A series of blog posts about life in Ocala Florida.

What you want may not exist

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.

Ocala Florida weather report February 2013

So far the winter of 2012-13 is the winter that wasn’t. January was bizarrely warm with some days approaching 80. That’s not normal. Even the plants were confused, the azaleas are blooming. Many days were over 10 degrees above normal. We also get several frosts and this year at my house in the SW area we have only had 2 very mild frosts. We need a hard freeze or two to kill off nasty insects like fleas and ticks. The last week of January returned to more normal temperatures but later this week, the first week of February, it is expected to warm up  again.

February is the last month of winter. It begins to warm up the last week or so of the month. The last frost date is thought to be March 15 if you are a gardener. You can plant tender plants then and expect them to last into June when it gets too hot. You can get another planting in for the fall in late September.

If you’re sick of the winter where ever you are then come to Ocala. The housing market is beginning to recover here and prices will never be lower. Call me, email me or use my Ocala Dream Home Finder.


Ocala Florida weather report for August 2011

Pink Crape Myrtle shrub

Crape Myrtle

It’s August here in Ocala. August is the middle of summer and not the last month of summer like it is up north. Our summers here last until mid October.

August is the month when tropical storms and hurricanes get going. Hurricane season starts in June but it’s not until August that the ocean temperatures really get high enough to feed a storm. This year may be a bad season for hurricanes. The temperatures this spring were unusually warm, especially in May, which should have heated up the ocean temperatures earlier than usual. Ocala may one of the least hurricane prone areas in all of Florida but the remnants of a hurricane can be scary and do a lot of damage.

Temperatures in August  seldom get above 95 or below 90. The humidity makes it feel hotter though. Evening temperatures stay in the mid 70’s. We get regular afternoon thunderstorms that can be torrential down pours at times. August is one of the rainiest months of the year. However it seldom rains all day. A sunny morning, followed by an afternoon thunderstorm and a calm evening would be the norm. The thunderstorms don’t cool things down.

As I always say “The hot and humid summers are a small price to pay for no winters”

Why Ocala Florida is the horse capitol of the world

Horses standing next to a white fence

Horses by the fence an original photo by Joe Dallorso

Today is Kentucky Derby day. Of the 19 horses running in today’s race 15 have ties to Ocala. Some were bred here, others were trained here and a couple are locally owned. It’s not just the great winter weather that attracts some of the world’s best horse trainers and breeders. It’s the grass. Limestone soil adds minerals that grow strong bones and great race horses. And that’s why Ocala Florida is the horse capitol of the world.

Living in Ocala swimming pools

swimming pool with screen cage

Ocala swimming pool

This is a series of blog posts about living in Ocala Florida. Being from out of state myself I feel the need to try and educate people about various aspects of life here in Ocala. For example I was just talking to a buyer who didn’t want a pool home because he thought pools were too expensive and too much work.

The average Ocala area swimming pool is much like the one pictured above. Around 12 feet wide by 24 feet long. About 6 feet deep just over the drain, surrounded by a cool deck and covered by a screen cage. You do see larger pools but I’d guess that 90% are like the one I describe. A pool like this is about 10,000 gallons.

In Ocala you can use an unheated pool from about early to mid May to the end of October. A heater would of course extend the season. A solar heater is the way to go if you feel the need for a heater. There are gas and electric heaters but they are expensive to operate. The solar heater has only a small circulating pump.

Chemicals aren’t a big deal or all that expensive. I put a 3″ tablet in a floating dispenser once a week. Eight tablets cost me $17.99, that comes out to $117.00 per year. I also dump one half a jug of liquid chlorine shock treatment in every week in the summer and I slack off and only do it every few weeks in the winter. A whole jug of liquid chlorine costs me $4.50. I’m also supposed to put in algaecide but I seldom remember to and my pool never turns green. If you followed the directions a bottle of algaecide is $20.00 and you’d need 2 to 4 a year. I get my water tested for free at Pinch a Penny. The only other expense is the electricity to run the pool pump. Being in Florida you don’t winterize your pool.

The screen cage keeps leaves of of the pool. The screen cage also cuts out a lot of the suns rays that give you a sun burn. I don’t know how it works but you can spend 2  hours in the sun under the screen cage and just get a little pink but if you were in the full sun for 2 hours you’d get a good burn.

If you don’t want to vacuum, like me, then you need a pool cleaner. They aren’t cheap at around $400- but all you do is plug it into an outlet in the pool and it drives around vacuuming all day. I do this once a week in the summer and every few weeks in the winter.

The 55+ communities have large community pools. You will find very few 55+ homes with a private pool and f you do it will be in the upper price ranges by that I mean over $200,000.00

There are plenty of pool homes in the Ocala area but be aware of the following. Most newer foreclosures do not have pools. Most pool homes below $100K will be smaller older homes with a pool and no cage. Most 55+ homes (98%) do not have a private pool.

If you’d like to see listing of Ocala area pool homes call me, email me or use my Ocala Dream Home Finder