Ocala Real Estate Market Report for December 2014

$10,000 to $100,000 300
$100,001 to $200,000 174
$200,001 to $300,000 48
$300,001 to $500,000 18
$500,000 plus 7
Total residential sales 547
Median Days on Market 109
Average % of Original list vs Sold Price 89.9%
Active Listings 3749

December sales were up at 547 homes after a disappointing November. I think these fluctuations are just a result of when a contract is written and the number of days it takes to close. Looking at the current number of active listings and current sales we have 6.8 months of inventory which means we are no longer in a buyers market. Don’t be deceived by the 300 sales under $100K. You should assume that the vast majority of these homes will need some sort of work or renovation. As I’ve said before there has been very little new construction since the market crashed in 2007. A sellers market is inevitable. What you buy today should look pretty good in 5 years in my opinion.

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 January 2015

As is typical of winter weather in Ocala the first week end of the year was unseasonably warm with temperatures in the low 80′s and today as I write this the day time temperature never got above 55 in the shade on my lanai. Winter here revlves around cold fronts. It’s warm, usually more like the low 70′s this time of year until a cold front comes thru dropping temperatures to the 50′s for a day or two.

If you’re freezing cold just remember that’s my grass is still green and I have to mow it this week ! Call me, email me or use my Ocala Dream Home Finder and you can have green grass in January too.

Not all Ocala 55+ have a true HOA

Not all Ocala 55+ communities have what buyers from other parts of the country think of as a homeowner’s association, that being when the builder finishes construction that he turns over the facilities and management to the residents. 

Here and in many parts of Florida the developer retains ownership of the common areas including the clubhouse, pool, fitness center and golf course and manages the community collecting fees for using the amenities. In this type of community the HOA is for social purposes like clubs and activities. Area communities with this sort or structure include Cherry Wood, Oak Run, Ocala Palms, On Top of the World and the Indigo East and Candler Hills areas. 

Communities where the residents do control a homeowners association are Summerglen, Spruce Creek Golf and Country Club, Spruce Creek Preserve, Palm Cay, Spruce Creek North,  and Stone Creek when it gets built out.

I’m not sure one is better than another. Oak Run is one of my favorite communities. You get a lot of bang for your fees at Oak Run and the fees pretty much remain the same.

Ocala Real Estate Market Report for November 2014

$10,000 to $100,000 269
$100,001 to $200,000 150
$200,001 to $300,000 33
$300,001 to $500,000 10
$500,000 plus 3
Total residential sales 435
Median Days on Market 114
Average % of Original list vs Sold Price 90.7%
Active Listings 3816

Home sales are down compared to the previous months. I have no idea why. If there is a slow season here in Ocala it is the summer. Traditionally sales pick up in the fall and really get going in the winter when people get sick of the northern winters.

If you follow my market reports you know I was in the first bidding war of my career earlier this year. Well I encountered another sale where there were 4 buyers for the same home that was only on the market a couple of days. In this one my buyers lost out to another buyer who was paying all in cash. Despite the off month with lower than expected sales the market is definitely changing.

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.

Joe Dallorso
Fontana Realty
7668 SW 60th Avenue #200
Ocala FL 34476
352-598-4340

EMAIL JOE
Ocala FL Weather
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