Ocala, FL : Florida

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What it's Like to Retire in Ocala, FL

Ocala, known as the Brick City because that is how it was rebuilt after a disastrous fire on Thanksgiving day in 1883, and is now one of the larger towns in north central Florida. The population is about 54,000 people with many more in the surrounding area.  Originally a citrus growing region, Ocala is now famous as horse country, with many ranches in the area. The presence of lime in the soil (good for pastures) is one reason for its popularity with horse lovers. Ocala has grown quite rapidly because it is different and a bit more relaxed than either of Florida's coasts.

Ocala
has a large residential Historic District, established in 1984, that has many historic homes. East Fort King Street has many excellent examples of Victorian Revival architecture. There are a number of Ocala structures on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Union Train Station. Photo of Ocala commercial district courtesy of Wikipedia and Ebyabe.
 

Where to Retire in Ocala, FL and Home Prices

For those who prefer living in a development, there is a growing number of active adult communities in the Ocala area because there is more inexpensive land in this region.
Prices are more reasonable than in many other parts of Florida. The median price of a home was $162,000 in the 4th quarter of 2018, as reported by the NAR.  Zillow.com reported the Home Value Index was $141,600, during the same period and called it a "Hot" market.

 

What is special about Ocala, FL

This is horse country - if you want to be near horses, you will be in heaven here in the "Horse Capital of the World"; Ocala is a bit more uncrowded than south Florida;  Silver Springs Nature Theme Park;  Many victorian homes and historic structures grace the Union Street area. The median home sells for just over half the cost of the typical U.S. home.

 

What is not special about Ocala, FL

Ocala is in Florida's interior - if you have to live on the coast, it is not for you.
 

Who will like retirement in Ocala, FL

The horsey set makes Ocala their capital. It's also good for hobby farms.  It's more relaxed than a lot of the rest of Florida, and that appeals to many. One of the largest retirement communities in the world, The Villages, is close to Ocala.

 

Local economy is driven by

Agriculture, construction, healthcare.  Some 44,000 jobs are estimated to be associated with the raising and breeding of horses.
 

Climate and Physical Environment

The Silver River is the largest artesian spring formation in the world. Ocala National Forest is the 2nd largest national forest in Florida. Because of its interior location summers are hotter, the sun shines more days, and winters are cooler than the rest of Florida
 

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Appleton Museum of Art; Garlits Museum of Drag Racing; Gainesville and the University of Florida are less than 40 miles away

 

Crime

The crime rate is almost double the national average.
 

Medical facilities

There are 2 medical centers in Ocala - Munroe Regional and Ocala Regional.

 

Transportation

Interstate 75 runs through Ocala. Ocala International Airport offers commercial service. Amtrak has a station. Ocala is not considered a walkable town.

 

Valuable Links

City of Ocala
Craigs List Ocala
Guide to Florida retirement and retirement communities

 

What people are saying about Ocala, FL

On Top of the World - Ocala
One of the larger retirement communities in Ocala is On Top of the World (OTOTW). We lived in The Villages (TV) (18 mile to the south) for 9 years and consider OTOTW a smaller, more sedate, and more manageable version of TV. However, there are dozens of clubs and activities, both passive and active, to participate in. The unique features of OTOTW include: * All homes are located on leased property. You pay just for the home. * All homes are concrete block construction. * There is an extensive Villa section with homes ranging from the $80\'s to around $115,000. These are one-story, attached condos in 6 to 8 unit clusters. The yards (lawns, trees, and originally planted shrubs) are maintained by your HOA fees ($417 per month - Feb 2019), which also include water, sewer, exterior home maintenance, and trash disposal sites. * These Villas make OTOTW more affordable than TV, unless in TV you opt for an older mobile home in the Historic District, where the HOA-like fees are $159 per month (February 2019) which only pay for community amenities, nothing on your home site. Even then, to get in the $100,000 range you\'ll either get a 30+ year old mobile home or a fixer upper. https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/pmf,pf_pt/globalrelevanceex_sort/29.113063,-82.228761,29.062434,-82.30206_rect/13_zm/e38a25c608X1-CR1kjvgakz0azy6_wp46b_crid/
Posted by gfmucci on February 10, 2019
55 Community
Foxwood Farms is a lovely 55 manufactured home community! Exit 354 off I75 in Marion County. Low cost homes between $16,000 to $79,000 depending on year of home. Homes are set up like a subdivision, not lined up close together. Monthly lot rent is under $500 which includes your water, trash pick up twice a week and lawn mowing. There is two swimming pools, two club houses, lots of daily, weekly and monthly activites and clubs. Community neighbors are all friendly and helpful! Two grocery stores across the street, along with restaurants and drug store. Lots of additional shopping, restaurants and 3 hospitals just 4 miles away.
Posted by santhony on June 04, 2015
Ocala, FL
One of the most miserably hot places on the planet. Rivals Houston and New Orleans for stifling summer heat without a breath of air. I spent a week there one day in July. Could not go outside. And I have lived in Florida most of my life......
Posted by bigfoot14b on May 15, 2013

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