Fair Ways: Driven housing market, major tournament ‘scores’ lift interest in Charleston area golf communities and resorts
As a golf destination, you might say Charleston has arrived. Consider:
• Kiawah Island resort hosted the 2012 PGA Championship, played at the youthful yet legendary Ocean Course.
• This year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur took place at the Country Club of Charleston, concluding last week.
And don’t forget the “War by the Shore” (the 1991 Ryder Cup won by the U.S. at the Ocean Course), plus numerous state and regional events and special tournaments that have taken place in the Charleston area in the past two decades.
Of course, golf can be described as a bit dry, popular with only a comparatively small core of fans.
But don’t tell that to Sharon Kucharski, who had a close encounter with the Women’s Amateur last week.
“My home … sits on the green of the fifth hole (at Charleston Country Club),” says Kucharski, an agent with Carriage Properties in Charleston. “The USGA tournament was in my backyard, and it was amazing.”
The recent attention that Charleston has received in the golfing world is not lost on local Realtors, who are aware that most golf courses attract home construction or are included in a master planned community or resort.
Chris Pouyat, agent with Brand Name Real Estate, is listing a house in Stono Ferry. The Hollywood neighborhood is home to The Links at Stono Ferry golf course.
“The course itself was ranked No. 1 in South Carolina for public golf courses,” he says.
Even before the recent blitz of big name tourneys, metro Charleston built a following as a golf course community and proved to be a popular place for new neighborhoods, resorts and gated villages that include a golf course or two (or five at Kiawah Island) among its amenities.
At least 18 communities with homes on the market support a golf course. According to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors, more than 1,000 homes are for sale in those neighborhoods. Golf country clubs can be found as far removed from Charleston as in St. George and Moncks Corner. Wild Dunes posts the most listings at 207.
Pouyat, who plays golf, says the sport complements other activities in communities such as Stono Ferry. The village is “home to polo match and (horse) races,” and sports a clubhouse.
Besides, many golf communities include homeowners who aren’t interested in the game, or they like to play but don’t want to live right on the course. “I would say 50/50,” Pouyat says. “If you are a golfer, like I am, you like to be on the course.”
But some places such as Stono Ferry don’t have many homes built right up to the fairways and greens. That doesn’t mean the homes sport bad views.
On the contrary, Stono Ferry builders prefer another prime attraction to locate homes. That’s the Intracoastal Waterway, which runs alongside the course in places.
But the course remains a draw. Golf communities are designed in such a way so that the lots are slightly larger than the typical acreage in a non-golf neighborhood, Pouyat says.
“You get a little more bang for the buck,” he says.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOLF COMMUNITIES AT A GLANCE
At least 19 golf communities and resorts in the Charleston area claim residences, and more than 1,000 homes currently are on the market in those enclaves. Here’s a look at the properties in order by number of homes for sale. It also includes highest and lowest listed home prices in each community.
1. Wild Dunes, 207 listings: $39,900-$3.5 million.
2. Seabrook Island, 199: $65,000-$2.9 million.
3. Kiawah Island, 119: $55,900-$6.5 million.
4. Dunes West, 97: $140,900-$2,199,000.
5. Wescott, 88: $80,000-$305,000.
6. Legend Oaks, 74: $132,900-$438,900.
7. Rivertowne, 64: $335,000-$4,750,000.
8. Charleston National, 43: $250,000-$2.6 million.
9. Coosaw Creek, 41: $234,000-$1,899,999
10. Shadowmoss, 37: $115,000-$432,895.
11. Pine Forest, 31: $100,000-$499,900.
12. Stono Ferry, 24: $184,900-$1,999,999.
13. Daniel Island Park, 23: $599,000-$4,895,000.
14. Kiawah River Estates, 19: $199,900-$669,500.
15. Country Club of Charleston, 8: $459,000-$6.5 million.
16. Bulls Bay, 4: $525,000-$1,550,000.
17. Berkeley Country Club, 3: $89,900-$259,000.
18. Briars Creek, 2: $1,850,000-$4,950,000.
19. St. George Country Club, 2: $249,000-$315,000.
Source: Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.