Real Estate Market Quite Active in Ocala Area

Real estate in Marion County, Fla., continues to remain an active commodity. A number of recently listed Thoroughbred farms have drawn the interest of prospective buyers.

Several training facilities on the market, including Ocala West Training Facility, are being sold for a number of reasons.

"We have several businesses, including a construction business in Jacksonville, and we're interested in expanding our Thoroughbred operation," owner Bill Palmer said. "We've been at this location for the past four years."

The 64-acre farm, which has 86 stalls and a 5/8-mile training track, has been listed at $1.3 million. Consignor/trainers Jesse and Stacy Longoria and Kenneth Lejeune keep horses at the Ocala-based training center, and stakes winner Kerry's Gold was stabled at Ocala West and trained over the facility's racing surface.

Several realtors have noticed an increase in the number of potential buyers in recent months.

"We're seeing a lot of activity," Joan Pletcher said. "A lot of people are looking to get away from the hectic pace of larger areas. Ocala seems to appeal to a lot people because it offers a unique and ideal environment."

And as market values continue to increase in the county, so has the range of buyers.

"Every buyer seems to be looking for a different product," Glen Miller Realty's Becky Faircloth said. "Buyers are looking to purchase real estate for investment purposes, while some are interested in training centers, and others in second or seasonal homes. There's no absolute in our market."

Several prominent farms have recently been divided and are being sold in parcels, including Hooper Farm and Hunter Farm.