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  • Member Since: 2014-02-05



Bloggers Wanted in The Villages, FL

USA4SALE, publisher of Villages4sale.com, is looking for local writers with a passion for engaging with readers in The Villages. Topics of interest include local […]

After the Hurricane: Tips & Warnings

Storm Damage
Storm Damage

After the storm, now what? Here’s what you need to know once the storm has passed. Photo: AwakenedEye / iStock

The storm has passed, but not all of its dangers. Now that it’s time to clean up and get back to normal, here are some things you need to remember:

  1. Beware of Predators. If you get a knock on the door with someone saying they are inspecting cars for windshield damage or any kind of service hurricane related damage, they might very well be predators. Someone in Ocala had folks knock on their door asking to see their car windshields. They said they were out of here from Orlando and could fix any issues for $500. Depending on your insurance, a damaged windshield is a $0 deductible claim.
  2.  Require proof that any workmen are licensed and insured in Florida. Do not allow anyone on your roof that cannot prove they are licensed and insured in the state of Florida. That “nice” person offering to help may charge you $500 afterwards, or claim an injury on your property which you will then be liable for.
  3. Do not sign an Assignment of Benefits form. Be very careful not to sign any contract or agreement containing Assignment of Benefits language document. If you do, you will may give away your rights to recover anything for damages from your insurance company. By signing one of these agreements, you may have completely assigned you right to payment over to the contractor.
  4. Flood Insurance Coverage. Flood Insurance requires a 30 day waiting period. In other words, if you purchased flood insurance September 15, it wouldn’t cover damage until after October 15. The exception to this is if the mortgage company requires flood insurance in their binder. If you need flood coverage, make sure to purchase the coverage well in advance of a storm event.
  5. Canceling Flood Insurance. Most people do not realize that flood insurance is more difficult to cancel mid-term. In most cases it can only be canceled at the policy renewal, unless you can provide evidence the property has been sold or the mortgage has been paid off.
  6. Flood Insurance Rates. Flood insurance will be more expensive if you are in a flood prone area. Rates are based on flood zones and you may be will be required to provide an elevation certificate if your home is located in a designated flood zone.

Kevin McDonaldThis article was sponsored by The McDonald Agency. The McDonald Agency is here to help you. Let’s discuss your insurance options and needs regarding sinkhole coverage. We have two Ocala locations and one in The Villages. Contact us today at (352) 351-4020 in Ocala or (352) 259-3825 in The Villages. Visit us online at TheMcDonaldAgency.com.

What Size Pictures Should I Use

In order to get the best results in our classifieds, these are the specifications we recommend for images on our websites:

* Aspect ratio of approximately 4:3
* Image dimensions of approximately 1200×850 pixels
* Maximum file size of about 2MB

Almost any image editing program will do the job. There are also free online image editors — such as https://pixlr.com/editor — that can do the job, too.

Three Hours Later it Was Sold!

Sold on Villages4sale!

I advertised a 2007 Chrysler Town & Country for sale. Three hours later it was sold!! Great work by this site. THANKS!!! – Don Spencer

Ides of March 5K


Wildwood, FL – Wildwood Wildcats Pop Warner will present Ides of March 5K race, taking place at Wildwood City Hall, 100 Main St on Saturday, March 18th, 2017 and featuring many local businesses as they support this youth football and cheer league.

Wildwood Wildcats Pop Warner is proud to bring Ides of March 5K to Wildwood for the 5th year in a row. This is a chip timed event. Each racer will receive a FREE T shirt and goody bag. Registration fee is $20 through February 18th, $25 before March 15th and $35 at the day of the race.

For more information, contact Wildwood Wildcats Pop Warner at [email protected] or call 352-330-7292. To register, go to https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/Wildwood/IdesofMarchMadness5K.




Vintage Jewelry & Collectible Sale Saturday

Vintage Jewelry Sale

Vintage Jewelry Sale

THE VILLAGES, FL – The Vintage Costume Jewelry Club is hosting a collectible sale on Saturday, January 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Savannah Center. Come and shop for all sorts of vintage collectibles including jewelry, clothing, home decor, toys, and more. Open to the public. Admission is free. For info, call (352) 303-9734.


Huge Tent Sale in Lady Lake

Jenkins Mazda, Jenkins Acura used car event

Looking for a great deal? Stop by the tent sale Jenkins Mazda and Jenkins Acura are hosting starting today through Sunday! The event is located by the Atlantis Carwash (137 US Hwy 441) in Lady Lake. With Access to as many as 1,000 cars, you are sure to find what you are looking for. Wholesale pricing to the public. The sale is open from 9am – 8pm Thursday through Saturday and 10am-6pm Sunday. Tell them you saw it on Villages4sale.com!

Artists Around the Square

Art Show in The Villages


THE VILLAGES, FL – Interested in the local culture of The Villages? Artists Round the Square will be held Sunday, December 11 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Spanish Springs Town Square. Enjoy drinks and entertainment by Tom LaVenia as  you stroll through the lovely local art pieces from 30 artists from The Villages Visual Arts Association.

Sinkholes in Florida: Are You Covered?

Catastrophic Sinkhole Damage
Catastrophic Sinkhole Damage

Florida has more sinkholes than any state in the nation, and The Villages is not immune.  But not all sinkhole damage may be covered by homeowners insurance. Photo Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey.

Will your insurance company pay for damage to your home if you are faced with a sinkhole? You need to know the answer — especially in Florida, where the landscape is pocked with more sinkholes than any other state. And The Villages is not immune. Here a some recent news stories about sinkholes in The Villages:

  • “Sinkholes on the rise in Lake, experts warn” — Orlando Sentinel
  • “Sinkhole in The Villages reopens, grows larger” — ClickOrlando.com
  • “Sinkhole opens in The Villages driveway” — WESH TV

To know whether your homeowners insurance policy covers sinkhole damage, you need to understand the legal difference between a ‘sinkhole‘ and ‘catastrophic ground cover collapse.’

By law, Florida homeowners insurance must cover what is called ‘catastrophic ground cover collapse.’  This term refers specifically to “geological activity that results in all of the following: 1). The abrupt collapse of the ground cover; 2). A depression in the ground cover clearly visible to the naked eye; 3). Structural damage to the building including the foundation; and 4). The insured structure being condemned and ordered to be vacated by the government agency authorized by law to issue such an order for that structure.”

If damage to your home meets all of these criteria, your insurance must pay for the damage. If your home is damaged but the damage doesn’t meet these criteria, you may not be covered unless you have additional sinkhole coverage.

Companies offering homeowners insurance in Florida must offer sinkhole coverage, but it usually comes at an additional cost. And insurers may require a home inspection prior to extending coverage for your home. If there are sinkholes in the vicinity, the insurance company may decline to offer coverage.

You need to know the facts before purchasing a home. Here are some questions you’ll want to ask your insurance agent before buying a home:

  • Is this home insurable?
  • Does my homeowners policy offer coverage for sinkhole damage?
  • What documents would be required before making a sinkhole claim?
  • How would pre-existing damage be evaluated in a sinkhole claim?
  • Would the sinkhole portion of the policy be canceled after a claim is filed?

What if a sinkhole appears on your property? Here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Contact your insurance agent and request an adjuster come out to look at the property.
  2. If an actual cavity opens up, rope off the area and call your local emergency management organization.
  3. If the adjuster verifies sinkhole activity, your insurance company should then arrange for an engineering firm to come out and begin testing. This testing probably will include some drilling and the taking of soil samples.
  4. Test results should come from your insurance company within three to five weeks.
  5. If you do not agree with the engineer’s results, you can hire another engineering company, at your expense, and/or hire an attorney.

Kevin McDonaldThis article was sponsored by The McDonald Agency. The McDonald Agency is here to help you. Let’s discuss your insurance options and needs regarding sinkhole coverage. We have two Ocala locations and one in The Villages. Contact us today at (352) 351-4020 in Ocala or (352) 259-3825 in The Villages. Visit us online at TheMcDonaldAgency.com.

Ma Barker’s Hideout Finds a New Home

Ma Barker House Lake Weir
Ma Barker House Lake Weir

The Ma Barker House, site of an infamous FBI shootout in 1935, was floated by barge across Lake Weir to its new home on Carney Island. Michael Warren photo.

OCKALAWAHA, FL — The infamous hideout of the Ma Barker gang made a journey by barge across Lake Weir to a new home at the Carney Island Recreation and Conservation Area, where it will be opened to the public as a museum. The two-story cracker home was the site of a shootout with the FBI in 1935 that left Kate ‘Ma’ Barker and her son, Fred, dead after four hours and thousands of bullets fired.

The 61-year-old woman died Ma Barker Movie Posterwith a Tommy gun in her hands, according to the FBI.

Kate ‘Ma’ Barker was a Depression-era legend and reputed mastermind of a criminal gang that included her sons. The gang was responsible for a string of crimes across the nation including highway robbery, bank robbery, kidnapping and murder. J. Edgar Hoover famously called Ma Barker ‘the most viscous, dangerous and resourceful criminal brain of the last decade.’ Other reports suggest she was an accomplice to her sons crimes, but not the mastermind or leader.

Agents found the hideout after arresting her son Arthur in Chicago. They discovered a map of Ocklawaha and a letter that referenced a local alligator named “Gator Joe.” The clues led them to the house. (A popular local restaurant on the lake’s north shore is named “Gator Joe” after the famous alligator.) The legendary local building is the site an an annual “Ma Barker Day” hosted by the Lake Weir Chamber of Commerce.

The home will soon be open to the public where visitors will be able to see bullet holes in the walls and furniture.

Carney Island Recreation and Conservation Area is located off E. Highway 25 in Ocklawaha at SE 115th Avenue. The county park includes boat ramps, picnicking, hiking trails and views of Lake Weir. The park is located on the former site of a 25-acre citrus grove. It is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. with admission of $7 per vehicle.

Hurricane Preparation for Your Mobile Home: Last Minute Tips

Mobile Homes Hurricane Preparation

newby-20140626-093503Hurricane Matthew is the strongest hurricane to strike Florida’s east coast since Hurricane Andrew, and it is just hours away from touching down in the Sunshine State. At Newby Management, we know how important it is to prepare your mobile home for a hurricane. Here are some last minute preparations you can do to help keep your home and family safe in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Click to read article. 

Hurricane Preparation – What You Can Do Right Now

Florida Hurricane
Florida Hurricane

Florida’s Hurricane Andrew , which made landfall as a Category 5 storm in 1992, was the most damaging hurricane in U.S. history at that time. Photo: Michael Warren / iStock

With a hurricane on the horizon, it’s time to get prepared. Here’s a quick guide to what you can do right now with the potential for a hurricane landfall in the days and hours ahead:

Do This First . . .

  1. Know the difference between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning. A WATCH is when hurricane conditions are a threat within 48 hours; a WARNING is when conditions are expected within 36 hours.
  2. Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates. NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office on the VFH public service band, requiring a compatible receiver or scanner, as they cannot be heard on a simple AM/ FM radio receiver.
  3. Be prepared to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations.
  4. Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply. Keep it nearby.

Next, Do This . . . .

  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters.If you don’t have hurricane shutters, board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • Turn refrigerators and freezers to the coldest setting, and keep them closed as much as possible. This will help perishable food keep longer should the power go out.
  • If you don’t have hurricane shutters, board up all windows and doors with plywood. Do not tape glass. Taping does not prevent glass from breaking and takes critical time from more effective preparedness measures.

Are You in a Mobile Home or RV?

  1. Given the risks of weathering a storm in place, mobile home residents should evacuate early in response to hurricane, tornado, and flooding. If the forecast predicts strong winds or a WARNING has been issued for your area within 48 hours, seek shelter immediately by quickly going to your pre-planned safe place.
  2. Never ride out a severe storm (hurricane, tornado, tropical storm) in a mobile home even if it’s in a non-evacuation zone. As soon as an evacuation order is announced, move to a sturdy building, a storm cellar, a relative’s or friend’s basement. If you have enough time, evacuate to get clear of the whole area!
  3. Keep a hand – crank or battery ­operated radio, or NOAA weather radio, handy in case the power goes out.
  4. Keep your disaster supplies kit near the main exit door and take it with you if you evacuate.

Kevin McDonaldThe McDonald Agency is here for you!

Homeowners insurance in Florida is complicated due to the threat from hurricanes, tropical storms and the subsequent flood and wind damage that can occur. The McDonald Agency is here to help you. Let’s discuss your insurance options and needs regarding hurricane, flood, windstorm or other homeowners insurance. We have two Ocala locations and one in The Villages. Contact us today at (352) 351-4020 in Ocala or (352) 259-3825 in The Villages. Visit us online at TheMcDonaldAgency.com.

Property Management in The Villages, FL – Do It Yourself?

Property Management in The Villages, FL

Property Manager - The Villages

Sure you can do it yourself. But when it comes to renting your home in The Villages, hiring a professional property manager is an option you should consider. Here are eight simple reasons why a professional property manager can make your life easier:

  1. Less Headaches: The property manager provides distance between the property owner and the tenant which creates peace of mind and worry free rental property freedom to go about your daily life.
  2. Tenant Screening: Property Managers will screen the tenant for both their credit and background. Putting this chore in their hands will assure your property has a qualified tenant.
  3. Marketing your property: Establishing a marketing strategy to find your tenants and absorbing the cost of the websites, display ads and building a referral business. This equates to more income to the property owner due to the reduced time the property is vacant.
  4. Emergency Calls & Maintenance: This is the best reason of all! The property owner will not be contacted in the middle of the night to handle an issue. No wondering what the condition of the property is when a tenant resigns a lease or moves out. Maintenance issues can be handled professionally with the property manager.
  5. Knowledge of Area Rental Rates: Property Managers can help an owner to determine the best rental rate based on the local area. This can easily save you money if the property is occupied in a timely manner. Every month that goes by without a tenant is less income to the owner.
  6. Laws and Regulations: Property Managers are trained through licensing and continuing education on Federal discrimination laws and the State laws governing their industry. This knowledge can assure you that the rights of both parties are considered if there should be a dispute. Lease preparation with local legal counsel could save an owner substantial legal fees.
  7. Income & Expense Reporting: With the software a property manager uses for maintaining your record keeping, you can be assured of clear accounting. This information can be supplied directly to your tax adviser for ease of filing.
  8. Property Inspections: The property manager will do regular annual inspections or even more frequent depending on the needs of the tenant. This can assure the property owner through communications of any necessary repairs to keep the property in good condition.

Now That’s What I Call Amazing Results!

Sold on Villages4sale!

Here’s more of what Villagers are saying about Villages4sale: 

“Placed an ad in the evening and it was approved and posted the next morning. The item sold in less than two hours at the full asking price. I will be using this site more often.” — Dawn Merrill

“I posted a patio set on Villages4sale about 1:00 one afternoon. I received a text about it thirty minutes later. It was sold by 2:00! Now that’s what I call AMAZING results! Thank you Villages4sale for offering a wonderful service!” — Kathy Semmler

“Another awesome sale! Met a wonderful lady through the sale of a chair! 1st call on the listing has me marking it SOLD!! Thanks Villages4sale! “ — Maryanne Mathes

“If you or anyone you know is selling an item . . . post your ad in the villages4sale.com site! I tell you I posted an ad, and before I believed it could be in, I got a call on it !! The lady came out in 3 hours, and bought it. From placing an ad and holding the money in my hand, in a few short hours !!! Great Job Advertising Dept !!!!” — Trish Schrader

“I was amazed by how quickly I received responses to my ad and I sold my golf cart in one day. This site is everything they say and much, much more! I will absolutely be using it again and again to sell and to buy.” — Carol Canizaro

“Just wanted to say thank you. I put an add out on this site and the item sold in one day. The site is very user friendly and I’ll use it again.” — Monica Austin

“Sold the Nelson Rhodes framed print to a wonderful couple!  Thanks to Villages4Sale!” — Maryanne Mathes

“I have sold a number of things through Villages4sale in the past month. It was so easy and surprisingly quick. I will certainly use their service again.” — Bill Miller



How to Share Your Classified on Social Media

Looking for a simple way to expand the reach of your classified listing? Here’s how to boost your post on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. It’s simple, effective  . . . and it just takes a few seconds. Check out this 2 minute video tutorial:

No time to watch the video? Just visit your classified detail page and scroll down until you see these social sharing buttons:


Just click on the buttons to share your listing on your favorite social media site. It’s that simple! With a couple of clicks you’ll extend the reach of your listing and increase the number of potential buyers who will see your listing.

USA4SALE Launches Florida-Wide Classified Market

2016-08-17 The Villages, FL News

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Florida Classifieds

Florida ClassifiedsTHE VILLAGES, FL — The publisher of Villages4sale.com has launched a statewide classified marketplace for Florida. Florida4sale will emphasize classified listings with a statewide market, including boats, RVs, vacation rentals and the like. Private sellers can list for free.

Unlike ‘vertical’ marketplace sites, such as Boat Trader, RV Trader, the new website for Florida will also include general listings for ‘all things Florida.’ The website provides business advertisers with proprietary listing management and feed import solutions developed by USA4SALE.

The site has grown out of one of the most successful hyperlocal online classified sites in the nation. Since 1998, Ocala4sale has served hundreds of thousands of local shoppers in central Florida every month, with additional satellite websites throughout the state, such as Villages4sale.com  (serving The Villages, Florida) and LakeCity4sale.com (serving Lake City and north Florida).

Since 1998, USA4SALE has operated digital media properties that serve the heart of central Florida and reach hundreds of thousands of visitors monthly. USA4SALE is passionate about community publishing and creating online marketplaces that create value for local shoppers and small businesses.

Read the complete press release on USA4SALE. 

PIP Fraud in Florida: How to Protect Yourself

PIP Fraud

THE VILLAGES, FL — First of all, what, exactly, is PIP? It stands for Personal Injury Insurance, and Florida is one of a dozen states that require car owners to carry it. PIP coverage pays up to $10,000 in medical expenses and lost wages for each occupant of a vehicle in an accident.

So, what is PIP fraud and how does someone actually commit it? There are a couple ways.

PIP Fraud

Protect yourself from PIP fraud in Florida. Learn the facts. (Photo: iStock)

Driver Staging

In one instance, an Ocala woman and her child had stopped at a red light. When the light turned green, she proceeded across the intersection. However, the driver of a red car on the other side suddenly decided to make a left turn right in front of her. The accident was unavoidable but minor.

The driver of the red car emerged from her vehicle holding her neck and complaining of injury. Fortunately, an off-duty Florida state trooper also was parked at the intersection and witnessed the whole thing. Upon realizing this, the woman with the neck injury suddenly was “just fine.” It turned out she was an uninsured driver and was depending on the other woman’s insurance to pay for her injury.

Clinic Falsification of Records

The more prevalent type of PIP fraud is committed by drivers working with medical clinics that falsify treatment records. Recently, the operator of a Tampa medical clinic and a massage therapist were both arrested for PIP fraud after it was learned they were paying people to lie about needing treatment following accidents. The treatments never took place, but bills were sent to the drivers’ respective insurance companies.

The medical personnel in that incident aren’t the only professionals who have crossed that line. According to a United Auto Insurance Courts report, the rate of PIP fraud has become widespread in Florida. Statewide, faked PIP claims increased 44 percent from 2009 to 2010. Though predominantly in South Florida, more recently, false PIP claims increased in Central Florida by 50 percent. In fact, the state has three of the top 10 cities for staged-accident PIP fraud in the nation — Tampa, Miami and Orlando.

The Cost of PIP Fraud

As a result of PIP fraud, Florida drivers now pay an extra $48.64 per year in PIP premiums. Last April, in an effort to stem the growth of PIP fraud incidents, the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee passed SB 1930, which will require more detailed police reports and will give insurance companies more control over the resulting claims. This bill protects innocent drivers and their insurance companies from having to pay falsified claims.

How to Protect Yourself

In accordance with state law, make sure your auto policy carries PIP insurance. In the event of an accident, Florida drivers can further protect themselves simply by following the requirements of SB 1930. The first step is to call law enforcement to the scene and make sure all the necessary details are recorded, including the names and addresses of both drivers and all passengers.

Questions About PIP Insurance and Fraud?

Contact a Villages-area insurance agent at The McDonald Agency for more information about insurance claims and coverage. The McDonald Agency has offices in Ocala, Summerfield and The Villages. For immediate insurance information, call (352) 622-2333.


ABOUT THIS ARTICLE: This sponsored content is not intended to provide specific insurance advice for any individual or business entity and should not be relied on for such advice. Persons seeking insurance advice should contact an insurance agent in The Villages by e-mail or call (352) 622-2333 to receive advice that takes individual circumstances into account.

Classic Car Cruise-In Is a Crowd Pleaser

2016-07-18 The Villages, FL News

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Classic Car Show in The Villages, FL

THE VILLAGES, FL — The monthly classic car cruise is a monthly crowd favorite at the Spanish Springs Town Square. The recent event drew dozens of pre-1980 classic cars along with food and entertainment. Celebrating ‘Christmas in July,’ the event also served as a fundraiser for underprivileged kids in the tri-county area, organized by the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. Here’s a slideshow of a few of our favorite classic cars:

Find Used Cars for Sale in The Villages:

Looking for a used or classic car for sale in The Villages, Florida? Here’s the latest listings from Villages4sale:

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16 Amazing (and Odd!) Finds at Don Garlits Museum

Don Garlits Museum

OCALA, FL — About the only thing missing from the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala is the roar of engines and the smell of exhaust. What you will find is a comprehensive history of the sport of drag racing curated by the father of the sport, “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. The Tampa native has been setting records since the 1950s. After losing his foot in a crash in 1970, Garlits went back to work on a new vehicle design that eventually transformed the sport. In 2014, at age 82, he set a 184-mph speed record in an electric dragster.

In addition to the cars that made history — including 34 of his “Swamp Rat” dragsters — here are a few of the odd and unusual exhibits that made us do a double-take. Check them out:

Don Garlits Museum Info

Darn Garlits Museum of Drag Racing is located at 13700 SW 16th Avenue in Ocala, Florida near I-75 and SW County Hwy 484. It’s open daily from 9 to 5. Phone: (352) 245-8661.

Looking for Classic Cars for Sale? Check These Local Listings:


Villages Quiz: Just How Florida Are You?

Lawn Flamingos

So you’ve recently moved to The Villages, but does that make you a true Floridian? Here’s a quick quiz to test your knowledge of Florida culture!


Sold on Villages4sale

Sold on Villages4sale

“My house was sold and your website was VERY easy to use!!” — Kathy Salopek

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