Archive for October, 2009
The buyer has a responsibility to do their own research and due diligence when buying a home. A real estate agent in Florida is assumed to be acting as a transaction broker with the following limited responsibilities.
1. Deal honestly and fairly.
2. Account for all funds.
3. Use skill, care and diligence in the transaction.
4. Disclose all known facts that materially effect the property even if not readily observable to the buyer.
5. Present all offers and counter offers in a timely manner.
6. Limited confidentiality. An agent can’t reveal that a seller will take a lower price, a buyer will pay a higher price or other info detrimental to the oposing party. The buyer or seller are not responsible for the actions of their agent unlike a single agency.
This is a brief over view of the duties and the full disclosure is available in PDF format if you want a copy.
When you work with an agent you are really working with their broker. Acting as a transaction broker allow the agent to show other listings from their brokers office.
The point of all this is that it is up to the buyers to determine if the home and the area is suitable for them.
Here are a few resources.
Read the local newspaper, the Star Banner, it’s online and free. Read it every day to get a feel for the area, schools, politics or what ever interests you.
Don’t ask a Realtor questions about an areas demographics. That’s the third rail of real estate. If you’re interested in demographics do an internet search. You can search on anything even by zip codes.
Law enforcement agencies have pretty nice web sites. The 2 important ones are the Marion County Sheriff and the city of Ocala police department. Remember although our area is often referred to as Ocala a lot of the area is actually in Marion County and may be in a subdivision that is not in any city or town.
Ocala is a great place to retire or to live if you’re self employed but finding a job can be tough. I think the best resource for Ocala employment opportunities is Employ Florida.
Google Maps is a nice way to get a feel for Marion County. I’ve created a map of Ocala 55+ retirement communities and plan to build others. If you’re not real familiar with Google Maps or the competition, you can often click on areal view and zoom in on a feature or area. Keep in mind that these images may not be up to date.
Property taxes are very confusing. The tax amount that you see on a listing is probably not what you will end up paying. Taxes are reassessed every time a house is sold. The Marion County Property Appraiser has a nice web site. Check out the FAQ and the tax estimator. I have also added a new page to my web site about Ocala area Property Taxes.
Read my blog. I try to do 1 or 2 posts a week. I also blog about the weather and market conditions monthly.
Ocala Palms is a golf course community located in the NW part of Ocala Florida. Ocala Palms is within the Ocala city limits. It is not a 55+ community even though you might see it listed as such sometimes. Ocala Palms is an Adult community which means 21 plus. There are both frame and vinyl and concrete block and stucco homes here. Home prices and sizes vary a lot. The size can range from 1,000 sq ft of living area up to almost 3,000. Homes in Ocala Palms are fairly close together on smaller lots but many lots have golf course frontage. Prices go from below $100,000- up to $300,000-. HOA fees are around $140- per month and include the club house, outdoor and indoor pools, tennis, a 24 hour guard at the gate, common area maintenance, curb side trash pickup, basic cable but not golf. Ocala Palms is a golf cart community meaning you can drive your cart down the road but you can’t make it to any shopping.
Update 1/12/2011 There were 13 sales in Ocala Palms between 6/1/10 and 12/31/10 from $79,900- (1,062 sq ft) up to $190,000-. HOA fees are $175- month. Home prices in Ocala Palms are really great right now and I think this is a must see community.
Update 2-29-12 HOA fees are $185- month. There were 42 sales in 2011. Prices ranged from a low of $55,000- for a 1050 sq ft Villa with frame and vinyl siding construction up to $209,000- for a 2430 sq ft CBS home with exceptional upgrades on a golf course lot. Ocala Palms offers some of the best deals in the Ocala area in my opinion.
Update 2-12-2013 HOA fees remain the same. There were 56 sales in 2012. Prices ranged from $51,000- for an unusually small 825 sqft 2/1/1 up to $180,000- for a 2021 sqft 3/2/2 with a private pool. Great home for these prices.
Candler Hills is an active 55+ golf course community located in SW Ocala. Candler Hills is a newer part of the On Top of the World Communities. The homes here are of concrete block and stucco construction and built within the last 4 years. There are new homes for sale and quite a few resales. Resales are in the $150-250,000- range. HOA fees are currently $210.00 per month and include a 24 hour guard at the gate, common area maintenance, curb side trash pickup, basic cable and high speed internet, access to On Top of the World amenities at a discount price, discount golf fees, the Candler Hills clubhouse and heated outdoor pool. Candler Hills is a golf cart community meaning you can drive your cart down the road. As a matter of fact you could drive all the way to a super market if you were so inclined. You are not allowed to finance more than 80% of the purchase price of a home here.
Update 2-29-12 There were 10 sales in 20111. Prices ranged from $120,000- for a 1583 sq ft home built in 05 up to $225,000- for a 1888 sq ft home with a ton of upgrades. Candler Hills has CDD bonds that add around $800- yr to your taxes. Most sales in 2011 were between $140K and $170K. Considering these prices and the build quality Candler Hills is an excellent buy.
Update 2-12-2013 HOA fees are $224- month. There were 12 sales in 2012. The lowest was a rare foreclosure that went for $82,000-. The next lowest was $130,000- for a 1705 sqft 3/2/2. The highest sale was $228,000- for a 2087 sqft 3/2/2.
Marion Landing is a 55 plus retirement community located in SW Ocala. Marion Landing is in a great location just off SR 200 close to shopping, restaurants and hospitals. There is a nice clubhouse with it’s own bowling alley, a large pool, tennis court and even a small fishing pond. HOA fees cover water and sewer, common area maintenance,all amenities and twice weekly curb side trash pickup. Marion Landing was built over a period of 20 years. There is a mix of homes here. There are just a few mobile homes from the 1980′s, mostly frame and vinyl construction and some newer block and stucco homes. Even older less expensive homes here show pride of ownership. Prices range from $50,000- for an older mobile to around $175,000- for a CBS home built in the past few years. HOA fees are $112- per month. Marion Landing is not gated but there is a night time security patrol.
Update 1/12/2011 : There were 9 sales in Marion Landing between 6/1/10 and 12/31/10 from $25,500- (foreclosed mobile home) to $119,000- (nice CBS home). HOA fees remain the same.
Update 2-29-12 HOA fees remain the same. There were 26 sales in 2011. Prices ranged from $41,000- for a mobile home. A frame and vinyl home, 1300 sq ft sold for $50,000- a great deal. The highest priced home was a 1868 concrete block and stucco home built in 03 for $121,250- also a great deal.
Update 2-12-2013 HOA fees remain the same at $112- month. There were 31 sales in 2012 ranging from $33,000- for a 1248 sqft mobile home to $120,000- for a nice 1941 sqft CBS home built in 1997.
Cherry Wood is a 55 plus retirement community in the SW part of Ocala Florida. Cherry Wood is in a great location just minutes from shopping, restaurants and hospitals. Cherry Wood has a large pool, a tennis court and shuffle board area. There is also a large clubhouse community center. Homes in Cherry Wood are concrete block and stucco construction on 1/4 acre lots. Chain link fences are allowed. This is not a gated community. Home prices start at just below $100,000- and go up to $200,000-. HOA fees vary by the model of the home and are from $140- to $180- per month. The HOA fees include common area maintenance, clubhouse and pool, a full cable TV package and curb side trash pickup. See my Ocala 55+ communities map for Cherry Wood’s location.
Update 1/12/11 : There were 10 sales in Cherry Wood between 6/1/10 and $12/31/10. Prices ranged from $55,000- to $89,000- all of which were homes 1,320 sq ft and smaller for some reason. I think Cherry Wood has some really nice CBS homes under $100K and it’s a great buy if you don’t mind the high HOA fees.
Update 2-29-12. HOA fees are $183- month but they do include a really good cable TV package that includes all the channels except HBO, Showtime ect. unlike other communities that have a basic cable deal with a dozen channels. There were 27 sales in 2011. Prices ranged from $41,000- for a 1014 sq ft house needing work to $130,000- for a 2172 sq ft home in excellent condition. If you want a block home under $100K Cherry Wood is a must see.
Update 2-12-2013 HOA fees have gone up. Fees vary but average around $195.00 month. There were 26 sales in 2012 ranging from $45,000- for a 1008 sqft 2/2/2 to $137,000- for a huge 2569 sqft 3/2.5/2. Great concrete block and stucco home for the price despite.
Confused by all the 55+ retirement communities in the Ocala Marion County area? Well I’ve created a Google Map that shows the location of all the significant Ocala 55+ retirement communities. In case you’re not familiar with Google Maps you can zoom in and out, you can move the map around with your mouse and there is an aerial view feature. Click on the blue bubble like place mark to identify the community. In addition to the map below you can go Ocala 55+ Communities Map and save it to your favorites. I also have Ocala 55+ community profiles on my blog site. If you’re interested in seeing listings for 55+ communities check out my Listing Cart service which is a custom MLS search.
View Ocala 55+ retirement communities in a larger map
Golflink.com ranks Ocala as number 8 on it’s list of golf destinations in Florida. I’m not sure if people think of Ocala as a huge golf town but our area has some very nice golf courses. The Marion County cities of Ocala, Dunnellon and Summerfield also have some excellent golf course communities. I have just added a new page to my web site that gives an overview of Ocala Golf Course Communities. Be sure to check it out. The Ocala area has the second lowest median home price in Florida. You can buy a home here with a view of the course for under $200,000.00!
So far this month the weather here in Ocala has been unseasonably hot. The day time temperatures should be in the mid to high 80′s but we have been in the 90′s almost all month. Several days have actually recorded record highs for the date. It has also been unusually humid for October, more like August.
October should be the start of the dry season. It should be in the mid 80′s during the day and around 60 at night. Most of the humidity should be just about gone too.
The beginning of winter and the dry season is my favorite time of year. You can leave the doors and windows open and not pay for the AC. It’s a great time to do projects in the yard too.
If you don’t look forward to winter why not move to Ocala? Visit my Ocala Real Estate web site to find more about moving to Ocala.
For more on Ocala Weather see my new web page.
Ocala Real Estate Market Report for September 2009
|$100.00 to $100,000.00||153|
|$100,001.00 to $200,000.00||93|
|$200,001.00 to $300,000.00||17|
|$300,001.00 to $500,000.00||6|
|TOTAL SALES FOR THE MONTH||273|
|Farm properties all price ranges||9|
|TOTAL ACTIVE LISTINGS FOR MONTH||5,530|
** Only homes listed & sold in Marion County on the Ocala Marion county MLS. Does not include For Sale by Owner, Vacant land, Commercial properties, or homes by Builders not listed on the MLS. Numbers subject to change due to late reports from Brokers.
Sales in September were 273 homes, August was 283 homes, July came in at 269 homes and June was the best month so far this year at 319. Total listings remain around 5,500 homes. Homes are selling every day here in Marion County.
Sales are still being driven by bargain hunters. There were 27 short sales and 92 foreclosure sales in September. That accounts for 45% of all sold homes. Worse yet are the number of short sales that expire or get withdrawn because these are the foreclosures of 6 months from now.
My advice to sellers is to price your house very aggressively. In addition to a great price the only thing that might give you an advantage over bank sales is condition. By that I mean an immaculate move in ready house. A house with maintenance issues isn’t much better than a foreclosure.
Buyers, now is the time to buy. Prices are low and there is a great selection out there. Interest rates are at historical lows and given our countries debt have no where to go but up.
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.
I know it sounds like a late night infomercial but it can be done using the USDA home loan program. As a matter of fact I just closed on a house yesterday where the buyer had zero out of pocket expenses.
Much of Marion County Florida qualifies for these USDA loans. Most every where outside the Ocala city limits.
Here is an example based on the closing I did yesterday. The house was $95,000.00. The seller paid $4,000.00 in closing costs and inspections. The buyer had a 102% USDA loan to cover the USDA guarantee which is instead of PMI insurance and rolled that into the loan. The buyer got a great 5.25% interest rate. That’s cheaper than renting.
Zero money down does not mean bad credit. The following is a rough guideline. Credit score above 620 and no bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past 3 years. There are other criterea but I think these are the big ones.
So basically if you have decent credit you can buy a house in the Ocala area with no money down. Call me or email me and I’ll refer you to the banker who closed the loan for my recent buyer.