In shopping for a golf community home, prix fixe is generally more expensive than á la carte, and it limits your choices. Many developers sell you a patch of dirt and make you select one of their preferred builders for your house. Club membership and a roster of other amenities are mandatory in some golf communities. You pay for the amenities up front and through your club dues forever, whether you use anything more than
Mountains surround the gently rolling Fincastle Country Club golf course near Bluefield, WV. Other photos of the course at bottom.
All photos courtesy of Fincastle CC.
Some adventurous couples seeking to stretch their dollars farther are opting for a more “hybrid” golfing lifestyle in which they buy “naked” property unadorned with fitness centers, clubhouses, or even a golf course. They wait a few years to build their house and then join a private or semi-private golf club off property but nearby. They wind up with a lifestyle not unlike the one they would have inside a planned golf community development, except without the upfront costs and the payment for amenities they might never use.
One western Virginia development could serve as an example of how this can work. I am on the mailing list for Diamondback Development, a family-owned company that is selling large tracts of land on the far western edge of Virginia, but just 10 minutes from Interstate 77 and less than 15 minutes from the “cool” town of Bluefield, WV, whose motto is -– listen up, Florida residents -- "Nature's air conditioned city, where the summer spends the winter.”
Diamondback first developed Cove Creek, about 15 minutes from Bluefield, where they have sold well over half the 99 multi-acre mountain lots, one of them ranging up to 47 acres for $169,900. Now Diamondback
Diamondback’s VP of Development Jay Shott, who was raised in the Bluefield area, tells me that the company owes no money to any bank and that it is dissuading any speculators from purchasing lots.
“Everyone we have sold to intends to build and live here,” says Shott.
Sited at up to 3,700 feet of altitude, the lots in The Overlook feature 360-degree long-range views of the mountain and the town of Bluefield to the west. Bluefield has about 30,000 residents, but the area surrounding it is home to more than 100,000, enough to attract quality medical and adequate retail services (a WalMart is six miles away). But Bluefield’s key attraction is its mountain scenery and its climate, especially in the summer, when August high temperatures average 76 and the chamber of commerce gives away free lemonade on any days the thermometer passes 90 degrees.
Those looking for high-tech fitness centers and an on-site clubhouse oriented social life will not be looking in these parts for a home. But golfers could find a home just 10 miles away at the private Fincastle Country Club, which opened in 1963 and offers some of the perks of a golf community club membership, including Olympic size pool and Har-tru tennis courts, two of them lighted for
Most of the properties at Cove Creek include streams that flow year round, and all have access to the trout streams that flow through the community. The individual properties are studded with dogwood, holly, rhododendron and mountain laurel. Jay Shott says most of the lots at Cove Creek and The Overlook are flat, even though they are on the mountain, making it easier (and cheaper) to build than in many other mountain communities. A few homes are already up and occupied at Cove Creek; an executive from the Discovery Channel, a couple of NASA employees and the owner of the local Harley Davidson dealership have bought properties in Cove Creek. A college professor who purchased a large tract on the top of the mountain plans to build a small observatory to extend his own view by a few light years.
Make no mistake, this area of western Virginia provides “four season” living, which is a gentle way of saying the golf season runs roughly from April to November and you can expect some snow in winter at these elevations. But for two-sport couples, a ski area is just 35 minutes from Cove Creek and The Overlook. For the rest, beautiful winter views from their homes on the mountain will be on their menus.
If you would like more information about Cove Creek and The Overlook or would like an introduction to Jay Shott at Diamondback Development, please contact me and I will be happy to make arrangements.