Dogs in Ocala Retirement Communities

I am often asked is if a specific 55+ community is dog friendly. All the retirement communities in the Ocala area allow dogs. The wording of the deed restrictions vary but all allow at least 2 “common household pets”. That means dogs or cats and not your pot belly pig I guess.  I don’t know of any community that restricts breeds but your dog should be friendly and happy. One thing that might make one community more dog friendly than another is if you can fence your yard. Some communities have dog parks others don’t.

3 Fla. towns in top 5 for ‘affordable retirement’

SEBRING, Fla. – Sept. 7, 2018 – With 74 million members, baby boomers are the largest generation on record to retire. And if they follow previous generations, retirement will prompt them to move.

Many will head to warmer climates, but they’re also – unlike previous generations – in search of more active lifestyles too, looking for social and recreational opportunities, nearby restaurants and shopping.

“It’s going to be a tsunami when [all] the baby boomers retire,” Ken Gronbauch, a demographer at KGC Direct in Bonita Springs, Fla., told “The Southern states are going to get hit so hard. Florida’s population is going to explode.” evaluated the 500 largest U.S. metros to find where at least a quarter of the population is 60 years or older and where members of this age group generally relocated to between 2011 and 2015. The areas were then ranked by the total cost to pay down a 15-year mortgage on a median-priced home to identify the most affordable retirement havens.

The five most affordable retirement towns for 2018 include three in the Sunshine State:

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The Listing Portal is a Custom Ocala MLS Search

A Listing Portal is a custom search on the Ocala/Marion County MLS that creates an account with an ID and password. A buyer will use my Dream Home Finder to provide the information that I need to set up a search. I sometimes use the Dream Home Finder AS IS and I sometimes need to email the buyer to clarify some issue or to make a recommendation. Once the search is set buyers will get an automatic email when ever a new home, that conforms to their search criteria, gets listed. After setting up the Listing Cart I don’t contact my buyers unless they contact me for more info, want to change their search or are ready to see a home. I once had a Listing Cart set up for a buyer from Chicago and it took him 3 years to close down his business and sell his house. I’m very patient.

I can’t help buyers who don’t give me enough information. Too many people will use my Dream Home Finder and just fill in Single Family and a price range. A search like that will get 1,000 hits, no kidding. I need to your your price range. The sq ft of living area, not including the garage or Lanai. The type of home, single family, 55+, pool home ect. There is also a comment section. This is where you tell me that you want to only want a 55+ community with lower HOA fees. Don’t say low fees give me a number.

Below is a screen shot showing what the Listing Portal looks like. On the top there are 5 Tabs. The first is the List View. Next is the Detail View which shows the home size, age, current taxes, HOA fees everything about the home. Photos are next and there can be as many as 50. Drone shots are becoming popular. The Map tab not only shows the location but there is also a Satellite view that zooms in and out. You can email your listing to someone and you can add other email accounts by contacting me. You can rate a listing and make a comment or a note. You can print a listing. There will be some homes that you just don’t like so there is a delete button. The Portal is a direct link to the Ocala MLS. Everything is up to date. All listing on Zillow or where ever originate here.

Listing Portal

rent a house and look to buy

I was showing retirement homes to a single guy from up north, He saw a few homes he liked but friends kept telling him he should look at more cities. They told him to rent a house for a while and take his time looking.

I told him about a couple who rented in On Top of the World for a year. They wanted to be sure they liked it there. After I found them a house I said to the wife that prices had gone up a lot in that year. She agreed and thought it was a good $5-$10,000. In addition she and her husband spent another $1200 a month in rent.

A few things to think about if you think renting and looking is a good idea.

55+ communities restrict rentals most are a minimum of 6 months and landlords prefer a years lease.

Timing can be a problem. What if you find a perfect house in the first month ? Do you wait and hope it doesn’t sell right away ? Do you go for it knowing you will owe the rest of your lease ? Expect to pay a good $1000 a month in rent. Three four or five months rent is a lot if you find a house right away.

I suggested to my buyer that if he wanted to see other areas he’d be better off just driving around and staying in a nice hotel for a few days in each city. It’s cheaper in the long run than getting involved in a 6 month plus lease. He had to admit the 2 days he spent with me looking at communities and homes gave him an excellent idea of what we have here in Ocala for 55+ homes.

Ocala 55+ home prices vs The Villages

I often get buyers looking in The Villages contacting me to see what is available further north in Summerfield and Ocala. There are nice alternatives to the Villages in Ocala and Summerfield. I don’t work in The Villages myself but the Ocala Marion county MLS does cover some of it. This morning I was looking at what sold yesterday on our MLS and saw a house in The Villages that sold for $179,500-. It was only 1179 sqft living area, frame with siding and $153 sqft, built in 03. I thought wow that’s crazy expensive and prompted this blog post.

The following are just examples of homes sold in the past 30 days. They may or may not be comparable. They are only intended to provide a rough idea of prices in various communities. When comparing homes of different sizes look at the $/sqft.

The Villages :

2005 1535 sqft block and stucco $246,000 $162 sqft Mallory Square

2006 1602 sqft frame/siding $279,000 $180 sqft Tanglewod

2018 1196 sqft frame/stucco $285,000 $259 sqft Sumter Jacaranda Villas golf view

Ocala and Summerfield:

2017 2017 sqft block and stucco $284,295 $146 sqft Candler Hills Stonebridge  3 baths GC garage

2002 1680 sqft block and stucco $185,000 $113 sqft Ocala Palms golf/water views GC garage

2016 1928 sqft frame/cement board  $257,000 $146 sqft Ocala Preserve at Trilogy

2006 1504 sqft block and stucco $146,500 $100 sqft On Top of the World

2009 2419 sqft block and stucco $374,888 $155 sqft Stone Creek birdcage golf view GC garage

2009 2279 sqft block and stucco $226,500 $101 sqft Summerglen golf course view

2004 1958 sqft block and stucco $240,000 $123 sqft Spruce Creek Country Club

2006 1812 sqft frame and stucco $274,500 $154 sqft Stonecrest birdcage and golf course view

If you’re interested in seeing homes for sale in any of these Ocala or Summerfield communities fill out my Ocala Dream Home Finder and I’ll set you up a search and Listing Portal.

Ocala 55+ communities vs The Villages

yellow Golf Cart with 57 Chevy hood

This is a quick comparison between retirement homes in Ocala and The Villages. There are 2 major differences between Ocala 55+ and the Villages. They are the golf cart lifestyle and money.

The Golf Cart lifestyle. In the Villages you can drive your golf cart along golf cart roads all over. So much so that most Villagers use a gas powered cart because you travel further without your battery running out of juice.

On Top of the World is the only community in Ocala where you can drive a golf cart to shopping. This is because there are 2 shopping centers on either side of the main entrance and you never need to leave private property to access them. There is no golf cart driving down public roads or on the sides of the roads. You can access 2 grocery stores, 2 banks and a few restaurants, a post office and miscellaneous shops but it is nothing on the scale of The Villages.

Money. You pay a serious premium for driving your golf cart around The Villages. The 55+ communities in Ocala and Summerfield, which is just south of Ocala and north of the Villages are much less expensive. By that I mean in the area of 25-30% less or you could get a much larger home for the same money. Almost all homes in Ocala built after the late 90’s are block and stucco where as many newer homes in The Villages are still wood frame.

Activities. If never ending constant activities are your thing The Villages has a definite edge but every where I go when I’m in The Villages seems crowded. Ocala offers a more laid back quieter lifestyle but you can still find plenty of activities. Del Webb, On Top of the World and Triolgy all are know for active lifestyles.

If you are looking at The Villages you owe it to yourself to look at homes here in Ocala and Summerfield. Call me, email me or use my Ocala Dream Home Finder. I am not associated with any one community and work for you.