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Money-losing golf courses can club the values of nearby homes

The Real Deal – Many people who bought homes next to golf courses thought their property value would rise. But they are now discovering that golf-home prices can drop, too, as the popularity of the sport recedes. Decades after developers began to blanket the Sunbelt with residential communities built around golf courses, many courses are closing – triggering legal fights over the consequences. In the early 2000s, developers who built residential communities around golf clubs started to require all of their home buyers to become club members.

Mandatory memberships persist at golf communities. For example, buyers at Akoya Boca West, a 10-story condominium in Boca Raton, Florida, are required to join the Boca West Country Club, which charges a $70,000 initiation fee and monthly dues of about $1,000. Prices for the condo units start around $1 million. After three years on the market, 40 percent of the units at Akoya Boca West are still unsold, according to Robert Siemens of Siemens Group, the developer of the condo, who says mandatory club membership hasn’t deterred buyers.

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