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Old 12-06-2012, 11:44 PM   #16
LilGMom
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We are moving to the Cocoa area this month so while I wasn't looking in Orange County this is what I did for Brevard County. What I did with when we were looking at houses since I want my boys to go to a good school is get on the county school board site and see if they have a link where you can input a street address and get the name of the school. Then put the school's name into www.greatschools.org to get ratings, past FCAT test scores and parent reviews. You can also check out www.schooldigger.com to look for housing based on the school that is in that area. www.trulia.com is a good site to search for rental and when it lists a house it will often give information about the schools towards the bottom of the page. We found a wonderful realtor to help us find a rental house in the area that we wanted, the price range, the amenities, etc. You might want to look into going that route. Good luck!

Have you considered a little farther from WDW than Orlando? Palm Bay, Rockledge, Viera, etc. are all about 45 minutes east.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilGMom
We are moving to the Cocoa area this month so while I wasn't looking in Orange County this is what I did for Brevard County. What I did with when we were looking at houses since I want my boys to go to a good school is get on the county school board site and see if they have a link where you can input a street address and get the name of the school. Then put the school's name into www.greatschools.org to get ratings, past FCAT test scores and parent reviews. You can also check out www.schooldigger.com to look for housing based on the school that is in that area. www.trulia.com is a good site to search for rental and when it lists a house it will often give information about the schools towards the bottom of the page. We found a wonderful realtor to help us find a rental house in the area that we wanted, the price range, the amenities, etc. You might want to look into going that route. Good luck!

Have you considered a little farther from WDW than Orlando? Palm Bay, Rockledge, Viera, etc. are all about 45 minutes east.
Yes I've considered that. I wouldn't wanna be no more than an hour out of Orlando, but if I was to find something elsewhere, I'd consider it highly!! Thanks for the tips!!
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:27 AM   #18
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I'd also point out to anyone moving to Orlando to be closer to Disney. It's amazing, the best decision I've ever made. But it's also a COSTLY decision. I love the area and love the people in the area. But my expenses have doubled. A lot of folks move down thinking FL is fun and games, the area is very competitive with positions, apartments/rentals are pricy and they know what someone is willing to pay.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jewjubean
I'd also point out to anyone moving to Orlando to be closer to Disney. It's amazing, the best decision I've ever made. But it's also a COSTLY decision. I love the area and love the people in the area. But my expenses have doubled. A lot of folks move down thinking FL is fun and games, the area is very competitive with positions, apartments/rentals are pricy and they know what someone is willing to pay.
Thank you. I didn't think of that all the way through. I know things are gonna be a lot more pricer than where I live and I understand that. I think that's why I'm going to go down here within the next two months to see exactly where and what and how.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:30 AM   #20
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I don't know if I agree that Orlando is more expensive than any other major city. In the past 5 years, I've lived in Ohio, Oklahoma, and Florida, and there hasn't been any substantial difference, with the exception of housing costs.

Specifics I've noticed in Orlando recently.
  • Gas is cheaper than in Ohio, but more expensive than Oklahoma.
  • Groceries are largely the same, although the dominant store (Publix) doesn't have a rewards program, rather they offer tons of BOGO, so prices may seem higher.
  • Tacos are cheaper here than in Oklahoma.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:03 AM   #21
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Thanks Andy for your tips!!
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:24 PM   #22
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With all the foreclosures in Orlando the houses and townhomes are "nearly free". A few years ago we stayed in a very nice townhome that was for sale for over $400,000. Today you could buy it for under $100,000. With the low interest rates, payments would be very low for those who qualify.

I don't know about rents though.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:38 PM   #23
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Okay, I will be the negative one here and let you know my thoughts. Bare with me if my honesty is too harsh, it's just what I have experienced.

First, buying houses here is very cheap. But rent is ridiculously high. Expenses here are very high as well compared to Idaho and other areas of Florida I have lived in. They have also nearly doubled for me. Food prices are crazy and jacked up for the tourists.

Secondly, research the schools very, VERY carefully. This is the first place I have ever lived in where I could not pull my child out of a school I was not happy with and place into another school. We picked a decent neighborhood with a horrible school and they would NOT let me move schools. Despite my kindergartner being dropped off and left in a random neighborhood on his first day and another mother finding him. (Still haunted by the what if's of that!) And it didn't matter how high up the school board I went, they would not budge. Charter schools have waiting lists as well. I ended up having to homeschool due to no other options. Eventually he got into a nice charter.

Third, I don't think you are going to find a decent area for $650 a month. I would argue that I don't think Poinciana is a great area, though there are a lot of areas that are worse. The only areas I have found that I like are Celebration, Windermere, and Dr. Phillips...all of which have very, VERY high rental rates.

I can't comment on NE Orlando areas because it's too far from where we work. I am under the impression it might be nicer there and not as costly as the areas I just mentioned so you might want to look into that.

Overall, I am glad we moved here. But if you want to live in a nice area with good schools, it's going to cost a lot more than what you quoted. I might be too picky about where I live. It's just what I have experienced.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:29 AM   #24
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A great source of information on the local area is at city-data.com. Just do a search for Winter Park, Clermont, etc.. and there's tons of information. I am planning on moving to Florida as soon as I can find a job. I spend hours at city-data browsing different areas preparing for my move. There are forums to ask questions and get real life answers to your questions. Some are very negative but I think that's because the economy and housing are so bad. It really helped me to understand what I was getting into if I decided to move.

I have several areas in mind depending on where I find a job. I am trying to be flexible. I've been sending out resumes for a few months and only got a few bites.

I also think that $650 for an apartment is low. If you find housing that low, you may be in an undesirable area and the crime rate will be high. Do your homework.

Good luck! Hopefully, we will both be living in Florida soon!
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:26 PM   #25
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I'll have to check out that city data website!! Thanks again everyone for your insightful tips!!
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:47 PM   #26
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I too am looking to move to the Orlando area, once I gain employment. (Which is very difficult. Job market is very competitive in Orlando)

I looked at a place in the Lake Mary area. (Northern suburb) I LOVED it! It was $750 + a month for a basic (gorgeous) apartment. I liked Lake Mary, and Winter Springs because the areas felt more like "towns," instead of tourist and business traps.

As for schools, I am a teacher and I was looking in Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties. Seminole county was my favorite. My cousin works in Seminole county and she really likes her school. (Lake Mary and Winter Springs are in Seminole county)

Seminole County is about 30-45 minutes from Disney, on good day. (Depends on traffic)

Happy Hunting! I hope you find a job. I looked last year for a teaching position, and was unlucky. I am hoping to this year!
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:54 AM   #27
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The worst place she lived was MetroWest, when she first arrived in Orlando and didn't know the area or any friends. This place was really awful. She had to have neighbors check on her apartment ever 6 to 12 hours when she was out of town. She had some homeless (we assume) pretty much stalk her and would come and bang on her door and windows at night. The police response was less than desirable (1 hour). The complex she lived in eventually stopped closing the gate because it was hendering the police from being able to quickly respond to various types of crime. It was horrific and traumatizing. This was literally right across from the street from the Valencia main campus

After that she went to Winter Garden (Not Winter Park) and that is a nice area as well. Much safer.

Those are our experiences with the area.
If she lived across from Valencia CC, she did not live in MetroWest. Kirkman Road is the divider and anything in that area on the Valencia side of Kirkman Road is MW...the other side is not. It sounds like she lived on the wrong side of the street. That area backs up to the Carver Shores/Kirkman North areas which is a high crime, drug strewn area. I lived in MW for two years when I moved here and had absolutely no issues of any kind. I studied many complexes before moving down and the complex I chose was very nice and quiet. And...it was ungated. Sorry she had so many problems but again...she picked the wrong side of the street to live on.

OP...I live in the Ocoee/Apopka area and really like it. It's close to everything via 408 and 429 but far enough away from the tourist areas to keep the traffic and crowds at arm's length. And and the best part? You won't have to take I-4 to the parks...once you learn the back roads.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:24 AM   #28
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Do you mind if I ask a question. This is just for my own curiosity.

For those of you posting, was Disney and the surrounding tourist area one of the main purposes of purchasing where you did?

The reason why I ask is that I and formerly from Long Island, NY, now living in Charlotte NC. We are big Disney fans, we have our annual passes, and we do make several trips to Disney every year. Our next trip actually being MLK Jr. holiday, where my kids actually have a 4 day weekend, and our trip is just an 8 hour drive.

But, my point was are you living closer to Disney because you plan on going there every Friday Night type of thing? Feel free to replace Disney with your favorite attraction in the Orlando area. Or is it possible that you are hoping to perhaps work there part-time (as a second income, or as something to do in retirement)?

Again, just curious. Thanks.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:38 AM   #29
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We moved to Florida because of the weather, Disney, and taking on a new adventure for our family. People get stuck in their day to day lives, wondering about that dream- well we decided to LIVE it! I dont regret anything, as it is a learning curve on what you like and don't living in FL. I enjoy being able to drive over to Disney for a meet up with a friend, grab a soda, then head home to do laundry. Its one of the reasons we moved close to it and we have very much enjoyed it. Thanks to whoever posted the link to my blog, www.therelocatedtourist.com, we share the ups and downs of preparing, the moving, and what its like to live here now. Check it out and I hope I can help someone out there. God bless your day!
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:02 AM   #30
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For those of you posting, was Disney and the surrounding tourist area one of the main purposes of purchasing where you did?
Disney had nothing to do with my move here. I moved from a smaller town in Virginia and wanted to live somewhere different with more to do. I was also sick of the cold weather in the winter. Having the theme parks here is just a perk but since I haven't been to WDW in almost two years, I don't miss it. I spend more time at Universal now. It is nice having them right down the road though.

Why in the world would anyone want to move into the tourist area surrounding Disney? It's way too crowded most of the time.
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