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Unread 11-14-2006, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
8,119 posts, read 9,626,304 times
Reputation: 4165
We toured Ocala last spring. We did find some bigger home builders are moving in on the area. Pulte homes did a decent development with single family and townhomes. You will have HOA's there.

 
Unread 11-14-2006, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
8,079 posts, read 14,886,901 times
Reputation: 3610
The home pics are nice, except the Mc mansion style in the lower left. The rest are Florida style especially those with outdoor furniture~
 
Unread 12-04-2006, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Pasco County
177 posts, read 458,979 times
Reputation: 74
Default Returned from Ocala trip

My wife and I just returned from the trip I was mentioning a few weeks ago. In the last 2 weeks we visited the in-laws in Elberta, Alabama for Thanksgiving. We then made a whirlwind trip, staying a few days in Ocala and a few days in St Augustine.
Although after reading these threads I shouldn't have been disappointed but we were. Ocala just has too much traffic and is a lot more crowded than we are looking for.
The Villages reminded me of Main Street in Disneyworld. It may be a nice place to live but it seems to be way too expensive for my taste.
I had to buy a couple of shirts in Ocala and when I talked to the salesman, we discussed our possible relocation and the first thing he said was "I hope you are not moving to the Villages."
St. Augustine was nice but I am not sure that living near there would be What we are looking for.
Mt Dora was quite nice but the traffic in general in the whole area was horrendous. We put a lot of miles on the car just riding around and checking out areas and I have to say that the traffic and remembering all the negativity here on this forum just made up our mind that Florida was not the place for us.
We did find a nice community a few miles north of Gulf Shores. Ala. that seems to have what we are looking for without all the traffic and craziness we found in Florida.
All in all, we found that Florida is a nice place to visit but I don't want to spend my retirement living there.
 
Unread 12-04-2006, 05:57 PM
 
106 posts, read 422,176 times
Reputation: 62
What about the crime rate??
 
Unread 12-04-2006, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,142 posts, read 14,066,031 times
Reputation: 8273
Smile Hi watson-

Quote:
Originally Posted by watsont3 View Post
My wife and I just returned from the trip I was mentioning a few weeks ago. In the last 2 weeks we visited the in-laws in Elberta, Alabama for Thanksgiving. We then made a whirlwind trip, staying a few days in Ocala and a few days in St Augustine.
Although after reading these threads I shouldn't have been disappointed but we were. Ocala just has too much traffic and is a lot more crowded than we are looking for.
The Villages reminded me of Main Street in Disneyworld. It may be a nice place to live but it seems to be way too expensive for my taste.
I had to buy a couple of shirts in Ocala and when I talked to the salesman, we discussed our possible relocation and the first thing he said was "I hope you are not moving to the Villages."
St. Augustine was nice but I am not sure that living near there would be What we are looking for.
Mt Dora was quite nice but the traffic in general in the whole area was horrendous. We put a lot of miles on the car just riding around and checking out areas and I have to say that the traffic and remembering all the negativity here on this forum just made up our mind that Florida was not the place for us.
We did find a nice community a few miles north of Gulf Shores. Ala. that seems to have what we are looking for without all the traffic and craziness we found in Florida.
All in all, we found that Florida is a nice place to visit but I don't want to spend my retirement living there.
My husband and I did sort of what you did- drove all over- (we lived in Palm Beach County at that time) Ocala was building up in 2001- I cant imagine whats happening now- the realtor we went out with was happy, saying that Collier County had the lowest wage average in the whole state- so she was glad that developers were coming in.

What may be inferred from this is that- retirees are all moving there, as you said. So that apparently is what improves the economy more than anything else. Did you visit Captiva or Sarasota- or Ft Walton Beach?- I don't know about the economy there but the beaches were truly beautiful. If I were 100% retired I would pick Navarre beach, or the panhandle.

sunny
 
Unread 12-04-2006, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Ocala, Florida
140 posts, read 427,123 times
Reputation: 115
We spent several months in Ocala last year when we were checking out Ocala and the surrounding areas as possible retirement relocation sites. Being from upstate New York, we were shocked at how nice the weather was every day...sunshine, sunshine and more sunshine almost everyday. Yes, there was some rain but it was generally short-lived and cleared-up rapidly. While we were there, a tornado struck across the street(Route 200) from The Highlands at Heathbrook apartment complex where we stayed, and destroyed a number of homes and businesses.

We did learn and observe the relentless, explosive growth of new housing developments. Adjacent to where we stayed were two large tracts of vacant land...one on each side of Route 200. We observed that Pulte developers where building some 3500 homes on each side of the Route 200 highway. Down the road at the "Top of the World" age-restricted development, another 4000 homes were planned. So, within a few mile stretch of Route 200, approximately 11,000 homes were being built and/or in planning stages. Further down Route 200, I think on Route 464(if I remember the route number correctly), thousands of new homes are being built or again, in planning stages.

If you examine the Ocala infrastructure, especially in that high-growth corridor called Route 200, adding some 11,000+ homes will severely overly stress the infrastructure...the roads, waste treatment, public water treatment, the numbers of police, and schools, etc., all are insufficient to handle this huge influx of new residents. The Marion County and the City of Ocala administrations are all struggling with how to manage this explosive growth and when to say "ENOUGH!" In September 2004, the public school on Route 200, a multi-million dollar project, opened too small to accomodate the numbers of students who moved into the area after the school building project was planned. So, the school opened on it's first day with those modular classroom units on it's sprawling campus!

Talk to the police. They are very concerned that there are too many new residents, developments, shopping centers, etc., coming into the area and with no new police added to their rosters and their patrol territory ever expanding, that they will continue to be severely understaffed.

And, look at traffic...especially on Route 200. When the winter birds are present, the roads become huge parking lots. And, for some reason, everyone there drag races from one traffic light to the other. And, again on Route 200, you get your younger drivers doing 85 or 90 alongside some old-timer doing 35 mph in his Grand Marquis. Traffic is horrendous...accidents are common on this stretch of race track...err, I mean, highway.

Medical care at the two Ocala hospitals is now quite sufficient to meet Ocala's current population. But, even the hospitals are worried that when all these new developments are at capacity, they will be too small to adequately handle the medical needs of the community. As it is now, many accidents and critical care patients are transported to Shands Hospital in Gainesville for medical care.

Areas away from the Route 200 corridor are much more attractive, and not so commercialized, nor are they undergoing such explosive growth. But, again, they tend to be older communities.

As for us, Gainesville and areas like Dunnellon, Rainbow Springs, etc., look appealing. We loved our months spent in Ocala but we don't want to live somewhere where there is such relentless, explosive growth, awful traffic and shopping mall after shopping mall. Sure, the horse farms are beautiful but the rest of Ocala...
 
Unread 12-05-2006, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Pasco County
177 posts, read 458,979 times
Reputation: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnyhelena View Post
My husband and I did sort of what you did- drove all over- (we lived in Palm Beach County at that time) Ocala was building up in 2001- I cant imagine whats happening now- the realtor we went out with was happy, saying that Collier County had the lowest wage average in the whole state- so she was glad that developers were coming in.

What may be inferred from this is that- retirees are all moving there, as you said. So that apparently is what improves the economy more than anything else. Did you visit Captiva or Sarasota- or Ft Walton Beach?- I don't know about the economy there but the beaches were truly beautiful. If I were 100% retired I would pick Navarre beach, or the panhandle.

sunny

We specifically decided that we wanted to be in Central Florida, probably north of I-4, to avoid having to evacuate for hurricanes. I did some research and the area around Ocala, Mt Dora, etc. have few hurricane hits, mostly tropical storm winds.
Retirees moving to an area can be either a blessing or a curse depending on how you look at it. On one hand, they bring income to the area and do not flood the job market taking jobs from younger people. They also pay school taxes and have no kids in the schools.
On the negative side, the influx of retirees will probably increase real estate prices, good if you are selling but bad if you are looking to buy. They also put more stress on the medical care systems in the area.
 
Unread 12-05-2006, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,142 posts, read 14,066,031 times
Reputation: 8273
Default Yes-

On one hand, they bring income to the area and do not flood the job market taking jobs from younger people....

Yes, the retirees come in with money, which is good, they usually have a high standard of living.
There are no jobs there to take that young people would want anyway. The retirees have a different criteria, and Florida is perfect for them.

sunny.

Last edited by dreamofmonterey; 12-05-2006 at 09:34 AM.. Reason: spelling
 
Unread 12-05-2006, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Ocala area in Central FL
627 posts, read 1,948,289 times
Reputation: 317
I see far more senior employees in local grocery stores, department stores and places like McDonalds than I do teens or younger adults here (that is just My Observation of Ocala).

Medical Care is slow and offices are overcrowded... But, I guess that just comes with the area... Grrrrrrrrr! We are NOT used to that at all!! (ok, I am done meowing today!)

[CENTER]I do, with utmost respect, appreciate those Senior Citizens that come to our local elementary school and volunteer!
The kids LOVE it!
They bring so much to the kids in their sharing, reading, time and so forth.
[/CENTER]
 
Unread 12-05-2006, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Pasco County
177 posts, read 458,979 times
Reputation: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyHomeIsInOcala View Post
I see far more senior employees in local grocery stores, department stores and places like McDonalds than I do teens or younger adults here (that is just My Observation of Ocala).

]
That seems to be the case almost everywhere. I have been told that these businesses like to hire the seniors because they are reliable, show up every day, are usually good with customers and do the job. Sometimes it's hard to get kids to do that.
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