Posts Tagged ‘Triangle Golf’

Golf Fanatic? 2014 will be a great year for Triangle Golfers!

March 24, 2014
The pose of a Champion! Who will pose at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst?

The pose of a Champion! Who will pose at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst?

The Triangle will be the focus of golf this year as we welcome both the 2014 U.S. Men’s and Women’s Open to Pinehurst in June. It will be a unique opportunity to watch some of the greatest golfers in the world compete. Nothing is more impressive than witnessing amazing golf shots with millions of dollars in prize money on the line. We all remember the great shot by Payne Stewart to win the U.S. Open in Pinehurst or the more recent Bubba Watson shot to win The Masters in 2012. However, if you are like me, you would much rather play golf then watch it. Here are some of the great opportunities to gather your friends and business associates to play tournament golf in the Triangle this year.

The tournament was named after past president Jack Andrews who supported this tournament. We lost Jack in 2013, but he will never be forgotten!

The tournament was named after past president Jack Andrews who supported this tournament. We lost Jack in 2013, but he will never be forgotten!

I would be remiss if I didn’t place the greatest emphasis on my Rotary’s club golf tournament which will be held at Wildwood Green Golf Club on May 6th. It is a 1 pm shotgun start with pizza lunch provided by Little Caesars. The 5th Annual Jack Andrews Memorial Golf Tournament will benefit the many organizations that the Rotary Club of North Raleigh supports throughout the year. More details can be found here or you can contact me directly as I have the inside information on this event. This is an important fundraiser for this organization and without your support, we cannot help the many people we do every year.

 

The Inaugural Holly Hill Hospital Charity Golf Tournament will be held on May 12th at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course on the NCST Campus. Registration opens at 11 am with a noon shotgun start. Cost is $130 per player and more details can be found here. The Lonnie Poole Golf Course is always a challenging and interesting course so you will want to make your plans to participate in this event.

The Wake Tech’s Sixth Annual Athletic Golf Tournament will be held on April 25th at the Eagle Ridge Golf Club. It sounds like a wonderful event with a silent auction, 50/50 raffle and a $5,000 putt for Cash. More details for this event can be found here.

The Northern Wake Optimist Club’s Golf Tournament will be held on April 4th at the Reedy Creek Golf Course. Proceeds benefit kids in our community. There will be a monetary prize for the top 3 teams. The cost is minimal at $65/player or $260/team and it includes both a bag lunch and dinner after the round. For more information, please visit here.

The Camp Royall Classic Golf Tournament will be held on May 5th at the Preserve at Jordan Lake Golf Club. The tournament will help provide life-changing experiences to children with autism at Camp Royall, the largest and oldest camp exclusively for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United States. The cost is $500/foursome. You can learn more about this effort and register here.

On June 16th at Bentwinds Country Club, the Eighth Annual Raleigh Area NFFF Golf Tournament will be held. It will support the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation which supports the families of fallen firefighters. The cost is $100/individuals or $400/team with many sponsorship opportunities. For more information on this wonderful event, please click here.

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Golf Tournament will be held on May 15th at River Ridge Golf Club. It will be a 9 am shotgun start and sponsorships are still available. Please visit here for more information.

The Raleigh Claims Association (RCA) Golf Tournament will be held on May 16th at Wilmar Golf Club. It will be a 1 pm shotgun start and cost is minimal at $50/player to include golf and the picnic. For more information, please click here.

The Ed Shook Golf Classic raises money for the education of developmentally challenged children in Wake County!

The Ed Shook Golf Classic raises money for the education of developmentally challenged children in Wake County!

The Ed Shook Golf Classic will be held on September 8th at the famed Raleigh Country Club. Celebrating its 49th anniversary, this event is one to remember and participate. Sponsored by the Frankie Lemmon School and the Rotary Club of North Raleigh, this event directly assist students with developmental challenges. The school was named after the founder’s son shortly after his death. For more information about this event, please visit here or contact me directly.

This is just a sampling of the golf tournaments throughout the Triangle region. As you can see, there are many opportunities to play golf for a good cause. If you have a tournament that I didn’t mention, please let me know and I will promote it as well. You can email me at Steven@BackNineHomes.com. We always try to show as many tournaments as we can, but it is impossible to know all of them.

Tips for selling your house in 2013!

June 17, 2013
When sellers market their homes properly, buyers will find that home and buy it!

When sellers market their homes properly, buyers will find that home and buy it!

Many people are excited about the continuously improving real estate market around the country as well as in the Triangle. With demand up and the supply down, the housing market has finally moved back in the favor of the seller. More homes are selling for at or above list price and some even have multiple offers on them. This is still rare in this market, but the right property can see multiple offers. With all of that said, is it still difficult to sell a home in this market?

If you are not prepared to sell your home and make your home stand out, it can still be a challenge. We are not in a market where every home is selling, no matter the price. Those days are probably gone forever…and for good reason. Today, the appraisal process is more difficult so unless you are paying cash, you have to take this into account when selling your home.

Some basics of the home selling process has not changed and will not change, no matter the housing market. Your home has to be well positioned if you hope to sell your home. If you don’t believe me, check the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and see all of the homes that have not sold and are either expired or withdrawn. The odds are up that you will sell in 2013, but it is still not a sure thing.

Differentiate from the competition

It is important to make your home stand out among the competition. It may not be something big, but it should be something that most of the homes you are competing with do not have. For instance, I had a townhouse listing in a large community. Many of the town homes in this community were virtually similar to the other, with the major difference being price. My client did a couple of things to ensure that her home would sell quicker than the competition. First, she did not wait for the Home Owner’s Association (HOA) to refresh her deck, she did it herself. She sanded and stained the deck to make it stand out. Additionally, she had a high-end refrigerator that she considered taking with her. Since most of the competition had very simple refrigerators, this made a huge difference in getting a buyer for her home. Of course, it was included at no additional value, but she obtained her goal of selling her home quickly and at fair market value.

Other ways to differentiate your home would be curb appeal. It’s not a highly expensive task and a do-it-yourself project, but it can make the difference. Do you know how many buyers do not even walk into the front door if the curb appeal is poor? If you cannot get them in the door, you will not sell the house.

Many of the things you can do to differentiate will not add value to your home. So, I caution not to go overboard with this project. For instance, when my wife was selling her townhouse, which was priced in the low $100,000s, her neighbor had the same floor plan and was similar in many ways. However, the neighbor had granite countertops and my wife had laminate. What made my wife’s home sell quicker? She had replaced the carpets and did touch-up paint throughout the unit where the neighbor had some very loud colors in her home. Both homes sold, but the other sold only after our’s was already off the market. Caution: your upgrades should be typical for your community and price point to get the best bang for your buck.

De-Clutter

Nothing turns off buyers more than a cluttered house. I have seen perfectly decent homes stay on the market until the clutter was cleaned. For example, I had a listing when I first got into business. The sellers had several children and the home was a complete clutter mess. I had informed the sellers that it would be difficult to sell the home until the clutter was cleared up. As with many sellers, they did not listen to me and the house sat on the market for several months. It wasn’t until my clients actually moved out of the house and thus, taking the clutter, that is sold. It actually sold quickly after they had left.

Clutter also makes the house look much smaller and the clutter is not just trash. For instance, I showed a large home in one of the nicest communities in North Raleigh. As we walked into the house, there was so much furniture that barely an inch of wall space did not have a piece of furniture in front of it. There were probably six grandfather clocks and this home that was around 4,000 square feet looked very small. The house was clean, but all of the furniture acted like clutter and my buyers could not get past all of the furniture. They wondered if their own furniture would fit in the space even though they didn’t have nearly as much. It took the home quite a while to sell. If you have a lot of furniture that you do not want to get rid of, put it in storage until you make your next move. You may not mind the excessive furniture, but a buyer will.

Remove offensive items

This can be a very sensitive area to address, but one that must be addressed if you are to sell your home. Unfortunately, in our society, everyone it seems is easily offended. This is no different in the real estate business. If you are a hunter and have stuffed prey or deer heads, remove them and put them in storage for your next home. You never know who will walk in your home as a prospective buyer and they may get offended by this display of trophies. Even if the buyer does not get offended, it is a distraction. When my wife and I were looking at homes, she was turned off by all of the stuffed animals and deer heads. In fact, she came within a couple of inches of kissing a deer head because the sellers had so many, they placed one at the top of the back staircase and she was distracted while walking up the stairs. She turned just in time and nearly gave the deer a tongue bath. She is not offended by hunters, but it turned her off.

Additionally, if you smoke, you should refrain from smoking in your house while you are trying to sell it. You should even get a company in to remove the odor from your house. As sensitive an issue as smoking is for many people, if someone who is anti-smoking walks into your home and smells the lingering effects of cigarette smoke, they are likely to turn around and leave without looking at the house. I have seen it done by clients, so remove the odor and smoke outside. I realize it is an inconvenience, but you are trying to sell a product, your home.

This may not be offensive, but rather distracting, but you should remove anything that may be a distraction for the buyers. For instance, while my wife and I were looking for a house several years ago, we went into the home of the producers of the “Golden Girls”. She is a huge fan of the show. Unfortunately for the sellers, they kept all of the memorabilia and awards from the show on display. My wife could not tell you five things about the house after we left it, but she could recall all of the memorabilia she encountered. Some agents will take this to the extreme and inform their clients to remove all family photos. I don’t think this is a requirement, but the number of photos should be limited. For example, my personal home has many family photos mounted on the up the staircase and several in the hallway at the top of the stairs. When we sell, we will have to remove the majority of these photos and caulk and paint over the holes. This can be a major distraction for many buyers.

Sweeten the Deal

Often, in a competitive market, you need to sweeten the deal to ensure the potential buyer will select your home. In the current market where there are fewer listings, this is not as imperative, but if the competition starts to strengthen, you may have to consider it. This could be anything from offering to pay some of the buyer’s closing cost to simply offering a home warranty for the buyer. As housing values have tightened throughout the bust, many sellers may not be able to pay for the closing cost of the buyers, but simply adding a home warranty, which cost between $300-400, is an easy way to encourage a buyer to select your home.

With most home warranties, if you purchase one while you are selling it, you pay for it when it closes and you are covered while it is on the market. Basically, you get a free warranty while you are selling your home and if it doesn’t sell, it didn’t cost you anything. Most warranties have a $75 service charge when you bring out a handyman to repair something, but this is minimal compared to what it could cost you. I always consider this to be a no-brainer.

Move-in Ready

I consider this to be imperative if you want to sell your home quickly and for the most money. If your home looks like the buyer can move in right away, then it will stand out among its competition. The walls should be at least touched up if not completely painted and the carpets should be in pristine condition. The colors should be more neutral, but that doesn’t mean boring. Warm, neutral colors are always best and the bright reds and blues should be avoided at all cost; even in the children’s bedrooms. If the home is positioned for the first-time homebuyers, then having move-in ready conditions is even more important. Many first timers do not know how easy it is to paint the walls and will discount your home if they believe they will have to do it.

I equate this to buying a new or used car from a dealer. When you walk onto a lot to buy that used car, what is the condition of that car? In most cases, that car is in the best condition and looks like brand new. Quality used car dealers know how to market their cars to appeal to the masses. The car is usually very clean and detailed with everything working properly. Of course, there’s no guarantee how long it will stay that way after the purchase, but while it’s on the lot, it is marketed to sell. Your home is no different. The best marketing for your home is the condition of that home. This goes with the inside as well as the outside.

Curb appeal

I have already mentioned this, but this shows how important curb appeal is. It has to look like a home before people will go inside to see the interior. The lawn should be mowed weekly and the hedges should be trimmed. Look at your house from the street and try to think like a buyer. If you were buying your house today, would you purchase it based on the curb appeal?

Buying a home is an emotional decision. I have seen it many times that when a buyer finds a home that evokes an emotional response, they will buy that home. When it becomes an emotional attachment to your home, they will also be less likely to negotiate the price down too much as they don’t want to lose the house. I have had several buyers who did very little negotiating on price or terms because they ‘love’ the house and have to have it. It all starts at the curb. I typically park the car on the street when showing a house so my clients get the full benefit of the curb appeal. If they don’t love the exterior, they will already be skeptical about the house when they walk into the front door.

Pricing it Right

Price is the number one reason a home sells…period! This sounds simplistic, but think about it. The buyer has to be able to afford the house based upon their income. The item that is negotiated the hardest is typically the price. Unless the buyer is paying cash, the house has to appraise for the sales price or they will not be able to get the mortgage approved. They may fall in love with the house, but if you cannot come to an agreement on price, it will not sell.

Now, here’s the dirty little secret. Sellers don’t set the price, the market does. If you don’t price the house competitively, it will sit there with little activity and no offers. Buyers will not overpay for a house, especially after so many were burned during the housing boom. They are cautious of overpaying. What’s more, if you are overpriced to begin, studies have shown that you eventually sell for much less than had you priced it right at the beginning.

How? I’m glad you asked. It’s as simple as this. Most of the activity you will see on your home will be when it is first listed. This is when you really know if you are overpriced. If you don’t get showings, it means the buyers think it is not priced well. After you have been on the market for several months, you will eventually decide you need to reduce your price to sell it. Then, you may be competitive after the reduction. However, now the potential buyers will see how long your home has been on the market and will begin to believe you are getting desperate to sell. This will lead to lower offers for your home. Eventually, the home will be sold for much less than it should have been. Perception is reality. Whether you are desperate or not, this will be the perception and the buyers will act accordingly.

In the Raleigh market, a home that is priced right typically sells for 97-98% of list price. However, homes that are overpriced eventually sell for about 80% of the original list price. This is not just a Wake County trend, but a national trends. So, where ever you are selling your home, you need to be priced correctly.

When I list a home, I tell my clients that we are testing the market. Once all of the marketing is in place, it becomes about testing the price. Once we get the price where the market demands, it will usually sell; especially in a good market.

If you have had difficulty selling in the past several months, you should look to these as potential reasons why it didn’t sell. In good markets, there is typically a buyer for every product, but again, this is not a guarantee. Price it right and it should sell!

Tips for Selling your Home!

April 1, 2013
Selling your home is a process!

Selling your home is a process!

I am often asked about some tips to sell a home. It differs to an extent based upon the market, but generally, I give the same advice to anyone looking to sell their home. As usual, this is not all-encompassing as I am prone to leave things out that I ‘meant’ to put into this post, but the goal is to give you a general idea of what is required to sell a home.

In a great market it is not always necessary to hire a real estate professional to assist you in the sale of your home to get it sold, but you will typically get what you paid for. If you are acting as your own agent, I would caution you that it can be a hard road to travel. First of all, you may have difficulty pricing your home competitively. Often those who do not hire an agent sell their homes for much less than the market value. I won’t get into the specifics, but the research performed by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has pointed towards this trend. Much more than price, a competent agent can assist with negotiating the price, terms, repairs, and miscellaneous items that are likely to arise. For instance, an agent can help you negotiate with the mortgage lender or the title insurance company. I had a listing once where I needed to negotiate with the Title company in order to provide a clear title for the buyer. You never know what may come up while you are selling your home and an agent can be instrumental in helping you navigate these special circumstances. Also, an agent can keep you legal. State law requires that all homes sold in North Carolina be accompanied with a Property Disclosure and HOA Disclosure with a few exceptions. These are primarily for information purposes only, but if you do not have one, the buyer can back out of the contract. If you do not have this in place, you will not be protected and may have your home off the market for several weeks, losing prospective buyers, just to discover the buyer has ‘cold feet’ and are utilizing the absence of a Property Disclosure to terminate the contract and keep the earnest money. If you do not have an agent, you may not be protected from this ‘out’.

The main ingredient in the sales process is price. You have to have your home priced competitively if you hope to sell it. This goes beyond any market conditions. For most people, price is the number one determinant to whether they purchase Home A or Home B. If you are not priced competitively, you will lose potential buyers who may think you are overpriced. Even if you are underpriced, the perception will be that the home needs too much work and thus, it is not worth the effort to view the home. I was in a meeting today where the speaker stated, “Perception is Reality”. If you look at it, this is the case. Potential buyers will make an assessment of your home based upon their perceptions. I have seen this many times where my buyer discounts a home based upon a perception they have acquired of a house, whether they viewed the home or not. Perception is important. A quality agent can assist you with a pricing strategy that will work.

As I just stated, perception is reality. So, your home has to give the perception of quality and value if you wish to sell it. You do not have to hire a professional stager, but you will have to look at your home objectively as if you were the buyer. If you have too much stuff in your home, you will have to remove it and put it in storage. A clutter space looks much smaller. So, de-clutter your home is key to selling your home. Look at it this way, you are moving anyway so this is a great opportunity to purge your belongings as all of us have more stuff than we really need. Right?

Cosmetic appeal is imperative to sell a home. Not as much in a strong market, but it is still important. Your home should have neutral colors as the bright colors may be your taste, but the odds are, the next owner will have much different taste. Sure, they can paint the home and will most likely do so, but it may take them a couple of years to get around to painting. Meanwhile, they know they will have to live with the neon green living room. You need to neutralize the space. More than simply taste, cosmetic appeal runs the gauntlet from chipped paint to shabby and stained carpets. The old mantra in the marketing business is “Sex sells”. You don’t see overweight people as spokespeople for a sports car. No, you see models standing in front of a sports car like you would have the same appeal if you purchased that vehicle. It is not reality, but a perception they are trying to sell you. The same goes with real estate. You shouldn’t hire a model to stand in front of your home, but you need to make it as appealing as possible. The home should be in its best condition if you are hoping to sell it for the most money. Of course, if you cannot get these cosmetic repairs done, you will not get top dollar for your home and should price it accordingly. Along these lines, curb appeal is important to get the buyers out of their cars and into your house. I have seen situations where the curb appeal was so bad, my buyers told me to keep driving.

One way to prepare your home to sell would be to differentiate your home from the competition. Know your competition and what they are offering and try to find a way to be better than the competition. This may mean you will have to do more in the interim and have greater cost to get the home ready, but ultimately, it can make the difference; especially in a difficult market. For example, I had a seller in a community where she had 15-20 similar town homes for sale at the same time. There was little she could do to differentiate from her competition on the outside of the home, but instead, she offered to include her high-end refrigerator for the right price. This was about a $2,500 refrigerator where all of  her competitors had very basic refrigerators priced for less than a thousand dollars. She couldn’t price her home higher for this appliance, but we sold her home quicker because of that refrigerator. It made her home more appealing than the competition.

Finally, be willing, ready and able to negotiate any offer that you get. This doesn’t mean you have to accept the offer, but be willing to negotiate every offer. I always tell my clients that we are not going to walk away from an offer to purchase. We may counter the offer several times, but we are going to leave it up to the other side to be the party to walk away from the negotiations. It is hard, but I also inform them to take the emotion out of the negotiations. Buying or selling a home is an emotional process. The more you can separate your emotions from this transaction, the better you will be able to negotiate. Remember, the buyer, in most cases, is emotionally attached to your home. They can see themselves living in your home, raising their children there, sharing special moments with friends and family there. They are emotionally attached to your home. So, to get the better negotiating position on this transaction, you need to remove the emotion from your side. It is a business transaction. You may have put much blood, sweat and tears into your home, and we hope the buyers appreciate all that you have done to the home. Ultimately, they may be planning on changing the house dramatically once they own it. Your taste and their taste may not be similar, so do not get offended if they do not see the value in the remodeled kitchen. Keep the emotions out of it.

In closing, there are many lists you can find online that spell out exact items for you to complete to prepare you for selling your house. These lists are good, but I am not too much into these lists. For one reason, a list gives the perception of being all-encompassing and including everything you would ever need to do. If that were the case, all of these lists would be identical (and they are not). Look at these lists, but ultimately, you need to look at your home as if you were the buyer. What was important to you when you purchased that house? It may not be a bad idea to attend a few open houses before you list your home just to put your mindset into that of a buyer. You can never satisfy every buyer, but you only need to satisfy one buyer. To ensure that you do this, you have to appeal to the masses to give you the best odds of finding that one buyer who can see themselves living in your house.

In many people’s vocabulary, house and home are interchangeable. If you are selling, you need to start looking at your home as a house. It is a product, not your home. Mentally, the moment you made the decision to sell your home, you had moved out of that home. Now, you are living in a house until you can find your next ‘home’.

Upcoming Golf Tournaments and other important items

March 4, 2013
The pose of a Champion

The pose of a Champion

As the Golfing Realtor, I feel it is important for me to emphasis and promote upcoming golf tournaments and other important items. There are many exciting golf opportunities that should impress many people. This post will not have all of the golf tournaments in the Triangle, just some that I know are coming.

Before I get into the tournament schedule, I would be remiss not to mention that the real estate season that is quickly approaching. March tends to be the month that showing and general activity begins to really take hold. The market has traditionally shown that it is tied to the spring and summer seasons. If you have been reading blog, you will know that 2012 was a very successful year for the Triangle real estate market. Sales were up and inventory was down. By some indications, foreclosures in 2013 will be up over last year. If last year’s trends continue, 2013 is shaping up to be another very successful year.

With that said, if you have been thinking of either buying or selling in 2013, now is the time to get your home ready for sale and get it onto the market. The best thing you can do to sell your home quickly is to have it ready for show from the beginning as research has shown that the most showings you will have on your home will be in the first few weeks it is on the market. So, be ready to sell and then call a qualified agent whom you like and trust to help you price your home correctly and sell it in a timely manner. Most people looking to sell a home are doing it so they can either move-up or downsize their living quarters. This means you need to definitely be priced right and showing your best foot when it officially goes on the market.

Now that we got the business out of the way, there are several golf tournaments coming up that may interest you. Also, I have listed several golf outing (not tournaments) that may interest you. As a committee member of the Downtown Links, we have monthly outings and have secured some very nice courses throughout the Triangle. If you are not a member of the Downtown Clubs of Raleigh, you can be my guest to any of these events as I will be at most of them. Please let me know if you are interested in any of these dates.

 

Downtown Links

Wednesday, March 13- Devil’s Ridge Golf Club, 1pm shotgun start

Monday, April 15-Prestonwood Country Club, 12:30 pm shotgun start

Tuesday, May 14-Raleigh Country Club, 12:30 shotgun start

Thursday, June 6-North Ridge Country Club, 1pm shotgun start

Monday, July 22-Brier Creek Country Club, 1 pm shotgun start

August-TBD-Hasentree Country Club,

Monday, September 23-Treyburn Country Club, 12:30 shotgun start

October, TBD-The Neuse Golf Club, tee times starting at 12:30

Thursday, November 7-Lochmere Golf Club

*Some of these dates and details are subject to change.

Local Golf Tournaments

April 9, 9th HNC Charity Golf Tournament, The Preserve at Jordan Lake, noon shotgun start. More

April 22, 4th Annual North Raleigh Rotary Golf Tournament, Wildwood Green Golf Club, 1pm shotgun start. $350 for a team, $87.50 for individuals. Email me.

April 29, RRAR Annual Charity Golf Tournament, Devil’s Ridge Golf Club, 8 am check-in. Details

May 3, AIA Triangle Golf Tournament, Lonnie Poole Golf Club, 1pm shotgun start. Info.

May 13, Wheels4Hope Golf Charity Event, Wildwood Green Golf Club, noon check-in

 

As you may imagine, this is just a small sampling of the golf tournaments that are available this spring. I will add more in the future. If you have a tournament you would like listed here, please let me know and I will be happy to add them to the list.

Golf tournaments are a wonderful way to spend the day while giving back to a great cause. There are typically many opportunities to play golf throughout the area while raising much needed funds for causes that may or may not be dear to your heart. I would encourage you to plan to play in one or more tournaments this year. I have only won a couple of the tournaments I have played, but I have always had fun.

 

 

 

Downtown Links Golf Calendar

January 18, 2013
Lochmere...A Golf Experience!

Lochmere…A Golf Experience!

As a member of the committee for the Downtown Links, I am pleased to announce the calendar that we have do date. The Downtown Links is a group of professional who are also members of the Downtown Clubs of Raleigh, The Downtown Clubs of Raleigh is a combination of the Capital City Club and the Cardinal Club. Each of these clubs are business and social clubs that include many opportunities for networking, each with wonderful dining rooms.

This calendar is for informational purposes and may change at the committee’s direction. If you are not a member of the Downtown Clubs of Raleigh and would like to play one of the beautiful courses we have scheduled, please contact me and you can play as my guest.

March 13th, Devil’s Ridge Country Club in Holly Springs

April, Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. Date and time TBD

May 14th, Raleigh Country Club in Raleigh

June 6th, North Ridge (Lakes Course) Country Club in North Raleigh

July 22, Brier Creek Country Club in North Raleigh

August, Hasentree Country Club in Wake Forest. Date and time TBD

September 23, Treyburn Country Club in Durham

October, The Neuse Country Club in Clayton. Date and time TBD

November 7th, Lochmere Golf Club in Cary

 

Upcoming golf tournament

April 22nd, North Raleigh Rotary Golf Tournament, Wildwood Green Golf Club, 1pm shotgun start

We are excited about this group of courses and it should be another great season. Most of our outings this year are shotgun starts, but not all of the final details have been negotiated. If you are interested in playing any of these courses, please contact me at Steven@BackNineHomes.com to get on the list of players.

What Golf Community would you buy a home and join the club?

September 18, 2012

Payne Stewart’s Glorious Moment!

 

Last week, I had a meeting with a gentleman who asked me a question that made me think. His question: If money was not an issue, what Wake County golf community and course would you recommend to a client? This question was also predicated upon location not being an issue for the client. With these open options, it made me think. I must admit, no one has asked me that question in the past.

It made me think of all of the great courses and communities here in Wake County. Most people do not realize, but there are nearly 20 golf course communities in Wake County alone, not to mention the Triangle. My answer to this gentleman was simple, “it depends!” This is the number one answer to all real estate questions as the answer depends on different factors. For instance, what types of courses do you like to play and do you want multiple golfing options with your purchase?

For me, I would want to join a club that gives me multiple course options as I get bored with the same course, day in and day out. Variety is so important to me that I rarely travel the same route home. I have always been like that, but others may be happy to have access to simply one course where they can learn all of the nuances of that course and “master” it. Others still may have specific ideas of what type of community. Some may be more interested in older homes with larger lots as opposed to many of our newer communities that have smaller lots and the rooms tend to be smaller. All of these and many more factors can play into your decision.

For me, I would have to recommend a community like North Ridge that has two courses or Wakefield that would give you access to all of McConnell golf courses. Some may prefer single courses like McGregor Downs, which has an amazing course, but only one course. In this blog post, I hope to address some of the great golf course communities in Wake county and give you an idea of which are the better ones.

To start, I need to cover some of the less expensive communities with public or semi-private courses. Among these would be Hedingham, Eagle Ridge, and Crooked Creek. The benefit of each of these communities is purchasing in these communities, you have the option of joining all three as the Fred Smith Company now owns all of these courses and have a membership level for these communities. These courses are very nice and are typically in good shape. Last year, Hedingham was closed for major repairs and regeneration of its greens, fairways and tee boxes. I played it shortly after it re-opened and it played very well. It has many challenging holes to keep your interest, but not so much that you are over challenged and cannot score well. Eagle Ridge and Crooked Creek are very nice courses. I cannot speak too much about these courses as I rarely play them due to driving distance, but as memory serves, they are both challenging and fair at the same time. If housing price is a factor, these communities offer affordable housing, many with great golf course views. Hedingham is the most affordable as it offers town homes for less than $100,000 up to single family homes in the $200-low $300s. Eagle Ridge and Crooked Creek consist of single family homes that tend to be priced in the $200s.

If money is not an issue, then the choices increase dramatically. I will start with the Southwestern Wake communities. There are several and one that I really enjoy is Devil’s Ridge, located in the Sunset Ridge community in Holly Springs. The community is well done and well maintained and the course is always in great condition. Membership in Devil’s Ridge will give you the option to join the Triangle Society with ClubCorp and give you access to several courses in the Triangle. A great way to be introduced to several courses. The community is primarily single family with housing from the mid $200s up to half a million. Membership in Devil’s Ridge is affordable and the course is semi-private.

More high-end in this area would include both McGregor Downs and Prestonwood. McGregor Downs is an exclusive community that is laid out very nicely with larger lots and is a highly established community. Many of the homes were built in the 1980s, so if you want an older community in this area, I would highly suggest this course. Membership in McGregor Downs will give you access to this amazing course and all of the additional community features such as tennis courts and lakes. This club was formed in 1967, so it is one of the oldest in the Triangle. Prestonwood, home of the SAS Championship, is more modern with additional benefits such as 3 courses to choose. All three courses are amazing courses with some very challenging, but fair holes. I have only played the Meadows course and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience (though I didn’t score well). Prestonwood has housing that consist of condos around the $200s to town homes for a little more and tops off with single family homes from mid $200s up to well over a couple million. Most of the lots are smaller than you would see in McGregor Downs, but most are more modern and updated as it is a newer community.

Moving north, you have several options in the Northern Wake area to include Brier Creek, Wildwood Green, North Ridge, Hasentree and many more. I will try to talk about each of these in some detail, but there are too many to cover in much detail.

Brier Creek and Hasentree are very nice courses and are both Toll Brother properties, so membership in one will get you membership in the other. Plus, you can add to your membership access to all Toll Brother golf communities in the U.S. Both communities are fairly new, but Brier Creek tends to have smaller lots than Hasentree, primarily due to the fact that there is more room with this community. Brier Creek course is very nice, but is currently being repaired as many of the greens were infected with a disease, which has caused them to close down the course to rid the greens of this infestation. If they have not yet re-opened, it will be soon. The course is challenging with one of their signature holes being the 18th, which is an awesome finishing hole. This hole offers a blind tee shot and a green that is surrounded by water on three sides. Brier Creek offers housing from condos priced in the low $100s to single family homes over a million. It is convenient to all the amenities that you could ask and very close to RTP and I-540. Hasentree is not as convenient as it is located off Hwy. 98, close to Wake Forest, but the benefits are larger lots and more nature areas. Housing starts in the mid $300s and goes up from there. The golf course is always pristine and the 88 bunkers on this course may make you curse Tom Fazio as they tend to be well placed for danger at every turn. For shopping, you would have to head towards Wake Forest. If you work in downtown Raleigh, the commute can be difficult.

A little closer to Raleigh, you will find both Heritage and TPC Wakefield Plantation. Both are fairly new communities with varying pricing range for homes and smaller lots than can be seen in some of the older communities. To get a larger lot, you will need to purchase one of the larger homes. I have never played Heritage, but had the opportunity to play Wakefield for the first time last week. It was an amazing golfing experience with some very challenging holes. The signature 18th hole is a Par 5 where you aim for the clubhouse from the tee box. The approach shot is over a stream, but do not go long as it elevates quickly towards the clubhouse with two bunkers. My approach shot sailed over the green and I thought it landed in the bunker, but it was not there. With the tall, thick grass, I couldn’t find the ball.

Heritage is a semi-private course located in the heart of downtown Wake Forest. Membership is affordable as it pertains to golf clubs. You only have access to that course along with the swim and tennis. Being closer to Hwy 1-Capital Blvd. the commute to Raleigh is much more efficient than the other courses around it. Wakefield membership offers the 18-hole course, the 9-hole walking course, access to all TPC Network courses and reciprocal golf privileges at all McConnell Golf Properties. McConnell Golf has eight golf clubs in North and South Carolina to include three in the Triangle, Raleigh Country Club and Treyburn being the other two. Membership is affordable based considering what you get for your membership. Even though I don’t live anywhere near Wakefield, I would probably be more inclined to this membership or at least it’s sister club, Raleigh Country Club due to the variety of clubs you can access.

North Ridge is another wonderful course with two courses available. It is located in North Raleigh and offers tennis and pools. I have only played one of the two courses and it was an intriguing experience. Many of the holes have water with a couple of Par 3s that go directly over water on the Oaks course. It plays very nicely with many challenges, but fair. Membership is not the most affordable, and to get the most value for your membership, you need to play multiple times a week. My wife and I almost purchased a home in this community and would have joined this course had we purchased that home. Housing is diverse with town homes in the low $100s-mid $200s and single family homes range from the mid $300s to well over a million. If you have not played this course, I would highly recommend it. I hope to be able to play the Lakes course at some point in the future as I have heard that this course is better than the Oaks.

Finally (but not lastly), Wildwood Greens Golf Club is also located in North Raleigh and is a course all about golf. The John Budwine Golf Academy operates out of this course and offers teaching professionals for any player. The course is very challenging, but fair with several water hazards throughout the course. I am a member of this course as it is very affordable, especially for someone who likes to play other courses. Membership dues are less than $200 a month and the initiation  is extremely reasonable. This course was in place before the community was developed around the course. The community offers homes priced from the low $200s to over $400s. The community is well laid out well with the golf course so you are not crossing several streets throughout your round of golf. If you are on a budget, this is a great course.

I hope you have enjoyed this and please let me know what your preference is. I haven’t covered all of the golf communities in Wake county as there are more than I can cover in this blog. Keep following this blog as I am always talking about individual courses in Wake county and usually focus on one course per blog post.

In answering the question, what community would you join if money was not an issue? I want to hear from you!

Hasentree Golf Course

August 16, 2012

Last week, I had the distinct privilege of playing golf on one of the Triangle’s greatest golf courses. If you have not played Hasentree, you are missing an amazing experience. This course offers 88 bunkers, which make it a bit challenging, but it is laid out in a fair method. There were many times during the round that I felt like cursing Tom Fazio, professional golfer and course designer, but in the end, I had a wonderful time and a decent round of golf.

Tom Fazio challenges his golfers with a 466 yard Par 4 to start the round that dog-legs left. This hole is challenging for the short hitters. When I played this hole, I did not get a good tee shot and was short left in the tall grass. This forced me to make a bad second shot. Finally, my third shot, still from over 200 yards out, landed on the fringe of the elevated green.

Hole #2 is a 400 yard Par 4 that starts out with a tee shot that must carry a natural area to reach the fairway. It then follows with a second to an elevated green that is severely slopped in the front and both sides. I had a decent tee shot on this hole, but a more amazing second shot that landed a foot from the hole for a birdie. This green is so challenging that one of the players with me landed behind the green on his approach shot. He then chipped back to the green, but the ball rolled off the front of the green. His next shot landed on the green, just left of the front pin, but did not hold and rolled off the side of the green. I think I had a similar experience on this hole the last time I played this hole.

The course consists of 5 Par 3s with one being 238 yards from pin to tip. I was fortunate to win the closest to the pin on the sixth hole. From the tee box we were using, it was just over 200 yards to the flag and I came up short of the flag, about 10 feet from the flag. With the birdie, a couple of pars and a closest to the pin, this was one of the best individual outings I had with the Downtown Links Club, which is the golf club arm of the Downtown Clubs of Raleigh. Next month, we will be visiting Wakefield Plantation. This will be my first opportunity to play this course.

Hasentree; the community

Hasentree is an amazing community and has thrived under the direction of Toll Brothers. Housing prices start from the low $300s for the Villa collection and head up to well over a million for some of the executive homes. It is ideally located between Wake Forest, Durham and North Raleigh, off Highway 98.

The community offers golf, tennis, swimming, fitness center, family activities and outdoor living. The outdoor living offers hiking, biking and walking trails throughout that both surround the golf course and go beyond it. While enjoying these trails, you may encounter wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, bald eagles and hawks. This community, set on approximately 800 acres, nearly half dedicated to green space, has the distinction of being a Certified Gold Audubon International Signature Sanctuary. One of only six in North Carolina and fewer than 21 in the nation. With the Falls Lake State Recreation Area adjoining this property, it opens up to endless water activities such as kayaking and boating on the more than 12,000 acre lake.

For seniors or young families, this community is an oasis in the midst of a growing area of the Triangle and North Carolina. Whether you play golf or not, there are plenty of activities to enjoy at this community. The swimming complex offers three pools. One has a six lane 25-yard competition pool while another has a 90 foot, double loop water slide. The community fields a swimming team for under 18.

The tennis complex offers six lighted courts, four hydro-clay and two hard courts. They offer lessons, competition and has fielded teams for state competitions. The fitness center offers state of the art equipment to get you into the best shape of your life and keep you there. They also offers classes for yoga, Pilates, spinning and body sculpting. Move here and do away with your gym membership.

Hasentree Housing

Toll Brothers offers three select groupings of homes for purchase with a separate custom builder’s section. These collections are well priced and more competitive than the previous developer of this property.

The Hasentree Signature Collection offers homes over 4000 sq ft with custom options located on an acre plus lots. These are priced from the low $600s. The Golf Villas Collection offers six different single, detached plans and lawn maintenance is included in the HOA dues. These are low maintenance ranch homes with just over 2000 sq ft. and priced in the low $300s. Finally, the Executive Collection offers award-winning home designs on large wooded or golf course lots. They are just over 3000 sq ft. and priced in the mid $400s.

As you can see, Hasentree offers a distinct lifestyle that will be appealing to many people. Toll Brothers have done an amazing job revitalizing this project and giving it new life. When Hassentree first opened, it was isolated to only the high-end purchaser, now, it is well priced for more than just the wealthiest of North Carolinians.

Membership, for both residents and non-residents, offer membership into the Toll Golf Member Advantage Program where you will have access to 14 clubs throughout the nation, with the closet being Brier Creek. You would have to check with the club to find out about the rates. They have categories to fit every lifestyle.

To purchase in this community, please contact me as I will be happy to assist you with your purchase. To learn more about this amazing community, please visit http://www.hasentreecountryclub.com. You will not be disappointed to live in such a wonderful and inviting community.

North Ridge Country Club and Community

March 24, 2012

A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege and honor to play one of the most prestigious golf courses in the Triangle. North Ridge is a private course and one that I have been wanting to play for several years. Thanks to a neighbor who recently joined the club, I had the opportunity to play this wonderful course. We played the Oaks course which was challenging, but fair for all golfers. I actually had a pretty good round, shooting 95, but I must preface my performance a bit. I did play from the Seniors’ tees since I was playing with three seniors so it reduced the yardage considerably. Nonetheless, I shot 95 on a course I had never played.

The two courses include the Lakes and the Oaks, both designed by Gene Hamm and George Cobb. Each course was later re-designed by John LaFoy. This re-designed was to ensure that both courses played fair for all levels of competition. The courses, spread out over 400 acres in North Raleigh, offers very picturesque views and several amazing water holes.

I am always drawn to Par 3s with water and the Oaks had two such holes. Both holes required you to carry the water with very limited area for error without being wet. I personally carried both water holes, landing on each green. One, I had a little too much juice which left me a long putt with most of it downhill. Unfortunately, I was too concerned with going beyond the hole that I came up short and ended up with a very rare 4-putt double bogey. The other one, I was pin high with a fairly level putt. I finished that hole with a par.

In addition to thèse Par 3s on the front nine, the ninth hole offered a deceiving Par 4 with the green protected by a pond. It was deceptive in that the distance to the water appeared much less than it actually was. Thus, I used a iron to get into the fairway, which I was not successful and pulled it left, leaving nearly 200 yards over the water to the green. I got over the water, but again was left and missed the green with a chip shot to the green. The next time, I will use a fairway wood off the tee and aim right where there is plenty of grass for landing without having to worry about the water. It would also give a straight shot over the water onto the green. It may result is a bit longer shot, but a safer shot.

I enjoyed this course and am looking forward to playing it again this year as the Downtown Links have arranged to have an outing at this course. With more knowledge of this course, I should be able to play a better round and take full advantage of this experience. Of course, there is the possibility that we will be playing the Lakes course, which would be fine with me as I would love to experience this course as well.

North Ridge Country Club


North Ridge Country Club is a private club that offers many benefits for its members. Coupled with the golf, it offers a pool, tennis and a fitness center. The fitness center offers personal training tailored to the member’s needs. They offer specialized training for golf or tennis fitness as well as group fitness programs such as water aerobics, Pilates and yoga. The tennis offers junior programs, private lessons, clinics, mixers and tournaments. As a tennis player, I can appreciate good instruction in this area.

The Olympic size pool offers a great way to spend warm summer days. With large decks, pool houses, kiddie pool and covered patio, this is a great place to relax. Just steps from the clubhouse, tennis complex and the 1st tee for the Lakes course, it is a great meeting place for members. Additionally, they have several activities for the youth to enhance their experience with the club. The clubhouse offers a wonderful dining facility that offers breakfast/Sunday Brunch, lunch and dinner.

Membership is modest for what you get. There is an initiation fee and monthly dues with a food minimum. They offer several levels of memberships to suit your needs from Class A to Junior Memberships to Sports memberships and even a trial membership to get to know the club and see if it will be a good fit for you and your family. Prices vary depending on the level of membership and you can contact them through their website for additional information.

North Ridge Community

The community is the gem in North Raleigh and is centered around the North Ridge Country Club. The club was founded in 1967 and homes began appearing soon thereafter. The community is a virtual who’s who of Raleigh business and community leaders. It has become the place to live in North Raleigh with homes ranging from the low $400,000 to well over a million and more. The community offers tons of sidewalks for leisure strolls in the evenings. Conveniently located, it is just a short drive to downtown, I-540 and RTP. Situated off Falls of Neuse Road, it is prime real estate.

Buying in North Ridge, you typically have your choice from traditional to contemporary style homes, many with golf course lots. The community offers townhouses as well as single family homes. With this variety, you will be certain to find what you are looking to purchase in this community.

When my wife and I first started looking for a home, we were very interested in this community and looked at everything available at the time. One of the homes we viewed was the home of the producers of the “Golden Girls”. After looking at all of these homes, we decided to purchase a town home not in North Ridge, but hope to one day call this community home.

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Brier Creek Countyr Club-Discover a New Lifestyle

October 13, 2011

18th Hole at Brier Creek Country Club

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to play for the first time at the Brier Creek Country Club and it was an amazing experience. Brier Creek is located in Northwest Raleigh, near the border of Durham County. This Arnold Palmer designed course offers challenging, but fair holes that are breathtaking with spectacular views on every hole. Your handicap will not inhibit your ability to enjoy this well-designed course. As a high handicap player, I had several opportunities for pars and even an opportunity for a birdie on this course. The more challenging holes offered the better golfers an opportunity to make difficult shots while leaving the lesser golfer spots to lay-up for a better approach shot to the greens. This course, unlike some I have played in the Triangle, is truly a fair and challenging course.

Brier Creek has been ranked at a Top 40 course in North Carolina as the conditions were near perfect. The fairways were well maintained and drained well despite heavy rain the prior day and drizzle on the day I played it. Of course, there were some saturated spots on the course, but very few. Most of the fairways offered safe landing areas for your tee shots despite your length off the tee, but with enough hazards for the very poor tee shots. Several fairways had water hazards and natural growth areas that had to be negotiated throughout the round, but very forgiving for the occasional poor shot.

The greens were well maintained with some speed, but not to the extent that makes it difficult for the amateur golfer to make putts. Many of the greens offered challenging putts, but not like a Donald Ross green where it is nearly impossible to make a simple put. The most challenging and breathtaking green is the 18th. It is an amazing finishing hole with the green being protected on three sides by a lake. The solid tee shot will give you the opportunity to reach this Par 4 in regulation, but a poor tee shot is not a deal breaker on this hole as there are ample areas to lay-up to give you a better shot of getting over the water.

My favorite hole on this course is the Par 3 16th. This hole is difficult, yet very fair. From the back tees, you will have 195 yards, but the blue tees will give you a 178  yard shot to this green. It is all water carry as the green is just off the lake’s edge with some tall grass between the water and the green. The green is elongated and not very deep. Go to long and you may end up in a sand bunker, giving you a delicate shot to hold the green without running off the front of the green. I was fortunate to land on the green from the tee, but with the elongated green, I had a forty-foot put to birdie. Unfortunately, I three putted this hole, but a boggie for me is a good score.

Brier Creek Membership

Brier Creek is a private club with membership opportunities for both residents and non-resident members. Initiation is not as high as you may imagine and Signature membership will also give you access to The Hassentree Club. Club amenities include the golf course, a 40,000 sq ft luxurious clubhouse, driving range, locker rooms, steam rooms, fitness center, banquet facilities, swim and tennis pavilion and much more. For the money, it is a good value, especially if you live in or near Brier Creek. I am not a member, but if we lived closer to this area, my wife and I would have to consider this as an option.

Living in Brier Creek

Living in Brier Creek has its benefits that few areas in Raleigh can compare. With easy access to I-540 and I-40 the conveniences is unmistakable. The conveniences do not end with this as all of the shopping you would need is near by with nearly all of the national retailers within minutes from your front door to include (but not limited to) Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Dicks. There are also several restaurants nearby with choices such as Wild Wings, Carolina Ale House, Red Robin and many more.

The community has all of the benefits you would imagine to include the golf course, clubhouse, pools and tennis courts and social events throughout the year. It is truly an environment that your family can live and thrive with resort style amenities that will make for a pleasant home life. This community has everything you could ever want in a community.

Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh is a 2nd largest Metropolitan city in North Carolina. The economy is diverse with several technology and drug companies located in the Research Triangle Park (RTP). It is one of the fastest growing cities in the Southeast due to the lifestyle this area offers its residents. Real estate in the Triangle has always been a solid purchase as this area has benefited from stable growth over the past several years. Currently, the real estate market in the Triangle has declined due to national trends, but this area remains a mecca for families looking for quality of life along with strong schools and outdoor living. There are nearly 20 golf courses in Wake County alone with several more within the Triangle region and North Carolina. Raleigh and the Triangle has consistently been ranked among the Best Places to Live in the U.S.

Hasentree-An Amazing Golfing Experience

August 17, 2011

Welcome Home to Hasentree

Last week, I have the opportunity to play one of the area’s most prestigious golf courses when the Downtown Clubs of Raleigh organized an outing to Hasentree. I have to admit, Hasentree, a Tom Fazio designed course, is an experience that all avid golfers in the Triangle should have. The course was immaculate and the greens in top-notch condition. The greens were a little quick, but not too quick.

Despite having a very poor outing, I could not help but appreciate the course. The challenges start on the first hole with a dogleg left and fairway bunkers along the left side of the fairways. It made for an exact shot to get up in regulation, of which I did not accomplish.

Another memorable hole was the Par 4, #10 that actually has two greens. On this day, they were utilizing the right green  which was below the fairway. It made for a challenging hole. The finishing hole is one of the more challenging holes where there were few areas to land your tee shot without danger of hitting a fairway bunker.

Speaking with the pro shop after my round, I gathered that they have openings for members and it appears to be affordable. Hasentree is offering membership with the initiation of $10,000 and monthly dues of $385. Click on the link to learn more about membership at this inspiring course.

Several great shots were made by my group, but not enough to score well compared to some of the other teams. Paul Pratto, one of the organizers of the Downtown Links group, was the big winner as his 2 person team had the lowest score while also earning the cigars that my company, Back Nine Homes, offered for the closest to the pin on one of the par 3s on the front nine.

Hasentree Community

Recently, Toll Brothers purchased this project from the bank and have made strides to make this a successful project. They have lowered the prices that the original developers had placed on the homes and you have several options to get into this community. The Golf Villas Collection prices start in the low $300s with most of the floor plans having first floor master bedrooms. Of course, the prices go up to the $2+ Million dollar with many of the Executive homes starting in around $700,000. In the past, it was difficult to find a home in this community for less than $700,000. It would appear that the new price point has been successful as they have started to sell homes despite the economic times.

Some of the community features in addition to the golf course include resort-style pools, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails and planned activities. For more information or a guided tour of this great community, please contact me as I would be happy to show it to you.