Moving to Florida, specifically Orlando...

My friend is thinking she’d really like to move to Orlando, FL because they have a lot of foreclosed houses around $40000, but her main concerns are mold & mildew, high property taxes & utilities, and she’s heard that the locales are very hostile to newcomers. The bugs may also be an issue as she has a cat. But beyond the low cost of really nice houses, there are tons of things for her to do there. She really wants to live somewhere where there is always something fun for her to do. She’s desperate for advise on how life is like there & if this is a good time to move to Orlando?

Orlando is full of people from all over so I don’t think being new should be a big deal. Can’t comment on the rest except it is hot and humid there but that’s not a surprise since it’s Florida.

There really isn’t much to do in Orlando unless you really like theme parks. Since the more touristy cities in Florida are all old, retired New Yorkers and Chicagoans, being “not from the area” isn’t a big deal. Bugs are fun toys for cats, especially palmetto bugs.

Me: Native Floridian, lived my first eighteen years in Pinellas County. Moved far away from that state since it’s so mind-bogglingly dull (though I guess Pinellas is good if you really like beaches). It really is a better place to visit than live, and I would greatly discourage anyone under the age of 65 from moving there.

A few things

  1. Orlando does get cold. Of course it isn’t Minneapolis cold, but it does get into the 40s in the Winter, so don’t toss all your cold whether wear out. It even goes below freezing 32ºF every so often. It’s hot most of the year but not always like Miami or Naples or the Keys

  2. Orlando has NIGHTMARE traffic. It’s HORRIBLE. Not only do you get local but millions of non-locals who have no clue. So it’s bad

  3. Bugs, make sure to budget a percentage of income for the exterminator. You will get bugs like roaches (Palmetto Bugs) and ants (fire ants). You may also get mice and geckos as well. So be prepared. That’s life in Florida.

  4. Humidity, you probably will need a good dehumidifier in your home, but those are cheap.

  5. People wanting to stay with you because you’re near Disney World. Be prepared to find cheap hotels and be brave to tell all your friends and relations to stay there, or you will have guests 365 days a year.

For additonal info check out City-Data forums for Orlando

Oh, sorry about the double post, but I neglected to mention: No jobs in Florida, either. Unemployment there is 11.7% right now, one of the worst in the nation. My stepmom’s been unemployed for about 15 months now, and she’s been actively looking all 15 of those months. The job scene is just really dreadful.

Is she sure these are houses and not trailers?

Could be trailers - could also be tiny - and I do mean TINY condos.

I moved to Orlando from NY almost 3 years ago. As of April 1, we are moving OUT of Orlando, into the “country.” And I couldn’t be happier about it! :smiley:

Traffic is annoying, especially once the Spring starts. Jobs suck. If your friend doesn’t have a specific trade, she’s screwed. Both GypsyBoy and I are “tradespeople” (I do hair, he’s a mechanic) so we have been OK for a while. Nothing you can do about the weather, it’s Florida for crissakes - it’s hot and humid. :rolleyes:

Central FL has very, VERY few “locals.” And even still, I never, EVER had a problem because I was “new.” That just sounds like something silly someone made up along the lines of that whole fictional Southern “We don’t take kindly to your kind 'round these parts” nonsense. That’s pretty ridiculous.

If your friend knows anyone that lives down here, have her visit for an extended period of time - a week visit is not going to be enough. Once you get past the parks and touristy crap, she will see the “real” Orlando. Not much to do, high unemployment, more sketchy areas than not, and in all honesty, it’s no place special. Hence the reason we are moving out. So since I am moving out, I have the right to complain about it, cause, well, we’re LEAVING the area. :smiley:

I currently live in Orlando and all I can tell you is don’t move here.

Yes you can pick up cheap houses since the entire state is in the crapper economically speaking. That also means it’s next to impossible to find a decent full time job. For the first time in the history of the state more people are leaving than moving to Fl. Also, most houses are in planned communities and subdivisions, so on top of the mortgage you also have to pay the HOA dues.

Traffic is horrible and everything is spread out. The public transportation system sucks hard. There is not a whole lot to do and see other than going to a club or bar. It gets hotter than hell starting in May and pretty much stays that way until November or so. Drugs and crime is rampant and the local police force is ineffective at best.

Basically Orlando is a tourist trap that does it’s best to try and present itself as a real city.

This is kind of what I was trying to get at, but you did it much better than I did, Reverend. I forgot about the mass transit (or lack thereof) cause I dont use it, but yeah - if I ever HAD to try to get to work that way, it would take me hours and no less then three bus transfer from what would normally be a 20 minute drive.

I moved here because I didn’t know better, no one warned me otherwise. But, we are making adjustments and moving to a less populated, cluttered, and way nicer part of the state. It’s going to be a little “country” for me, but anything has to be better than here.

Don’t move here, send help instead.

I just left Orlando after 5 years. I loved it there but my job went away and so did I.

Traffic: I thought it was very easy as I was used to the beltway and the DC area, the locals think it is horrible.

I went to a theme park every now and then but I never lacked for something to do and I don’t do bars or clubs. I love fan boating in the swamps and beaches are on 3 sides of the state.

Hot and humid? I guess, but I kinda liked it most of the time, great motorcycle weather and I had a pool.

$40,000 foreclosures? Probably, but I would not want to live in most of them.

If the job situation reverses itself, I’ll go back, as I kept my house because I did not want to sell unless I have to.

I’m with Lanzy on this. I too lived in Orlando for 18 months (contract work), and I love it as well. Yes, it’s hot, it’s Florida. Then again evenings are very nice, even in the middle of summer, and Cocoa beach is only an hour away east, and St. Pete beach on an hour away west. Lakes and springs north of the city, and naturally the water parks are there too.

Nothing to do? There are plenty of lakes, if you like boating or fishing. Plenty of nature trails to hike or bike if you like that. The Magic plays there, if you like the NBA. There is spring training baseball, and Tampa is only an or so away if you like MLB. Oh, yeah you might also run into a theme park or two.

There are more restaurants than in any other place I’ve lived, and plenty of nightlife, Dance clubs if you like that, regular bars if that’s your thing. Also the clubs at Universal City Walk are great, as are the ones at Disney Marketplace, and as bonus they are hopping every single day of the week, if you like to party beyond the weekend.

Traffic bad? I’m living in South Florida now, I would take Orlando traffic any day of the week. The key to Orlando traffic is avoiding I-4 between Kirkman and Kissimmee, and the Downtown area. And I-Drive at any point. Other than that Orlando traffic is a breeze.

I can’t tell you anything about property since I did not own when I lived there, there are however a lot of nice apartments, with plenty of amenities, and not expensive in my opinion. I also did not take public transportation, but it probably is horrible. It’s the same everywhere in Florida, that’s the reason I learned to drive.

Work is tough everywhere in Florida, Orlando is no exception. Depends on your profession.

Bolded mine.

What you just described isn’t actually in Orlando. The nearest beaches are about 40 min.- 1 hour away. Same with the fan boats(which are fun as hell, I want one of my own). The beach towns are just tourist traps as well. I was living in Cocoa Beach before I came out to O-Town. As bad as this place is, it’s still better than living on the coast.

The problem with Orlando, and FL in general is that the entire state economy is reliant on tourism. Since many people can no longer afford to take a vacation down here, everything took a big hit and there is no other industry to fall back on.

Oh snap, that’s my neighborhood right there. I live just off of Kirkman and am only a little ways from I-Drive. Traffic control is a joke in this town. Ever been on John Young between 4 and 6 at night? It’s kind of hard to maintain a traffic flow when the light you were sitting at just turned green, then the next light 500 feet down the road turns red 10 seconds later.

A question for Lalenin and Lanzy, how long ago did you leave Orlando? According to the locals things have gotten significantly worse over the last 2 years or so.

Well crap. I had a big nice post typed out and it ate it. So I’ll do this fast instead.

  1. No jobs. The few that are available are minimum wage/ part time.
  2. Homes are available but 40k will get you a crappy small trashed one.
  3. Traffic is horrendous unless you live and work IN downtown or do not have to ravel outside of your burb for work.
  4. Nothing to do unless you live IN downtown, traffic time+distance+cost=too much trouble.
  5. Cost of living is moderate. No state income tax, but nothing is cheap.
  6. Weather is usually hot and muggy.
  7. You will need a pest control service.
  8. Crime is bad but not terrible.
  9. Schools are poor.
  10. Locals are polite, but a mid westerner will find them rude and superficial.
  11. Large Latin immigration over the last 5 years most from Puerto Rico or New York Puerto Ricans. Smaller groups from Dominican, and Central/South Americas. Not necessarily a bad thing, but there is a definite problem with poor assimilation and isularity among these groups. Cultural clashes are becoming more common. You will find that in many suburbs, the dominant language is Spanish, and bi-lingual abilities are generally poor. It is becoming difficult in some areas to shop or obtain certain services.

Overall I would not recommend it. Nashiitashii and I are leaving as soon as good employment is to be secured elsewhere. We will not be sad to put our backs to it.

Don’t forget the almost-daily-spring-summer-early-afternoon lightning & thunderstorms.

IMHO, North Florida is the place to be.
Beautiful, unspoiled beaches, change of seasons, slower way of life. (But then I am not a huge fan of the Mouse.)
However, that pesky unemployment thing can definitely be a factor here, as well.

If you are looking for a foreclosed home and craptacular economy to move too without the armpit sweat, COME TO MICHIGAN!

You could pick up a house for a song!

I left One year ago.

Those are kind of fun though. Will my house get struck by lightning today? I dunno, the place next door did yesterday.

Ah, thanks.