Ninety residents attended the forum entitled, “Charbonneau: Today and Tomorrow,” June 21, 2017, where they heard updates about their Country Club, real estate values, and developments in Charbonneau Golf Club following the sale of the driving range.
Susie Stevens, Executive Director, reported on behalf of the Board of Charbonneau Country Club. She first announced that the Country Club now has a part-time receptionist who will take care of routine matters and let Kim and her concentrate on their duties.
Susie explained that CCC is currently exploring ways to expand the facilities. “The Country Club will be reaching out to residents in the near future to provide an update and gather input on this issue,” she said.
Stevens also described the upcoming annexation process that will be needed to bring the new residential area being built where the driving range used to stand. She emphasized that an excellent turnout will be needed for the vote because 75% of homeowners in Charbonneau have to vote to reach a quorum. Without annexation the new homeowners would not be eligible to enjoy any of the activities or amenities offered by the Country Club.
Sherie Star, real estate broker with Elite Realty Group in Wilsonville, reported on the recent trends in sales and house values. In comparison to the Portland real estate market, sales in Charbonneau continue to track but at a less robust level, Sherie explained. Year to date, the average selling price in Portland is $423,000 (a 7.2% increase) while in Charbonneau the average sale is $378,700 (a 1.02% increase). This average breaks down to $226,600 for condos and $453,000 for attached and detached homes
The good news, according to Sherie, is that housing inventory is at a low of 1 ½ month’s supply at the present sales rate whereas the balanced average is a 6 month supply. “It is still a strong seller’s market,” she concluded. As of June 21, 2017, Charbonneau has only 14 active listings.
Sherie said that her sense of today’s consumer is that they do not want to see the need for a lot of updating. “They don’t mind making cosmetic changes like painting and carpet,” she said. They do not want to be faced with major upgrades, such as kitchen or bath remodeling. The age of the home is not a determining factor, she added, it is the condition as well as what is trending at the time of the sale.
In regard to the new homes being built where the driving range used to stand, Sherie said her personal opinion was that they would not make a significant impact on Charbonneau home values. In the short-term, “There could be a slowing of re-sales, but once the new homes are absorbed into the community, the economy at that time will determine the market value of both the newer homes and pre-existing homes.”
On behalf of the Charbonneau Golf Club, its treasurer Lee Zinsli reported on the present state of affairs. The sale of the driving range was completed in April of this year. As a result, the Golf Club has been able to pay off its debt. It has also placed the proceeds into six funds: deferred maintenance, working capital, asset replacement, short term investments, long term investments, and an emergency fund. Already some overdue repairs have been made, including many cart paths, and equipment replacement has been undertaken. The golfer’s warm-up facility is being designed and construction is expected to begin this summer.
Lee also explained that there is not a strong feeling that the long term viability of the Golf Course has been secured. “The shareholders are obligated to maintain the golf course until March 19, 2020, and that’s not too far away,” he said and emphasized that a more dependable business plan was needed to ensure that continued existence of the golf course. One idea that is being considered, for example, is building an event center, which could add to the cash flow of the Golf Course on a year round basis.
Lee explained that one element to enhance the financial viability of the Golf Course is already in place: as part of the sale agreement the new home owners in the Pahlisch development will be required to pay $25 monthly to their HOA to help support the Golf Club.
In that context, Lee pointed out that all homeowners in similar communities in the region pay a monthly fee toward the upkeep of their golf course, non-golfers as well as golfers. Only in Charbonneau is that not the case, and yet the amenities and ambiance of living in a community with a golf course are available to all.
[Author’s note: in previous Charbonneau Community Forums, real estate professionals have estimated that Charbonneau Golf Course, even though a separate entity, adds between 10 and 15 per cent to all home values in the community, whether on the golf course or not.]
In his closing remarks, Lee posed a “Big Question” for the community and shareholders to consider: Prior to full commitment of the proceeds from the sale of the driving range, “At what point should the shareholders be asked to reinvest the proceeds of the sale without a reasonable participation by the community as a whole?” If all proceeds of the driving range sale are reinvested in the golf course and its operation, the total shareholder investment would exceed $6,000,000, without any consistent funding commitment from the surrounding community.
Source: CCF. 6.25.17