• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Golden Oak Observations

DISR

Active Member
Original Poster
I'm sure I'm like many on this forum who occasionally check out the Golden Oak listings and dream a bit. Last weekend I got to stay in the Four Seasons, which is essentially in the Golden Oak neighborhood. You drive the entire length of the neighborhood to access the hotel. The individual sections of Golden Oak are behind electric gates in addition to the front entrance gate that all hotel guests and residents must go through. You can see quite a bit of the neighborhood from the hotel and road though.

The houses and neighborhood look like something out of a Hollywood set. Everything is perfect. There is light Disney theming in keeping with the high-end nature of the area.

It doesn't really come across in the marketing literature, but the homes are very close together. Given the nature of the of neighborhood, this isn't really a surprise, but there don't appear to be much in the way of yards, and most of the large trees on the actual lots appear to be cleared.

There are a lot of Golden Oak homes. On the website, you can see the listings, but not what has already been sold. This was obviously a successful venture for Disney. There is a ton of ongoing construction, so my assumption is that sales are not tailing off.

They must do a good job of routing service and construction vehicles through another entrance...I never saw any, despite the obvious construction activity and need for maintenance service across the rest of the completed neighborhood.

The most interesting part was the complete lack of observable activity in the neighborhood. It was like one of those 1950s/1960s fake towns build for nuclear testing. I saw almost no people, cars, bikes etc. At night there were very few lights on in the homes. I'm sure there are busier times, when more owners are present, but I wouldn't guess that early June is a slow season either. Bottom, line is if you ever get to be an owner, you will probably have much of the neighborhood and amenities to yourself during your visits.

Unfortunately that is all I was able to see. I believe I could have taken a walk from the hotel into the various sections without being questioned, but we didn't really have the time on this visit...maybe next time.
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Advertisement
I have been in residential construction for going on 24 years now and most of my work is in neighborhoods similar to Golden Oaks so I can lend a little insite.

The houses and neighborhood look like something out of a Hollywood set. Everything is perfect. There is light Disney theming in keeping with the high-end nature of the area.
This is due to a very strict ARB with an incredibly detailed set of covenants and restrictions which it pretty common for neighborhoods like this. They can control everything from the size and configuration of the house, landscaping, etc. I have seem some go as far a specifying particular window treatments.

It doesn't really come across in the marketing literature, but the homes are very close together. Given the nature of the of neighborhood, this isn't really a surprise, but there don't appear to be much in the way of yards, and most of the large trees on the actual lots appear to be cleared.
This is quite common in almost all subdivision construction these days. Even high caliber neighborhoods like Golden Oaks will have house built so close to each other you could jump from roof to roof. Not only is the developer trying to maximize profit, but a surprisingly large segment of homebuyers don't want a lawn. Many would rather maximize the size of the house.

They must do a good job of routing service and construction vehicles through another entrance...I never saw any, despite the obvious construction activity and need for maintenance service across the rest of the completed neighborhood.
Luxury subdivisions often place very strict rules on the contractors and often have a construction entrance. Most will not hesitate to slap contractors with a fine for turning on an air compressor 5 minutes before set working hours or coming in through the wrong entrance.

The most interesting part was the complete lack of observable activity in the neighborhood. It was like one of those 1950s/1960s fake towns build for nuclear testing. I saw almost no people, cars, bikes etc. At night there were very few lights on in the homes. I'm sure there are busier times, when more owners are present, but I wouldn't guess that early June is a slow season either. Bottom, line is if you ever get to be an owner, you will probably have much of the neighborhood and amenities to yourself during your visits.
[/QUOTE]
It is so quiet because very few people actually live there. A fairly large number of homes in subdivisions like this are vacation homes. Since Golden Oaks expressly forbids vacation rentals, a good number of these homes might be unoccupied 11 months out of the year.
 

DISR

Active Member
Original Poster
Yep...wasn't surprised by most of what I saw (I have family in the high-end resort construction business as well), but it is another thing to actually see it. I was pretty well aware there are few permanent residents, and homes may be used for only a few weeks a year, but it was a bit eerie to actually see it. I think the strict rules on renting the homes really change the dynamic. Usage is really limited to actual owners and close friends/family members. I would think this really changes the dynamic since it increases the carrying cost of a very expensive property and severely limits any potential tax benefits.
 

Disstevefan1

Well-Known Member
Small "postage stamp" lots very close together is normal for subdivisions in Florida. Something like 50 feet wide and 100 feet deep. The big difference in in Golden Oaks is the massive real estate taxes, and additional required costs, like CDD, "Community Development District" fee, HOA, Home Owners Association dues, and in the case of Golden oaks, mandatory golf club dues.

But Folks buying these properties do care about this stuff. I suspect these are vacation homes for these very well off folks.

Yes, I wish I was one of them :)
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Yep...wasn't surprised by most of what I saw (I have family in the high-end resort construction business as well), but it is another thing to actually see it. I was pretty well aware there are few permanent residents, and homes may be used for only a few weeks a year, but it was a bit eerie to actually see it. I think the strict rules on renting the homes really change the dynamic. Usage is really limited to actual owners and close friends/family members. I would think this really changes the dynamic since it increases the carrying cost of a very expensive property and severely limits any potential tax benefits.
The rule of "no rental" seems to be pretty standard in areas where it is applicable, whether it is enforced or not is another matter. I doubt it will change the market much though.

I have enquired about the rental thing with several of the builders I work with that build these kinds of houses/subdivisions and pretty much all of them say that if they do rent, it is just enough for the write off and it is usually to a friend that they know will not trash the place. For most of these clients, $2 million is couch cushion money. They will take the write off if they can get it, but it is hardly a deal breaker if they can't.
 

Janir

Well-Known Member
Something else to keep in mind is the built out 'backyards' of most of the Golden Oaks homes. While the sides of the lots are built relatively close, the backyard areas are designed to feel spacious in most cases. Type Golden Oaks Disney World into a you tube search and you'll see some home tours and interviews. I could easily live with the restrictions at Golden Oaks. But then, It's assumed that I'm suddenly filthy rich enough to afford it.
Having the majority of the people owning homes there snowbirding and not there all the time would actually be a plus for me. :)
 
Top Bottom