Neighborhood clubhouses part of home's value

Neighborhood clubhouses part of home's value
Date Published: September 30, 2005
- Photo by Pico Van Houtryve

From condos and single-family homes to expansive ranch style properties with acreage gala, Placer County has it all. Many communities even have the added amenities of neighborhood clubhouses where residents can meet, take an exercise class or relax and watch television.
In Roseville, there are 3,100 homes in the Sun City community taking advantage of two golf courses and a restaurant that are also open to the public, an indoor and outdoor pool, library, banquet room fitness center and dozens of special interest clubs as well.
"The facility is gorgeous," said Kimberly Smitley of Sun City. "We're even getting ready to refurbish the clubhouse with new carpet and furniture."
According to Mary Ann Haven, also of Sun City Roseville, residents pay quarterly homeowners' fees in order to take advantage of everything the community has to offer.
"People who move here from other areas are shocked at how low our rates are," Haven said.
Both Haven and Smitley agree having the clubhouse adds value to the homes in the neighborhood.
"It helps to bring people here," Haven said.
But Sun City isn't the only community offering residents a neighborhood meeting place. Lincoln Crossing, a master planned development with 2,895 homes when it is built out at the end of 2006, also boasts a central clubhouse and several amenities for its residents.
"As of last week we sold 1,035 lots," said Annie Magen, director of marketing for SunCal Companies Northern California division. "Our clubhouse has definitely increased the value of our homes with its resort-style amenities."
Magen said Lincoln Crossing's 9,000-square-foot clubhouse is set to open in just a few weeks and features a water park with fountain, lap pool, spa, picnic and deck area, fitness center, community room, teen center and a huge lobby with an indoor-outdoor fireplace.
"I think having all these amenities has been a draw," Magen said. "This is a great gathering place for this community."
While these amenities may seem like an addition to a home's value, the added costs in homeowners' fees may need to be taken into consideration along with the home's price, as Matthew Stewart of Stewart Ventures Real Estate Team, Keller Williams, recently discovered.
He had been working with a couple that was planning to move to Lincoln Crossing but the people changed their minds after discovering that the clubhouse was not as large as they had hoped and the fitness center did not have as much equipment as they anticipated.
The cost and value of the clubhouse became an important consideration in their home search and purchase process.
"They were in escrow," Stewart said. "But in this changing market we're beginning to see, my clients were afraid it might be hard to resell a home with the homeowners' dues that the clubhouse facility would require."
But Bonnie Lagader, Keller Williams Realtor, doesn't feel price is usually an issue for those home buyers who can afford the type of community that includes a clubhouse.
"I think there is a social aspect to it," she said. "It's a great place for people to be able to meet each other when they are new to a community."
The clubhouse and lake were part of the reason Marina A. Gilbert and her family moved to Lakeview Hills, a community of 160 homes in Granite Bay, seven years ago.
Gilbert, who is also a Realtor, said the clubhouse at Lakeview Hills is used for an annual Oktoberfest celebration, women's club gatherings and several other neighborhood activities. There's also a 4.6-acre lake with a sandy beach and play structure within the development.
"This is a lifestyle," Gilbert said. "There are so many people from the Bay Area and other regions who don't even know this type of living is available. This is really a central meeting place for our neighborhood."
Susan Belknap can be reached at sbelknap@surewest.net.