Archive for August, 2009
Hardwood Trails is a 55 plus retirement community located in SW Ocala Florida. Hardwood Trails has several issues as out lined in a recent Star Banner article regarding problems between residents and the developer. For example there is a very nice community center but the pool isn’t finished. This is also a gated community but the gate doesn’t work. Despite these issues I really like Hardwood Trails for the long term. Hardwood Trails is in a great location just minutes from all the shopping, restaurants and health care offered in the SR 200, SW corridor. This is also one of the few subdivisions where the developer left all the trees. Home prices are in the mid to high $100′s. HOA fees are about $90- per month for maintaining the common areas, the clubhouse, trash and basic cable.
If you would like a list of homes for sale in Hardwood Trails fill out my Dream Home Finder located in the column on the right hand side of this page.
Pine Run is a 55 plus retirement community located in SW Ocala Florida. Homes here are of frame construction with aluminum siding. Prices start around $35,000- for a foreclosure or fixer upper up to about $100,000-. Pine Run has 2 clubhouses each with a pool, tennis courts and other amenities. HOA fees are around $80- per month and include the clubhouse and pool, trash pickup, common area maintenance and a 24 hour guard at the gate. Homes in Pine Run are well kept and show pride of ownership.
If you would like a list of homes for sale in Pine Run fill out my Dream Home Finder located in the column on the right hand side of this page.
I often get contacted by people looking for owner financing here in Ocala. What these buyers are really looking for is a way to get into a house with little money down or because they have credit issues.
Buyers seems to think owner financing is little money down and the owner finances a house like a bank. In the real world when you can find an owner willing to finance a house the seller usually wants 10 to 20% down, a higher interest rate than most banks and a 3 to 5 year balloon mortgage. A balloon mortgage being that after the term, 3 to 5 years or whatever, the note becomes due and the buyer is expected to pay it off or more realistically refinance it through a loan with a traditional lender.
Owner financing is hard to find. Buyers are at a disadvantage and have a hard time negotiating on price or interest rate. I really think this is a method of last resort.
FHA financing only requires a 3.5% down payment and is not entirely credit score driven. USDA financing can be 100% and the buyer can even ask the seller to pay all closing costs. Both these government programs are better than owner financing in my opinion.
While Florida lost population for the first time since the end of WW2, Ocala Marion County gained in population. From April 08 to April 09 Marion County added a little over 3,800 residents. Over all Florida lost over 58,000 people. Some counties losing more than others and a few counties actually gaining population like Marion County.
Why are people coming to Ocala and Marion County?
- The lowest median home prices in Florida.
- Lower property taxes than much of the state.
- Lower home owners insurance than much of Florida.
- Much lower hurricane risk than south Florida.
- Less traffic and crime than other parts of the state.
- Just a better quality of life.
There has never been a better time to buy a house in Ocala Marion County than now. Interest rates are at historical lows with no where to go buy up. Home prices are down 50% in some areas from 2005-07. Call or email me today and I’ll send you a list of homes that would meet your needs. All I need to know is what you want. Or try my Ocala Dream Home Finder. What ever is easier for you.
Ocala weather in August is pretty much the same every day. Never below 90 and never above 95 in the day. Never below 70 at night and more like the mid 70′s. It’s humid all the time and there is a possibility of a thunderstorm almost every afternoon.
We are having a very uneventful hurricane season so far this year. Let’s hope it stays that way. In case you haven’t read my weather reports before this one, Ocala is probably the safest place in all of Florida for hurricanes. That’s not to say Ocala will never get one but that it’s unlikely.
As I always say, don’t let the heat and humidity bother you, it’s a very small price to pay for no winter.
This is an update to my very popular Highest and Best Offer post.
I found a really nice house for buyers I was working with for several weeks. After making our offer the seller came back and asked for the highest and best offer. I gave my buyers recent sold comps that showed the asking price was very aggressive. That combined with the fact that this foreclosed home had never been lived in led the buyers to make an offer $10,000- above the asking price. The listing agent came back the next day to say that the bank had accepted a cash offer.
The actual sale price of a house can’t be determined until closing. Agents never reveal the pending price. That would place the seller at a possible disadvantage with the next buyer should the deal fall apart.
I will publish an update to this little story in a few weeks. The moral to this story is that cash talks. A cash sale has no finance contingency and can close faster than financing. Banks like a sure thing.
I get asked a lot about Ocala area deed restrictions. Let me start by saying that no one dislikes authority figures or being told what to do more than me. However, as you can see from the picture above there are good reasons for deed restrictions. Try selling your house if you live next door to that guy.
If there is a mandatory HOA, home owners association, you must be given a copy of the deed restrictions to read before making an offer. Most are pretty much common sense like no mobile homes or that you can’t park your RV or boat on the front lawn. Others might bother some people. For example, you can only put up a certain kind of fence or you can’t have a shed in your back yard.
If you can’t imagine living with deed restrictions you do have options in the Ocala area. There are a number of sub divisions with either no or very few deed restrictions. There are older communities that have let them expire. There is also agricultural zoning but if the house is in a sub division the zoning can be over ridden by the deed restrictions.
So to sum this all up, deed restrictions depend partly on the personality of the buyer, the restrictions themselves and how they are enforced.
|$100.00 to $100,000.00||132|
|$100,001.00 to $200,000.00||111|
|$200,001.00 to $300,000.00||20|
|$300,001.00 to $500,000.00||4|
|TOTAL SALES FOR THE MONTH||269|
|TOTAL ACTIVE LISTINGS FOR MONTH||5,553|
** Only homes listed & sold in Marion County on the Ocala Marion county MLS. Does not include For Sale by Owner, Vacant land, Commercial properties, Farms or homes by Builders not listed on the MLS. Numbers subject to change due to late reports from Brokers
Sales in July were 269 homes in Marion County. This is a drop from the 319 sales in June and more in line with April at 229 and May at 259. Total listings went up about 100 units from last month which is the first increase in quite a while.
One of Ocala’s largest employers closed this week. The huge mortgage company Taylor Bean & Whitaker was closed down by the fed putting around 1,000 people out of work. This on top of a 12.5% unemployment rate isn’t good for the housing market.
There seems to be no end to the foreclosures that are still dragging down prices. I constantly see short sales being withdrawn or expiring from the MLS. These are the foreclosures of 6 to 12 months from now. In July there were 84 Foreclosures sold and 27 Short Sales sold. That’s 111 out of 269 homes sold or 41% of all sales.
For these reasons I don’t expect prices to go up any time soon. Prices won’t recover until the foreclosures stop, inventory goes below 2,500 homes, the unemployment rate drops significantly and the market improves in other parts of the country so people can sell there and move to Ocala.
Knowledge is power whether you are a buyer or seller. I offer the truth about the Ocala Real Estate market without any sugar coating.
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.