I work with a lot of first time buyers and out of state buyers and as we look at homes I try and point out things that make one house better than others. Here are some things that I think make for a quality home here in Ocala.
CBS or concrete block and stucco construction. Everything else is considered inferior do to the termites. CBS homes can get termites because there is wood framing in the walls and roof but CBS is considered the best material and commands a higher price than frame house.
Flooring is an upgrade. Tile floors are superior to carpet and much more expensive. Laminate floors vary a lot in quality. Vinyl floors in the kitchens and baths are a sign of a lower quality house.
Kitchens and baths are the rooms you don’t want to change. It’s just too expensive and there are too many houses on the market right now. If you don’t like the cabinets and fixtures it’s usually better to look for another house. Don’t expect granite in most homes in our area unless you’re looking in the upper price ranges.
Upgrades to look for that show a builder went the extra mile are rounded corners, crown molding, tile in the showers and around the tubs and upgraded fixtures like fans and lighting.
Landscaping is what curb appeal is all about. Builders in the Ocala area tend to wipe out all the trees and put a house on an empty lot. It takes a lot of time and money to establish a mature landscape. Also be aware that you can’t repair a bad lawn by throwing down grass seed here in Florida. You need to re sod the yard. A lawn sprinkler system is real important here also.
If you want a swimming pool it’s usually better to find a house that already has one. Pools don’t hold their value and you can get one with an existing house for 50% of installing one new. That goes for fences too.
The age of a home in the Ocala area is important. Before the early 1990’s homes had low ceilings and were divided into separate rooms. The mid 90’s was when you start to see high ceiling and very open modern floor plans which seem to be preferred by most buyers.
It’s up to you the buyer to educate yourself. I can only try and help with this process. Do diligence is up to you.