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Golf courses no longer scoring as well with Phoenix-area homebuyers | Ahwatukee Farms

Golf courses no longer scoring as well with Phoenix-area homebuyers

August 21, 2016
The Republic |
Catherine Reagor

Buying a home near a golf course used to be part of the American dream in metro Phoenix.

Developers built communities like Desert Mountain in north Scottsdale, Ocotillo in Chandler and the Sun Cities in the West Valley around golf courses.

And buyers lined up and paid premiums to be near those links.

But golf courses aren’t the draw they were 20 years ago.

Golf ranked behind only elevators for the “most unwanted” amenities for a new home, according to the latest survey on what buyers want from the National Association of Home Builders.

As a result, now, instead of building courses, developers are trying to tear them down in the Valley.

Builders want to turn an Ahwatukee golf course that closed in 2013 into new houses, a school and a community farm. The last two are much more popular amenities with homebuyers now.

Some neighbors of the closed course are less than thrilled about the plan because whether you golf or not, a course is open space.

Last year, an executive nine-hole course in the Mesa retirement community Dreamland Villa was razed to make way for houses.

Golf as a sport has waned a bit in popularity during the past decade.

Baby Boomers looking to retire aren’t nearly as thrilled about being near links as their parents were. Hiking and biking trails are ranking as a more popular amenity now.

So if homebuyers don’t want golf courses anymore, what do we really want?

The Home Builders Association survey says people want top-of-the-line appliances that are energy efficient and a home built to be environmentally friendly.

If I had to choose between living near a golf course, which I do, and leaving a smaller carbon footprint, I would go for the latter, too.

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