Ocala Covid 19 update

I thought I would do a post about the Covid 19 here in Ocala.

Florida is the 3rd largest state by population in the country. Florida is ranked 8th by number of confirmed cases and 10th by deaths. About 60% of the cases in Florida are in the Palm Beach down to Miami area. This despite Florida being a retirement haven with an older and more vulnerable demographic.

Ocala is in Marion County. This is a county as large as Rhode Island with a population of 365,000 people. As of today April 29 there are 165 confirmed cases, 4 deaths and 5 hospitalizations.

When I go out to the grocery store, Walmart or Lowes even during week days it’s seems as least as crowed as pre virus days.

The Governor is beginning to open the state back on April 30.

How fast can home prices rise? Some cities breaking records

NEW YORK – Feb. 6, 2018 – Strong demand and low inventories fueled home prices to record highs in 2017. The median home price in the U.S. reached $235,000, up 8.3 percent from 2016, according to real estate data firm ATTOM Data Solutions.

Still, annual price appreciation showed signs of slowing; in 2016, the national median home price jumped 8.5 percent year over year, according to ATTOM’s latest housing report.

Sixty-four of 112 metros (57 percent) set a new record for metro-level home prices in 2017, including Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and San Francisco. Among 112 metros, each with populations of 200,000 or more, the cities with the biggest year-over-year price increases were Ocala, Fla. (up 14.3 percent); Kansas City, Mo. (13.4 percent); San Jose, Calif. (13.3 percent); Salem, Ore. (12.9 percent); and Nashville, Tenn. (12.5 percent).

Among major metro areas with populations of at least 1 million, the cities that posted double-digit gains included Las Vegas (up 12.3 percent); Salt Lake City (10.9 percent); Seattle (10.8 percent); Orlando, Fla. (10.7 percent); Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. (10.7 percent); Portland, Ore. (10.5 percent); and Jacksonville, Fla. (10.1 percent).

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach also ranked in the 1-million-plus category, with the area’s 2017 price rise at 8.9 percent.

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Ocala Florida weather report August 2017

July was really wet. In some parts of Central Florida it was record setting rain. The Ocala Marion County area is really huge, as big as Rhode Island, so rain fall varied. At my house in the SW I had to drain my pool 3 or 4 times to keep it from over flowing.

August is the beginning of hurricane season. The ocean temperatures have heated up enough by then to fuel hurricanes. Peak of the season is September 11 according to the weather lady I watched on TV yesterday. The season ends by early November.

Ocala is probably the least likely city in Florida to get hit by a hurricane. That is reflected by much lower property insurance costs than south Florida or along the coasts. The closest one ever came was in the 1968 when Gladys  crossed the state.

Ocala Home Owner Insurance and Roof Age

I was looking at retirement homes for a buyer I’m working with and the homes he liked were from the late 90’s. A couple of listings boasted that the home had a 30 yr architectural shingle roof in great condition. Maybe the seller and the listing agent don’t understand that a roof older than 20 years is hard to insure regardless of the shingle warranty or the roof’s condition. Last year I decided  to shop for a better price on my home owner insurance after seeing better rates that many of my buyers were getting. My house is a 1998 with a 30 year roof. It was while searching for better rates I personally discovered the difficulty in shopping for insurance with an older but very good condition roof. I did succeed in lowering my insurance cost but I was also rejected by a couple of major Florida insurance carriers. This is a great link to my current insurance agent, Windward Insurance FAQ page on their web site with a question that addresses older roofs in Florida.

Ocala Florida weather report November 2016

October was normal with no surprises. We missed Hurricane Mathew. The weather gradually cooled off from the low 90’s to the mid 80’s. And the humidity went away as the month went on.

November is a great month in Ocala. Temperatures in the high 70’s. Cool nights in the 60’s. Dry sunny days. It hasn’t rained in weeks which is pretty normal.

Why I moved to Ocala

swimming pool under a screen cage

My pool

When I’m driving around with buyers the conversation always turns to why I moved to Ocala. The defining moment occurred in the winter of 2004. I lived in the western mountains of Maine at the time in a log cabin in the middle of no where. I had a 600 foot driveway and I owned a 30 hp Kubota tractor with a front end loader and a 6′ snowblower on the rear. I was snow blowing the driveway and my wife was shoveling the walk. We had a metal roof on our house and all the snow let go at once burying her. Between crying and swearing like a sailor she said this was our last winter in Maine. I was all for moving. We decided we wanted to go some place it never snowed and there was no ice. That actually eliminates a lot of America. We then decided we’d rather have a lush tropical humid climate as opposed to the desert of the South West. Even in 2004 we were able to do a lot of research online. We liked Ocala because of the low home prices and we thought it was the least likely city in Florida to get hit by a hurricane. We grew up in Mass and lived in Maine for 11 years. Both states have no natural disasters unless you count ice storms. We came to Ocala thinking about a small farm but then we saw pool homes with a pool under a screen cage just off the lanai. That was totally new to us and we loved the lifestyle. We weren’t old enough for a 55+ at the time and I don’t think we would fit in even now. My dog you see on my website would get us thrown out ! Any way that’s my story.

I don’t miss the winters up north at all

snowblower in front of high snow bank

Joe’s sister’s house Chelmsford Mass

My sister sends me pictures of what this terrible winter has been like where we grew up in Massachusetts. I never realized how much I hated snow and ice until I moved to Florida where I don’t have it any more. As a matter of fact I don’t even like seeing snow on TV ! My only regret is not moving to Florida sooner.

Utility Bills

I know that in some states up north it is common to see the oil bill to get an idea of heating costs. Here in Ocala there are no real heating costs. Our big expense is running the AC 24/7 from May through October. I don’t think much of looking at electric bills because different people have different comfort levels. I had a guy call me up to list his uncle’s home that he had just inherited. We’re talking and he says that his uncle won an award from the Ocala electric company for low energy use. I said maybe we should put that in the listing comments. Then he told me that his uncle was 80, lived alone and sat in front of a fan when it was 90 outside until he couldn’t take it anymore and turned on the AC. Different people have different comfort levels.

Gophers in Ocala Florida

gopher mounds

Gopher mounds

Gopher mounds are often mistaken for fire ant hills by newbies to the Ocala area. Unfortunately I am somewhat of a gopher expert and can tell you from experience that these are not ant hills. Much like Bill Murray in Caddyshack I too am plagued by gophers. All these pictures were taken by me in my yard in SW Ocala. The little buggers seem to come out in the late fall and winter. They are hard workers and can dig several feet of tunnels a day creating multiple mounds in just one day.

gopher sticking it's head up out of a hole

Industrious little Bugger


Ocala and the Preakness Stakes

4 horses standing under a big tree in a field

This is a follow up to my previous post about the Kentucky Derby and why Ocala is the horse capital of the world. Last Saturday was the Preakness Stakes which is the second leg of the Triple Crown. Once again horses bred, broken or trained here in Ocala came in first, second and third places.

If you’re interested in a farm here in Ocala, call me, email me or use my Dream Home Finder .