New England golf resort communities look south and east


The welcome mat (and chairs) are out for the British at Owl's Nest in Campton, NH.  All others are welcome too.

         A curious thing is happening at some New England golf resorts that feature residential properties:  They are looking well beyond the northeast to attract new residents.  Although the rationales for targeting Florida and the United Kingdom may be quite different, the potential returns may well be worth the marketing efforts.

         In 2008, the state of Florida suffered its first net population loss in 50 years.  Fed up with hurricane threats, higher insurance premiums, eroding infrastructure, and mind-numbing traffic, Floridians who can afford it are heading north.  The mountains of North Carolina are among the most popular destinations for those seeking moderation from the stifling heat of the southern two-thirds of Florida.  Places like Asheville and Brevard in North Carolina offer surprisingly temperate climates in the winter and bearable temperatures and humidity in the summer.  Some golf courses in the mountains near Asheville stay open year round.  The choices of communities are wide ranging and high quality, with The Cliffs Communities at the high end ($1 million and up homes, $150,000 golf membership); to Trillium (homes beginning in the mid six figures), whose kitschy Morris Hatalsky layout grows on you; to Reems Creek with a British designed links-style course and adjacent homes starting under $500,000. 

         But Asheville is getting crowded, and because of the mountains, many of the heavily trafficked roads in and out of the city

As Asheville becomes more and more crowded, so too will its roads.  New England golf resorts are counting on some of the traffic heading their way.

cannot be expanded easily to accommodate an influx of population the way Florida's dead flat land could during that state's boom years.  My own recent travels through Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts indicate prices in New England are lower than comparables in the Carolina mountains, and adjacent or close to golf courses of a corresponding high quality.  For those reasons, and because many retired Florida couples want to be closer to their children and grandchildren living north of the Mason/Dixon line, northeast resorts are wise to market to the Sunshine State crowd, while targeting also retiring baby boomers already living in the northeast.        

         The United Kingdom is also in the sights of some New England resort communities.  Developers at Owl's Nest, for example, a community with reasonably priced condos ($300s and up) and detached houses on an exciting mountain golf course (I played it and liked it), have forged an arrangement with a British marketing firm to develop prospects.  This makes sense for two reasons:  The dollar/sterling pound exchange rate is tilted in favor of those who live in the UK (and likely to stay that way as crushing debt erodes the dollar value further); and the kingdom doesn't have much more land on which to build large-scale golf developments.  Although continental European golf resorts and land-rich countries like Turkey are within a few hours flight of the UK, New England golf resort communities can offer a price advantage and more mountain golf courses.

         And, of course, an Englishman should feel right at home in a place called New England.


New England golf and ski resorts, like Stratton Mountain, are counting on more interest from Florida retirees looking for a cooler alternative.


If you would like more information on golf communities north or south, just contact me and I will be happy to help. 

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