Ocala Florida weather report for January 2014

December is a great month here in Ocala, It is dry with no humidity and little rain fall. Temperatures are in the 70′s during the day and 50′s at night. It is a great time of year, in some ways like late September or early October up in New England where I grew up.

To recap November. It was unusually cold. We even got a light frost at my house in SW Ocala. Frosts are usually reserved for January and not November here.

As I love to say “the hot humid summers are a small price to pay for no winter”. Call me, email me or use my Ocala Dream Home Finder.

Real Estate from the Seller’s Point of View

I occasionally take listings but the majority of my real estate work is in representing buyers. When working with buyers a lot are sellers at the same time usually in some other part of the country. In the Ocala area buyers often will make an offer contingent on the successful sale of their existing home which would have to be already under contract. Looking at buyers contracts I’m struck by several things.

1. People will accept offers with really low escrow or good faith deposits. There are plenty of people who can afford to walk away from a $1,000-  if they really want to but not many will walk away from $5,000-. Having said that I often write offers with a low escrow deposit and I’m surprised how seldom the seller counters.

2. Don’t seller’s look at their buyers ability to buy their home ? If a buyer makes you an offer with no money down and wants you to pay closing costs isn’t that a weak offer ? As opposed to cash for 30% down for example.

3. Pre approved. You know that doesn’t mean the buyer is 100%  guaranteed to get a loan right ? In some cases this just means a lender asks some questions about their finances. A seller might want to ask if the lender looked at bank statements, tax returns ect. It is the underwriters who approve loans not the banker or mortgage person who initially interviews the buyer. Underwriters are extremely tough these days and do not rubber stamp loans !

4. Some lenders are notorious for not closing on time. This can be a big problem if you are trying to sell one house and buy another at the same time.

These are just a few thoughts about selling your house. They are all things an experienced Realtor should be bringing up before you get an offer. 

Ocala Real Estate Market Report for October 2014

$10,000 to $100,000 274
$100,001 to $200,000 170
$200,001 to $300,000 35
$300,001 to $500,000 19
$500,000 plus 6
Total residential sales 505
Median Days on Market 110
Average % of Original list vs Sold Price 91.3%
Active Listings 3828

Home sales in Ocala and Marion County were 505 homes and farms for October which is a little lower than we have been seeing. That makes me think that statistics don’t show the whole picture. For example the majority of sales are below $100K but statistics don’t tell why the prices are that low. They don’t tell the home’s condition, the size or if there is some sort of functional obsolescence which is real estate speak for a house with 1 bathroom or some outdated feature. The days on the market is an average. An over priced house can sit forever and an aggressively priced home in great condition can sell in days. There is only so much you can do online. At some point you need to reach out for help to a Realtor.

I think it will be a great winter for home sales here in Ocala. Winter is a busy time any way and the worse the winter is up north the better sales are here down in Florida. Call me, email me or use my Dream Home Finder if this is the last freezing cold winter you want in your life.

Ocala Florida weather report for November 2014

November began with record low temperatures. The first few days of the month had temperatures in the mid 60′s during the day and the 40′s at night. That’s January weather ! As I write this on November 5th the temperatures have returned to a more normal 80 during the day and 50 at night. The humidity has gone and we are in the dry season until the middle of May. This is the best time of year in Florida. It is sunny and dry every day in the 70′s and up to 80. It’s cool to sleep at night with the windows open but not so cool that you need the heat until late December. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the heat and humidity of our summers are a small price to pay for no winters.

Trilogy at Ocala Preserve

I went to brokers open house at the new Trilogy Ocala community being built by Shea homes. There were 3 model homes to see as well as maps and artist renderings of the future clubhouses and golf course.

The model homes seemed to be of a very high build quality. I was impressed. Having said that no one on the developers staff seemed to know what were standard features and what were upgrades. Pretty important stuff when buying a new home. I’m sure that sort of info will be available soon.

Trilogy will be divided into neighborhoods some being 55+ and some not. I like this concept but I wonder how this will effect the clubhouse, fitness center and pools. From my experience buyers looking for a 55+ community might not like sharing facilities with kids.

Buyers can start purchasing homes any time. One clubhouse with a cafe, fitness center, movement room and wifi lounge will be completed by January 2015. The 2nd and larger clubhouse will be complete by the spring of 2016 about the same time as the golf course. Until all the clubhouses and golf course are complete the HOA fee will be discounted to $319- month.

The HOA fees at Trilogy will include lawn mowing and trimming, shrub pruning, insect control and fertilizer as well as lawn water. It will not include water used inside the house or sewer. They will not maintain the building itself in any way. HOA fees do include golf. There are no CDD bonds. When complete HOA fees go up to $409- month. HOA fees also include gated access, street lights, common area maintenance, use of the clubhouse as well as cable TV and internet.

Shea Homes, the builder of Triolgy, is very Realtor friendly. You can contact them by email or phone and as long as you do not go to the community in person you can still have a Realtor represent you and they will pay a commission. 

Stay tuned for further updates.

UPDATE 10/24/14  I received a list of prices and features for the new Trilogy homes. Prices will range from $190K to $300K. The homes will have natural gas for cooking and heating. Granite counters seem to be standard as well as high end GE stainless appliances, tile showers and maple cabinetry. Sizes will range from 1449 sqft to 2451 sqft of living area. A 3 car garage is standard in the Reflect series of homes. Homes in Trilogy are frame with a cement stucco finish and not concrete block and stucco.

This blog post is deemed to be accurate at the time of posting but not guaranteed. All info comes from conversations with salespeople or hand out that I have received.

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Ocala Real Estate Market Report for September 2014

$10,000 to $100,000 279
$100,001 to $200,000 175
$200,001 to $300,000 43
$300,001 to $500,000 21
$500,000 plus 5
Total residential sales 523
Median Days on Market 98
Average % of Original list vs Sold Price 91.3%
Active Listings 3738

If you follow my market reports you can see that sales this year have been consistently over 500 a month. That is a huge increase over a few years ago. We are now is a neutral market which neither favors buyers or sellers. This is considered normal. The average days on the market is 98. Homes in excellent condition and well priced sell faster and closer to list price than the average of 91%. I’m not the only one who thinks the market is picking up. New home construction is just starting up again with builders having the confidence to start new developments. The Ocala real estate market has finally recovered and I am glad.

Statistics used for this blog post are from the Ocala Marion County MLS and are deemed to be accurate at the time this blog was written but are not guaranteed. All information is time sensitive and subject to change without notice. Home sales are for Marion County only and do not include FSBO, homes sold by builders or by auction that were not  listed on the MLS, commercial properties or vacant land. Residential sales do include farms, mobile homes and condo’s.

Ocala Florida weather report for October 2014

October is the beginning of our dry season. It cools down from the 90′s to the mid to low 80′s which after you’ve lived here a while seems cooler. As a matter of fact the 60′s seem down right cold after having been here for 10 years. The humidity will be gone by the end of the month. It is also the end of hurricane season by mid November.

This has been an unusually wet summer. I read that we have had as much rain as in 2004 when 4 hurricanes hit Florida. Maybe that’s a good thing. Lakes around here have been low for too long and the water table could use more water as well.

Here in Ocala a lot of people look forward to the winter with temperatures in the 70′s. If you’re not looking forward to snow and ice maybe you should contact me and I’ll help you move !

Why you should always do your own inspection

My buyer found a house they liked and it seemed odd that the seller had only lived there a month or so. Apparently she regretted her purchase and wanted to go back home. After accepting my buyers offer the seller’s agent offered my buyers the inspection that the seller had just had done several weeks ago. I cautioned about using an existing inspection. Sure enough one of the inspectors I like found several problems that the first inspector missed. Pretty obvious things like leaky faucets, a frozen valve on the hot water heater. Nothing serious but the seller was required to make those repairs under the Florida real estate contract that we used. All things the previous seller should have repaired.

Another time my buyer walked away from a deal because the AC was shot. We knew it was old and had an AC tech do an inspection in addition to the home inspection. Someone had rigged the AC so it wouldn’t blow out freon ! The listing agent gave my buyers inspection to the next buyer never knowing the results of the independent AC inspection.

So there you go. Never trust an inspection that you didn’t order and pay for.

Ocala Real Estate Market Report for August 2014

$10,000 to $100,000 284
$100,001 to $200,000 170
$200,001 to $300,000 46
$300,001 to $500,000 21
$500,000 plus 7
Total residential sales 528
Active Listings 3664

Homes sales are up over the past few years and prices are beginning to go up as well. However the Ocala area still offers greats deals on home prices. The median home price in the Ocala area is $109,250- . The median home price in Florida is $181,000- and the median home price for the whole country is $220,600-.

Statistics used for this blog post are from the Ocala Marion County MLS and are deemed to be accurate at the time this blog was written but are not guaranteed. All information is time sensitive and subject to change without notice. Home sales are for Marion County only and do not include FSBO, homes sold by builders or by auction that were not  listed on the MLS, commercial properties or vacant land. Residential sales do include farms, mobile homes and condo’s.

Some things just don’t exist

I deal mostly with out of state buyers. Sometimes people are looking for things that either don’t exist or are extremely rare. 

Pool homes in 55+ communities are a good example. There are some but 99% of 55+ homes don’t have a private pool. Why have a pool to maintain when you are paying HOA fees for a community pool ?

Same goes for “I want a 55+ home on a huge lot with no or very low HOA fees” Retirement homes are on small lots because most people don’t want yard work anymore. Retirement communities are also about a lifestyle and not just age restrictions.

Yet another home type I get asked about all the time are farms under $100,000-. I guess if an old mobile home on an acre with Ag zoning is your idea of a farm then they do exist. We have some inexpensive homes here on standard sized lots but farms are not that cheap.

I think people get an image in their mind of their ideal home before knowing an area and what to expect. I see my job as being just as much about educating buyers as just showing them houses.

Joe Dallorso
Fontana Realty
7668 SW 60th Avenue #200
Ocala FL 34476

Ocala FL Weather
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