Today, more and more avid golfers who are approaching their retirement years are growing increasingly concerned that the current economic crisis in this country might perhaps force them to abandon the idea of finding a place to retire on or near a golf course. True, for many golfers, their shrinking 401 investment portfolio and uncertain financial status might necessitate that they forgo the luxury of an expensive luxury home on the fairways of a prestigious private country club.
However, with careful planning, a willingness to downsize that dream retirement home and the investment of some time and effort in pursuit of an affordable place to golf, it is still possible to find a very well-priced and inviting home in a golfing environment that most retirees would consider as fitting their requirement for the best place to retire.
In fact, in nearly every area of the U.S., there are a number of communities with a ready supply of affordable retirement housing with challenging golf courses, both private and daily fee public facilities. Furthermore, with most new master planned golf communities, developers are drastically reducing prices in an effort to boost falling sales, and higher-priced golf properties are more reasonably priced than any time in recent memory.
Even with these circumstances, retirees who want to live where they can spend their leisure time on the links would be well served to explore certain towns and cities where golf is a major focus and therefore where housing inventories and prices are more attractive. Here are a few suggestions where, not only are prices for retirement housing extremely reasonable, but also there is an abundance of good, quality golf courses which can be enjoyed at very moderate rates.
It may be surprising to some to discover that the most affordable retirement destinations are often located in or near what are also some of the most popular and best known golfing communities. Among such places is Pinehurst, North Carolina, long considered to be one of America’s great golf resorts and home to a number of residential golf course developments, including the prestigious Pinehurst Club. In spite of the fact that most homes along the fairways can be pretty pricey, there are also a large number of resale homes and condos available at any given time for less than $200,000. In addition, several of the communities in and around Pinehurst and the neighboring small towns of Southern Pines and Aberdeen still have affordable building sites and resale homes.
Golf is also a major attraction in the mountains of western North Carolina, but here the price for homes and home sites located within a golf complex are among some of the highest in the country. However, if one looks a little closer at small towns like Brevard, Boone or Waynesville, or others around the Asheville area, single family homes are reasonably priced and yet not far removed from good golfing.
Most golfers are familiar with the golf courses that abound in and around the area of Hilton Head Island in coastal South Carolina, and while the home prices on the Island itself may be above the reach of the average retiree, there are a growing number of retirement communities in neighboring towns such as Bluffton with affordable homes, some of which feature golf courses as part of their amenities. South Carolina’s best known golfing destination, Myrtle Beach and the Grand Stand, a sixty-mile strip filled with oceanfront hotels and golf courses extending into Brunswick County, North Carolina, still attract an increasing number of retirees who have found the area meets their requirements for their best place to retire.
Georgia and Tennessee, two other Southeastern states with moderate climates that permit golfing almost ten months out of the year, are both home to small towns noted as being highly desirable retirement destinations for golfers. Several designer courses, bearing the names of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, have been carved out of the Georgia rural landscape along Lake Oconee. Initially, these developments were executive-style luxury communities, but a recent trend has been the arrival of new retirement properties, spearheaded by a Del Webb complex with a varied selection of affordable home designs near the picturesque small town of Greensboro.
And perched atop Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, Crossville, which bills itself as the “Golf Capital of Tennessee,” has been a major destination for retirees for the last thirty years. Lured by the presence of a number of affordable residential golf communities, the absence of a state income tax, a low cost of living and a thriving small town economy, retirees have made Crossville a major retirement and golfing destination.