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Old 10-16-2015, 08:51 PM
Location: PVB
2,387 posts, read 1,207,731 times
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We are going to be buying a house in the spring and we like the idea of a golf community (even though we don't play) because of the green spaces and usually nice clubhouses and amenities. Many offer social or sport (tennis and pool) with optional golf and you don't have to buy an equity stake. Some of the clubs require equity buy ins which means you are on the hook for fees until you sell. You can be liable if the there is a financial shortfall in the community because of the economy or the club needs capital improvements. It can also hinder the sale because the next buyer may not want to pay thousands of dollars for an equity stake or initiation fees. Are Equity clubs a relic of the past or just suitable for wealthy areas with well healed owners who don't care about the fees and maybe see them as a way of keeping out people they don't want.

I am wondering if anyone has any opinions or experiences on this subject.
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:00 AM
Location: NC
6,081 posts, read 7,023,877 times
Reputation: 12054
I'm not familiar with the ins and outs of these types of arrangements, but in my area there was recently a case where the developer decided to sell off the golf course after all of the homes around it had been built. Maybe someone else has a reference to this. It was Wake County NC I think, read about it this year.
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:31 PM
Location: NC
6,081 posts, read 7,023,877 times
Reputation: 12054
Found the reference. Crooked Creek Golf Club members fight to keep golf course :: WRAL.com
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:57 PM
Location: Columbia SC
7,961 posts, read 6,706,083 times
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Typically an Equity Club is owned by the Equity Members. They are generally the voting members. They vote on everything (dues, fees, etc.). Also if they were to sell the club, they would split the money or share the loss among themselves. It is the way that many old line clubs are owned.

Non-equity generally means no voting privileges and no ownership equity. You pay and do as you are told.

As to a club being private has nothing to do with the ownership though most equity clubs are private, not all private clubs are equity clubs. I cannot stress this enough. This is critical.

Where many get in trouble is they buy into or onto a golf club where they have no control as in no ownership position as per the above linked site. When things get tough, the owner(s) want to bail. This is quite common and happening more and more.

I know of one exclusive area (SC) where the golf club is private (two courses) and people had to buy in. The other shoe has yet to fall. When the area is developed I can assure you the development company (who owns the club) will sell the golf courses off and who knows what will happen.

I know of one private club (MA) that changed ownership about every two years and the new owners wanted an initiation fee from the old members. Old members said but I paid that lifetime initiation fee. The new owners said that was a deal between you and them, not us. Read the fine print close.

I know one private club that had a very large initiation fee but as the economy slowed they charged less of an initiation fee. One member found out an sued for his initiation back. There was an quiet out of court settlement.

Be very, very, very careful when you link up with a golf course development especially one that has not been around for say for 20 years or so.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:24 AM
Location: Raleigh
6,964 posts, read 5,183,151 times
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Growing up I worked at an top tier Golf Club. It was a popular place and for years, there was a waiting list to get into the club. When the economy turned, the line to get in turned into a line to get out, or people waiting for someone to buy their membership, for the equity members. I understand that now there is a waiting list again.
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