The Treasures of Ocala, Florida

Nationally recognized and esteemed real estate broker Joan Pletcher has lived in Ocala, Florida since 1985 and she does not shy away from admitting she lives in one of the hautest areas under the sun. Making high-end real estate dreams come true on a regular basis,  Pletcher has more than $20 million in estates and equine-related property listings, which include thoroughbred training centers, equestrian properties, and unique land sales.

Pletcher spoke with Haute Living to discuss the undeniable Ocala, Florida appeal and what it means to her high-end clients to be able to call this Floridian wonderland home.

Haute Living What type of individual/family does Ocala appeal to?
Joan Pletcher Ocala truly appeals to all types of people, from young couples looking for a place to raise a family all the way to people who want to retire and enjoy a nice community. From golf-lovers to horse or fishing enthusiasts, Ocala really provides a wonderful mixture of possibilities.

HL Describe Ocala in three words:
JP Unique, friendly, and serene. Living in Ocala tends to automatically be associated with an element of elegance.

HL How would you compare the local cost of living with other regions in Florida?
JP For the type of real estate Ocala offers, the cost of living is extremely affordable.

HL How would you describe the local lifestyle?
JP From my extensive knowledge of the area, as well as my own personal experience of living in Ocala, I would describe the local lifestyle as relaxed and casual, yet residents do tend bring a particular element of style and sophistication to the area.

HL How many homes do you currently represent in this part of central Florida?
JP I personally represent 55 homes at this time. These range from luxury estates to horse properties, which include farms, training centers, and properties suitable for polo.

HL How would you describe the local architectural style?
JP Ocala is filled with gracious estates of all styles. There truly is a nice mixture that makes Ocala interesting and sets it apart from what you typically see with Floridian homes. In Ocala we have everything from beautiful horse farms to rolling green pastoral estates to gated communities and even country club living.

HL What are the leisure activities that one will find in Ocala?
JP Thanks to the Florida Greenways and Trails you have thousands of acres of land available for hiking, riding your bike, running, carriage driving, or even riding your horse across Marion County into other counties. Due to the equestrian atmosphere in Ocala, there are also many horse shows at the Florida Horse Park and HITS (Horseshows in the Sun), and of course residents are also privy to copious amounts of golf, fishing, tennis, and arts facilities.

HL What is it about Ocala that appeals to those seeking a luxury lifestyle?
JP Apart from being a fantastic place to raise a family, Ocala also has the appeal of large acreage and estates that you can purchase with pastoral settings, rolling hills, stately live oaks with moss draping off their boughs, and horses grazing and playing. It’s not only perfectly fit for a luxury lifestyle, it’s also a truly warm and welcoming community.

HL Why should someone choose to live in Ocala over other regions in Florida? And in the country?
JP Ocala is not your typical destination, by any means, but rather a hidden jewel in the middle of the state. For true haute country living with an urban lifestyle close by, Ocala has great year-round weather with a milder change of seasons than seen elsewhere. In addition, there is very little smog allowing for uninhibited and pleasant outdoor activities for everyone. While traveling is certainly something everyone can appreciate, living in Ocala makes you understand the value of coming home.

HL Where is the first place you would take an out-of-town visitor and why?
JP To experience the true feel of Ocala, one should visit some of our scenic roads before going to a nice lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants in the downtown area, such as our new French restaurant, La Cuisine.

HL Why should someone buy a property in Ocala?
JF Someone should buy property in Ocala because Ocala has it all! No matter what you’re looking for, you will be able to find it nestled in this serene, high-end location. When you visit Ocala, its beauty and southern hospitality make you want to stay or
return soon.

Joan Pletcher, Realtor
11 S.E. Highway 484
Ocala, FL 34480