Over my career I have had more than a few clients who thought it would be really nice to live right on a golf course. While this has some definite advantages such as great views and winter tranquility, there are some real risks Buyers must be aware of.
For starters, for any Buyer that is not a knowledgable golfer, my advice when buying on a golf course is to find a good REALTOR® who is a very knowledgeable golfer (such as myself) to get a good handle on the risks of buying in a certain location on the golf course. Below are some tough questions that need to be answered before you buy:
(1). Which direction will golf balls be coming from? This sounds like a stupid question, but you might be surprised to know there are homes built right in line with player shots or else are carried by expert golfers wanting a shorter route to the hole.
(2). Where are the nearest tee boxes? 100% of the golfers coming through will start a hole on one of the tee boxes so guaranteed any houses within eighty yards of fairway tee shots without adequate tree cover or netting protection will receive their share of balls coming over the fence or hitting their house.
(3). Where are the nearest greens? Again, 100% of the golfers coming through will finish on the green so again any property within eighty yards of the center of the green will receive their share of balls coming over the fence or hitting their house. Do not believe me? Consider very windy days where the wind can affect a ball by as much as fifty yards off line combined with a thirty to forty yard slice or hook with a push or pull - eighty yards may be conservative. On top of this, other shots such as skulled wedge shots or other hooks, slices, and shanks add to the danger as does accidental release or breaking of a golf club shaft.
(4). Where are the nearest cart paths? Many golfers choose to take power carts, so any house near a cart path may receive more than its share of golf cart noise.
(5). Can you withstand occasional loud vulgar language, littering, and boisterous behaviour steps from your backyard? Some golfers act this way (albeit the minority) and golfers’ actions and language are not controllable by nearby homeowners.
(6). Can you withstand the constant 7 days a week non-stop onslaught of golfers during golf season starting at 6:00 AM every morning until 10:00 PM (or later) in the evening?
(7). If you are within 80 yards of the center of a fairway, teebox, or green, can you handle the risk that you, a family member, or a visitor to your home could be injured by a golf ball accidentally coming off the golf course into your property?
(8). If you are within 80 yards of the center of a fairway, teebox, or green, can you withstand the large risk of damage to your property (windows, roof, siding, lights, etc.) by a golf ball that accidentally comes off the golf course into your property?
(9). If your house is aligned with a fairway, teebox, or green, can you withstand the medium chance that golfers may occasionally attempt to trespass on your property to retrieve an errant golf ball?
(10). Can you withstand the thought that during golf season, you will have very limited backyard privacy as golfers continually walk past your backyard fence?
Note that over 99% of golf balls that cause injury or property damage to homeowners are done with an errant shot that was not intended by the golfer. As a result, it is Buyer Beware - when you are buying on a golf course, it is important to know and understand the risks of living on a golf course before buying. It should also be noted the same principles should be applied to buying near driving ranges, baseball diamonds, football fields, soccer fields, cricket fields, outdoor hockey rinks, etc.
[Article written and ©2009 by Kelly Grant, M.Eng., ABR, NCSO, P.Eng. - REALTOR® at MaxWell Realty in Edmonton, AB]
Disclaimer: for those readers not currently represented by another licensed REALTOR®, to obtain more information on this topic and / or if you are serious about selling or buying in the Greater Edmonton Area, call Kelly at 780-414-6100 (pager) or send Kelly an email to SOLD@KellyGrant.ca to schedule a confidential appointment.