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Old 07-19-2014, 06:11 PM
 
42 posts, read 58,387 times
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So I have lived in Gainesville for about 3 years now, although about a third of that time I was away on military orders with my mom and gram holding the Fort down.

We've lived in the Asbury Park Apartments for that entire time, a great place for professionals to stay and probably the best apartments price-wise for what you get (space, garage, etc).

But since I got here 3 years ago, the prices have been steadily climbing. My initial rent has gone up from $1195 to $1400 (3br/2ba/1gar). But it seems they can do it because everything on this side around Haile has also climbed up, still making it a cheaper option than the others. And do not get me started with GRU. I thought when we left Maryland and the evil clutches of BGE that I wouldn't have to deal with ridiculously high utilities anymore, but as I write this, our A/C is set at 84 and we can only run it when it gets to 87/88 in the apt because if we ran it all the time, our elec bill would easily be over $300 a month. The reverse effect happens in the winter. The second we turn the air/heat off, it evaporates out of the house and the temperature rises/drops rapidly.

My orders ran out last year and I ended up going to work for UF. Wasn't planning on making this a permanent stay since I originally came to Gainesville for Law School, but went back to the military after it wasn't what I wanted. But finding a civilian job was tough and I had to dig into the savings for almost a year last year.

We looked at downsizing and taking a rental in a small townhome in one of the Hailey Gardens/Forest communtities. They looked very nice on the outside but I was surprised at how small they were on the inside. But all the other sizeable houses to AP were close to $1700 or more a month. And I didn't really like any of the other apartment complexes and those that were good were priced the same as AP making moving seem kind of impractical.

So we started looking in Ocala. I really like the Fore Ranch development and we've checked out rentals in Wynchase and Saddlecreek, and also in the neighborhood area around the beautiful schools built off of SW 95th St. Most are less than G'ville, although some of the prices are equal to what I'm paying now, for whatever reason I feel more comfortable living in a place like there, and other than Haile, there doesn't seem to be any place in Gainesville like that.

I've heard a lot of complaints about Ocala about how boring it is, but we are probably the most boring people around. I couldn't even tell you of what stuff is here in G'ville because it doesn't really interest any of us. As long as there's a Hospital near-by, a CVS, Wal-Mart/Publix, etc, shopping stuff, my folks and I are happy. I'm also hoping you guys get Wawa because it makes so much sense for them to build one on SR 200, but unlikely they'll ever come here. My impression is SR200 is Ocala's Archer Rd.

So does anybody else commute from Ocala to Gainesville? Is it doable? I use to commute from SW Baltimore to Bolling AFB (35 miles) for several years and that drive was tough on some days with traffic, but is I-75 any busier during rush hour here?

Also, because I've heard horror stories about Ocala Electric being worse than GRU (that's a scary thought), I just wanted to confirm if the SR200 area was all on SECO or was there any city annexation going on that I should be worried about? And for those that do have SECO, for the non-electric services that Ocala Electric provides, what do those monthly rates run? I think the biggest water shock I ever had was when we lived in St Lucie West where the base rate ensured a charge of at least $53 a month regardless of the number of gallons used, something I never understood. Is that the kind of operation going on in Ocala as well?

And on cable, I noticed Ocala is strange in that it has a bunch of providers. I noticed the vast majority of homes in the Fore Ranch developments all seemed to have a dish. Was this apart of the homeowner's association or is it just a better option? Cox in Gainesville has gotten out of control here. Basic Digital Cable, Unlimited Nationwide Calling, and regular high speed internet has climbed to $232 a month (including taxes). I remember when I moved here in July 2011 (like every other UF student usually does), I was shocked Cox didn't offer any starter rates, it was $179 right off the bat (if you call that a starter rate), then $210, and now $232. I'm hoping to cut this bill in half for at least a year.

Any thoughts would be appreciated....
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:32 AM
 
1,088 posts, read 1,041,115 times
Reputation: 660
Well my brother lives in Ocala and he really likes it. They do a lot of water stuff in that area, boating, fishing, going to the beach, that sort of thing.

Ocala is a nice community for families, I wouldn't say it hosts the excitement of Manhattan but it does have shopping and restaurants, movie theaters, that sort of thing.

My only complaint that I ever had about Ocala is that jobs didn't pay no where near what they should. Other then that, I would say as a whole Ocala really isn't that bad a place.

If your looking to get a job and have honorable discharge from military service and a technical mos, look into the Audi Veterans to Technicians program.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:34 PM
 
389 posts, read 634,424 times
Reputation: 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFNCO33 View Post
So I have lived in Gainesville for about 3 years now, although about a third of that time I was away on military orders with my mom and gram holding the Fort down.

We've lived in the Asbury Park Apartments for that entire time, a great place for professionals to stay and probably the best apartments price-wise for what you get (space, garage, etc).

But since I got here 3 years ago, the prices have been steadily climbing. My initial rent has gone up from $1195 to $1400 (3br/2ba/1gar). But it seems they can do it because everything on this side around Haile has also climbed up, still making it a cheaper option than the others. And do not get me started with GRU. I thought when we left Maryland and the evil clutches of BGE that I wouldn't have to deal with ridiculously high utilities anymore, but as I write this, our A/C is set at 84 and we can only run it when it gets to 87/88 in the apt because if we ran it all the time, our elec bill would easily be over $300 a month. The reverse effect happens in the winter. The second we turn the air/heat off, it evaporates out of the house and the temperature rises/drops rapidly.

My orders ran out last year and I ended up going to work for UF. Wasn't planning on making this a permanent stay since I originally came to Gainesville for Law School, but went back to the military after it wasn't what I wanted. But finding a civilian job was tough and I had to dig into the savings for almost a year last year.

We looked at downsizing and taking a rental in a small townhome in one of the Hailey Gardens/Forest communtities. They looked very nice on the outside but I was surprised at how small they were on the inside. But all the other sizeable houses to AP were close to $1700 or more a month. And I didn't really like any of the other apartment complexes and those that were good were priced the same as AP making moving seem kind of impractical.

So we started looking in Ocala. I really like the Fore Ranch development and we've checked out rentals in Wynchase and Saddlecreek, and also in the neighborhood area around the beautiful schools built off of SW 95th St. Most are less than G'ville, although some of the prices are equal to what I'm paying now, for whatever reason I feel more comfortable living in a place like there, and other than Haile, there doesn't seem to be any place in Gainesville like that.

you are definitely looking in the right areas. The only thing I would caution about in Fore Ranch is that they have had sinkhole activity and I am not sure if the pool has been re-opened yet. ( Separate issues. Search "Fore Ranch at Ocala.com) The neighborhoods around the schools on 95th St and on large lots are Ocala Waterway. That is a large "subdivision" that has many undeveloped lots and no amenities. The nominal HOA is almost a non-entity. Those homes will have SECO, and I believe all are individual wells and septic tanks. Brighthouse cable is not widely available. It depends on where you are. That leaves you with different versions of satellite. There is also Kingsland Country Estates in that area. It can be hard to tell where you are as OW was broken off from KCE. Also, you say you have your mom and grandmother with you. If one of them is 55+. have you considered a 55+ community? As long as one is 55 and you have no children, that might be an option.

I've heard a lot of complaints about Ocala about how boring it is, but we are probably the most boring people around. I couldn't even tell you of what stuff is here in G'ville because it doesn't really interest any of us. As long as there's a Hospital near-by, a CVS, Wal-Mart/Publix, etc, shopping stuff, my folks and I are happy. I'm also hoping you guys get Wawa because it makes so much sense for them to build one on SR 200, but unlikely they'll ever come here. My impression is SR200 is Ocala's Archer Rd.

WaWa IS here in Florida, but you have to head south to find them. And yes, 200 is much like Archer Road, but no where near the traffic. It is a great area for having everything close.

So does anybody else commute from Ocala to Gainesville? Is it doable? I use to commute from SW Baltimore to Bolling AFB (35 miles) for several years and that drive was tough on some days with traffic, but is I-75 any busier during rush hour here?

I don't commute, but am very familiar with that drive. It can be a PIA, but definitely doable. There is another thread on this board that explores that concept more thoroughly and the reasoning behind it. Suffice it to say it ain't just the rush your that sux. On the plus side, you do have viable alternatives depending on exactly where you have to go.

Also, because I've heard horror stories about Ocala Electric being worse than GRU (that's a scary thought), I just wanted to confirm if the SR200 area was all on SECO or was there any city annexation going on that I should be worried about? And for those that do have SECO, for the non-electric services that Ocala Electric provides, what do those monthly rates run? I think the biggest water shock I ever had was when we lived in St Lucie West where the base rate ensured a charge of at least $53 a month regardless of the number of gallons used, something I never understood. Is that the kind of operation going on in Ocala as well?

There are city annexations going on, but it should not affect your electric provider. Not sure what you mean, but if you have SECO, you have NOTHING billed from Ocala Electric. SECO's base charge for a residential account is $14.50 a month + actual usage at .104150 per kWh. If you are not in the city of Ocala proper, and have a municipal water/sewer provider,it would be with Marion County Utilities. They just bought the outfit that supplied me and I haven't had my first bill with them, so I can't look at it right now, but you can go to their website to find out. If you rent a place with its own well/septic, you only pay for the electric to run your well pump.

And on cable, I noticed Ocala is strange in that it has a bunch of providers. I noticed the vast majority of homes in the Fore Ranch developments all seemed to have a dish. Was this apart of the homeowner's association or is it just a better option? Cox in Gainesville has gotten out of control here. Basic Digital Cable, Unlimited Nationwide Calling, and regular high speed internet has climbed to $232 a month (including taxes). I remember when I moved here in July 2011 (like every other UF student usually does), I was shocked Cox didn't offer any starter rates, it was $179 right off the bat (if you call that a starter rate), then $210, and now $232. I'm hoping to cut this bill in half for at least a year.

Boy....that is ridiculous. You do know that cable is franchised so that you will never have any choice of provider, if indeed cable is available. Many areas do not have cable at all and are left to satellite companies, phone companies, VOIP, or some bastardized cobbled together plan to get TV, Internet, and phone service. If you can find a place that has BRIGHTHOUSE cable available, go for it, but make sure you verify with them that it IS available. I have BRIGHTHOUSE. I have expanded basic, digital pack, one DVR box, HBO, unlimited phone, wifi, modem, and hi-speed internet. It costs me $167.00 a month. And I laugh at thunderstorms. L


Any thoughts would be appreciated....

Hope this helps!

Last edited by Dax13; 07-23-2014 at 05:39 PM.. Reason: Added
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Florida
3,827 posts, read 3,132,132 times
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You should look up the utility rates as they differ by area. I would look at buying. Rents and utilities will continue to increase. Remember green will be more expensive.
Maybe an apt just outside of Gainsville will work due to the communite.
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:32 PM
 
770 posts, read 3,323,583 times
Reputation: 372
Yes, GRU is pricey. There are lots of cheaper apartments in Gainesville; rental housing is more expensive, and the stork isn't that great. Traffic from the south on I-75 can be tricky in the morning commute, with all the UF students and workers.
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:02 PM
 
42 posts, read 58,387 times
Reputation: 21
Thanks for all the info.

Just learned that we got cleared to rent in Cimarron sp? in Fore Ranch. Mom is supposed to also be looking at a place in NW Gainesville in the Sorrento subdivision, but looks like we will be moving one way or the other this weekend. Which is a relief after I got my latest GRU Bill. We only used 980 KW's for the meter reading period and minimum water and sewer which isn't a whole lot for 3 adults, but the Bill was still $221. There's just something wrong with that. Especially when my mom and I were out this weekend looking at houses and when we came home, my grandma (who doesn't like to touch any buttons and gets cold easily) was sweating bad since she wouldn't turn the air on and it read 92.5 in the Apt! It was cloudy and had rained that day so the sun wasn't out all day, but that's just ridiculous. It took almost 2 hours to get it to 83, and then once we turned it off, within 45 minutes it was back to 86 and climbing. This is just ridiculous. I'm hoping the insulation of a house is better.
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:17 PM
 
389 posts, read 634,424 times
Reputation: 390
Good luck, wherever you decide. Just remember to factor in your increased fuel costs if you do choose to move to Ocala.
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Old 07-30-2014, 04:53 PM
 
42 posts, read 58,387 times
Reputation: 21
Default Can someone compare this Bill

Just spoke to SECO Rep that was telling me about either a $400 Deposit or the Pre-pay Program (I don't have a Credit Score at the moment which is why I'm renting, so it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to get around it.)

Can someone with SECO look at that a recent bill and give me an idea of what the charges will be compared to what we have had with GRU?

For example, on my latest bill we used 995 KW of Electricity, which I think for a family of 3 isn't really that high (I hear the normal is like 1300 or more.)

GRU Charges a flat rate of $11.90 whether you use anything or not

.039 per KWH up to 250 KWH = $9.75
.050 per KWH (500-750 KWH) = $25.00
.094 per KWH (750KWH-995KWH) = $23.03

Electric Fuel Adjustment .069 * 995 KWH = $68.66

Taxes: Elec Surcharge $7.33, FL Gross Receipts Tax: 3.74 County Elec Unit Tax: $8.08

Total Electric: $157.49

Water (We use virtually 4K Gal a month except Oct and Mar where it has been 3K Gal, so pretty consistent)

Water Customer Charge: $9.00
Water Use (Tier 1) $2.30*4K = $9.20
Water Surcharge: $4.55
County Util Tax: $2.28
Wastewater Customer Charge: $7.85
Wastewater Billing: $5.85*4K = $23.40
Wastewater Surcharge: $7.81

Total Water: $64.09

July has been our highest month historically. So how do SECO and Marion County rates compare. The place we are going to is of equal size (about 1,500 SF).
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:02 AM
 
389 posts, read 634,424 times
Reputation: 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFNCO33 View Post
Just spoke to SECO Rep that was telling me about either a $400 Deposit or the Pre-pay Program (I don't have a Credit Score at the moment which is why I'm renting, so it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to get around it.)

Can someone with SECO look at that a recent bill and give me an idea of what the charges will be compared to what we have had with GRU?

For example, on my latest bill we used 995 KW of Electricity, which I think for a family of 3 isn't really that high (I hear the normal is like 1300 or more.)

looking at my last SECO bill, which covers electric only.
1295 kWh used ( I have a pool )

GRU Charges a flat rate of $11.90 whether you use anything or not
flat rate Customer Charge of $14.50
.039 per KWH up to 250 KWH = $9.75
.050 per KWH (500-750 KWH) = $25.00
.094 per KWH (750KWH-995KWH) = $23.03
flat rate of .104150 per kWh .....no tiers

Electric Fuel Adjustment .069 * 995 KWH = $68.66
Power Cost Adjustment of .009100 per kWh
Taxes: Elec Surcharge $7.33, FL Gross Receipts Tax: 3.74 County Elec Unit Tax: $8.08
2.5625% Gross Receipt Tax of $4.13
Total Electric: $157.49

Electric charge= Customer charge (14.50) + Energy charge (.104150 per kWh) = 149.37
Power Cost Adjustment= 11.78
Gross Receipt Tax= 4.13

Total electric bill $165.28

Water

July has been our highest month historically. So how do SECO and Marion County rates compare. The place we are going to is of equal size (about 1,500 SF).
Looks like you are getting slammed with the fuel cost adjustment and additional taxes. No thanks.
We are in between billings from old water provider and new, so can't help you with that.

Last edited by Dax13; 07-31-2014 at 11:06 AM.. Reason: Added
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:57 PM
 
128 posts, read 269,059 times
Reputation: 58
I think Ocala is way better than Gainesville, especially if you're the quiet type that doesn't bother with a bunch of nightlife stuff. I drive from Ocala to Gainesville every damn day lol and the drive is a breeze. I've literally made it to Ocala (326 exit) from Gainesville in 20 minutes before, going just under 80mph. Gainesville is wayyy too congested, I absolutely hate getting caught up there around 4:30pm-6:30pm, and I avoid Archer at all costs. Here we have a fair amount of traffic but it's not nearly as bad. All in all I don't think it'd be a bad move to come to Ocala. Worst case scenario you move back to Gville or somewhere else lol
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