Archive for May, 2009
Since I wrote about the crazy rains we have been experiencing I’ve had some other thoughts. When I was looking to move to Florida 5 years ago I came to Ocala because it had never suffered a direct hit from a hurricane.
In the dry season Florida is prone to wild fires. Although wildfires can happen any where, the worst of them seem to happen either south or east of Marion county. I find this odd seeing so much of the eastern part of Marion county is the Ocala national forest .
Now that much of the eastern part of central Florida is experiencing historic flooding, the Ocala area seems to be once again getting off easy.
There are no guarantees in life, but as far as weather related problems go, the Ocala area seems to be one of the safest parts of Florida.
We are having the weirdest weather here in Ocala. It has been raining for almost a week. The weather report claims we had about 7 inches and I believe it. I had to empty my swimming pool twice this week!
What’s so odd about rain in the spring you might ask? It’s supposed to be the dry season, which begins in October and doesn’t end until the first of June. Ocala has had as much rain this week as a tropical storm would deliver. Areas east of Marion County towards Daytona have had it even worse with severe flooding.
The funny thing is that until this rain we had no precipitation at all for about a month. It was a drought and everyone was worried about forest fires. There are basically 2 types of rain events in Florida. The afternoon thunderstorms caused by winds off the Atlantic colliding with winds from the Gulf, which only last an hour or two, and tropical storms. Weather like this is very odd.
Is now the time to buy a house in Ocala FL? Thiink of it this way.
In a sellers market you sell high and generally in a short time. BUT then what do you do? Unless you’re headed to the nursing home or planning a backpacking trip to Tibet you’ll probably have to buy another house. You go out into a sellers market with few choices and pay top dollar for your next house.
Now in a buyers market you may sell lower than you’d like and maybe a lot lower. But you can go out into a buyers market full of inventory and pay an equally low price. That’s why I think a buyers market is actually better than a sellers market.
The best deal of all is for first time buyers. It’s the first time buyers who get to buy low without selling low. In the Ocala market with prices as low as they are, first time buyers can own a home for the price of an upscale apartment or renting many homes. Not to even mention the income tax advantages and first time buyers tax credit and historically low interest rates.
|$100.00 to $100,000.00||106|
|$100,001.00 to $200,000.00||97|
|$200,001.00 to $300,000.00||17|
|$300,001.00 to $500,000.00||5|
|TOTAL SALES FOR THE MONTH||229|
|TOTAL ACTIVE LISTINGS FOR MONTH||5,940|
Sales in April were 229 homes in Marion County. That’s a large increase over January at 142, February at 188 and about the same as March which was 220. Total listings also dropped below 6,000 which is great news.
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People are buying 55+ community homes in Ocala now to retire in to in the future. Much to my surprise I’ve been contacted several times now in 2009 by buyers looking to buy a retirement home even though they’re not ready to retire just yet. Think about it, we are in the middle of the most extreme buyers market in anyone’s lifetime. Interest rates are at historical lows with no where to go but up. This is the buying opportunity of a life time. Can you can afford to buy your retirement home now and hold onto your primary home for several years until the market starts back up? This is a scenario of buy low and sell high if there ever was one.
I just helped a couple get a really great deal on a brand new house from a developer in Dunnellon Florida. Now some people might think that spending good money on a home inspection for a new house that comes with a builders warranty is a waste of money. Well while testing the dishwasher it spilled water all over the kitchen floor and it took the poor home inspector about a half hour to soak all the water up with some old towels he carried with him. The buyers were paying cash and there wasn’t a bank that required a survey but they elected to do one any way even though this was a new house. There are wild stories about building houses on the wrong lot. The survey revealed a minor error on the title that was corrected prior to closing. Not a big deal but something that would have surfaced on resale.
A waste of money or money well spent? You be the judge.
Well not really a new insurance company. More like an established insurance company moving into a new market. AAA which is best know for rescuing stranded motorists and for car insurance is entering the home owners insurance market here in Florida. The big deal is that other major insurers are leaving the property insurance market here in Florida. Big insurance companies only want to collect premiums and they really don’t want the risk that comes along with Florida hurricanes.
The Ocala area doesn’t have the insurance costs of south Florida because Ocala isn’t in the path of hurricanes. Hurricanes generally either hit south Florida, go up the Atlantic coast or into the Gulf of Mexico. So there is less risk and lower insurance costs here in Ocala.
I think this could be a great idea in AAA’s part. A lot of people want to get their car and home owners insurance from the same company. This could be a great way to get market share in a very large state.
May in Ocala is a time of transition. The dry air of the spring and winter is leaving and the humidity of the summer is just around the corner. The temperatures are in the high 80′s to even the low 90′s. There is some but not a lot on humidity in the air. The night time temps are in the mid 60′s to low 70′s. The late afternoons and evenings require some air conditioning. If you do your own yard work it’s best to get outdoor projects over by the end of the month. May is also the end of the dry seaon. The dry season starts in October and ends in May.
There are a lot of people out there looking for a foreclosed house here in Ocala Florida. The problem is t hey have a hard time finding them. I’ve had people call me, email me and I even read a letter to the editor about not being able to find a nice foreclosure here in the Ocala area. Now this is just plain crazy seeing there are over 200 of them listed on the MLS at any given time.
I’m a die hard do it yourselfer but I also know when I just don’t have the right tools for the job. Yes this is where I suggest that you contact your friendly Ocala Realtor, preferably me of course.
I can search on a lot more things than you can on the MLS. As a matter of fact it’s as simple for me as checking a box on my search that basically says “foreclosures only”.
So when you’re ready to get serious about your foreclosure search let me know. If you want to make it easy you can go to my Ocala Dream Home Finder and fill out the form and write Foreclosures in the special wants area. It’s just that easy.
Foreclosure listings on the Ocala MLS seldom have a lot of images. As a matter of fact most foreclosure listings only have one image which is the minimum required by our board of realtors. Buyers are used to a dozen images or even a virtual tour when looking at traditional real estate listings online. Foreclosures are usually presented with the bare minimum of information. Foreclosures are sold by a few listing agents who specialize in these types of distressed properties. Their marketing strategy is simple, price the foreclosed home cheap and it will sell quickly. To tell you the truth it works. I realize that is little consolation to buyers expecting more info. And it’s especially frustrating for out of the area buyers.
For more info on buying a foreclosed home in Ocala see my Ocala Foreclosure Guide.