On Top of the World Ocala FL


On Top of the World Ocala Florida

On Top of the World is a huge 55 plus retirement community located in SW Ocala Florida.  Sidney Colen, a visionary Florida builder, purchased the 12,872 acre Circle Square Ranch in 1975 and began to develop On Top of the World in 1982. His son is still building new homes here today.

On Top of the World is unique in Ocala real estate for a couple of reasons. This is a leasehold property which is unusual for our area. This means that you own the house but the lot is leased for 99 years from the time of the first sale.  A buyer also can’t finance more than 80% of the purchase price of their home. Unlike most Ocala 55+ communities all outside maintenance is part of the HOA fees.

In addition to new homes there are quite a few resales here.  Older homes are often attached in groups of 4 to 6 and of concrete block and stucco construction. The newer homes are single detached and also CBS. Sizes range from 1,000 to about 2400 sq ft of living area. Prices start as low as $40,000- and go up to $200,000- for resales.

HOA fees for attached Villas at On Top of the World are high, around $398- per month, because they include all outside maintenance including lawns, painting and roof repair but not replacement as well as property insurance on the building but not the contents or interior. In addition there is a 24 hour guard at the gate and too many amenities to list. Single detached homes, which are newer, have $331- month HOA fees but do not include water like the Villas.

Amenities include the Arbor Club with indoor and outdoor pools and tennis, the Health and Rec Center with a fitness center, racketball, steam room ect. and a craft building with a complete woodworking shop, The Spa Ranch and Fitness Center, a library, a dog park, a bus service for shopping  and the Circle Square Cultural Center. There are 2 golf courses, the Tortoise and Hare and The Links.  Golf, the Ranch Spa and Fitness and the Cultural Center all have fees above and beyond your HOA fee. There is also great adult education and cultural opportunities at Master The Possibilities which is also open to the public.

On Top of the World is also a golf cart community which means you can drive your cart down the street. You can even access 2 grocery stores, small shops and a few restaurants with your golf cart.

Update March 2015. If you are interested in OTOTW the resales are selling for a significant discount over new homes.

If you would like a list of homes for sale in On Top of the World fill out my Dream Home Finder, call me or send me an email.

Arbor Club

OTOTW Health and Recreation Center

Ranch Fitness Center

Ranch Fitness Center

Street Scene Older Area

Street Scene Older Area

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.

50 Responses to “On Top of the World Ocala FL”

  • don snyder says:

    what exactly is a leasehold property

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    A leasehold property means that the lot, the land under the house, is on a 99 year lease which began when the house was first sold.

  • Gary says:


    Who finances most of the homes in On Top of The World? Do they have their own mortgage company or do they just leave that up to the buyer???



  • Joe Dallorso says:

    Hi Gary

    In resales the buyer gets financing from the lender of his choice. Many 55+ sales are for cash.

  • Harry Bharose says:

    Can you tell me about the model airplane RC club. Is there any additional fees if you are a resident for using this facility. Can you send me a layout map showing the main entrance, the housing layout and where the RC field is located relative to the homes. Thanks Harry

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    Hi Harry

    I will email you a link to the RC club web site

  • Ed Locke says:

    Are the HOA fee’s the same regardless of the size property?

    I’ve seen some properties listed that were built in the late 90′s. How are these aging?

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    Morning Ed

    HOA fees vary. The Villas which are attached in rows of 6-8 have higher fees of $380- month. Single detached homes are $300- month. The villas include water.

    Homes date back to around 1980. Condition varies by owner.

  • Judy and Jeff says:


    What does the HOA fee include for a single family home in the On Top of the World Community?


    Jeff and Judy

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    HOA fees for single detached homes in OTOTW include :
    basic cable TV (very basic)
    trash (not door to door pickup) there are trash centers
    risk insurance on the building (not the interior or contents)
    lawn care
    use of amenities (golf costs extra)
    common area maint., guards at the gates, management srvices

  • Mike Gormiller says:

    A friend of mine has a small business investing. Is this type of business allowed to be operated from your home?

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    I assume that is OK as long as he doesn’t meet clients at his home

  • Dennis and Wei says:

    What happens when the 99 yr lease is over at that time?

    Will we be forced to buy or rent at a high unnegiociated rate fee?

    Can a prospective buyer see the details of the HOA managment of the money spent?

    Can any voting on Homeowner Issues be done?

    What can be done by Homeowners to control future fees of HOA?

    I was told that is not a real HOA but under total control of the LandOwner?

    IS this true?

    What powers do homeowners Have?

    I want to buy there soon buy I’m afraid of the 99yr lease and no HOA.

    Thanks, Dennis and Wei

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    Hi Dennis and Wei

    What happens when the 99 yr lease is over at that time?
    Will we be forced to buy or rent at a high unnegiociated rate fee?
    the oldest houses are around 1980 ……don’y worry you want be alive in 2080

    Can a prospective buyer see the details of the HOA managment of the money spent?
    I’ve never had a buyer ask for financials so I’m not sure

    Can any voting on Homeowner Issues be done?
    What can be done by Homeowners to control future fees of HOA?
    I was told that is not a real HOA but under total control of the LandOwner?
    IS this true?……………YES
    OTOTW pretty much runs things

    What powers do homeowners Have?
    Not much

    I want to buy there soon buy I’m afraid of the 99yr lease and no HOA.
    The land lease is odd and the only one in this area. A lot of buyers avoid OTOTW for that reason. But like I said neither of us will be here in 80+ years.

  • Ruth Krotz says:

    So is the land lease payment in addition to the HOA fees, or is it included? I would think because you don’t own the land itself, the values should be less; thus property taxes less. Am I correct in that?

    Also wondering what golfing costs there.


  • Joe Dallorso says:

    There is no land lease payment. The land just reverts to the builder after 100 years. The HOA fees are just to pay for the expenses like amenities and maintenance. The home prices are lower IMO as a result of it being a lease hold property. Taxes are only less because the home value is less.

  • paul says:

    Do they allow motorcycles, pickup trucks or vans?

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    Yes motorcycles
    pickups and mini vans that are not work vehicles yes
    large vans like work trucks no

  • Deborah says:

    What happens to the home after the 99 year lease is up, do they pay again, people ask this everyday, and I do not have the answer other than it reverts back to the owner, they want to know if they have to buy again or loose the home?

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    Hi Deb

    I emailed OTOTW and below is their response

    There is no “official” answer, I have been advised to say that a new 99 year lease will be signed by the current owners of the home at that time. We have not gotten to that point yet, still have about another 75 years before then.

    I agree that at this point anyone buying a home in OTOTW has nothing to worry about. In the distant future I wonder if a bank will want to give a 30 yr mortgage on a home with only 25 years left on the lease but I won’t be around then to find out.

    I do think there are some great deals in OTOTW right now. I especially like some of the larger homes built after 2004. A real steal right now.

  • Angel B. Bates says:

    Hello Joe, I would like information regarding homes for sale in Top of World, Pine Run, and Palm Cay. My price point is 40K up to but not higher than 60K. 1600 SQ FT or more if possible. Also, is the 55 age restriction pertain to just one individual? My 54 year old son plans to live with me. Thank you and best regards, Angel

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    Only 1 person in a 55+ community needs to be 55 or over

    Although there are homes here under $60K they are in the 900 to 1300 sqft range

  • Shirl McCoy says:

    Are there any rentals in there? And, if so, what price ranges?

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    Sorry I don’t do rentals

  • Melita says:

    If lawn maint. is included in the HOA fees, does that mean the yard front and back?

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    Yes both the front and back yard

  • Darryl Kenyon says:

    How many pools are there at OTOW?

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    There are 2 large outdoors pools and a very large indoor pool

  • Are fences allowed in OTOTW…if so, will the gardener maintain inside the fence? What questions should we be sure to ask when visiting OTOTW for a sales presentation?
    Marge Prutzman

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    You can put up a fence in OTOTW but you then are responsible for your own lawn care for everything inside your fence

  • Will Luz says:

    Joe, could you please send me a list of the sales since 2009 in Hardwood Trails? Also, any recent news about the news the purchasers have had with their litigation? Thanks….

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    I can’t help with Hardwood Trails. I wrote that blog post when I first started my blog and I no longer follow that community.

  • Cindy Klopfer says:

    Over a period of 5 to 10 years approximately how much are villa properties esculating in price verses stand alone houses? Verses houses outside of OTOW in same general area?

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    I don’t have those statistics but villas have gone down in price significantly since the market crashed in 2007.

  • Michael Kinney says:

    Hello Joe!

    I am considering a resale in OTOW but I too have an issue with them being on a 99 year lease. What happens if the current/future owners go bankrupt? Will everyone be evicted from there home? Will the new owner honor the remaining years on the lease? What security does the homeowner really have? Thanks

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    A lot of buyers have concerns about the land lease. In my opinion it is partly the reason for lower resale prices in OTOTW.

    I can’t predict what might happen in the future. You might want to consult an attorney about any legal concerns that you have. You might also try the new homes sales center to see what they have to say.

  • Bobbiejo Henn says:

    What about sinkholes? Does the developer do testing before building on a site, or is it “buyer beware”? E7LN

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    I don’t know and can’t speak for the developer. Sink holes do exist in this area. It is like your house getting hit by lightning. Very hit or miss. Just because one house gets one does not mean the house across the street will too. I have heard of testing for sink holes but it is very expensive.

  • joe patrissi says:

    My wife and I are planning a trip to Ocala in Nov and are staying OTOTW but I would like to meet with you to discuss my plans and possibilities for when we make the move to Fla. naturally I have many questions. should I wait for then or should we speak now? the big question is new vs resale

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    It’s never too early to ask questions
    I do that all the time

  • Daniel says:


    Who is the Insurance Company for the external portion of a single family home?
    Who supplies the water?

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    I don’t know who insures the exterior of the homes in OTOTW.
    OTOTW has it’s own water company.

  • Gail says:

    You say fencing is allowed at OTOW, but are you restricted to only a 4 foot chain link like some developments, or can you put up a nice privacy fence?

    Also, what developments in the area do allow for privacy fencing (not the 4 foot chain link type).

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    You might have misunderstood fencing in OTOTW. The attached Villas you can have a fence up close to the house. By that a 10 x something spot up against the house. You cannot fence the yard. The single detached homes you could fence your yard but they would no longer maintain the lawn but would still charge you the full HOA fee.

    There are no 55+ communities that allow a privacy fence at all in the Ocala area.

  • Tammey Fitzgerald says:

    Looking fir a winter rental in Top of the World Ocala

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    I don’t do rentals at all. I don’t know of seasonal rentals. They don’t make sense for the home owner. Who wants to look for a new tenant every month or two. There is also no market at all for summer rentals so the house sits vacant with the $385- month OTOTW HOA fees

  • I see some units that do not include water and sewer. What would be the costs ?
    also would you have to pay for lawn watering?

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    Only the attached Villas have sewer and water included in the HOA fees.
    I don’t know what to expect for water fees in the detached homes
    It would mostly depend on how much you watered your lawn

  • Rhonda Winsor says:

    I’m looking for a condo, villa or townhouse in a retirement community for my father. Besides OTOW what other communities are not just single family homes?

  • Joe Dallorso says:

    Almst all 55+ here are single family homes. This is not an area for townhomes or condo’s like further south in Florida. There are homes in Oak Run with lawn care but if your AC breaks or your roof leaks you call a contractor.

Leave a Reply

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

Ocala FL Weather
Partly CloudyOcala Municipal Awos, FL, US
73 °F (73 °F)
Weather data provided by weather.com®