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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Will the sun shine on Florida and its golf communities again?

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     Steady readers of this site probably wonder why I don’t cover Florida golf communities more often.  A few of you have even accused me of willfully ignoring the state that has the most golf courses and golf communities in the nation.  To that I plead “guilty, with an explanation.”

        First, frankly, I am intimidated by the sheer numbers of golf communities near cities like Orlando, Naples, Tampa, the Palm Beaches, the Lauderdales, Miami…  It would take weeks in each area just to scratch the surface of the best golf courses and golf communities.  I’d rather spend that time investigating golf communities in lower-cost states with little or no threat of hurricanes or unpredictable but ever-increasing insurance costs.

        Second, I have something of a Florida bias because I hate traffic. (Who doesn’t?)  Florida is the 22nd largest state in the nation but the 4th

Florida' reputation as "God's Waiting Room" is deserved.

in terms of population.  In just the last 10 years, Florida’s population has increased 16% compared with an increase nationally of 9% (and that was with Florida’s 2008/09 net migration loss, the first in 50 years).  The state’s roads have never caught up with the explosive growth of the last half-century (and the rest of the infrastructure isn’t so hot either).  Third, Florida’s reputation as “God’s Waiting Room” is deserved; 18% of the state’s population is over the age of 65 against a national figure of 12.4%.  Of the 2.8 million net new citizens in Florida since 2000, about 1.9 million are over the age of 45.  At my tender age of 62, that is the pot calling the kettle black, but I am still of sound enough memory to recall visiting my parents in Lauderdale Lakes when I was in my 40s.  It gave me the willies with its glimpse of my (then) future.  I am not sure I want to do that to my kids.

        It is not for nothing that Florida had its first net population loss in 2008, many Floridians fleeing to the mountains near Asheville, NC, happy to put up with wearing a sweater on chilly winter days to avoid the stifling heat of summer.  But with all that said, the virtual collapse of the Florida real estate market has created price levels that second-home hunting baby boomers and retirees cannot ignore.  A case can be made for Florida, and that is exactly what I do in the December issue of Home On The Course, our free newsletter, which will be distributed in the next few days.  If you are not a subscriber, please sign up today at the top of this page.

Read 3338 times Last modified on Friday, 27 September 2013 11:29
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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.


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