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PROS AND CONS LIVING IN OCALA, FLORIDA| Chris Mendoza

by | Mar 8, 2021 | Getting to Know Your Realtor

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Awesome to have Chris Mendoza to share the PROS AND CONS LIVING IN OCALA, FLORIDA.

If you’ve been thinking about moving to Florida in the near future, it is crucial to know what are the pros and cons of living in Florida. This video breaks it down for you!

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Chris Mendoza
Phone: 352-470-9383
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Full Transcription Below:

Alright, guys.

So today we have Chris Mendoza and we are going to be talking

about the pros and cons of Ocala.

Chris, thanks so much for chiming in and giving us this knowledge.

Go ahead and tell us where Ocala is and it go ahead and introduce

yourself.
– Yeah.

Thanks for having me, Brian.

So my name is Chris.

I am an Ocala resident.

I’ve been in Florida for about 21 years.

It’s everything that we picture that it would be and then

more. And once we got through the Ocala area, we discovered

that being away from some of the noise in the state can be

most rewarding and that’s what makes me happy to be

a resident here.

Yeah.

I’ve been in Ocala itself for 13 years.

Yeah.

I remember you saying like so many good things about the

area. What are some of the…

Yeah.

What are some of the PROS? Especially in, you know, 2021

things have changed so much over the past 12 months,

But some of the pros of living in the area?
– So PROS of living

in the area.

So let me tell you about this city.

It is one amazing City and and it’s you know, essentially

home is where you lay your head, but let me tell you why

everyone is starting to flock to the city to call it home

for themselves.

So number one, the cost of living here is dirt cheap compared

to the other places.

In Florida, you know, whenever you’re talking about, Miami,

Boca Raton, Sarasota, Orlando, Jacksonville, stuff like

that. The cost of living is significantly lower.

So for people who are thinking about retiring, you know,

they’re on a fixed income, you know, their expenses

tend to go up, you know, while their income stays the same

while the cost of living here it’s risen a little bit

but it hasn’t risen a whole lot.

So that’s a big selling point for people.

As far as location, so you’re located close to Disney,

you’re within an hour and a half to Disney, you’re within two hours

of Daytona Beach, you’re within two hours of Jacksonville, you’re

within like three-three and a half hours of the Georgia border

Hour and a half… Well hour to hour and a half of the

of the Gulf Coast.

And so anywhere any direction that you want to go.

There’s a good time, you know, and then Ocala itself we have

we have live music constantly.

We have the Ocala Civic Theater, you know, that’s if you’re

into like the production artists, you know, if you’re not

into the production arts, if you’re into museums or something

like that.

We have museums here.

We have, we have nightlife.

We have rivers, we have places where you can go kayaking,

you can go camping.

We have we have multiple Springs around the area, but it’s

a lot of stuff to do, you know, no matter who you are.

There’s something to do.

We even have about 20 minutes North of where I’m at.

Are.. there’s a bunch of limestone quarries that have been

there for years and what they did is once they got to a certain

point and they stopped mining over there this company they

built zip lines that would go from canyon the canyon.
– Oh wow.

For like 70 bucks.

You can fly through the air over some of these canyons

And it’s beautiful because that you know that Limestone Rock

once they break in and they hit water,

That water is beautiful.

It’s like a crystal blue.

It’s very very pretty and awesome… so stuff like that.

That’s amazing. Where about is that located?

So that would be located off of 326 the main Interstate that

runs through Ocala is I-75 and through one of the exits towards

North Ocala is Highway 326 and just East of just

East of there is where the quarries and all

that is located.

It’s nuts you never Ever expect something like that,

but I got videos on YouTube of myself like five-six years ago.

We used to go out there and we jump off the rocks and

you know, we built rope swings and stuff like that there

were going out into the water because the water is just crazy

deep in the cliffs are high, you know, so it’s it makes for

a good time, you know.
– Awesome so we’ll throw these links in the description.

That’s so cool.

I’d love to you.
– Yeah, and I don’t know if you said you were

are your two hours from Daytona.

It’s about an hour and a half.

From Orlando and an hour from the Gulf which is super cool.

Because Daytona is a huge huge spot to people traveling.

Yeah world’s most famous Beach, man, you know, so it’s I mean

the cost of living in Daytona is pretty high, you know,

and then the city itself, you’ll find that most places

where you want to go and have vacation if you talk to some

of the locals most of the locals are like yeah the crime rate

here is high and that’s almost anywhere you go, you

know, and so whatever you’re talking about, you know being

in Ocala.

If the crime rate is significantly lower than most

places that I’ve ever lived, you know, which makes it a great

place to raise a family.

It’s like the small Quiet Center in the middle of everything.

That’s a pro.

I mean, let’s talk about the hospitals.

Yeah.

So we have Ocala Regional Medical Center, which is a trauma

hospital. It’s actually in direct competition with Shands,

which is in Gainesville UF and that I mean the the UF hospital

is very famous because of what they Do they have great a

great trauma Care Unit there and and the hospital that we

have here is in direct competition with it, you know, so

they’ve been going at it, you know trying to claim

the fame if you will.

Yeah years and it’s been amazing because I’ve seen some I’ve

seen some incredible things happen at the hospital actually

used to work there then across the street from it.

They have Advent Health, which is it’s a birthing center

and a Cardiac Hospital, you know, as well as your General Med

you know and your basic ER stuff, you know.

West Marion is on the west side of Ocala just west of I-75 and

that’s an Orthopedic Hospital very prestigious.

Very nice. When I worked over at that one.

They used to call it the Hilton hospital because every each

patient would get their own private room.

Lots of space, the food there was you know,

you know hospital food.

So it was significantly better.

And yeah, I mean, that’s another, you know, any situation

you can find yourself in there’s a great solution

for it in Ocala and health care doesn’t fall short of that.

Nice.

Did we talk about the Equestrian Center?

Oh, yeah.

So right now the world’s largest Equestrian Center is being

built and that’s exciting.

So that’s being built north of I-75 or North Ocala

It’s north of like there’s a big

road that runs east to west that divides Ocala northern and

southern parts.

And so it’s in the northern part.

Yes, the world’s largest equestrian center.

And what makes that stand out is Ocala is horse capital

of the world as it is and so you’re talking about attracting

all sorts of people from hits you’re talking about you’re

talking about million dollar horses running through the area,

which is great because that’s going to stimulate the economy.

Here in the area, but it’s also you know, once you get here and

you get something like we just bought a house here two months

ago in this part of Ocala.

It’s making the property values rise, you know, which is

which is you know.
– Always a good thing.

Yeah, the biggest investment, you know, so I’ve always said

biggest investment is worth more because of something someone

else is doing, why not?

Yeah.

Yeah.

No, it’s good.

It’s good for the overall economy.

Like that’s unlike in California where businesses are leaving

but side note. What about the restaurant and yeah, whatever

you mentioned Mojo Grill..
– Yeah Mojo’s, man.

So there’s this guy named Rondo and he’s got a really cool

story. But he owns this chain of restaurants.

There’s three of them and it’s called the Mojo Grill

and it’s you can get like Louisiana style food and it’s not

crazy expensive but the atmosphere the atmosphere is really

what makes it just pop.

You know, it’s very Jazzy.

Like I was telling you whenever you walk-in they

have all these musical instruments that are there fastens

to the ceiling but there are fastens in the way that they would

be sitting on a stage.

So it looks like an upside-down musical concert is about

to occur, you know, and the staff there are so friendly the

food is amazing and it’s I could eat there every day of the

week and I have before and that just says the place I don’t

get tired of so we have places all over here like that little

mom-and-pop. Operations, you know and I’m huge on support

local businesses.

So whenever you see people take that much pride in what they

do and take that much pride in serving the community because

it’s not just food, you know, every big thing that we’ve

had go on, Rondo has found a way to give to the community

in some way, you know, whether it be we recently lost our

chief of police in October at the end of October and Rondo.

He did he did catering for that, you know, there was events

that were held in memory of Chief Graham and like he was like

giving away stuff, you know and the whole Community that’s

that’s like the best part here in Ocala is community, you

know, if you’re really wanting a place that you can call

home and have that small town feel without everyone being

cramped in because Ocala is spread out but you still

get that small town home feel.

This is the type of place to have that, you know during

November. We have an event called Light Up Ocala and about

about 20,000- 25,000 people attended each year and it’s basically

the town gets together on the Center Square Downtown

and they do the countdown for the lighting of the Christmas

tree and some people already know that John Travolta is a

residence here.

And yeah.

Yeah.

Well, love that. That’s a pro.

It’s great, man.

He’s come out and he’ll do the countdown for the lighting

of the tree, you know, if he’s available and it’s cool because

like people laugh at it, but I’ve said it’s as close as you

get to Whoville without it being Whoville because the

it’s such a family-oriented town and that’s like the

most beautiful thing here.
– That’s so cool. That’s pretty awesome.

I have to visit one day.

That sounds like yeah, that’s it.

Sounded super super cool.

Like okay, let’s get into the CONS. And give it to

us, Chris.

Give us the honest.

Your honest cons.

Yeah.

And it’s… we like we had talked before about like it’s all

you know, where you are.

Mentally, you know, like some people are like, you know,

like I make my living, you know, besides Selling Houses.

I make my living by doing like Orthopedic exercise programs

for seniors and Ocala is full of seniors.

And that’s it.

That’s great for my business and I love that

but some people don’t love living around seniors.

They don’t like driving behind them.

They don’t like walking behind them in Walmart, you know

Ocala has a lot of seniors so you can take it as a con if

you want to. That’s something that I would say.

I have heard people complain about you know, and it’s cons

Perspective.

Yeah, it’s all perspective.

So if you’re looking to go to a stadium game,

you’re not going to be hitting, you know a stadium here where

you’re going to see a professional sports team play

If you want to go to Gainesville, if you want to

drive 40 minutes north to Gainesville.

That’s where the Florida Gators play at the swamp, you know,

so I mean, there’s no Sports directly in Ocala, but they

are close by but some would say that that is a con.

Let’s see, it’s some people feel like they need to live,

you know in a place with more crazy excitement.

And I mean like The Nightlife here is awesome.

It’s not Wild by any means but you know, we have rooftop bars

We have Live Music Weekly, there’s the Art Walk.

They do the Art Walk where all the local artists come together

and they’ll be doing live demonstrations and they’ll lay

out their work for people to look at purchase if they choose

to and good music and they cater food, you know, it’s all

about Community.

But some people want a crazy loud town.

They want traffic, they want you know, and so if you’re looking

for that crazy City life, you’re not going to get it here,

you know, it is a city, but it’s laid back.

And that’s what we enjoy most about it.

So that would be a con.

If you’re more of like a City Folk. if you’re… and I used to

be a vegan and I used to complain about this.

So I would call this another, you know, another con.

There’s not a lot of vegan options, you know something that

you’re looking for.

They have them mostly in Gainesville, but it’s all like I

said perspective, you know, then we have a.. let’s see.

We have some of the best colleges here

But most of them are private. That I would say that’s

another con because private college does cost a lot more

right, you know, and so yeah.

Absolutely, and then you are… so you said you’re near kind

of water but you’re not necessarily like are you know the

typical Florida living since your central?

Yeah exactly.

Yeah, if you think the beach is just up the road.

It’s not you know, you are very much in Central Florida and

north central Florida.

So if you’re a beachgoer and you’re wanting to live right

on the water, I mean we don’t have the ocean right in our

backyard, you know, and that’s another con.

Yeah how far is the nearest Beach? So you have to drive about an

hour?
– About an hour to the nearest beach.

I mean we have lakes here.

We got massive Lakes.

We got Lake Weir, which is the most popular one in Marion County

And it’s I’d say it’s like 40 minutes from me and

it’s on one end of it.

They have the Evita’s Beach and on the opposite end of it.

They have Johnson’s Beach which is where the famous Ma Barker house

was located at, was in that neighborhood right there.

I don’t know if anyone

Remembers Ma Barker and the sons of disaster and all that

other stuff, but it was yeah that was you know a little piece

of history there.

But if you’re looking for saltwater and you’re looking for

you know something right on the water, you’re most likely

not going to get it.

I mean, we don’t have beaches, dude.
– Right.

So you said 45 minutes or an hour drive? How far?

About it’s anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half

to the actual ocean, but if you want to go

to the lakes, it’s 40 minutes from where I’m at, you know,

and there’s places in Ocala that are closer.

I’m just not in those areas.

You know, I used to live over by the Lakes but I don’t anymore

Got it.

Got it.

So it’s more of a day trip kind of to the beach.

Yeah.

Yeah.

Yeah, it’s not… and I mean if you’re going to make that kind

of that kind of investment in your time.

Anyways, you might as well, you know, get yourself a nice

little hotel room and stay there for a day or two just to

make up for the you know, because a two-hour drive to Daytona

and back is four hours on the road you might as well stay

there at night to make it worth it.

No totally. And that’s you know similar to Los Angeles

area. Where you drive down to San Diego to our Drive.

How’s the traffic if going to the beach and coming back?

It’s not bad. We have the… so we get on Highway 40 that east to west

road that I talked about and we take it east and it’s a straight

line to the beach, you know, you drive just on that road

and basically you go until you hit water

I would say it’s great because it’s very much a Scenic

Road we go through the Ocala National Forest to get there.

And so there’s miles upon miles of trees that you pass

through and buddy.

I mean, it’s high speeds, you know, you’re going 65 70 miles

an hour on that road depending on who’s driving.

Yeah, exactly depend on how you drive and it’s relaxing.

It’s Scenic, you know, you hit a couple of dead zones there.

So it’s just you and nature for a little bit and and I feel

like that’s it’s something we all need more of.
– Cool.

That’s so cool, which I think isn’t bad.

If you know, if you’re being intentional about going to the beach,

you know, I live maybe 45 minutes to the beach, but I go

maybe five times a year.

So I think if it was just a little bit further, I wouldn’t

it probably wouldn’t change for me.

How often I go. But that for sure if someone’s like

a surfer or something that might be a con but yeah definitely

Perspective.
– Exactly.

Oh and in the pros I forgot to add we were also

near the Kennedy Space Center like it’s not right.

Yeah, it’s not like a ridiculous drive to get there.

It’s maybe a couple hours if that to get there and I mean

we’ve driven clear up there to watch the shuttles launch

and you know, you’re across the water on the other side and

you can hear them.

Yeah goes up and it shakes everything.

It’s really cool, man.

So, you know, it’s definitely a hot spot, you know, if you’re

looking to save some money and be close to everything.

And have a great place to raise a family.

Yeah, Ocala. Awesome. Cool cool.

Cool.

Thanks for the pros and cons really appreciate hearing that

if you guys need to contact Chris his informations of top

in the description. Go hit him up, super cool guy, super personable

and you’ll be able to chat with him for anything you

need. And if you’re looking to move to Ocala and you have

any more questions, go ahead and contact him. And well, that’s

it for now.

Cool.

Thanks to your next boss.

Oh, yeah.