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.

Ocala Real Estate Market Report July 2018

Market Report

Sales for July 2018 were up 26.5% from July 2017. The median price was up 11.8% over the same month last year. Active Listing are down 5.4%. Current months of inventory is 4.4 months. We are in a total sellers market. The good news is that compared to northern states and south Florida Ocala home prices are much lower. There is a good selection in all but the lower price ranges.

Zillow accuracy in the Ocala area

I was taking a Realtor class, getting credits for my next license renewal. The subject was about tech for Realtors. To be honest I didn’t expect much and I went because I had nothing else to do that day. Much to my surprise I picked up several good tips. One of the most interesting things was that Zillow rates it’s own accuracy. And I mean they rate themselves right down to the county level.

Zillow is a site that buyers and sellers seem to love and Realtors see as inaccurate. Who is right ? The following is accuracy results that Zillow publishes about it’s own Zestimates.

In Ocala and Marion County as of July 25 2018 for a 3 month period ending July 30

Zillow gives itself 2 out of 4 stars

50% of it’s Zestimates were within 5% of the sold price

70.5% of  Zestimates were within 10% of the sold price

83.5% of Zestimates were within 20% of the sold price

Median error is 5% of the sold price

Those are pretty big numbers to be off. 5% is a $10,000 error on a $200K home. I will give Zillow credit. If you read about Zestimates they say that they are only a starting point and are not the same as a Comparable Market Analysis or an Appraisal. Websites are no substitute for a local expert.

Ocala Real Estate Market Report April 2016

Market Report

Sales volume for April was good and pretty much the same as March which is always a good month. There are a few things that changed from the previous month and I think they illustrate the direction our Ocala real estate market is going. Median time to contract or days on the market dropped from 72 to 55. Pending home sales or homes under contract went from 695 in march to 773 in April. Active listings dropped from 3283 to 2988. What does this mean ?Inventory is going down and homes are selling faster.

The real estate market in Ocala is changing

Last week was a crazy week for me. First it was the busiest I’ve been since I started real estate here in Ocala in 2006. I was trying to work with 3 buyers at the same time. Secondly I encountered my first multiple offer situation. Which my buyer won by the way. Third when I went to make appointments to view homes 3 had offers that were so new that the listing agent hadn’t had time to change the listing status to pending. I almost never find a home that I want to show already has an offer let alone 3 ! If you’re still waiting for the market to hit bottom you missed it. The market is starting to go up.

Ocala real estate market report for July 2013

July homes sales were huge. We sold 533 homes in the middle of the summer on contracts written in May and June. If there is a slow time in Ocala for real estate this is traditionally it.

The market is changing. The change is gradual but it has started. We aren’t seeing multiple bids or homes selling for more than list like in South Florida yet. I have had buyers come looking for a house and they found one of their favorite listings was already under contract though.  I think prices, at least list prices are beginning to inch up too.

Now is the time to buy. Not next year and definitely not later than that. Call me, email me or fill out my Ocala Dream Home Finder

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 .

Ocala and the Kentucky Derby



horses next to a white fence under a tree

Ocala is often called the horse capital of the world. There are some world class horse farms here. It has to do with the soil which has a lot of lime rock in it making for some of the world’s finest horse pasture. Yesterday  was the 139th Kentucky Derby. All of the 6 top finishers had ties to farms here in Ocala. Some were bred here, some were broken here and others were trained here. That’s why Ocala Florida is the horse capital of the world.

Ocala Real Estate Market Report October 2011

Ocala area home sales were down in October compared to last month. In September there were 360 sales which is 77 more than October. Almost all of the difference was in the sub $100,000- range. Foreclosures are way down from the spring of the year with only 73 sales this month. Inventory is holding steady after a huge drop in the first months of this year.

Have Ocala home prices bottomed out and will there be a big rebound as in this article in today’s Ocala Star Banner? I don’t see how prices can go much lower but I also think several things have to happen before prices will go up too.

1. Out of area buyers have to be able to sell their existing homes.

2. Ocala unemployment has to go way down from the current 12% so locals can buy a house. You can’t buy a house, no matter how cheap, without income.

3. Inventory has to go down considerably in order for prices to rise. More than 6 months inventory is a buyers market. Inventory would have to drop from todays 3700 units to around 2000.

4. The foreclosure inventory, especially newer foreclosures, need to be sold off. Unemployment has to go down to keep more homes from being foreclosed. Banks have to stop using foreclosures and short sales as comparables when doing appraisals. Never ending foreclosures killed the Ocala real estate market.

I do think there is a growing pent up demand for new homes, especially in the 55+ communities. However buyers don’t seem to understand that builders can’t compete on price with current resales.

We are entering Snow Bird season which is great for home selling in Ocala. Winter is an excellent time to sell and if you’re sick of northern winters it’s a great time to buy.

Ocala median home price plummets 20%

I’m writing this blog post in response to a recent article in the Ocala Star Banner about how the Ocala area has the dubious distinction of having the largest decline in homes values in the entire country in the 3rd quarter of 2010 as compared with the same period in 2009.

I thought the Star Banner article was too negative, just like most of their articles about local real estate. Low home values are bad if you’re a seller or a Realtor (my average commission is down 50% since 2006) but not if you are a buyer. Low home prices are great if you are a first time buyer or looking to retire here in sunny Florida. The Ocala area has a low wage structure and local people who couldn’t afford a home in 2006 can afford a home today. Homes in The Shores or Marion Oaks, built in the last 5 years, that originally sold for over $200,000.00, are now available as foreclosures for under $100,000.00.

The current median home price in the Ocala area is $82,000.00. I think this needs some explanation. The median home price is being brought down by really cheap sales. For example there were 77 sales in October under $50,000.00. Of this total there were 19 mobile homes, 27 were homes with fewer than 2 full bathrooms and 18 homes were smaller than 1,000 sq ft of living area. There were also 10 55+ homes in the under $50K category most of which were villas in On Top of the World.  Now there’s nothing wrong with homes like these. Every area needs extremely affordable housing. I’m just pointing out that homes in the under $50K range require compromises that not everyone might want to make and it’s these under $50K sales that are bringing down our median home prices.

Lastly I want to make a few comments about foreclosures. As you know I like foreclosures but I haven’t sold one his year. I showed plenty of them but my buyers elected to spend more money on traditional sales. Why was that? When my buyers looked at what it would cost to get the foreclosed home up to the same condition as the traditional sale they decided it wasn’t worth the trouble. If you’re interested in foreclosures you should prepare in advance. You need to know what it costs to replace carpet, install tile or laminate flooring, the cost of appliances or even an AC unit or roof. To a lesser extent this would apply to some 55+ estate sales too.