Posts Tagged ‘ocala 55+ communities’
Buyers often come to me looking for a newer home here in Ocala. I often tell them that no one has been building homes here since the market crash in 2007. Of course it isn’t true that no one has built anything since 07 but there has been very little building. Builders simply can’t compete with the prices of resales.
Here are permits for single family homes by the year to illustrate my point.
Can you buy a house for the price of a car in an Ocala retirement community ? Yes for the price of a really nice BMW and by that I mean around $60,000.00 you can buy a real house and not a mobile home. The house would have been built in the 1980′s of stick frame construction on a concrete slab with vinyl siding, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, a 1 car garage with an updated roof and AC. It might need some updating inside such as carpet, paint and appliances. Homes like this are in the 1,000 to 1,300 sqft range. That is sqft of living area, that part of the house that is under AC and not including the garage or a Lanai not under AC. I actually sell several homes like this every year. Call, email or use my Dream Home Finder for more information.
My web site and blog attract a lot of out of the area buyers. It’s not my job to find a buyer exactly what they want. I feel it is my job to show them what is available here in Ocala for their budget. For example there are a lot of people who’d like a $150K farm. Can I find one ? Well that depends on your definition of a farm. If you mean a mobile home on a couple of acres of agricultural zoned land then yes you can get a farm here. I also get buyers looking for a 55+ community with a big lot and almost no HOA fees. Is it impossible ? No but it does eliminate 98% of the 55+ listings. Feel free to contact me about anything to do with Ocala real estate but just be aware that what you want doesn’t always exist.
I get a lot of buyers asking about Ocala 55+ communities. There seems to be confusion about what these communities are and are not. Ocala 55+ communities are about a lifestyle. They are communities with a clubhouse, community swimming pool or multiple pools, clubs and activities. The homes tend to be on small lots because retired people don’t want a lot of yard work. They are all located in areas where shopping, dining and medical care is close by. All of which is funded through HOA fees.
The 55+ communities are not just single family homes with big yards and a back yard swimming pool in a neighborhood with age restrictions. The closest thing we have to a 55+ community with big yards and age restrictions is Marco Polo Village. Close but with smaller 1/4 acre lots is Quail Meadow. If you write me about either of these communities be aware that they are both small with only a few resales a any given time.
Every fall people from up north email me about renting a home usually in a retirement community for a month or two during the winter. If rentals like this exist they aren’t handle by real estate agents. First off when you rent a house for less than 6 months and one day in Florida the owner is supposed to collect hotel taxes. Secondly think about it from the owners perspective. The owner has to find a new renter every month or two? In addition there is no rental market in the hot Florida summers so the house sits vacant. Finally even if an owner wanted to do a short term rental they couldn’t pay a commission to an agent they’d have to handle it on their own. Realtors do handle leases, usually 1 year leases.
Here are 5 things to avoid doing when you’re either getting ready to buy a house or already in the process. Doing any of these things will cause huge issues with your lender over financing.
1. Do not change jobs
2. Do not switch banks or move money from one account to another
3. Do not pay off existing loans unless your lender requests it.
4. Do not make any large purchases like a car or furniture
5. Do not change your marital status
These are all red flags to a lender and you will have to provide extensive documentation justifying any such action.
The purpose of a home inspection is to find a problem so large and costly the buyer might not want to buy the house. Or in some cases so many problems that add up to so much money that the buyer might want to back out of the deal. Home inspections aren’t intended to create a laundry list of repairs to make a home like new again.
One problem I encounter is that home inspectors as a courtesy provide maintenance suggestions in addition to needed repairs. The difference in repairs and cosmetic items is defined in the Florida real estate sales contracts but that doesn’t seem to help with the confusion.
The way that repairs are defined in the Florida RE contract can cause problems. For example a 20 years old roof that doesn’t leak but is at the absolute end of it’s life doesn’t need to be replaced. The same with termites. A seller can make repairs up to 1 1/2% of the purchase price. You might just want to walk away but the contract locks you in.
In certain circumstances like the above examples it’s better to use an AS IS contract that let’s you out of the deal for any reason regarding the inspection or you can use a right to inspect right to cancel addendum.
Link to a good home inspection article. Ocala Star Banner article on home inspections
I constantly get buyers looking for newer homes. The market crashed here in 2007. This is the Great Recession. There has been very little building here since the crash. Why you ask? Resales are priced below what it costs to build new. So far below that builders can’t compete. Land has gone down in price but no new large scale planned communities have been started since 07. Building materials aren’t much cheaper. Most sub contractors have gone bankrupt or cut back to much smaller companies. A couple of retirement communities that were started before 07 are building but not much else. New home building won’t get going again until prices go up. It’s just a matter of economics.
I get people who want to make a quick pit stop and check out a house or 2 on their way to a cruise ship or Disney. I assume this is unique to Florida but I think it’s a waste of time. A cross country move is a big deal and requires extensive planning. I know I moved all the way to Ocala from the western mountains of Maine. You shouldn’t even bother looking at houses in a city you’ve never been to. You should pick the city fiirst. Then look for few communities in that city. Finally you look at houses.
I spend about 95% of my time as a buyers agent here in Ocala. One question that comes up is “what should I offer?”. I suggest that a buyer look at comparable sales to come up with an offer. A good comparable would meet the following criteria.
same sub division
sold in the last 90 days
within 1 mile of subject property
+/- 10% of the sq ft of living area
same # of beds, baths and size garage
+/- 5 years in age, 10 years if home is over 10 years old
same construction type
All this above can be used by a buyer to come up with an offer on a home or it can be used by a seller to find a proper list price. In the end it doesn’t matter what a buyer or seller thinks a house is worth. What matters is the price that similar homes have sold for in the past 90 days. Sellers should keep in mind that in order for a buyer to get a loan a bank will send out an appraiser who will use very similar criteria for an appraisal.