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Luxury Living

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Swing into luxury! A variety of golf course living options makes the dream of living on the greens a reality for many.

Almost 70 percent of golf holes currently under construction in the United States will be part of a residential community, according to the National Golf Business Foundation. Compare that with the fact that 22 percent of existing golf courses are part of a golf community, and it”s not hard to see that living on a golf course is becoming a trend.

Darlene Phillips, a sales associate of RE/MAX Greater Atlanta, provides some insight into the popularity of these communities. Phillips says one of the biggest features of living on a golf course is the clubhouse. "People like being able to say they live on a golf course and entertain friends," she says.

In addition to golf course neighborhoods, planned communities with pools and homeowner”s associations are widely popular.

People like these type of neighborhoods because it helps ensure their property value."You don”t have to worry about neighbors that don”t cut their grass or upkeep their houses when you live in these types of communities," Phillips says. These homes also have high-demand features inside and are often customized.

Creating pizzazz

"Those in the $500,000-plus market are looking for granite counter tops, trim, tray ceilings, bigger rooms, bigger bathrooms and a lot of pizzazz," Phillips reveals.

The Luxury Home Council recently did a survey of the top luxury housing marketing trends, identifying these hot features:

  • Gourmet Kitchens
  • Master Bedroom Suites
  • Custom Bathroom Suites
  • Home Theatre Rooms
  • Home Gym Rooms
  • Home Office Suites
  • Specialty Construction Items
  • Flooring: Woods and Tiles
  • Water Features (Pools, Lakes, Ponds)
  • Green Building Construction
  • High-End Appliance Packages
  • Electronic Automation

Another one of the biggest trends in the luxury home market has been the keeping room, says Cheryl Patten, a realtor who has specialized in the local golf and luxury home market for the past six years. "People enjoy keeping rooms – or sitting rooms just off the kitchen," she says. "Also, a lot of people are doing away with formal living rooms and creating home offices."

In the high-end luxury homes there are high-end trends to match. Laurie Moore-Moore, president of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, says that more recently his-and-her sinks have morphed into his-and-her bathrooms. Other trends include multiple kitchens, exotic flooring made from woods and leathers, spa-like bathrooms, yoga/meditation rooms, elevators, cigar rooms/gentlemen”s retreats, more square footage, and multiple gardens with water features and garden art.

"Just imagine a cigar room or a spa bathroom of your own," Moore-Moore says.

Bringing more than luxury

In addition to the latest design trends, upscale neighborhoods bring with them another amenity – security. Many golf course communities have a security guard at the front gate. "People like to know who is coming in and out of their neighborhoods," Phillips says. "Many people also like moving into communities where they already know some of their neighbors."

At times, golf course communities are a huge draw for people new to an area because it can make getting to know people a little easier, and planned neighborhoods offer organized activities such as swim or tennis teams.

Some people want to be part of a socia