Ocala is one of Central Florida's best-kept secrets. The region has its own lifestyle, which revolves around nature, horses, golfing, fishing, and arts & culture. In addition to all of those things, it’s home to some of the most affordable retirement communities in Florida.
When you’re looking for a 55+ community that fits your budget and offers endless amenities, consider one of these exciting neighborhoods.
At Cherrywood, there are 700 homes with spacious floor plans in dozens of models. At a price point that’s normally reserved for condos, buyers can find single-family homes in this 55+ community with between 800 and 2,281 square feet and two, three, or even four bedrooms.
Two or three bathrooms, one or two-car garages, and dens are included, and many of the resale properties have upgrades like stainless steel appliances, granite counters, bay windows, screen-in lanais, and huge walk-in closets in the master suites. Lot sizes are larger than average, with most homes sitting on a site that’s a quarter-acre. Buyers can find a lot of value for a low price.
Cherrywood is a fitness-minded population. The fitness center is usually occupied with yoga, Pilates, and aerobics classes. The clubhouse also has a billiards room and a card room as well as a library and a sewing studio. Outside, there’s a pool and a picnic area, as well as tennis, basketball, shuffleboard, and space for horseshoes.
Residents at Cherrywood aren’t far from restaurants and shopping, and they’re also close to fishing, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, camping, and other wilderness recreation at Ocala National Forest.
Pine Run Estates
For open floor plans, low-maintenance living, and affordable Florida real estate, Pine Run Estates is an excellent option.
Active adults on a budget will appreciate the two-bedroom, two-bathroom single-family homes available in several models at this 55+ community. Homes start at around 800 square feet and can be as large as 1,500 square feet. Some properties come with a two-car garage and others have an attached carport. Residents enjoy relaxing on their lanais with views of walking and biking trails and native foliage.
There are two clubhouses in Pine Run Estates, which means two pools and patios, two game rooms, and plenty of space in multi-purpose rooms for club activities and social events. There’s shuffleboard, tennis, and table tennis, and residents get together for a potluck dinner every month.
The community is close to Ross Prairie State Forest, a favorite for equestrian activities and hiking, and is near the Marjorie Harris Greenway, a 110-mile trail that crosses the state from the Gulf of Mexico to the St. Johns River.
Convenient, affordable living is available at Marion Landing, a 55+ community located close to Interstate 75 and minutes away from shopping, grocery stores, restaurants, and golf courses.
Buyers have choices; newer resale homes are block and stucco single-family properties with two or three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Single-family homes are between 864 and 2,400 square feet. Residents also benefit from an active homeowners’ association. Included in the low monthly fee is water, sewer, and trash bills as well as landscaping and exterior maintenance.
An 8-lane bowling alley is just one of the unique amenities available to Marion Landing residents. There’s also a fishing pond and plenty of parking for residents who have R.V.s. There’s a Lifestyle Center with a fitness room, a ballroom, and a craft room. An outdoor pool includes patio space, and there are also shuffleboard, bocce, and tennis courts.
Some of the best medical care in Ocala is close to Marion Landing. Residents don’t have to go far to get treatment from Ocala Regional Medical Center, West Marion Community Hospital, and AdventHealth Ocala.
On Top of The World
One of the most popular 55+ communities in Ocala is On Top of the World, or OTOW as the billboards along Interstate 75 call it.
This is a large, encompassing active adult community with 10,000 single-family homes as well as villas and cottages. New and resale homes are available in a budget that meets or falls below the $150,000 requirement of many buyers. The options are abundant; single-family homes are two or three bedrooms with two bathrooms and two-car garages. Villas are available in between 1,092 and 1,856 square feet with dozens of different floor plans available.
With size comes variety, and the amenities in OTOW are nearly overwhelming. The Recreation Center includes a group exercise room, saunas, meeting rooms, a restaurant, and a library. There’s a golf shop, a pool and spa, and gardening areas. Residents play on 12 pickleball courts, eight shuffleboard courts, and two racquetball courts.
The Hobby Building includes a card room and a woodworking shop. There’s a conference center, several neighborhood community centers, and Circle Square Commons, which includes a spa, coffee shop, ice cream parlor, and continuing education center.
OTOW is a community all to itself. There is live entertainment every weekend, and residents can take their golf carts to do their grocery shopping and errand running. Bus service is available from the community to other local retailers, banks, and spots downtown.
Affordable Ocala living is easy to find in Palm Cay, a 55+ community of 795 single-family homes.
Models have between one and three bedrooms and offer single-story living with open floor plans and lots of private outdoor space. These properties are traditionally designed, with large bedrooms, attached garages, and updated kitchens.
It’s a close-knit community, with classes and clubs such as clogging, scrabble, and bowling. There’s a singles club and a walk aerobics group.
The Oasis Clubhouse keeps residents socially and physically active, with a fitness center, an indoor pool, and a catering kitchen for parties and events. There’s also an outdoor pool and a patio, as well as shuffleboard courts, tennis courts, and horseshoe pits. Buyers who travel with their R.V.s or have guests from out of town will have plenty of parking, and the entire community includes scenic walking paths and trails for biking and jogging.
Centrally located and close to grocery stores and shops, residents rarely have to go far to get what they need or enjoy some of the best outdoor fun in Central Florida. Close to Palm Cay is a lot of hiking, fishing, and golfing. It’s just an hour from Tampa.