Palm Beach’s Luxury Market & Golfing Lifestyle with Stephen Jara

The Honda Classic is one of the most popular professional golf tournaments in the country, drawing a number of high-profile golfers to South Florida. To get the inside scoop on current trends in luxury real estate and golfing, we heard from Stephen Jara, Senior Vice President of William Raveis South Florida.

As someone who's been attending The Honda Classic for years, what's one of your favorite parts about the event?

I have to mention 3 “Favorite Parts” of the Honda Classic.  First, the economic value and attention that the tournament brings to the area is fantastic.  Second, the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation benefits from Jack and Barbara Nicklaus’ efforts.  Lastly, the best part of the Honda Classic is that it has become an entertaining destination. Non-golfers as well as golf enthusiasts enjoy the tournament.  The sky bars surrounding the Bear Trap and the evening entertainment draw so many people to the tournament. If you have never been to the Honda Classic, make sure you go this year.

What are some ways that Palm Beach attracts homebuyers who are interested in the golfing lifestyle?

Weather and year-round playability would have to be the main reason.  There are so many options to choose a golf course community based on amenities and location.  Golf has been very popular for decades in Palm Beach County. Golf greats like Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye, Bob Murphy and others have lived here since the 1960s.  However, now you’ll find young stars such as Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Ricky Fowler, Gary Woodland, Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy making Palm Beach their home.  Golf legends like Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Tom Fazio, Gary Player, Nick Price, Jay Siegel, Mark Calcavecchia and Bernhard Langer also call Palm Beach home. It is common to run into these guys and their families in a grocery store or out at one of the many restaurants.  Unlike large cities, Palm Beach County is not overpopulated and continues to attract new home buyers looking for a lifestyle change.

How has your knowledge and golfing expertise impacted the way you sell properties within the golfing communities in the area?

My career began in Country Club Management.  I have been around clubs most of my life in Palm Beach County and I know all of the ins and outs.  I am well equipped at understanding the specific details offered by each club and successfully choosing a golf community that best suits the buyer.  I also have a current database for most clubs in Palm Beach County with the associated fees, dues and amenities to assist a homebuyer finding the special club that suits their needs.  As Senior Vice President of William Raveis Real Estate, I assist clubs in their real estate operations as well as guide our sales associates with country club real estate operations. We work directly with clubs as their on-site real estate division, adding value to the club by attracting new members through our real estate efforts.

Would you say that now is a good time to buy in Palm Beach?

It is a great time to purchase property in Palm Beach County!  The ease of travel with 2 International airports close by with numerous direct flights across the U.S. and Canada.  Palm Beach County has a year-round active lifestyle that is very attractive to folks from colder climates. Mortgage rates are affordable making purchasing a home in Palm Beach County easy.  Taxes play a big part of why Florida is so attractive; Florida has no state income tax and the taxes residences typically pay elsewhere are driving home buyers and corporations down to Palm Beach County.