Michigan Golfer ON-LINE

Shopping the Internet for Michigan Golf Real Estate
by Jim Neff

In the past, finding real estate required endless hours with the classifieds, tedious calls to a succession of real estate offices, and long trips to personally view selected property possibilities. The process was not very efficient for the seller, real estate agent, or buyer.

Finding and buying golf-related properties posed an even bigger challenge. Not only would a buyer have to look for property in a region or community, but they would also have to navigate through a maze of golf course possibilities: Is there real estate available near a given course? Does the course own the real estate or is it owned by a different developer? Does the course handle the sales or does a local real estate company? Are we talking home sites, condos, town homes, or a mix of all three?

Owning property near a golf course may be every golfer's dream, but before you delve into the world of front yard fairways and back yard bunkers do yourself a favor, hit some warm up shots on the Internet. Many golf courses and real estate companies provide on-line information that used to take weeks to find by conventional means. Property descriptions, floor plans, photographs, and other details are available with just the click of a mouse. While the use of the Internet as a sales tool is still in its formative stages in the Michigan golf real estate marketplace, shopping the Internet for Michigan golf real estate can be both a time and money saver. And with the debut of MichiganGolfRealEstate.com, both sellers and buyers will now have a central meeting place on the Net.

If you're looking to buy a piece of the "golf dream," the first thing you might want to do is get some advice about real estate ownership in general, whether it's a primary residence or a second home. Smart Money.com is a good first step. Articles on a range of topics, from "Buying Your Home Online" to "7 things To Ask About Condo Ownership," give solid information. The site also features worksheets, loan advice, and mortgage calcualators.

Once you have in mind the type of property you're after, it might be a good idea to check out the financing options available. Several on-line services allow you to shop for the financing and mortgage rates that best fit your situation.

Start at Yahoo! Finance for an overall picture of what's available. Here, you can find recommendations for the best mortgage for your needs, pre-qualify for a mortgage, get your credit report, and browse by region for the best rate quote.

Once you're ready to shop for a mortgage, submit requests to several mortgage sites. The Net advantage here is that these sites allow you to set the mortgage parameters and then banks all over the country submit bids to get your business. LendingTree, eLoan and Priceline.com are the best known for this type of service.

If you want to finance through a Michigan bank, go to Home Loan Update. This is an information service that updates mortgage rates from Michigan banks on a daily basis. Once you spot your desired rate, you then contact the Michigan bank directly to arrange the loan.

Many realtors and developers have financing bargains available for their specific properties. It's a good idea to check these offers in comparison with your on-line options.

It's at this point where things get a bit more challenging, for although it's fairly easy to find advice and financing on the Net locating specific golf properties is tricky. Logic would tell you that a check nationwide brokerage firms, like Century 21 and Coldwell Banker, should narrow your search in a hurry. But listings for "golf property" in general and "Michigan golf property" particular are few and far between unless you already have a specific listing in mind.

The same thing is true for the big Internet home search services, like Homeseekers.com, Homes.com, and RealEstate.com. In most cases, "golf property" is not even a searchable category. Cyberhomes, for example, boasts 700,000 listings, including properties in Southwest Michigan, Traverse City, and Detroit, but does not include "golf" in its criteria search. Even when golf property is touted as the primary focus of an Internet site the pickings are slim for Michigan. Golf Property Specialist encompasses golf properties in every state, but only has four golf courses listed in its Michigan section.

Another "semi-general" tactic is to scout real estate companies that service a region of the state. Vacation Properties Network handles properties in Charlevoix, Boyne City, Beaver Island, and Eastport, including golf listings at Charlevoix Country Club. Mid-Michigan Realty covers property at five golf courses in the Mt. Pleasant-Harrison area. While regional sites like these are helpful they only serve specific clients, so you still don't get a clear picture of all the golf property options in a given area.

Right now, the best way to get the real estate information related to specific courses is directly through that course's website. Most websites have a direct link to real estate sales offices, whether the office is operated by the course developer/owner or an independent sales agent.

The golf real estate opportunities that we offer as examples, show how Michigan courses and developers are using the Internet to provide prospective buyers with the latest and most complete descriptions and listings of their golf properties. This benefits buyers because they can now research properties that match their "golf dreams" in a relaxed, timely, and economical manner.

MichiganGolfRealEstate.com, which will be the best "click" on the Web for Michigan golf property, is poised to make those "dreams" come true.

Here are some examples of Michigan golf real estate websites. These and more will be featured on MichiganGolfRealEstate.com

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