Jupiter Island, Fla.: Where Tiger Prowls

Jjupiter islandupiter Island, Fla., home to billionaires and pro golfers, has been christened the second most expensive small town in America of populations 10,000 and under by Bloomberg BusinessWeek Magazine. Median home value: $2.8 million. Jupiter Island is home to many old wealthy American families such as the Doubledays, Fords, Heinzes, and Mellons, and residents have included golfers Greg Norman, Nick Price, President George H.W. Bush, actor Burt Reynolds, baseball star Mike Schmidt, and of course, Tiger Woods, who has recenty completed a private Olympic village in his new backyard. For years this waterfront municipality on Florida's east coast has stalled at No. 2 among small towns in home value, right under Sagaponack, N.Y., in the Hamptons, where the median home values are $3.4 million.

The list is so New York-heavy you might think other states have dropped off the face of the earth. It also includes some towns circling San Francisco, Seattle, and, like Jupter, Palm Beach, and waterfront communities in Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey and California.

What makes these little towns so darn valueable? Proximity to natural beauty, first-class golf courses, and here's a shocker: other wealthy people. These towns are low on population but high on home value. And they also have something else everyone seems to want more of: beachfront. According to BusinessWeek, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates per capita income
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on Jupiter Island to be $235,758. It as a permanent population of only 584, with a seasonal population of approximately 1,775. Town manager Gene Rauth says Jupiter Island folks just care about their property, and their assets. But Realtors are questioning Zillow reports indicating that the town's market value decreased in 2010 by 6.85 percent. How can that be when megastars are pumping in billions of dollars of assets?

Property values, in fact, should be inching upwards now that Celine Dion and Tiger Woods have completed their mega-estates. Dion's land, notable for its massive personal aquatic complex, jumped in value from $10.77 million to $16.86 million. The assessment for Woods's property -- which now features a practice golf course, an oxygen therapy room and its own series of pools -- popped from $29.5 million to $35.2 million.

Woods's outdoor exercise and training facility has a monster 100-foot-long swimming pool, separate 60-foot diving pool, and of course, the spa. The separate swimming pools alone run 160 feet, or the entire width of the house. There is a full tennis/basketball court plus training track facility to the Aqua Complex, and of course Tiger's personal golf course. And we haven't yet even talked about the inside workout facilities.

Unlike most Jupiter Island estate homes, where one usually sees waterfall resort-style stone pools with lots of freeform space for lounge chairs and entertaining, views of the Intracoastal or Atlantic Ocean view right behind them, Tiger's deck has no room for public display. That is, it was built with practically no space to lay out or entertain. The view is of his own golf course with the Intracoastal practically a mile away. This backyard was clearly built for professional training and privacy with a capital P, without one square inch of wasted space. The only question remains: where is he going to put the jungle gym for the kids!

Word from residents is that Tiger is seldom, if ever, seenout and about, not in the Gardens Mall or even at the Bears Club. Guess he's just created a home too glorious to leave, working on his game 24/7.

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