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Old 07-06-2014, 07:11 AM
 
197 posts, read 250,377 times
Reputation: 363

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My husband and I have been browsing online for a home in the Ocala area to buy as snowbirders. We've selected a couple of 55+ developments that we think will be suitable, but are open to some non 55+ options, too. We don't want to be too far from Orlando Airport, so we probably don't want to go too far north of Ocala.

What we are looking for:
  • Low crime area
  • Some measure of diversity as we like to interact with different people and cultures
  • Gated or safe enough to leave a home with just a security system
  • Not too close to either coast to avoid hurricane issues
  • Low or no HOA fees
  • Private Pool or HOA operated pool
  • Close to walking/running trails or other activities

Does this type of place exist? We are fairly comfortable when it comes to vetting some of the developments, but the other areas...not so much!
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:09 AM
 
391 posts, read 635,043 times
Reputation: 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMartianChick View Post
My husband and I have been browsing online for a home in the Ocala area to buy as snowbirders. We've selected a couple of 55+ developments that we think will be suitable, but are open to some non 55+ options, too. We don't want to be too far from Orlando Airport, so we probably don't want to go too far north of Ocala.

What we are looking for:
  • Low crime area
  • Some measure of diversity as we like to interact with different people and cultures
  • Gated or safe enough to leave a home with just a security system
  • Not too close to either coast to avoid hurricane issues
  • Low or no HOA fees
  • Private Pool or HOA operated pool
  • Close to walking/running trails or other activities

Does this type of place exist? We are fairly comfortable when it comes to vetting some of the developments, but the other areas...not so much!
They do exist, but the HOA Pool WILL, by definition, be within an HOA. There are few to none non-HOA areas that I can think of that I would be comfortable in leaving vacant for months at a time, with the exception of my neighborhood. And there is no community pool here.

I would suggest looking at Marion Landing. It ticks all of your boxes, with a low HOA fee, no controversial developer/management shenanigans that I am aware of, and 10 minutes from I-75. There is a nice community center with a pool, spa, and bowling alley. AND SECO is the electric utility.

The only thing that might be a problem for you would be any age restrictions for children that might visit or stay with you, but that is something that you will have to look at with any 55+ option.

Not sure if there is a specific reason for Orlando Airport, but I prefer flying in and out of Tampa. No tolls, no WallyWorld traffic, and a joy to get around in. Just my personal preference, though.

Good luck!
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:16 AM
 
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What happened to the land you own in Dunnellon? Did you not want to build there?
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Look at Indigo. Indigo East - News and Information
SW Ocala
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:19 AM
 
197 posts, read 250,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dax13 View Post
What happened to the land you own in Dunnellon? Did you not want to build there?
We really don't want to build on that property right now. It was purchased at another time in our life when we thought that a small parcel would be feasible for a "forever" home. For right now, we are just looking for a place to land when the weather gets cold in NY. We still like Dunnellon, but would like at least 5 acres for a "forever" home.

We tend to approach property buying from a slightly different perspective than most people because we are also landlords. We've never sold a property in our lives. We just buy them with the intention that some day, they may be rentals. Our current home will revert back to being a two family when we buy the snowbird home.

The future plan for the Dunnellon property would be to place a modular or manufactured home on it. That one could be a rental or we might opt to sell it. Who knows? We've been holding onto that property for many years now...The plan could change again!
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:32 AM
 
197 posts, read 250,377 times
Reputation: 363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dax13 View Post

The only thing that might be a problem for you would be any age restrictions for children that might visit or stay with you, but that is something that you will have to look at with any 55+ option.

Not sure if there is a specific reason for Orlando Airport, but I prefer flying in and out of Tampa. No tolls, no WallyWorld traffic, and a joy to get around in. Just my personal preference, though.

Good luck!
We aren't so worried about the visits from children and grandkids. Most of the 55+ communities allow visits of no more than a month and my personal tolerance level for visitors is about a week!

I just asked my husband about the airport preference and we both kind of drew a blank! I know that I usually found cheaper fares into Orlando, so we usually fly in there. In the past, we tended to make Orlando our vacation hub and then would travel to other areas over the course of 3 or 4 weeks. We have flown into Tampa once or twice and we couldn't think of a single reason (other than cost) not to fly through Tampa. We usually fly JetBlue (cheap) and they are at the Tampa airport, too. I guess we have become creatures of habit!

Thank you for shaking up my thinking!
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:12 PM
 
391 posts, read 635,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjm1cc View Post
Look at Indigo. Indigo East - News and Information
SW Ocala

I appreciate the link. Gave me (and others) a nice, informative view into how OTOW operates. Not trying to nitpick, but a few things caught my eye while reading the OTOW newsletter. I am not sure I would like having my landscaping and outdoor furniture choices dictated to me. I also gather that Brighthouse cable is not available, so reliance on spotty satellite is the only option when the developer closes down his Dish franchise. Also, can you tell us what the HOA fees are for Indigo East? There are things going on at OTOW like concerts, farmers' markets, restaurants, shows, and Master The Possibility classes that I have enjoyed at little to no additional cost as a non-resident. I don't think the premium cost of being a resident is worth it. But then, I am not looking for a more "social" lifestyle.

Again.....that's just my opinion.
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:22 PM
 
391 posts, read 635,043 times
Reputation: 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMartianChick View Post
We really don't want to build on that property right now. It was purchased at another time in our life when we thought that a small parcel would be feasible for a "forever" home. For right now, we are just looking for a place to land when the weather gets cold in NY. We still like Dunnellon, but would like at least 5 acres for a "forever" home.

We tend to approach property buying from a slightly different perspective than most people because we are also landlords. We've never sold a property in our lives. We just buy them with the intention that some day, they may be rentals. Our current home will revert back to being a two family when we buy the snowbird home.

The future plan for the Dunnellon property would be to place a modular or manufactured home on it. That one could be a rental or we might opt to sell it. Who knows? We've been holding onto that property for many years now...The plan could change again!
Oh yeah....understand completely. We plan.....the gods laugh.

Didn't mean to pry, but I thought I had seen you post before and thought you actually lived here. I gather that whatever you buy will be something you want to own, so just make sure you own whatever land it is sitting on, and there are no restrictions on future rentals.
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:34 PM
 
391 posts, read 635,043 times
Reputation: 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMartianChick View Post
We aren't so worried about the visits from children and grandkids. Most of the 55+ communities allow visits of no more than a month and my personal tolerance level for visitors is about a week!


wellllll.......sometimes I can tolerate 10 days in a single visit.

I just asked my husband about the airport preference and we both kind of drew a blank! I know that I usually found cheaper fares into Orlando, so we usually fly in there. In the past, we tended to make Orlando our vacation hub and then would travel to other areas over the course of 3 or 4 weeks. We have flown into Tampa once or twice and we couldn't think of a single reason (other than cost) not to fly through Tampa. We usually fly JetBlue (cheap) and they are at the Tampa airport, too. I guess we have become creatures of habit!

Thank you for shaking up my thinking!

No problem! I do the math too. I actually think Orlando is closer by a few miles, but with parking, traffic, and tolls, it has to be a significantly cheaper fare to fly Orlando. Not to mention the lines at the TSA checkpoints. That being said, with the construction on 275 right now, Tampa can be hectic for a bit depending on when you hit it.
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Old 07-06-2014, 04:29 PM
 
197 posts, read 250,377 times
Reputation: 363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dax13 View Post
I appreciate the link. Gave me (and others) a nice, informative view into how OTOW operates. Not trying to nitpick, but a few things caught my eye while reading the OTOW newsletter. I am not sure I would like having my landscaping and outdoor furniture choices dictated to me. I also gather that Brighthouse cable is not available, so reliance on spotty satellite is the only option when the developer closes down his Dish franchise. Also, can you tell us what the HOA fees are for Indigo East? There are things going on at OTOW like concerts, farmers' markets, restaurants, shows, and Master The Possibility classes that I have enjoyed at little to no additional cost as a non-resident. I don't think the premium cost of being a resident is worth it. But then, I am not looking for a more "social" lifestyle.

Again.....that's just my opinion.
On Top Of The World was near the top of our list based upon purchase price and the square footage of the homes. I got a peek at the rules and regulations a couple of months ago and was afraid that my husband and I would frequently be at odds (with each other and the HOA!) We probably will take advantage of some of the things that are offered within the community, as long as residency isn't a requirement. The HOA fees that we saw are much higher than we really want to pay. I've seen quotes of around $350/month. The concept of an HOA is quite foreign to folks in my area of Central NY. I can't imagine paying half of a "rent" payment plus taxes for a property with no mortgage.
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