A Surge in Value Surpasses the rest of Daphne
How is Lake Forest doing? Lake Forest community in Daphne, Alabama has been around since the 1970’s and the question comes up about how is it doing. All of Baldwin County has seen tremendous growth in the last seven years with new neighborhoods popping up in areas that used to be farmland. So how has Lake Forest competed? Quite well, actually.
Lake Forest has numerous recreational facilities as part of its common amenities, including golf, tennis, three swimming pools, a yacht club and riding stables. Over the past seven years the Lake Forest Property Owners Association has taken many steps to improve life in Lake Forest and maintain the common properties. The Board has very intentionally worked with the City of Daphne to improve Lake Forest, such as adding curbs and gutters to the main thoroughfares, adding sidewalks that before did not exist, turning the older nine hole golf course into a park, and improving bay access for boaters. With the support of the City, Lake Forest looks better than ever.
Beginning in 2011 the Board of Directors of Lake Forest has made strides to improve the Association with one of its stated goals of improving property values, which were not doing well at the time. The Board hired professional managers, Vision (now Icon), to improve managing the Association. Much of the common properties had been long neglected in Lake Forest and had fallen into disrepair. Since 2011, the Board has improved tennis courts, renovated all three swimming pools, and the golf course is in the best shape it has been in for years. The Board has also very deliberately sought to enforce architectural rules regarding houses that were not well maintained. The Board employs a full-time architectural director and enforcement has seen a decrease in neglected-looking homes. Steve Sasser, President of the Association, says “We still have a way to go with architectural enforcement – we have literally thousands of homes in Lake Forest – but we have made a big dent in enforcing the covenants.”
So is it working? The short answer is “yes!” According to the Baldwin County Association of Realtors, which keeps statistics on home sales, Lake Forest is far surpassing the rest of Daphne in home prices. Home sale prices have gone up 57% from 2011 to 2018. Compared to the rest of Daphne which as seen an increase of 29% in home values during the same time period. In 2011 the average home sale in Lake Forest was $104,530.00. In 2018 that numbered had jumped to $163,878.00, an average increase of $59,348.00. In Daphne as a whole, the average home value in 2011 was $222,207.00 and in 2018 the values have gone up to $258,810.00, an increase of $58,603.00. So, while Daphne values are doing quite well, Lake Forest is doing even better.
Another factor used to determine the health of property values is average time on the market. In 2011, the average length of time for a Lake Forest house to be on the market was 131 days. In 2018 that number dropped to an average of 52 days. In Daphne as a whole, in 2011 a house was on the market an average of 171 days and that number has decreased to 93 days.