Ocala Lifestyle Blog

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Real Estate

Ocala Residential Projects & Infrastructure

Many have voiced concern about the rapid development of Ocala residential projects. Some have even sought to turn the clock back and return to city and county development plans of the past. However, clearly that ship has sailed. When planners approved the building of the World Equestrian Center, they committed to an expanded rate of development which cannot be reversed....
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Dining Around Town. Lifestyle

Ocala Haute Cuisine

The essence of Ocala haute cuisine is evolving as more and more amazing options become available every day. My wife and I are passionate about many things, but travel and fine dining near the top of our list. We have traveled to six of the seven continents and experienced the history, culture, art and culinary creations of many ethnic groups....
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Real Estate

Ocala Real Estate Forecast 2023

The Ocala real estate forecast is for strength in intermediate and long terms. Of course, last year one factor drove the real estate market more than any other, rising mortgage rates.  In March 2022, the Federal Reserve began a series of interest rate hikes in an effort to tamp down inflation.1 Then mortgage interest rates reacted as expected and began to...
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Real Estate

Ocala Homeowners’ Insurance Guide

While no-one likes to think about disasters we may encounter, an Ocala homeowners' insurance policy offers protection, and with it peace of mind. Severe weather, fire, theft, or even a seemingly small issue like a broken pipe, can wreak havoc. As a result, you may be exposed to thousands of dollars in damages. Is there any doubt that the financial...
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What's Happening

Christmas In Ocala – Spectacular!

Christmas in Ocala is a marvelous time of year. Charles Dickens tells of a man who learns how to celebrate Christmas in his holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Of course we in Ocala also know how to celebrate the holiday and this year's celebration will be the best ever! But how did the celebration of this holiday begin? Pagan Holidays1...
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Lifestyle Real Estate

Ocala Living: Advice In A Season of Inflation

Ocala living is about enjoying the holiday season with family, friends and neighbors. But you don't have to break the bank to celebrate the holidays in style, even in these inflationary times. Prices may be higher on everything from food to gifts to decorations, but there are still plenty of opportunities to avoid over extending.  For example, according to the...
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Lifestyle

Home Town Ocala: The Arts

Our home town, Ocala, offers lifestyles to please everyone. Of course, the arts are integral to life in our community. Therefore, we support them with all our souls. Our flirtation with the nurturing of the arts began with the Hub, a clothing store founded in 1953 by Robert Leibowitz in the center of our historic district.1 Many years passed, the...
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Lifestyle

Holidays Ocala Style: Enjoy The Experience

Celebrate the holidays Ocala style. Our town is an amazing place where festivities abound from Halloween to New Years Eve. Among them are the many offerings of the World Equestrian Center. Of course, this is also a time to enjoy a symphony under the stars, the many dining choices found in our town and much more. Here are three exciting...
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Real Estate

Ocala Home Prices

An Evolving Real Estate Market & Ocala Home Prices Ocala home prices have reached new heights. Over the past few years, a real estate buying frenzy bid up home prices to eye-popping amounts. However, as mortgage rates have risen, buyer demand has cooled. 1 Consequently, home sellers who enter the market today may need to reset their expectations. The reality...
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Real Estate

First Time Homebuyers: Timing The Housing Market

Deciding whether and when buy a home can be daunting if you are first time homebuyers. But in today’s whirlwind market you may find it particularly challenging to pinpoint the best time to start exploring homeownership. The real estate boom spawned by the pandemic has pushed home prices to an all-time high.1 Additionally, higher mortgage rates can cause would-be buyers...
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Real Estate

Ocala Real Estate News: What’s Happening?

Ocala real estate news is not just about where you live. It is also about how you live. No matter what wets your whistle, you are sure to find an exciting way to enjoy your weekend in our town. We all know about the many equestrian events featured here throughout the year. Among them are the Grandview International, The HITS...
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Real Estate

Home Value: What’s Your Ocala Home Really Worth?

You May Be Pleasantly Surprised By Your Current Home Value! It’s easy to verify how much money you have in your savings account or the real-time value of your stock investments. But determining the dollar value of a home is a far more complex endeavor. As a seller, knowing your home’s value helps you to set realistic expectations and to...
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Real Estate

Lower Mortgage Rates: 8 Strategies to Secure Them!

Mortgage rates have been on a roller coaster ride this year, rising and falling amid inflationary pressures and economic uncertainty. Unfortunately, even the experts are divided when it comes to predicting where rates are headed next.1 This climate has been unsettling for some homebuyers and sellers. However, with proper planning, you can work toward qualifying for the best mortgage rates...
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Real Estate

Ocala Home Inspections: Avoid Common Mistakes

Ocala home inspections serve a vital purpose in the homebuying process. You may be easily swept up in the excitement of buying a home. Then, once you’ve had an offer accepted, you’ll probably be anxious to move in. However, when proceeding along the route to making a significant financial commitment, it’s best to act prudently and protect your interests every...
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Real Estate

Ocala Real Estate – Three Hedges Against Inflation

Ocala real estate is about to benefit from economic growth never before imagined in North Central Florida. Thanks go to the projected more than tripling of the contribution the equestrian industry makes to our community. The annual inflation rate in the United States is higher than we would like. But actions taken by the Fed and the Biden Administration are...
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Real Estate

Serious Home Sellers Understand The Importance of A 1st Impression

While we all want to be good neighbors, serious home sellers must do more. It’s not just about keeping up with the Joneses or pleasing your neighbors. It’s about outshining them at every opportunity! If you are serious about selling your home fast and at the highest possible price, you’ll need a strategy to set it apart from all the...
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Real Estate

Instant Cash Offers – Are They A Viable Option?

Are instant cash offers the future of the real estate market? Technology is changing the way we do almost everything, and real estate transactions are no exception. In fact, a new crop of tech companies wants to revolutionize the way we buy and sell homes. iBuyer startups like Opendoor, Offerpad, and Properly are rapidly expanding into new territories. Now established...
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Real Estate

Ocala Home Buying Tips: 10 Ways To Ensure a Smooth Move

The process of buying a home can be both exhilarating and exhausting and our Ocala home buying tips are designed to mitigate the latter. Of course, the journey doesn’t stop when you close on your property. On the contrary, you still have much to do before you are settled into your new home. Fortunately, you don’t have to do everything...
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Real Estate

A Winning Offer: 5 Steps To Home Buying Success

In this volatile market, what will it take to submit a winning offer? Our nation is in the midst of a serious housing crunch. Last year, a lack of inventory and soaring prices left many would-be homebuyers unable to fulfill their dreams of home ownership. But now, with interest rates climbing, many are also feeling desperate to lock in a...
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Real Estate

Mistakes Sellers Make: 7 COMMON AVOIDABLE ISSUES

Most common mistakes sellers make can be easily avoided, and the benefits of doing so are great. Learn the statistics and we are sure you will agree that it's worth the effort. No matter what challenges the housing market presents, the process of selling a home can be daunting. Some sellers have a hard time saying goodbye to a treasured...
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Real Estate

Rising Rates, Short Supply: Housing In 2022

Today our real estate market faces rising rates which make the cost of mortgage financing more expensive. However, homes are still in short supply and demand is brisk. So where are we headed? The last two years caught many of us off guard, and not just because of the pandemic. They also ushered in the hottest housing market on record....
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Real Estate

Top Ocala Realtors: Compassionate Problem Solvers

The Mindset of Top Ocala Realtors What separates top Ocala Realtors from their fellow professionals? How do you select the one who will serve your needs best? How do you decide who will best deliver on the promise to sell your home quickly and at top value? The hypothesis I will lay before you is no more than my personal...
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Real Estate

Ocala Ultra Luxury Living – The Larry Roberts Story

Ocala ultra luxury living was redefined, if not invented, by developer Ralph L. Roberts. Half a century earlier, Ralph and his partner, Robert Campbell, opened a small freight company in Ohio. When the two purchased a single truck, R&L Trucking was born. Robert and Larry, as Ralph preferred to be called, dreamed of very different futures for their venture. Larry...
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Real Estate

Ocala Home Staging – What You Need To Know

Ocala home staging is a valued tool in the quiver of today's home seller, but has it got universal applications or just case specific ones? A new Realtor recently posted the following question on a real estate forum. "Is staging really important to the home selling process?" Realtors responded in various ways. One suggested that he only recommends staging for...
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Real Estate

Real Estate Investment Mecca – Ocala

This is the story of how Ocala evolved into a city attracting real estate investment by giants of the industry. Once upon a time, many years ago, we lived in the focal point of North Central Florida's tourism industry, Ocala. Ours was a town surrounded by amazing forests, fresh water springs and hundreds of streams, rivers and lakes. Here Silver...
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Real Estate

Real Estate Bubble 2022?

Many fear that a real estate bubble is upon us, a bubble sure to burst soon. But are such fears justified? According to OMCAR, our local board of Realtors, Ocala housing saw astounding appreciation year over year as of February, 2022. In fact, appreciation exceeded 40% during that time interval. As a result, rents also soared and many were left...
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What's Happening

Ocala’s Memorial Day Festivals

Ocala's Memorial Day celebration is filled with music, barbeques and special events. Of course, the actual reason for this day is somber. We remember and honor the heroes who served in our armed forces and gave their lives to defend our country. The celebration saw its roots in the aftermath of the Civil War. In 1865, shortly after the South...
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Real Estate

Affordable Housing In Ocala, Florida 2022

Ocala residential real estate is appreciating at historic speed and affordable housing is becoming scarce. Our city is in the midst of a real estate boom that is likely to be with us for a while. Low inventories of homes listed for sale and high demand have created an aggressive seller's market. Of course, as in most such markets across...
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Lifestyle

Ocala Art & Architecture 2022

The Ocala art scene is burgeoning with creativity. To be sure, Susan and I are art lovers. Therefore, we are excited that the works of amazing artists are an integral element of the Ocala lifestyle. A few years ago we set out to explore the Cote d'Azur, the Mediterranean coast of France. Of course, this area in Southern France has...
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What's Happening

Mother’s Day In Ocala

Mother's Day In Ocala Follows Ancient Traditions Mother's Day in Ocala is both traditional and inspired. Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. But the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.” Once a...
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Real Estate

Real Estate Investments & Building Wealth

Real estate investments are ideal wealth building tools. As Mark Twain said, “Invest in land. They are not making any more of it”. Of course, the safest real estate investment is your own home. You and your family need a roof over your heads, a place to feel safe and secure. Therefore, your choice is between owning your home, thereby making it...
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Real Estate The Economy

Ocala Housing – The Economy Takes Off

Today Ocala housing demand is off the charts. However, opportunity almost passed us by. Many years ago, an entertainment industry giant imagined a new Ocala. He could see into our future, and what he saw was truly visionary. Marion County would be the second coming of Disneyland, albeit on a much grander scale. Surrounded by forests and hundreds of bodies...
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Lifestyle

Ocala Realtor Report: The Amazing Career of Filmmaker Mark Emery

As an Ocala Realtor, I am proud to live in and serve a community that features many outstanding people, some famous, most not. Among the many talented and immensely successful people who call Ocala home, Mark Emery stands out. Emery and his family migrated to Ocala when the young lad was just four years old. During his formative years, Mark...
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Lifestyle

Ocala Parks – Peace & Tranquility

Ocala parks are the very essence of life in our town. Our granddaughters were to visit for the weekend and we set out to plan a wonderful adventure for them. In researching our options, we discovered that Ocala is a city of parks. There are more parks per capita in our town than you could imagine. One of the most...
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Real Estate

Ocala Model Homes – Trendy Designs

Ocala model homes feature trendy interior designs created to increase value and attract sales. However, such designs also enhance lifestyle. Additionally, you may find it easier than you imagine to create the atmosphere you desire in your own home. Let me demonstrate with an anecdote. A landlord walked into his tenant's home. He had just spent a significant sum installing...
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Lifestyle

Ocala Artists: Talent & Creativity

Ocala artists add to the aesthetic charm of this part of Florida. Fortunately, our town features a thriving community of talented artists who are instrumental in making Ocala a great place to call home. So we indulge our passion for art by introducing you to several of the most talented among them. Our Passion For Art My wife and I...
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Real Estate

Ocala’s Sellers’ Market – Scorching!

If there is one thing certain, it's that Ocala's sellers' market is showing no signs of moderating. Undoubtedly an old adage applies here. The best time to buy a home was yesterday. The second best is today. In our community price appreciation is brisk, while the days competitively priced homes stay on the market are declining. Of course, the question...
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Lifestyle

Physical Fitness & The Ocala Lifestyle

When I was in my early teens I ignored the importance of physical fitness. In fact, I was well on the way to being obese. I weighed about thirty pounds more than my friends and had perfected the art of being a couch potato. Unfortunately, my greatest thrill was reviewing the upcoming fall TV schedule and planning hours of sitting...
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What's Happening

Ocala Proud – Winter Olympics Capital

Today our small Northcentral Florida community launches a new slogan, "Ocala Proud". Amazingly, our town of 65,000 people sent three athletes to the Winter Olympics this year. And one, Erin Jackson, brought home the gold! When my wife and I arrived in Florida decades ago, we sought to escape Canada's snowy winters and make our home in this subtropical paradise....
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What's Happening

A Very Ocala Christmas

A very Ocala Christmas is indeed wounderous to behold. The joyous season is around the corner and the ways to celebrate it in our town are many and varied. There are concerts and lighting displays. There are art exhibits and theatrical productions. Of course, we can also enjoy traditional parades and Christmas trains. But ultimately Christmas is about family and...
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Real Estate

Ocala Housing Market Trends

The Ocala housing market continues to show robust appreciation. Rising prices are fueled by several factors. The historically low inventory of homes for sale is a prime cause. However, demand excelerated by historically low interests rates and economic conditions has a major impact as well. To be sure, the opening of the World Equestrian Center several months ago creates a...
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Real Estate

Ocala Home Life – Optimizing Your Internet

With the advent of the pandemic, you may have experienced a shift from office centric employment to working from home. Initially most viewed such a shift as being temporary. To be sure, they expected that once the threat of COVID-19 was over, they would return to their normal work routines. However, we now see that the role our home plays...
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Dining Around Town.

Elevation 89 – Fining Dining In Ocala

Rondo Fernandez is the premier Ocala restaurateur behind Elevation 89, Ocala's new airport eatery. He and his three partners have brought to our airport a quality restaurant you would expect to find in much more developed airport facilities. Undoubtedly, this just marks the beginning of the development of the Ocala International Airport. If the World Equestrian Center is to thrive...
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What's Happening

Ocala Halloween 2021

The Ocala Halloween celebration is a week away and this year's edition will offer many more opportunities than last for children of all ages to have fun. Ocala Halloween, A Brief History Most of us fondly remember Halloween. As children, we looked forward to dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating with friends and thrilling to spooky ghost stories. However, we may...
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Lifestyle

Ocala’s Equestrian Lifestyle

Ocala's equestrian lifestyle has been the focal point of our community and our economy for nearly a century. However, the opening of the World Equestrian Center has now launched our community onto the global stage. In the process, it has also ensured that our farmland preservation area will be protected. We are about to embark of a great adventure, the...
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Real Estate

Buying A Home: Pre-Approval & Closing

Should you move forward with buying a home? Consider that rents are rising and mortgage rates are still hovering near historic lows. As a result, even with upward pressure on home prices, it may be more affordable to buy than rent. But what if you are financially tight, have limited resources and your credit score is respectable? What steps must...
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What's Happening

Ocala Home Fall Decor, Seasonal Colors

"Enchanting Ocala Home Fall Decor - Backyard Pond Draped In Seasonal Colors" Fall In North Central Florida My wife and I met on Miami Beach when she visited South Florida on her winter break. I was a student at the University of Miami at the time, having transferred from the University of Toronto to escape shivering through another Canadian winter....
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What's Happening

Ocala’s Labor Day: Why We Celebrate

How Ocala's Labor Day Is Celebrated Ocala's Labor Day is traditionally a day to barbeque or picnic with family and friends. It is a day to relax, enjoy special events and be patriotic. Additionally, it marks the end of summer and the beginning of Fall, the harvest season. The day was first celebrated in 1882 and became a national holiday...
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What's Happening

Ocala Museums And Galleries: 2021

Ocala museums and galleries educate, provide opportunities for quiet thought and inspire new ideas. To be sure, the most famous of these is the Appleton Museum of Art. This amazing facility features world class collections of paintings, sculptures and pre columbian artifacts. However, since we have already introduced this museum in a prior post, today we will focus on three...
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Real Estate

Ocala Home Appreciation & Affordability

Ocala home appreciation is a function of strong demand and the historically low inventory of homes for sale. Together they may impact affordability in the intermediate to long term. Today we live in times when interest rates are at levels that are unsustainably low as well. Additionally, GNMA estimates that builders must add 3,800,000 housing units nationally just to meet...
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Real Estate

Ocala Area Homes: Rebalancing Market?

The supply of Ocala area homes continues to be very tight. However, local sellers and buyers are caught in the teeth of a dilemma. We read stories about inflationary forces rearing their ugly heads. Therefore, some are beginning to talk of interest rates soon rising. As a result, we are beginning to see articles written about the wisdom of renting....
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What's Happening

Central Florida Homes Of Famous Authors

The central Florida homes of famous authors make wonderful side trips for those who appreciate both history and literature. Of course, the most renowned writer who forged his career in our state was Ernest Hemingway. His amazing Key West home is featured above. But for Ocala residents, there are three historic sights closer to home that honor famous literary giants....
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Real Estate

Ocala Home Spaces That Sell

Well designed Ocala home spaces create great first impressions and first impressions sell! However, such spaces make homes more livable as well. Therefore, you would be wise to create lounging areas for your own enjoyment. Don’t wait until you begin thinking of listing your home for sale. Last week we introduced a burgeoning trend, enhancing outdoor spaces by creating beautiful...
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Real Estate

Xeriscapes Greenhouses & Ocala’s Lifestyle

Xeriscapes, Greenhouses and Gardens In Ocala Xeriscapes, greenhouses and gardens are trendy, but always in style. Gardening has been a favorite pastime since man began to change his focus from hunting and gathering to farming. In many cultures, including those of the British Isles, no home would be complete without a beautiful garden. We have good friends from England who...
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What's Happening

Dining In Ocala: Amrit Palace

Amrit Palace is an institution on the Ocala dining scene. There are several outstanding restaurants offering authentic Indian cuisine in our town. However, the Palace clearly stands at the top of the list and in our hearts. Approaching the Palace, one is immediately drawn in by its grand facade. It is reminiscent of stately palaces we encountered in our travels...
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What's Happening

Ocala A Great Place To Call Home

Let's Celebrate The Greatest Country On Earth, Ocala! Ocala is a great place to call home. The 4th of July is a time to celebrate our past and ponder on what our future holds. Our country has been a shining light for the rest of the world for over two hundred years. We have been lead by great statesmen like...
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Real Estate

Ocala Single Family Homes

The Market for Ocala Single Family Homes Buying Ocala single family homes has become somewhat of an adventure. While we are in a blazing sellers market, we also see an unusual opportunity for homebuyers. Because interest rates continue to hover at historic lows, monthly payments are very affordable. Therefore, this is an extraordinary real estate market to navigate. However, waiting...
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Real Estate

Ocala Homes For Sale: Tickets To Romance

Ocala homes for sale offer opportunities to enjoy life to the fullest. But rarely is romance mentioned as a distinguishing factor of home ownership. However, is a home not a place to escape to? Do you not need sanctuary after a day of pursuing career objectives? Do you not need an escape from doing your best to earn a living?...
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Real Estate

Upscaling In Ocala: Prepare For The Journey

Upscaling in Ocala can be an exciting adventure. There are options to suit any lifestyle. However, to make the process a wonderful, stress free journey, you would be wise to plan and avoid common mistakes. You will find that the inventory of homes for sale in Ocala is at historic lows and demand is at historic highs. Therefore, you must...
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Real Estate

Ocala Lifestyle – Florida Festivals

While festivals are a way of life for small towns and villages throughout the world, they are an important feature of the Ocala lifestyle as well. My wife and I have always taken to heart the admonition of St. Augustine, "Life is a book, and he who does not travel reads but one page." Therefore, being voracious readers, we set...
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Real Estate

Ocala Home Improvements That Add Value

Over the past year and a half, circumstances have refocused interest on Ocala home improvements that add value. People were forced to spend more of their time at home. Therefore, they began prioritizing home improvement projects they had dreamed of for years, but failed to actively pursue. However, putting dreams into action without adequate thought and planning can have unintended...
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Real Estate

The Ocala Community – Helping The Needy

The Ocala community is our home. Since we arrived, my wife has enjoyed the services of a wonderful beautician. Not long ago the beautician left a national chain to work for a small local salon. But as has been the case with many small businesses in Ocala, the pandemic has brought great hardships upon this business. As a result, this...
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Real Estate The Economy

Ocala Home Sales Projections 2021

Ocala home sales are setting records year over year. Despite a market dominated by health concerns generated by a generational pandemic, demand has set a pace seldom seen before. Additionally, historically low inventories and interest rates have generated a whirlwind of repercussions. According to Realtor Magazine, the median sales price of an Ocala home has jumped by 14.2% year over...
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What's Happening

Ocala Mother’s Day 2021

In Ocala, Mother's Day celebrations abound. The celebrations begin with a brisk 5K run or walk with Mom. What better way to honor Mom than by getting energy levels up and sharing smiles on a beautiful Mother's Day morning. After a brisk shower and a little primping, continue the celebration with an amazing Mother's Day brunch. Many of Ocala's eateries...
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Real Estate

The Ocala Vacation Home Market

The Ocala vacation home market is a reflection of trends in the United States as a whole. Additionally, it may be a reflection of global trends as well. As of September of 2020, national demand for second homes had climbed 118% year over year. However, by early this year, it had tapered off to a modest rate of increase of...
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Real Estate

Ocala Luxury Homes – Predicting Trends

Ocala luxury homes feature architectural designs and craftsmanship to rival the finest our state has to offer. However, not long ago sellers of ultra luxury dream homes found their mansions languishing on the market. They discovered that supply far exceeded demand for such homes. Buyers were redefining their lifestyle choices. However, as the stock market rose to new heights, it...
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Real Estate

Selling Your Ocala Home

Preparing Your Ocala home for sale: Selling your Ocala home? Of course, you only have one opportunity to make a first impression. Since a little foresight and a small investment may significantly increase your chance of selling quickly and at a good price, putting both into action is well worth the effort. Therefore, here are a few simple steps you...
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What's Happening

Ocala Theater 2021 and the New Normal

At the forefront of our "Ocala Theater 2021" season are three outstanding venues. To be sure, the performing arts are essential to Ocala life. However, each venue has been significantly impacted by the pandemic that continues to play havoc with our lives. Ocala Theater 2021- The Ocala Civic Theater Unfortunately, only The Ocala Civic Theater currently features a schedule of...
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What's Happening

New Normal Fitness in Ocala

In the new normal, fitness is more important than ever. While vaccines offer hope and a light at the end of the tunnel, the new normal still rules our lives. As of this week, less than eighteen percent of Americans have been fully vaccinated. Additionally, less than a third have received at least one inoculation. Therefore, while restrictions are gradually...
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Dining Around Town.

Fine Dining Ocala Style

Fine Dining Ocala style is an ever expanding universe of epicurean delights. The gastronomic selections offered in our town are exciting indeed. Of course, they are a major reason Ocala is a great place to call home. Therefore, here we present three of our favorite restaurants. Of course, each brings something very special to our community and is a great...
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The Economy

A Great Place To Call Home

Ocala Faces A Contradiction: Our Future Is Bright, Yet The Pandemic has Taken Its Toll This community is a great place to call home. Of course, the future of Ocala is bright indeed. But while our economy is set to explode, some struggle to survive the pandemic. Many small businesses need our help. Undoubtedly, the equine industry is the focal...
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What's Happening

Fine Arts Update – Galleries & the Symphony

As we near the spring in Ocala, we present a fine arts update. The fine arts season is once again something to contemplate. Ocala has become home to some very talented artists and musicians over the years. Of course, our city is home to a wonderful symphony orchestra and some amazing museums as well. Among them are the Appleton Museum...
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Real Estate

Real Estate and Migration

The perfect storm is about to influence Ocala real estate values and migration. However, the pandemic has already had an unexpected impact on the latter. In 2020, the number of baby boomers who retired increased by sixty percent year over year. Interestingly, the top eight destinations which attracted these newly retired people are located in Florida. As a result, only...
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Real Estate

Ocala Design Trends Are Changing

Ocala design trends are evolving. For a little over a year, the world has been redefining what the ultimate lifestyle is. Plans have shifted from travel and adventure to maximizing aesthetics and functionality at home. When we talk about getting away today, many of us think of escaping to the safety of our own abodes. My wife and I have...
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Real Estate

Small Spaces Can Enhance Ocala Homes

Ocala features some of the most beautiful architectural masterpieces in the State of Florida. Many are professionally decorated and ready to be featured in home design magazines. However, even the largest home may have small spaces that can be redesigned to maximize utility and enhance livability. Therefore, whether you live in a spacious dream home, your dream starter home or...
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Real Estate The Economy

The Ocala Economy in 2021

The Ocala economy will continue to rebound in 2021 and its long term prospects are certainly rosy. However, nationwide growth may be slower than forecast several months ago. In addition, the impact of the pandemic on small businesses is just now coming into clearer focus. It may be worse than initially projected. But despite the slower recovery economists now anticipate...
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Real Estate

Ocala New Construction Homes

Ocala new construction homes offer many advantages over resales. However, the most significant given current market conditions is the availability of inventory. The Inventory of Homes For Sale In Ocala, as in most of our country, the inventory of resale houses is at a historic low. While the pandemic rages on, sellers are reluctant to let strangers traipse through their...
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The Economy

The Ocala CEP: National Chamber of the Year

The Ocala CEP has been named National Chamber of Commerce of the year for 2020. After several years of being a national finalist, the CEP has finally been recognized as the best of the best. Our friends at the chamber have certainly earned this great honor and we solute them with pride. A Brief History of the Ocala CEP The...
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What's Happening

Ocala’s Grandview International

We are excited that Ocala's Grandview International event is around the corner. The City of Ocala has earned the title "Horse Capital of the World". Clearly, this is because the equine industry has been focal to the growth of the local economy since the arrival of Carl Rose early in the 20th century. The industry's first milestone was reached in...
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Dining Around Town.

The Ocala Wine Scene

The Ocala wine scene features delightful wine tastings and dining experiences to please every palate. Surprisingly, local wineries produce exceptional wines from various grape varietals and local berries. At wineries that feature restaurants, outstanding local chefs then prepare innovative gourmet dishes and knowledgeable sommeliers select locally produced wines to bring out the symphony of flavors in each dish. The dining...
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What's Happening

The Ocala Lifestyle: Day Trips

The Ocala lifestyle features much more than equestrian pursuits. We are certainly proud of Ocala's reputation as the horse capital of the world. However, our city is a short journey away from historic communities, amazing state parks, natural springs and sandy beaches. We are also one hundred miles or less away from research zoos, world class amusement parks and fascinating...
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Real Estate

Affordable Home Ownership

How affordable home ownership is depends on several factors. However, the two that stand above the rest are the cost of housing and the cost of borrowing. Today we are living in a time when the inventory of homes for sale is extremely low, while record low interest rates are causing demand to surge. Therefore, buyers are driving prices up...
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Real Estate

What Ocala home buyers should know

For Ocala home buyers, dreaming of a first home is an exciting adventure. However, making a lifestyle change poses challenges. Therefore, you would be wise to plan, do your research and make well thought out choices. Here are the three considerations we believe should be at the top of your list. The Advantages of Buying Over Renting Owning your home...
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Real Estate

Avoid home selling mistakes. Do it right!

Selling your Ocala home can be a low stress, positive experience if you open your mind, ask questions and set realistic expectations. Therefore, you would be wise to do a little research in order to avoid common home selling mistakes and understand the market. Its a small price to pay for peace of mind. Keep your emotions in check: Chances...
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What's Happening

Celebrating in Difficult Times: Ocala Lifestyle

This year we will be celebrating in difficult times. But we will give thanks for the blessings God has bestowed upon us none the less. This is the season to share the holiday spirit with family, be mindful of those less fortunate and make someone else's life a little brighter. Whether we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or another holiday, this...
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Real Estate

Home Improvements That Sell

You have decided to make a lifestyle change and the first step is to sell your home. But how do you prepare it to attract quality offers? Of course, you can begin with home improvements that sell. The simplest option is to stage your home by decluttering, depersonalizing and making it sparkle. A bright, well organized, spotless home makes the...
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The Economy What's Happening

Ocala Scientific Research

Our rapidly growing metro area is broadening its horizons and has much to offer beyond equestrian pursuits. For example, in Ocala, scientific research plays a focal role as well. At the center is the C.E.P.'s incubator program. Our Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation, city and county governments have united to support this endeavor. Its purpose is to encourage forward thinking...
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Real Estate

Selling Your Home – Curb Appeal

You have decided to put your home on the market and want to optimize its value. But where do you begin? By enhancing its curb appeal of course. When selling your home, you must understand that the first impression it makes will often determine the number of showings you can expect. It will also be a critical factor in drawing...
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Real Estate What's Happening

The 2020 Presidential Election in Ocala

"If you are in your twenties and are not liberal, you have no heart. If are in your thirties and are not conservative, you have no brain." - Sir Winston Churchill As we approach the 2020 presidential election, these thoughts of the great statesman and Prime Minister come to mind. He lead Great Britain during the most trying of times....
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What's Happening

Living With COVID19: Ocala & Marion County

The New Normal Is Still With Us: Although we have been living with COVID19 for many months, we can't quite see the horizon yet. With winter around the corner, nationally more and more activities are moving indoors. Therefore, the threat posed by the virus is rising. However, scientists all over the world continue research studies which will hopefully make effective...
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Real Estate

Ocala Home Design Trends Revisited

The choices you make with respect to Ocala home design are very personal in nature. Undoubtedly, home decor is as personal as selecting your favorite cuisine or desired hairstyle. You may dream of a formal Victorian home featuring period antiques, an art deco nest featuring bold, striking colors or a high tech man cave featuring a home theater with a...
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What's Happening

Safe Halloween in Ocala

A safe Halloween from Ocala Home Guide Realty to all our friends and neighbors. Halloween has a history dating back over 2000 years. It began as a celebration by the Celts, an ancient people who lived in the British Isles and Northern France. They believed that the time line that separated one year from another blurred the border between the...
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Real Estate

Selling an Ocala Home Yourself

Planning the sale of your home: Selling an Ocala home yourself requires a major commitment in time and effort. Of course there is also a risk that potential cost savings will be more than offset by other factors. It is a viable option, but you must dedicate yourself to do what is required. Is that the right course of action...
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Real Estate

Your Next Home: Things to consider!

Homes come in all shapes and sizes. This holds true whether we are talking about lot size, square footage, fine detailed finishing touches or the budget required to live in a home. Therefore, as with all of life's decisions, your choice requires considering many factors and blending them into your definition of a dream home. Learn from Warren Buffet when...
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Civic Planning Real Estate What's Happening

Focus on Ocala, Marion County’s Jewel

Ocala rural home sales are booming: In the face of the pandemic, Ocala continues to evolve into an exciting metropolitan area. As people reconsider the wisdom of living in large urban areas, our countryside is proving a desirable alternative. Therefore, many are drawn to rural communities where social distancing is a normal part of daily life and always has been....
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What's Happening

Paynes Prairie Preserve: A Natural Wonder

As we continue to search for reasons Ocala is a great place to call our home, we discover a treasure, Paynes Prairie Preserve. This state park may be the most intriguing and ecologically unique habitat in the State of Florida. Who knew that buffalo are native to our state? A brief history of Paynes Prairie: Paynes Prairie is a large...
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What's Happening

Labor Day Amid a Pandemic

America's Labor Day is a celebration of the contribution of workers to our great nation. The event evolved into a recognized observance during the nineteenth century and was declared a national holiday in 1894. Who does not have fond childhood memories of family Labor Day gatherings? Barbeques, days at the beach, gatherings with friends and neighbors and lawn football are...
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Real Estate What's Happening

Calling Ocala Home: The Art Scene

The Ocala art scene is growing and becoming a major factor in the evolution and growth our city, a great reason for calling Ocala home. But the story began many decades ago. In 1939, the Coca Cola Company built a bottling plant(photo above) in what was to become downtown Ocala. It featured a magnificent architectural design that established the building...
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Real Estate What's Happening

The Ocala National Forest, a natural wonder

Here is another great reason to make Ocala your home. The Ocala National Forest serves as an area administered by the United States Forest Service. Since they so eloquently describe this national treasure, we have borrowed their words to introduce this magnificent forest to you. This nature reserve proudly wears the Congressional designation National Forest. It features an environment where...
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Real Estate

Ocala Housing Market Trends

Ocala housing market trends are governed by supply, demand and the cost of borrowing, the same factors that influence all real estate markets. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the supply of homes listed for sale in North Central Florida is closely linked to the national trend. Fewer and fewer sellers are putting their homes on the market. As...
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Dining Around Town.

Safe Fine Dining Options In Ocala

The real estate industry has adapted to helping buyers and sellers live their dreams safely. However, we all need a break from the new normal and safe fine dining offers an excellent escape. In this environment, we all need a way to relax and recharge our batteries. Assuredly, safe fine dining offers a great way to do so. At Ocala...
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Real Estate The Economy

Ocala Home Trends: Sales & Design

Ocala home trends offer surprises. We are living in uncertain times and intermediate housing market trends are unclear. For example, after an eight week period that saw year over year single family home sales drop by an average of 33.8% per month, June saw a huge and unexpected rebound with sales outperforming those of June, 2019 by 37.9%. These sales...
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Real Estate

Ocala Real Estate News & More

All The Real Estate News That's Fit To Print: Our Ocala real estate blog will present new ideas because life waits for no-one. Despite the pandemic, there are things to enjoy and be thankful for. Is this a good time to sell or buy an Ocala home? How is the economy impacted by the ravages of the pandemic? Certainly, the...
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Real Estate

Who Wants To Sell A Home For More?

Follow The Leader and Win: Who wants to sell a home for more? I suspect everyone does and here's a lesson to be learned. During the subprime crisis which began in late 2007, the market was flooded with distressed properties. As a result, lenders soon found themselves holding huge inventories of foreclosed homes. With the ensuing collapse of the stock...
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Real Estate

Selling Investment Property – The DST

Synopsis - The Consequences of Selling Investment Property: Many considering selling investment property find four issues standing in the way of implementing their exit strategy: A need to replace the income provided by the property.The tax consequences of a traditional sale.The fact that a standard 1031 exchange does not allow for the implementation of a true exit strategy.A desire to...
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Real Estate

Buying An Ocala Home – Pre-approval

Can a mortgage pre approval hurt you in negotiations? Buying an Ocala home involves delicate negotiations. Are you concerned that your pre approval will inform the seller that you can afford more than you are offering? If you are, you may be worried that by providing the pre approval, you will be inviting a counter offer at the purchase dollar...
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Real Estate The Economy What's Happening

The World Bank Report Offers Hope

The June World Bank Report and its Implications: The World Bank issued its report on the expected economic impact of the pandemic earlier in June. Unfortunately, the predictions are ominous. Bank economists project the worst economic contraction in decades. They forecast that world GDP faces a 5.2% contraction year over year in 2020. All countries on our planet are economically...
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Real Estate

Questions Sellers Ask: 5 Key Issues

(1) The marketing plan: Is it fair to ask a Realtor for a detailed marketing plan? The fact is that if you are interviewing an experienced professional, you shouldn't have to ask. Certainly, if you are going give your Realtor the keys to selling your Ocala home, you are entitled to know what techniques he or she will employ to...
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Real Estate

Questions Sellers Ask: Second Homes

Why consider selling your second home? We are living in stressful times. Therefore, a getaway from the daily routine is essential to good health and to refocusing to remain productive. However, when most people think of a second home, they fixate on desired vacation destinations. For example, if you live and work in Ocala, your dream may be to own...
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Real Estate

Questions Sellers Ask: Home Valuation

Getting ready to list: The most common question a homeowner asks when first contemplating listing a home for sale may well be, "how much is my home worth?". But what considerations enter into the preparation of a home valuation? Look at value from a buyer's perspective. You have decided to buy a home. Therefore, you begin by selecting the neighborhood...
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Real Estate The Economy

Economic Recovery & Robert Shiller

The Nobel Laureate: Robert Shiller, the Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale, has an interesting take on economic recovery. Dr. Shiller won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2013 for research into the impact of perceptions on asset prices. Additionally, he is famous for publishing his index of home prices. He publishes the Shiller index monthly and shows housing trends...
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Real Estate The Economy

Listing Your Ocala Home For Sale

Forces at work in the Ocala real estate market: Should you list your Ocala home for sale today? We are living in an environment of fear and uncertainly. However, calmly examining our economy and your financial situation will enable you to answer this question in a way that is best for you and your family. Clearly, the key force at...
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Real Estate The Economy

Forbearance: The CARES Act & You

The CARES Act Offers Homeowners the Option of Forbearance Best intentions frequently have unintended consequences. The CARES Act is the third of four pieces of legislation passed thus far, to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19. It has a forbearance provision designed to help homeowners to stay in their homes. Under this provision, borrowers with federally insured mortgages automatically qualify...
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What's Happening

Happy Mother’s Day!

"The Circle of Love", a poem for my wife and soulmate. Sitting by the pool, I dreamed of fullfilment and love. I was free to live my life and make my musings real. Though I was lost in thought, I could see her running across the pool deck pulling you by your hand. Your smile was enchanting, but I was...
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Real Estate The Economy

The Ocala Economy and Paul Krugman

Today we are living with life threatening health issues and uncertainty as to direction of the world economy. Of course, the Ocala economy is not exempt from the forces at work. The doomsday prophets among economists are predicting an economic contraction unseen since the Great Depression. However, Nobel laureate Paul Krugman is more optimistic. In a book published earlier this...
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Real Estate

The Ocala Real Estate Market

Is this a good time to sell or buy? We are living with an economic phase not seen in our lifetimes. Clearly, the Ocala real estate market is feeling the impact. Millions of people are out of work, while the world is grappling with a disease unlike any we have seen before. The COVID-19 infection attacks the body in ways...
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Real Estate

Short Sales and Foreclosures: COVID-19

The Ocala Real Estate Market “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” - Winston Churchill Will economic problems triggered by COVID-19 cause a resurgence of short sales and foreclosures? We expect that they will. However, sometimes difficult situations bring with them opportunities to create win win scenarios. My father told the...
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Real Estate The Economy What's Happening

Economic Hope on the Brink of Disaster

The Dangers We Face: Economic hope is the thought for the day. Since the world fell under the grip of COVID-19, central banks began to drop interest rates to stimulate the world economy. In the United states our Federal Reserve took action quickly. Real estate buyers, not yet gripped by the fear we see today, reacted by rushing to buy...
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Real Estate The Economy What's Happening

The World Economy in Pandemic Mode

Focus on the future: We find ourselves in the grips of a deadly pandemic which threatens our lives and the world economy. Over thirteen hundred Americans passed on April 4th alone and things are likely to get worse before they get better. But amid the devastation, scientists are planting the seeds for a brighter future. The most brilliant minds are...
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What's Happening

Its Time To Focus On Family

Its time to focus on family. We have all been glued to our TVs and every word we hear stimulates thought and most of all, fear. We have more questions than answers. The United States leads the world in COVID-19 cases? How can that be? Why weren't we better prepared? Will our economy survive this catastrophe? Will our family survive...
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What's Happening

The Pandemic – This Too Shall Pass

The pandemic scares us all. But please don't lose sight of your hopes and dreams. Our planet is a wondrous place and if we pull together, the future is bright. The Surgeon General issued a warning that this week is about to unleash upon us the worst blow the pandemic has delivered to date. How should we react? Those who...
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What's Happening

COVID-19: Interventions Are Underway

The Coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to spread across the globe with new cases being reported almost hourly. But the good news is that interventions are under way on a large scale in the United States and all other effected countries. Further, there is clear evidence that aggressive interventions actually work. China implemented Draconian measures to interfere with the cycle of the...
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What's Happening

The Novel Coronavirus

Since a strain of Coronavirus, (COVID-19) caused a breakout of infections in Wuhan, China the world has taken notice. The virus now has a foothold in many nations across the globe. Clearly, people are in great fear of this disease as demonstrated by the recent behavior of our stock market. Therefore, it is time to separate fact from fiction so...
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What's Happening

Ocala’s 4th Annual Horse Capital Parade

Ocala Home Guide Realty is excited that the Budweiser Clydesdales will participate in our parade this coming Saturday. Brought to you by the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership, the 4th annual Horse Capital Parade is a show you won't want to miss. Ocala Live Stud is hosting this year's parade in conjunction with The Live Oak International. This annual...
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Real Estate

Rehab to Sell: Think Outside the Box

Rehab to sell is an enticing idea. A recent story published in Realtor Magazine tells of a couple in Cambridge, Massachusetts who wanted to sell their condo. The property, a rental, was in need of renovation. Its owners feared losing value by putting it on the market as is. But they were also reluctant to dip into their own pockets...
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Real Estate

Staging A Home, An Easy Decision

A Realtor's Anecdote Several years ago, I was invited to give a listing presentation at a palatial home in very upscale neighborhood in South Florida. The finished part of the home boasted over five thousand square feel of living space. Yes, there was a large unfinished section comprising of an additional two thousand five hundred square feet as well. I...
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The Economy

Biosysco’s Equine Division Is Coming

We at Ocala Blog are excited to share that Biosysco's equine division is coming to our city. Biosysco has developed a technology that stimulates muscles, thereby speeding the process of recovery from strenuous activity. The process also enhances muscular growth and development. This technology was designed to help human athletes, from weekend warriors to professionals. However, the company is now...
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Real Estate

For Sale By Owner? Pros and Cons

Why do some sellers choose for sale by owner? (1) No listing commission! This is the most obvious reason sellers give for choosing the for sale by owner route. Pro: Clearly sellers envision thousands of dollars in extra cash in their pockets. Con: However, it doesn't usually work out that way. Statistics show that as many as 90% of FSBOs...
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What's Happening

Ocala’s Appleton Museum Of Art

Support for the arts has become an important contributor to the rapid growth of this community. Ocala's Appleton Museum of Art, with its outstanding permanent collections, stands as a special monument to that support. It was built on forty four forested acres off East Silver Springs Boulevard, with construction commencing in 1984. Two years later philanthropist Arthur Appleton gifted the...
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Real Estate

Home Renovation Shows

"Uber-unique" is the new trend! Though home renovation shows paint fun fantasies, they do not intend to encourage the redesign of functional spaces. They do not suggest remodeling just to respond to the latest fads. Change in the way we respond to the shows is overdue. Good news. Moving forward, emulating the neighbors will no longer be a badge of...
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Civic Planning Real Estate The Economy

Today we launch the Ocala Blog!

Welcome. Today we publish the first installment of our new Ocala Blog, your online source for information about all things Ocala. Since Ocala is a thriving, rapidly evolving community, there is always something interesting going on here. Although we will be emphasizing issues of interest to home sellers and buyers, we will also delve into other topics. We will report...
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