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Understanding How Bundled Golf Course Communities Work

The Casella Group has sold hundreds of homes in bundled golf course communities. But why has this lifestyle concept been so abundantly successful in Southwest Florida?

Well, as with most things, it comes down to value.

Invariably (and understandably), one of the first questions I am asked is "how much are the dues and what do we get?" Let's take a home in River Strand Golf & Country Club. At the time I am writing this blog, I am sitting in my open house at 315 River Enclave. It is a beautiful home, and the 3D Matterport tour can be viewed here.

Understanding Value in bundled golf communities

So, how much are the dues and what do we get?

For $444.00 a month: 

  • Professional maintenance of the yard and landscaping, including mowing, mulching, pruning, and trimming.
  • Residential Irrigation for the lawn (although oftentimes overlooked, this is worth its weight in gold)
  • Full Social and Golf Membership privileges, including access to 2 clubhouses, resort style pools, fitness centers, aerobics, and card rooms
  • Access to a 27 hole Arthur Hills Designed Championship Golf Course (no greens fees, just cart fees)
  • Pickleball, Basketball, & Tennis too
  • Miles of Sidewalks for Walking & Jogging
  • Restaurant ($500.00 food minimum for entire year) & Tiki Bar
  • Activity Laden Social Calendar
  • Cable (100 channels)
  • Maintenance of the Common Ground Areas

Think about that for a second.

So, all of your yard and landscaping is professionally maintained and you have access to ALL of these amenities. In a way, its like being on a cruise ship with tons to do, but you get to live there year round and come and go when you want. The social calendars in these communities are terrific too--if you have a hobby, chances are there is a group to join.

And what about that residential irrigation? The water, which is pulled from the lake network, ensures that every yard looks great year round. Communities that do not pull from a lake network are paid by the individual homeowners--and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to appreciate how costly that might be over time in Florida. The common grounds maintenance for these communities, including the monuments, meticulous landscaping, and exotic plantings all are paid, in part, through your association dues too. The result is a polished and manicured community that always looks fabulous.

PROPERTY TAXES

What about taxes? For 315 River Enclave, the taxes are $4559.00 in 2018. That figure includes property taxes and the CDD (community development district). Since this home is "homesteaded", the homeowner gets a break on their taxes. Differently, if they had purchased this home as a second home, the taxes would be a little higher--maybe around $5250.00. Permanent Florida residents, generally speaking, get a $25,000/50,000 tax exemption off the assessed value of their home. Correspondingly, this reduction reduces their overall property tax liability. Just another reason to consider becoming a permanent Florida resident. 

I also get asked about what a CDD is so a brief explanation might be helpful. A CDD issues bonds (usually over a 20 or 30 year period) for financing infrastructure improvements in a community. The funds can be used for the development of roads, sewer, water, and community amenities such as swimming pools, clubhouses, & parks. For the total tax bill of $4559.00, a portion of that, or approximately $1090.00, is comprised of the CDD. Some of what you see in these CDD communities would simply not be possible without the allocation of these funds. 

Hope this helps! I can always be reached at 941.961.4037 if additional clarity is needed!

--Robert

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