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Ask a Resident - On Top of the World Communities
Get to know Florida's premier 55+ active adult retirement community from the resident's who live there! Your future neighbor's answer your questions about life at On Top of the World and the Ocala area.
Q. Does On Top of the World have new homes on a large lake?
A. We have no lakes or ponds here at On Top of the World.
Q. What communities are Fee Simple and which are Leasehold?
A. Fee Simple are the following communities: Candler Hills, Indigo East and Weybourne Landing.
Leasehold communities are: Avalon and Crescent Ridge.
Q. Can I use spectrum internet and phone service if I buy a home in this community? Also is there HOA annual fees in addition to the monthly HOA fees?
A. Spectrum TV and internet is available only in the Colonies of Friendship, Americana, and the Meridian Preserve neighborhoods. There is only a monthly HOA fee not an annual HOA fee.
Q. Moving to OTOW soon (March). Are there storage units nearby for rent? Do you have any recommendations?
A. We have storage units on property here at OTOW. You can contact our Customer Service department at 352-236-6869 for further information.
Q. What do you like most about OTOW? What do you like least about OTOW?
A. On Top of the World has so much to offer for an adult active community. I have been a resident here for 7 years now and it continues to be such a wonderful community with so much to do. I appreciate all we have here, and it continues to grow more each year with activities and adult on going education. I have no downside to living here at all.
Q. Is this builder reputable. Do they use good materials and is the craftsmanship good? Any home warranty?
A. The builder/developer here at OTOW is one of the oldest in the State of Florida. In business since 1947 The Colen family builds excellent homes in a great community supported by a 1 year warranty on every new home build.
Q. Do any of the homes have enclosed or fenced yards?
A. Yes, we are allowed fenced in backyards per our HOA rules that are approved by our customer service department.
Q. Is this community good for singles?
A. We have many singles that live here at On Top of the World and love it. We have an Singles Club that enjoy doing so many activities together and meet monthly.
Q. What neighborhoods are fee simple?
A. Candler Hills & Indigo East are fee simple.
Q. Can a physically disabled person who is not at least 55, buy and live in OTOW in his own home?
A. According to the Rules and Regulations of On Top of the World, one owner of the household will need to be at least 55 years or older, or turning 55 within the next six months at the time of closing.
Please refer to the Fourth Amendment to the Third Amended and Restated Rules and Regulations of On Top of the World (Central) Owner’s Association, INC. section 6. 55 and Older Community. This information is available at OTOWINFO.com for your convenience and is available to the public for reference.
Q. We live in Avalon in OTOW. We pay a maintenance fee. Does that fee include DIRECTV, and if so, is it just a basic package?
A. Your HOA fee does not include satellite TV. You can contact the provider Bridgenet Communications for your DIRECTV and internet needs at Circle Square Commons.
Q. Does anyone use the basic internet, or should we get an internet provider?
A. Basic internet is fine for checking emails. Some residents just use it for that purpose. If you would like to stream for movies or games you can get with Bridgenet Communications at Circle Square Commons to see what you would need for more speed.
Q. What is the typical water bill in the sections that are owner maintained?
A. Water bill depends on how much you use. Average use is about $88.00 per month, but can go either way. Different for everyone.
Q. Why should I consider OTOW?
A. We have a wonderful and active lifestyle here at On Top of the World. There is so many activities and clubs to participate in. We have pools, fitness centers, golf, pickleball, tennis and so much more.
It is like living in a resort!
Q. Is there an owner's blog for general information?
A. There is not an Owner’s blog, however there are a few resident groups on Facebook. There is also a resident info site for general community information: OTOWInfo.com
Q. HOA fees?
A. HOA fees depend on the neighborhood you live in. You can find current fees on the neighborhood pages of the website. Go to a neighborhood page and find the link listed as Community Services and Amenities. The monthly fee is found there.
Q. Is there a shuttle from OTOW to Orlando airport and how much is it?
A. No shuttles to Orlando within the community, but there are companies who do shuttle from OTOW to Orlando airport. If you google shuttles from Ocala to Orlando airport you will find businesses you can call for information and pricing.
Q. Is there a movie theater at On Top of the World. If so does the pricing reflect senior discounting?
A. We do not have a movie theatre here at OTOW but there are theaters in the Ocala area which offer senior discount tickets.
Q. Looking for shuttle service from the Orlando airport to top of the World. What kinds of transportation is available? How are you commuting from the airport?
A. There are airport shuttles you can Google that go from Ocala to the Orlando Airport. Some people drive and park near the airport for a reasonable charge and they shuttle you over to the airport from the satellite parking areas.
Q. I am looking for an active adult community in Ocala. Please share your thoughts regarding the quality of life in OTOTW in Ocala.
A. We are an active adult community with so much to offer! We have over 175 social and active clubs. Please visit our resident website for more information: https://ontopoftheworldinfo.com/resident-events/
I’ve been here 6 years now and absolutely love it!
Q. Are there homes to rent at Top of the World?
A. You can contact the On Top of World Real Estate of Marion County which handles rentals at : 352-854-2394. Our visit their website at https://www.ontopoftheworldrealestate.com/ for their listings.
Q. I see from a previous question that it is possible to add your own pool. Could the pool be 32 feet long?
A. This would be possible on the bigger homes. It would just have to be on the right lot where you could abide by the HOA setback rules for the birdcage. You’ll want to be sure to let your Sales Counselor know what you are looking to do so you can get the right size lot.
Q. Does OTOW feature townhouses/condos, or just houses? Also, are there any properties that one may rent for 14-30 days?
A. OTOW does feature Townhouses, Villas and Single Family homes. We do have rentals in the OTOW Rental Program that consist of all of these types of homes. The shortest lease that can be accommodated is a 6 month and 1 week rental, due to the covenants and restrictions here at On Top of the World.
Q. Is there a cycling club?
A. After contacting several people here in OTOW there is not a cycling club per se, but others have said they get together at the power park on certain days and go riding together and others just get together and ride.
Q. How many times a year are Grandchildren allowed to stay?
A. Homeowners in each community may have grandchildren/minor children visit for up to 30 days per year. Any combination of time but not to exceed 30 days a year.
Q. Which area includes both pickleball courts and table tennis where I would not pay gateway fees?
A. The only neighborhood that currently pays the Gateway of Services fee is Indigo East. That is only if a resident wants to have access to use the amenities available in the OTOW Central neighborhoods. If you purchase a home in any neighborhood other than Indigo East, you’ll have access to the amenities without the Gateway fee.
Q. Are there any homes available with an RV garage? Do HOA restrictions prohibit parking a 25' RV at one's home?
A. There are no homes built with an RV garage. We do not allow RV parking at a residence driveway, except to load and unload it which must be done within 24 hours.
Q. Why is it that renters are required to pay to play golf?
A. Golf is not included in the home owners association fees. It is self- maintained and is a separate fee.
Q. Are Candler Hills homes freehold, NOT 99 year leasehold. What is the 2019 HOA fee for Candler Hills properties?
A. Yes, the homes in Candler Hills are freehold, where you own the land. They are owner-maintained, so the homeowner is responsible for lawn care and exterior maintenance of the home. Currently the community service fee is approximately $277 per month. The fee includes manned-gated entries with 24-hour staff, basic internet, professional landscaping & maintenance of common areas, and our fabulous amenities.
Q. What is the electric company that services On Top of the World?
A. Depends on where you live in OTOW. The electric company is Duke Energy in the Central part of OTOW and Candler Hills zip code is 34481 . In Indigo East, the electric company is Seco which is zip code 34476.
Q. What is the best transport co. to use from On Top of the World, to Orlando, FL airport? And what is the cost per person?
A. Not making a recommendation, but you can check out the Village Airport Van. They have all the information and rates from Ocala to the airports that they service.
Q. Can my adult children use the home for a week if I am not there?
A. No. Your family is welcome to visit as long as you are present.
Q. I see that a lot of the activities on the calendar are during the day. For those who may still be working, what activities are are in the evenings?
A. Yes, we do have activities in the evenings. At the recreation centers there are card games Samba and Poker. Other games Mahjong and Bunco. Bingo Wednesday evenings. Trivia is every other Thursday evening. Happy Hour on Friday evening. Entertainment is on our Town Square on Friday and Saturday evenings.
There is a lot of information by reading our monthly On Top of the World Newspaper . An online copy can be found here.
Q. Are there billiards tables?
A. Yes there are!! And we just moved to a larger Billiard room with more tables on January 2nd when the new Arbor Activity Center opened. There is a Billiard club with Men’s and Women’s leagues and tournaments.
Q. Do they have adult beverage specials or happy hour prices at the bar at The Town Square during weekend music?
A. On certain occasions there is drink service with beer, wine and soft drinks at The Town Square. We also have a nearby restaurant, The Club at Candler Hills with a full service bar and daily happy hour drinks. In addition, on Friday evenings from 4 to 8pm we have a Happy Hour at the Recreation Center.
Q. Does DirecTV provide service in Candler Hills? I have not seen any satellite dishes in the neighborhood.
A. Yes, DirecTV provides satellite service in Candler Hills. The dish is not visible from the street per the HOA covenants.
Q. I know I need approval, but will citrus trees be approved in landscaping?
A. Citrus trees are not on the approved Plant list in our Community Standards booklet.
Q. Can you tell me the name of the natural gas provider and approximate cost per month? I understand that Duke supplies the electricity, is this correct, if not who does? Have you had any issues, i.e. outages to customer service with Duke? Also the water/sewage cost seem high, do you know why?
A. TECO is the natural gas provider, monthly cost would really depend on water usage, lot size, home size… Duke Energy provides electric. We have very few outages if hardly any here, and if so they are out to restore power quickly. Don’t know the answer to the water question.
Q. Are there homes in these neighborhoods that have swimming pools or can swimming pools be built?
A. You can have a pool built, just get a modification from the OTOW customer service department. There are residents with their own pools.
Q. Are satellite dishes or antennas permitted?
A. Yes, with the approval of a modification application from the customer service department here at OTOW.
Q. Are any of the Top of the World subdivisions pet friendly in Ocala, FL?
A. Yes, all of our neighborhoods in On Top of the World are very pet friendly, which include three dog parks for them to socialize and run around in.
Q. Where are packages (e.g. Amazon) delivered from vendors such as UPS, USPS, FedEx, DHL? i.e. Where do the residents pickup? e.g. Windsor West Residents.
A. The USPS puts a key in the mail box with resident’s regular mail. There are large post boxes at each collection spot that they put the packages in. Once they remove their package, they leave the key in the lock.
If something comes from UPS or FedEx then it is delivered directly to their homes.
Q. How long have you lived at On Top of the World and what's your honest impression? Is it the great place advertised?
A. I am a very happy resident at On Top of the World for over five years now. It is all and more living here. We have so many amenities, clubs, social activities, Master the Possibilities and our Cultural Center that offers so many different types of entertainment. I have been to other communities to see the differences and none compare to living here. Also, access by golf cart to shopping , banks, doctors which is so convenient. It is all that is advertised and more. Thank you for asking!!
Q. How does the waste pickup work for the Windsor neighborhood? Curbside or a central location where we need to take it to? Also, where do Windsor residents go to get their mail? (and packages?)
A. For the Windsor neighborhood, the mail, trash and recycling are all located at the Crescent Ridge II area. It is on SW 97th Street. You pick up your mail and packages, and take your trash and recyclables all to one location.
Q. Are there any issues with Internet bandwidth/speeds? What is the quality of customer service at BridgeNet?
A. I have heard from friends that the internet speeds are good and they have different plans to choose from. Best thing to do is go to Bridgenet store and talk to someone or give them a call. You can find a lot of information at BridgenetCommunications.com
Q. Can we take a golf cart to Publix?
A. Yes! It’s very convenient, and they even have golf cart only parking.
Q. Do you have homes with lake views? If so, what area are they in?
A. We do not have lakes here at On Top of the World.
Q. Do you need to be exactly 55 to live in On Top of the World?
A. When purchasing here at OTOW one person on the deed must be 55yrs. old or better to qualify. You could purchase a home prior to that age and put the home in a property management/rental program until you turn 55.
Q. Do you have to belong to the gateway pass to play pickleball?
A. If you live in Indigo East and want to play Pickleball at the Health & Recreation Center, then you do need a Gateway of Services to access the many activities there.
If you live in the Meridian Preserve, OTOW Central or Candler Hills neighborhoods that is included in your HOA fees.
Q. Does OTOW have any transportation to and from Orlando airport and if so approximate price?
A. There is no OTOW transportation to the airports. There is several companies and even some residents that drive people to and from the airports. Residents will advertise in the OTOW monthly newspaper. Don’t know their rates. Would need to contact them.
Q. Are golf carts allowed for transportation throughout?
A. Yes, we are golf cart accessible through out On Top of the World. We can go out to the retailers in front of main gates to the shopping plazas . We cannot cross Highway 200 or SW 80th over to Walmart Neighborhood Market or Walgreens.
Q. What is the cost of the Gateway Pass? per person or per couple?
A. As of June 2018, the Gateway of Services Pass per household per year is $750.00. That is optional annually.
Q. Are there any circumstances where the 55 age restriction may be exempted?
A. Unfortunately, I’m not able to answer this question. That’s a question that can only be answered by a Sales Counselor. Please call 866-228-5878 for more information.
Q. Are personal golf carts allowed for golf and if so, what is the trail fee?
A. Yes, you can have your own personal cart as a resident. We only allow electric no gas golf carts on the course. Trail fees are included in the annual golf club membership fees. Even if you pay as you go the trail fees are built into the price. Current rates can be found here.
Q. Will OTOW be getting an archery range or is there one nearby in Ocala?
A. There is a possibility for an amenity in the future for an archery range here at OTOW. There is one locally in Ocala and Lecanto, FL.
Q. Are there any activities there for dogs ?
A. Yes we do. There are 3 dog parks. One of the dog parks has a agility course.
Q. I know people place their homes facing different directions, but I would like to know which direction is best if I would like a pretty good amount of sunlight in the living area space, north-south possibly? Please recommend.
A. My preference is with the back of the house to the south.
Q. If you purchase a standard lot for your home what is your house facing (in the back of your home)?
A. A standard lot generally backs to another home.
Q. What are the HOA fees in Ocala, FL?
A. HOA fees vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. There are a few factors which dictate community service fees however it is largely dependent upon whether a resident lives in a maintenance-free or owner maintained home. For specific fee information please call 866-228-5878.
Q. If purchasing a home in Providence or Avalon if we decided to sell, can we bring our own realtor, does the new owner get the same lease or a continued lease based on our 100 years? Are we allowed to plant around the home, and put up a fence?
A. Yes, you can bring in your own realtor to sell your home. New owner gets the balance of the years on the lease. You can plant around your home and put up a fence upon getting approval of a Modification Request to Customer Service. If approved, whatever you plant around your home, you are responsible for maintaining.
Q. If you live in other neighborhoods in OTOW, can you go to the Candler Hills restaurant?
A. The Club at Candler Hills is open to the public. TheClubatCandlerHills.com
Q. Must resident be present with guests at the pool? Must the resident obtain the guest pool pass and at what cost?
A. You do not need to have a guest pass, but guests must be 15 years old to go to the Arbor Club pools. Health & Recreation pool there is no age limit. There is no fee to the pools for guests.
Q. What is it like to live in Indigo East?
A. Indigo East is a very nice place to live with very friendly people who love living here. It is a smaller neighborhood and they have activities at the community center daily and nightly. For example, game night which includes: Bunco, Mah Jongg and Poker. Day activities are: Line dancing, yoga and exercise group. The ladies in the community put on a luncheon three times a year which is very nice. There is Master the Possibilities which has all kinds of classes that are interesting and fun. Lots to do here.
Q. Do you allow chain link fences?
A. A green chain link is permitted upon approval by the Architectural Review Board (ARB).
Q. What percentage of residents are Democrats and Independents?
A. Hard to say what percentage of any political party makes up the residents. We do have a Democrat and Republican clubs. Republican club meets 2nd Fridays at 7:00 pm and Democrat club meets 4th Thursdays at 6:00 pm.
Q. Does On Top of the World offer a visitation package?
A. Yes, there is a visitation program. Certain qualifications must be met though. Please call the Concierge team at 866-228-5878 to discuss a visit and inquire about full details.
Q. What is the pet policy?
A. You can have two pets per household. Either two dogs or two cats or one of each. There is no size or weight limit with a dog. However, when you are walking your dog it must be on a leash.
Q. Do you allow a percentage of individuals under 55 to purchase in your communities, as I have heard The Villages have allowed up to 20% occupancy under that age, and in home resales they do not have age restrictions?
A. The House for Older Persons Act (HOPA) allows communities to operate as “55 or older” housing.
The following criteria must be met:
- At least 80% of the units must be occupied by at least one resident over the age of 55
- The community must publish and adhere to policies and procedures demonstrating an intent by the housing provider (the Association) to provide housing for persons 55 years of age or older; and
- The housing provider must engage in appropriate age verification procedures that include a community census from time to time.
- At least one person 55 or older must reside in at least 80% of the occupied units. The other 20% is set aside to allow as a “cushion” for residents to heir their home to someone under 55.
Q. How restrictive have you found the HOA rules to be? I am a gardener and have heard you are not permitted to put in roses, flowers, etc outside. Also, are fences of any kind permitted?
A. As a homeowner, you are required to submit your plans for landscaping prior to planting. The same goes for fencing, submit your request to the Customer Service department for review prior to installation.
Q. Does each home have its own mailbox or is there a central area for all mailboxes?
A. It depends on which neighborhood you live in. We have some neighborhoods in the community that have individual mailboxes (i.e. Indigo East and Stonebridge or Sanctuary). Others that have the central mailboxes (i.e. Providence and Avalon or Renaissance).
Q. Do they have a shooting range at OTOW? Do you have shuttles to the Orlando airport daily?
A. On Top of the World does not have a shooting range. We have shuttles that we can call for transportation to and from the Orlando and Tampa airports. There are some here in the Ocala area that we use often.
Q. Are electric fences permitted for OTOW homes on golf courses?
A. Yes, electric fences are permitted on golf course lots in OTOW.
Q. What beaches would you recommend and how far away are they? Are there any local lakes or rivers for boating and fishing?
A. To the Atlantic Ocean you are 90 miles to Ormond and Daytona Beaches. To the Gulf of Mexico you are 122 miles to Clearwater Beach in Tampa. There are a few small beaches in Crystal River about 45 miles away as well.
There are over 15 areas where you can easily access boating and fishing here. From 30 to 90 minutes away. For example: Lake Weir, Rainbow River, Ocklawaha River, Crystal River, Lake Kerr and others.
Q. Are there shuttles to grocery stores?
A. Yes, there is an On Top of the World Bus that takes you to several places. You can view the community bus schedule here. This will show you the pickup times, places (neighborhoods) where the shuttles takes you to and picks you up from.
Q. Are grandchildren allowed to visit often or is visitation limited?
A. Yes, grandchildren are more than welcome but not for more than 30 days per visit.
Q. Are residents guests charged fees for use of the amenities? If so, how much per day and /or per week for use of what? Are any fees for each guest regardless of guest age and/or proximity to OTOW?
A. You are welcome to bring guests to the facilities. There will be a nominal fee levied for use of any of the facilities reserved for use by the residents. Once you or your guests have paid the appropriate fee, a temporary pass will be issued. As of May 2, 2017, fees range from $8.25 daily to $34 weekly for the recreation guest fee. Under 15 years of age are not permitted at any facility where there is a guest fee applied.
Q. Do you have to pay for the lot where your home will be built?
A. There are standard lots available without extra premiums. Please contact a Sales Counselor for a complete list of available lots & pricing at 866-228-5878.
Q. What would you say is the biggest difference between On Top of the World and The Villages?
A. The biggest difference between On Top of the World and The Villages is size of population. OTOW has approx. 5000 homes vs. 120,000 homes. This leads to congestion of traffic and people.
The overall number of people impacts amenities and services availability.
Some examples, tee times at golf courses – OTOW has two resident courses that are “open play” – with no wait time. The Villages requires tee times made weeks in advance.
Restaurant wait times, Health Care providers appointments, etc.
Q. As a homeowner can you use amenities in other neighborhoods?
A. It depends on the area of On Top of the World you live in. Residents that live in the On top of the World Central and Meridian Preserve can utilize all of the amenities in their area.
Candler Hills residents can participate in all of the amenities that are in the On Top of the World Central, Meridian Preserve and Candler Hills.
Indigo residents have their own community center that is just for their neighborhood. If they would like to join the On Top of the World Central and Meridian Preserve amenities, they have an option to join with a Gateway of Services Pass for a yearly fee per household.
Q. What can you tell me about owner maintained homes?
A. With an owner maintained home, the homeowner is responsible for mowing the lawn, taking care of landscaping and any other outside maintenance such as painting, roof repair, etc… For complete details, please call a Sales Counselor at 352-854-3600.
Q. I was told that you teach courses at your community for seniors. I can't remember what the project is called. Can you tell me what it s called, what it is and how I would get more info?
A. The name of the program for continuous learning is Master the Possibilities. The program crosses over many subjects – Arts & Humanities, Technology, Lifestyle & Fun, Science, Health & Wellness, etc.
Courses for Residents range from free to nominal depending on the class.
Q. Assuming I will not have a house payment, what additional costs will I incur on a monthly basis ? Electric, cable TV, water/sewer are expected. What are the monthly HOA fees, and any additional fees that I may not be aware of?
A. Community Service fees vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. There are a few factors which dictate community service fees however it is largely dependent upon whether a resident lives in a maintenance-free or owner maintained home. For specific fee information please call 866-228-5878.
Q. If I am interested in a Sunflower model of a home, is that only in Indigo section of On top of the World, or could that home be in another neighborhood of OTOTW?
A. This question would be best answered by a Sales Counselor, but I can say that we do offer a similar model, the Aragon, in our Windsor, Providence and Renaissance Park neighborhoods. Please contact a Sales Counselor for a complete answer at 866-228-5878.
Q. How late are the pools open until? Can you bring your own alcohol?
A. Pools open until dusk, so it varies depending on the time of year. Alcohol is not permitted at pools.
Q. Is it easy to get tee times on the golf courses?
A. Members can book tee times 7 days in advance and residents can book 4 days, at Candler Hills. Currently, there are no tee times on the two private courses. They are both first-come first-served.
Q. Is it easy for guests to get through the gate?
A. Yes, we have manned gates where you need to provide name and address of who your visiting and guard will record Their license plate number.
Q. Is there an option for gas appliances?
A. Natural gas is standard in all the homes.
Q. Is there food shopping, restaurants, etc…accessible by golf cart?
A. Absolutely! We have two grocery stores and three restaurants, banks, doctor’s offices all accessible by golf cart.