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Bill sez:
We'd definitely like to read whatever you have to say about the Ocala area & your experience with Del Webb, either on- or offline. We want to make our decision knowing as many facts & opinions, good and bad, as possible.

We're not golfers, so that's not a major concern of ours. But being around a bunch of unhappy golfers would be. We are planning to stay at, or at least visit, Lake Diamond & Ocala Palms next time down, as well as possibly Rainbow Springs, Oak Run, Citrus Hills & Carillon Lakes.

Those are all fine choices, though my main focus is on the golf course so my criteria won't be a match for yours. I think it would be wise to consider golfing issues as I believe that the value of the properties are closely tied to the success of the course. If the course winds up going under due to mis-management it will have an adverse effect on your property.

Is Ocala truly one of the top 10, or whatever the ranking is, best places to retire in the U.S.? We saw so little of it, only mainly driving thru on Hwy 27/441 & 200, so couldn't form much of an opinion. I almost think I might like the Clermont area better (rolling terrain, closer to Orlando), but I understand congestion is becoming a serious problem there, & the 2 communities we visited, Kings Ridge & Summit Green, will be sold out within a year (too soon for us to buy or move).

I remember Mt Dora being highly rated some years ago but am not sure how high Ocala was rated. We liked the area, big enough to have everything we needed -- shopping wise --, but small enough to basically get almost anywhere in 30 minutes or less. We used the Gainsville airport mostly as most every where we flew was through Atlanta anyway.
I am not into the Arts or Education but there were plenty of Medical facilities, fine eats and of course lots of quality golf courses. Traffic is kind of in the eye of the beholder, a New Yorker or LA'er would probably laugh at what I call traffic but as a retiree I could time my visits into town so that I missed the busy times.
The weather itself is/was not that much different than what I was used to in GA, a little warmer in the Winter but the summers were about the same to me.

Are you still in the central FL area? In a retirement community? Did you have problems with Del Webb that caused you to leave Spruce Creek Preserve? I do know that they're now owned by Pulte, & Pulte Orlando did not get rated very highly by J.D. Power recently ( Right now, in fact I've been waiting about 2 weeks for some info regarding pricing & some other questions I've asked of our salesperson there.

No , we have relocated back to 'home' in the central GA area. DW got tired of me chasing a 'dream' and moving every 2 years so she decided that we would come back here.
I didn't really have that many problems with the homes we bought at SCP. They were pretty good about resolving issues, though some of my neighbors might not agree with that. They throw the homes up so fast there are bound to be some issues but in my case I bought a home that was already built so it had already been 'inspected' many times before we took possession. I heard friends complain about getting the wrong tile, cabinets, lights, etc but we didn't have those issues.

The community center offers many activities, clubs, library so there is lots to do outside of golf. Trips, cookouts, shows, etc were plentiful. There is definately a spirit of friendship in the comunnity unlike that in a regular 'working class' community, at least to my experience.

Once Del Webb 'builds out' a community, they turn it over to the Home Owners Association (HOA). Turnover on the board is often high and there are always folks that can't be pleased so the meetings frequently resemble one of those TV shows where everybody is trying to make a point and talk at once. Very funny, though it is a serious business where they control millions of dollars. It is not a democratic process.

Del Webb is not someone I myself would ever do business with again because of the way they misled us about the management and ownership of the golf course.

Still conflicted -

I certainly do not want to be all negative as there were a lot of things we liked there. Had the golf issues not been there, we would still be there. Had someone made me aware of the situation beforehand, I might have made a different decision.

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