use, since adaptability has a lot to do with proximity to offsite improvements / utilities and if the golf course is too remote or has natural topographic features that are extreme redevelopment for a SFR use may be economically not feasible. Some golf course conversion plans can be thwarted by the lack of appropriate zoning. If the jurisdictional authority isn’t open to a zoning change that would allow SFR development again the conversion plan may fail. The local government and the surrounding community have to see the change as beneficial. “You are changing the golf course to what?” may be the comment that you get from the public.
When golf courses are constructed, often surrounding and adjoining residential development, it never occurs to most home buyers that 10 or 20 years later the golf course may financially fail. Buyers pay a premium for their golf course frontage, which is often why the golf course was constructed. The builder usually had no market study that indicated that the adjoining golf course could remain financially viable. The developer probably didn’t care, the cost of putting in the golf course was minor when compared to the profits from selling the “premium” golf frontage lots and homes.
If you read the golf industry articles online you will find that they tout the increasing number of players and the strong future of golf. I can't take issue with any of the arguments that they make, the game and the future survival of golf today is unassailable. The problem with the strong golf industry argument for golf course appraisers is that the golf course business is not the golf industry. Golf courses have been struggling financially since the early 2000's, many were further damaged by the recession of 2008, and today the survivors are reeling from the increasing cost of operations and water.