New Del Webb homes are cheaper in Ocala

As you may know I built a new home in 2019 in Del Webb Stone Creek here in Ocala. I always liked to sell homes here but since moving I’ve had a lot more buyer business in my community.

The other day I was showing new homes to a buyer with my sales contact Allen. We were talking and he said how much more expensive the same model was in other Del Webb communities in Florida.

That got me to thinking and I did a simple search. Del Webb Mystique model. Here in Stone Creek the base model and that’s the price they always show was $264,990-. Sure enough I didn’t see another Del Webb and I looked at like 6 communities with a Mystique base under $300K.

That’s why buyers come to Ocala. Inexpensive homes. A lower chance of hurricanes. A quiet and peaceful lifestyle.

Homestead Portability in Florida

Homestead Portability applies to people selling a home that has a homestead exemption in Florida and buying a new home in Florida. You can bring your homestead exemption along with you to your next house. It’s not that simple though as I realized when I recently bought my new home. It was a short time after I closed on my new Stone Creek home that I got an email from a local title company with a link to a video talking about a service that checks your Portability. I was shocked that I lost out on almost $500- in tax breaks ! I called my broker and a few real estate friends some whom have been in the business for over 20 years. No one had heard of this.

When you have owned a house for a long time like me 15 years the value of your house goes up. The property appraiser has different values for your house. Assessed value which is what you pay taxes on and Market or Just Value. If your Market or Just Value is way off from the amount you are going to sell your house for you will lose a large amount of Homestead Portability. If you don’t dispute the Market or Just Value before you close on your existing home it’s too late. Period.

This is complicated so here is a link to the service where I saw the video. I am not endorsing them. I’m not affiliated in any way. This is just great info that can save you hundreds on your taxes every year.

Ocala #6 in Best Places to Retire

Ocala sign for historic downtown square

US News and World Reports published a list of the Best Places to retire in 2020-21 and Ocala came in at # 6 out of 150 major metropolitan areas. You will notice out of the top 20 Ocala has the highest housing affordability score.

Link to article

New Home in Del Webb Stone Creek Part 5

This is part of my on going series about my experience building a new home in Del Webb Stone Creek for my wife and myself.

We closed on our new home on June 21st. It took just about 5 months from signing the contract until closing. In past blog posts I talked about the construction experience. I plan to continue to blog about my experiences after closing.

One thing that pops up is that we have spent quite a bit of money after closing. We found that we didn’t like some options offered by the builder and elected to take care of them on our own after closing. We didn’t like the window treatments offered and installed Levelor blinds on our own. We didn’t like the pendant light options over the kitchen island either and my wife found ones she liked online. There was no option for ceiling fans so we had to get them ourselves. Pendant lights and fans were about $1600- and window treatments which we installed ourselves were another $1,000-. We found a great retired electrician in the neighborhood to install our lights and fans at a super reasonable price of $30- each. These things add up fast ! We have a nice work area in the garage and cabinets and overhead storage were a quick $1,000-. We got a Lanai with a screen cage extension. For added outdoor space we had a 10 x 24 cement pad poured. The cement pad alone was $1800-. We didn’t use pavers on our Lanai floor because we thought they were crazy expensive, $3600- for a 16 x 16 area. We will probably tile the lanai and new cement pad and it should cost about $3000-. A savings but also an out of pocket expense too. We fenced our yard for our dog $3500-.  My new neighbors have made similar comments about expenses after closing.

Read more

New Home in Del Webb Stone Creek Part 4

This is part 4 of my experience building a new home in Del Webb Stone Creek

Today is June 11. This is my busy season and I am behind on my blog posting. To bring you up to date a lot has happened at my house in Stone Creek since my last post on April 19. On April 22 we went to our pre drywall inspection with our field manager Jacob. He went over how the inside walls are framed, the roof truss system, plumbing and electric both of which are beneath the slab, insulation and pest treatment on the interior wood framing. Once the drywall was in things really took off. Between April 22 and today June 11 they finished my house. I have posted pictures below roughly showing the sequence of events. As of today my house is pretty much finished. My field manager started his pre closing inspection this Monday. I have to admit he has a list of things that sub contractors have to fix that I may not have noticed on my own. After the field manager a woman from customer support does another inspection looking for anything that was missed by Jacob the field manager. I am happy. The whole process has been pretty straight forward with minimal stress on my wife and myself. On June 18 we go to our celebration meeting which is more of a pre closing walk trough and orientation about features of the house. This is not the end of my blogging about my new home building experience. Stay tuned.

Read more

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:

Read more

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.

Del Webb Stone Creek Ocala FL

Del Webb Stone Creek entrance

Del Webb Stone Creek

Del Webb Creek is a 55 plus, gated, golf course community located in SW Ocala.  Stone Creek is a newer community that is still under construction with both new homes and resales available. The homes here are concrete block with stucco and range in size from 1450 to over 2400 sq ft of living area. Prices range from about $170,000- to over $400,000- plus for resales.  In addition to the Stone Creek golf course there is a huge clubhouse with a state of the art fitness center, craft and game rooms, a resort style outdoor swimming pool, an indoor heated lap pool, tennis courts, a softball field and even a fishing pond and dog park.  HOA fees are around $185- per month. Stone Creek is conveniently located just north of SR 200 with easy access to shopping, restaurants and health care. If you are looking at the Villages you really need to look at Stone Creek.

Update 6/14 HOA fees are $183- month. Stone Creek came out with new models in January 2014. This is the 2nd time they changed the models since the originals in 2004 so there are now quite a few floor plans.

Update March 2015 HOA fees are now $188- month. Stone Creek is a very hot market right now. This was one of the only 55+ communities to continue building after the real estate market crash. It is not one of the only sources for newer 55+ homes in the area.

Update 3/16 HOA fees are now $192- month. Homes sell fast in Stone Creek and prices are going up.

Update 12/18/17 HOA fees remain at $198 month for homes without lawn care. There are also a few Villas and smaller Garden Series homes with lawn care. This is a very popular 55+ community with great amenities. Houses sell fast here

Update 1/23/10 HOA fees for Classic and Estate series homes are $198- month and the Garden Series that include lawn care are $307- month

Update 3/4/2021 HOA fees for Classic and Estate series homes are $204- month. Garden Series $326- month. Villas $437- month

If you’re thinking about buying a new or resale home in Stone Creek I can help. Only a Realtor can show you both new and resales. A Realtor will also show you comparable sold properties and help you negotiate your sale. Before you register for a brochure or a tour ask about being represented by a Realtor.

If you would like a list of homes for sale in Stone Creek either email me or use the Ocala Dream Home Finder. I can set you up a Listing Cart on the Ocala MLS for Del Webb Stone Creek homes.

In the interest of full transparency I am building a new home in Stone Creek  this year 2019. I have become somewhat of an expert on new homes in Stone Creek. I know all the options and the entire building process. I am blogging about building new in Stone Creek if you want to follow my progress.

Updated pictures below

Read more

Summerglen Ocala Florida

Summerglen entry sign

Summerglen Ocala Florida

Summerglen is a 55+ retirement community with a very nice golf course just south of Ocala.  All homes are 2004 and newer. Homes in Summerglen are all concrete block with stucco and range in size from a little under 1500 sq ft of living area to a little over 2500 sq ft. HOA fees include maintenance of the common areas, clubhouse and amenities, trash pickup, guard at the gate and lawn mowing but not fertilizing. Summerglen is an active 55+ community with a great clubhouse, heated beach entry pool, fitness center, library, crafts, dog park, softball field, basketball court and a lot more. Two things that Summerglen offers that most other communities don’t have are lawn mowing and free RV parking, both are extra costs elsewhere. Golf is an extra fee. There is also a nice restaurant, Moreno’s Grill located next to the clubhouse. As in any community that has lawn care you cannot fence your yard.

Update 6/14 HOA fees are still at $125- month which includes lawn mowing. The developer has turned over the community to the HOA. I am surprised that they can continue with such low HOA fees.

Update 3/15 HOA fees have increased to $130- month. Still a bargain seeing considering the lawn mowing.

Update 3/16 HOA fees remain at $130- month. The best deal in our area !

Update 1/30/17 HOA fees have increased to $150- month. This still includes lawn mowing and trimming but not pruning, lawn water or fertilizer. You do get a $20- month credit at the restaurant though.

Update 12/2/17 HOA fees are $156- month and still includes lawn mowing and trimming but not pruning, lawn water or fertilizer. You do get a $20- month credit at the restaurant though. Best HOA fee deal in town !

Update 12/10/2018 HOA fees have gone up to $206- month. In addition to mowing and edging the yard you now also get cable TV, Spectrum Bronze Tier 1 and super fast 100 mbps internet. A $20- month voucher to the restaurant is also included. You won’t get more for your HOA $ than Summerglen.

Update 1/20/2020 HOA for 2020 is $252.00 and they no longer offer a monthly voucher for the restaurant.The restaurant on premises is now operated my Turnpike Mike’s and the people seem happy with it..Happy Hour daily etc..The lawn service is also new and they are doing a great job.The Golf Course is in very good shape and that was taken over a couple of months ago..

Update 3/4/2021 HOA fees remain the same at $252- month

If you would like a list of homes for sale in Summerglen fill out my Ocala Dream Home Finder , call me or send an email. I’ll set you up a Listing Cart which is custom MLS search for Summerglen.

Images below.

Read more