Families jump for joy at all the summertime activities on and around Lake Lure.

Whether you call it a lot, a home site or your personal piece of dirt, places to build your dream home – even when you add in the costs of construction – can be greater bargains than most resale golf homes. I’ve culled through listings at GolfHomes.com for some of the best-looking bargains in home sites (see below). Count on construction costs beginning around $200 per square foot, then multiply by the number of square feet you think you will need, and voila – you’re on your way to your dream golf home.

Rumbling Bald Resort, Lake Lure, NC
Part resort, part year-round golf community, the mountain lake called Lake Lure is blessed with a wintertime thermal idiosyncrasy that makes the community’s two 18 hole golf courses playable virtually year-round. You will have to share some of Rumbling Bald’s copious amenities with visiting golfers and families, especially in the summer when the lake is buzzing with activity. But for home sites that start as low as $13,000 -- click here -- just enjoy the giggling, splashing children in Rumbling Bald’s indoor and outdoor pools.

RiverLanding fairway bunkerA river runs through them, as does a good amount of sand, on the two Clyde Johnston layouts at River Landing.

River Landing, Wallace, NC
Developed by successful local farmers, those who live at River Landing can testify to a bounty of amenities that starts with 36 holes of Clyde Johnston golf. The huge clubhouse, part craftsman and part mansion-on-the-hill, is where friendships are made and, probably, a few golfing bets paid. Modern yet classic Wilmington and its Atlantic Ocean beaches are just 45 minutes away. At a eye-catching price of just $17,500 -- click here -- this lot is waiting to play host to a modern home. 


Cedar Creek greenside bunkerDesigner Arthur Hills protects his greens at Cedar Creek.

Cedar Creek, Aiken, SC
Aiken is horse country for many, and Cedar Creek is smack dab in the middle of it. Featuring a fine Arthur Hills layout – he is one of my favorite designers, for what it is worth – residents of the community are an eclectic mix of retirees, some of the thousands of engineers who work at the famed nearby Savannah River Site and local professionals and families. One of South Carolina’s most charming towns, Aiken is a mere 20 minutes away – by car, not horse. This lot, priced at just $17,500 -- click here -- does not have a golf course view, but it will provide you with a better view of your savings account.

The Cliffs at Glassy in upstate South Carolina maximizes views from and to its Tom Jackson golf course.

If you have plenty of money to spend, the highest quality golf communities have plenty of big, beautiful homes just waiting for you. The samples below are from deluxe golf communities, one remotely located (on the top of a mountain), two others in the popular Bluffton, SC, area, and the last in a combo beach and golf community about an hour north of the charming city of Charleston, SC. Count on initiation fees up to $50,000 and dues commensurate with the many extra added attractions, such as beach club, elaborate clubhouses and amenities with great attention to detail (and their users). Links to these homes for sale will permit you to look at other listings in each community. I have worked with the three real estate agents attached to these listings for the better part of 15 years and can vouch for their professionalism.

Cliffs at Glassy, Landrum, SC
This representative of the vaunted Cliffs communities is up there – in terms of altitude, at 3,353 feet, as well as pricing. For developer Jim Anthony, Glassy was almost a religious experience; he placed the community’s chapel at the highest point, giving it a multi-million-dollar view. When you own at Glassy, you are automatically a member at the six other Cliffs clubs, a few within a half hour or so, the others closer to an hour, all of them beautifully maintained. Tom Jackson designed the Glassy golf course and maximized the dramatic mountain views.  Although this listing -- click here -- is priced at just under $4 million, there are dozens of lots for sale in the community starting at just $20,000. 

DeBordieuBeachThe beach at DeBordieu Colony, one of the rare gated communities on the east coast that include both golf and an ocean beach club.

DeBordieu Colony, Georgetown, SC
One of the rare east coast golf communities with a beach club on the Atlantic Ocean. Pete Dye designed the golf course, and DeBordieu’s French name implies that God designed the landscape and sea views. Located between the charming Charleston, SC and Myrtle Beach, DeBordieu residents have a choice of two fine regional airports and dozens of excellent eating establishments. (Charleston has long been known as a magnet for foodies.) The transportation mode of choice in DeBordieu is the golf cart and from virtually any house in the community, which stretches from Highway 17 to the ocean, it is a five-minute ride to the beach and even shorter to the golf course. This listing at $4.6 million must be special at that price and not located directly on the ocean (a short walk though).

BelfairFaziobunkersIf there are bunkers, and plenty of them at Belfair, then it is very much a Tom Fazio layout.

Belfair, Bluffton, SC
Belfair is among the trinity of top-quality golf communities in the Bluffton area developed by John Reed, a real estate giant in the Hilton Head Island area. The other two are Colleton River and Berkeley Hall, each of them with at least 36 holes of golf. The bunkering and landscaping of Belfair’s 36 holes by Tom Fazio will remind some Floridians of the top classic courses in the Sunshine State. With its million-dollar homes and location just off Hilton Head and near Savannah and its restaurants and other entertainments, Belfair is perfectly positioned at the high end of the market. This home, listed at $2.9 million, is positioned to appreciate some of the best marsh and river views in the Low Country.