Ocala, Florida, is one of the most popular towns in Marion County in central Florida.
Known for its cultural attractions, like the Appleton Museum, contemporary art, outdoor sports and numerous parks and green spaces, this central city is one of the best spots to enjoy the sunny weather of the aptly-named Sunshine State.
But is Ocala a good place to move to? In short, yes.
If you want to enjoy all that Florida has to offer, like stunning nature, friendly people and beautiful homes, this move could be everything you have ever wanted.
However, you should always prepare before you pack up your belongings and move across the country to a great city in the middle of a new state.
Let’s consider the benefits of life in Ocala, Florida, so you can buy a house in this dream location!
Where Is Ocala, Florida?
First off — where is Ocala, Florida, and why is it so popular?
Ocala is located in the central part of Florida, known as the Horse Country, which features acres of beautiful trees, sand pine forests and crystal clear waters.
If you enjoy hiking, riding horses, bird-watching, kayaking, and being outside, Marion County is arguably the place for you. You can head to Ocala National Forest, explore other activities to do in the middle of the state, or just enjoy the high quality of life.
Besides having a smaller population that makes it easier to meet other residents, this town is low-cost, offers great schools and has safe neighborhoods for families.
Ocala, FL, is one of the best Florida cities in terms of median home price, high schools, restaurants, local economy, low cost of living and activities to do after school.
Pros and Cons of Living in Ocala, Florida
Is Ocala, Florida, a good place to live?
Here are the pros and cons of the “horse capital of the world” that show why the quality of life is great in Ocala, FL.
- Access to nature — There is no shortage of outdoor-themed things to do when you live in Ocala, FL. You can head out your doorstep and head to the local lake, beach, running trail, dog park or bird-watching area in just minutes. If you want to get out of the bustling city life, Ocala has the perfect blend of urban proximity and relaxed outdoor-centric things to do in your free time.
- We recommend checking out Ocala National Forest during a day off work. There are tons of outdoor activities to do in this great place. Relax on the beach after picking up the kids from Forest High school. You can even meet other families during your visit!
- Low housing prices — Are you interested in home renovation? Maybe you want to flip a home and reap the profits. Whatever the reason, the real estate market in Ocala is great for those relocating to other areas. Housing prices are nearly 30% lower than the national average. Since living in the city is so affordable, buying a house can be a great investment move for your future.
- Low weather risks — Although people know the southern part of the United States, and Florida in general, for its likelihood of hurricanes, Ocala is at a low risk due to being in a land-locked portion of the state. Unlike Tampa or Gainesville along the Gulf Coast, Ocala zip codes are more centralized and safer.
- Great for young families — Ocala is very safe. If you are a young family, you will love the warm weather, secure metro area, numerous schools, and lower cost of living. Residents can ensure their children will attend a great school, meet other kids, and love Ocala.
- Entertainment — You will never be bored in Ocala. There are tons of ways to spend an afternoon. Try heading to one of the many beaches, eating at one of the local restaurants or shooting your shot at the nearby golf courses. Plus, day trips are ideal from Ocala. You can get to Gainesville, Orlando, Tampa, or Universal Studios in no time.
- High crime — One of the only things to watch in Ocala is the crime rate. Although the neighborhoods are quite safe, make sure you talk to locals to find the safest neighborhoods when relocating here. Only buy a house or flip a home in a reputable and family-friendly neighborhood.
- Limited employment — Ocala does not have an active range of job opportunities for young people moving to the area. However, if you are older or retired, and looking to purchase a home or renovate a house, employment opportunities won’t be a deal-breaker.
- Tight-knit community — The population size is a positive and (potentially) negative aspect of living in Ocala. Since the community is small and tight-knit, you will feel like everyone immediately welcomes you. However, sometimes that “small town” feel is too small for your liking.
Moving to Ocala, Florida?
If you have your sights set on moving to Ocala, Florida, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding the land, houses and the real estate market before packing all of your belongings.
Real Estate Market
- The current median listing home price for homes in Ocala, FL, comes to $283,400
- The median sold home price is $270,000 in Ocala.
- Look at homes in areas with reputable schools.
- Consider using a realtor to help you find a building site or affordable home.
- Homes sold for approximately the asking price at the beginning of 2022.
- Ocala, FL, is a seller’s market, meaning it is best for those who are looking to buy homes quickly.
- The median home on the market time is 53 days.
- The home value in Ocala, FL, is higher than the national average.
Home Renovation Ideas
- Eco-friendly —You can increase the eco-conscious credentials of your home by making your house better for the planet, using recyclable material and solar PV.
- Increase the light — Use big windows and see-through walkaways to bring more light into your home.
- High ceilings — The best way to make your home feel larger is to increase the height of your ceilings and keep the area spacious.
Home Repair Tips
- Inspect the area — The best way to ensure your house will last long is to survey the ground before building or purchasing a property.
Like other Florida cities, Ocala has enough nature access and activities to make a move worthwhile. This town is also a great spot for families looking to get a good deal on an FL home. Whether you are a horse lover or enjoy spending time on the beach, consider heading to Ocala
Want to learn more before making the big move to Ocala, FL?
Check out everything you need to know by browsing Sinkhole Maps before purchasing a house!