As a homeowner for 11 years now in Matanzas Woods, I get asked what is going on in the market quite often. Since the closure of the Matanzas Golf Course around 2008, we have all seen an impact on values coupled with the drop in the market since that time. There is a lot of speculation surrounding the neighborhood real estate market and the real effects of the closed golf course property on values. The area has been getting more attention since late 2013 when Jim Cullis of Grand Haven Realty was contemplating the purchase of the property with intentions to work with the City of Palm Coast for the property to be used as a linear park and build a some homes in the northeast corner of the property. An idea that I still feel was a great opportunity for us as owners to recoup values even more in a market that is anything but slow or declining in recent years. Unfortunately, Cullis pulled out of the sale seemingly due to a few residents who insisted this idea would not improve the area and created the perception for Cullis that the plan would not be worth the effort. I’ll get to recent updates on the developments with the property itself in a moment. First, let’s take a look at the actual stats for the neighborhood through June of this year*.
- There are currently 17 residential houses listed for sale with a median sales price of $209,900 and average days on the market of 74.
- Through June of this year, 40 residential house have closed (3 of which were my listings) with a median price of $169,750 and average days on the market of 76.
- In terms of distressed properties, there are no active foreclosure (REO & Government-Owned) listings and only 2 active short sale listings. There have been 12 foreclosure sales through June with a median sales price of $140,088 and average days on the market of 53. There have been 2 sales of short sale listings this year. This is obviously contrary to the rumors circulating in the area of a high number of distressed sales.
The question on everyone’s mind has been, how much has the abandoned golf course property effecting the Matanzas Woods market? For that answer, let’s take a look at Cypress Knoll that has the popular Cypress Golf Course and is historically a similar type of neighborhood in terms of being attractive to buyers (Pine Lakes, although it has an open Golf Course, is much larger than Matanzas Woods to compare). Through June of this year, Cypress Knoll has had 38 closings with a median sales price of $212,940 and average days on the market of 74. Although Matanzas Woods is on par (no pun intended) and remaining competitive in regards to the number of sales, the price buyers are willing to pay for the area is obviously lower.
Going back to the first paragraph and why I personally think the park idea was a great opportunity for the neighborhood, it would have brought a great usable amenity to all to enjoy while preserving the 2 biggest features that homeowners want with a golf course property . . . green view and the sense of privacy. Take into account that Matanzas Woods is located in close proximity to 3 great schools for all stages of education (elementary, middle, and high school) and combine that with a large parcel of property that puts residents in close proximity to a variety of outdoor activity, you keep the property protected from development on fairways, leave the opportunity for the property to possibly be a golf course again in the future, and you now have a neighborhood that becomes extremely competitive and attractive in Palm Coast. Granted, I would love to see the property reopen as a golf course, but after 7 years it’s clear that is highly unlikely of happening in the near future or if ever. So it is hard to understand why anyone could not see the benefits of the property being converted to a linear park.
So what is going on with the Matanzas golf course property since Jim Cullis abandoned the sale in late 2013/early 2014? Here’s a recap:
- Last fall an LLC consisting of 2 owners out of Jacksonville, Group Golf of Palm Coast, purchased the property from The Golf Group of Palm Coast, LLC. (Yes, the names are correct)
- The purchase was for $266,800 total with $100,000 down and about $166,800 in a balloon mortgage due this past December (see the article on Gotoby.com for more information)
- When the Group Golf of Palm Coast, LLC did not make the balloon payment in December and had become past due; Matanzas land, LLC (a Michael Chuimento company with Jim Cullis named as Title Manager) purchased the mortgage note.
- Matanzas Land, LLC began foreclosure proceedings on the Group Golf of Palm Coast, LLC and the courts issued a noticed of default this past June.
- Through the foreclosure proceedings, the Group Golf of Palm Coast owners indicated that they had never intended to open the property as a golf course and were merely looking to try and flip the property for a profit expecting to be able to resell the property in a short period of time. That did not happen and they defaulted on the mortgage.
- The next steps remains to be seen as typically the property will go up for auction or Matanzas Land, LLC may gain ownership.
- The property has not been maintained and fairways are severely overgrown.
- Visit the Flagler Clerk of Circuit Court website to access the court records regarding the foreclosure proceedings and simply search “Group Golf” on the search screen.
So what should we expect? I am glad to see Mr. Cullis still active and involved and hopefully his original idea will come back around and take hold after residents have gotten a pretty good idea of what can happen when certain entities come into play. That remains to be seen at this point and I’ll be keeping an eye out for what comes next.
What do you think? What have you heard? What questions do you have?
*Disclaimer: Information based upon the Flagler County Association of Realtors MLS as of 7/11/2015 for Residential Houses. Information may be deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed