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Old 05-02-2010, 09:27 AM   #1
ABOMIBOT
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Orlando Relocation Research Questions

We're planning to pop open the escape hatch and permanently leave New York City in just a few more years. One potential destination for us is the Orlando area. So this June we're arriving in Orlando a few days early before our Gay Days vacation to explore the area as potential residents, not tourists. We've done some research on suburbs/neighborhoods and such on the web but want to familiarize ourselves first-hand with the area. We'd also be interested in viewing a few select homes that are currently for sale just to get an idea for the kinds of things available in our projected price range.

So, a couple of questions, please:

1. Can any locals recommend a LGBT or LBGT-friendly Realtor who might spend a few hours with us even though we're a few years away from buying? Do you think this is an unreasonable request for a broker? I'm figuring it might be worth their time to build a relationship with us now in the hopes we'd work with them later when we're ready to buy.

2. What are the top "to-be-avoided" areas, in your opinion, and why?

3. What are your favorite areas to live and why?

Any other advice you'd care to share? (Other than what the heck are you thinking coming here?!? We've heard that already, thank you very much.)

We have our eventual destination city worked down to a few choices and I appreciate any help you can provide us to better evaluate Orlando. Thanks!
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WDW July 1972 - KOA CAMPGROUND - Family pilgrimage. Haunted Mansion scared me silly & changed my life. I was 6 years old.
DL August 1981 - DAY TRIP - Family vacation and my first ride ever on Space Mountain!
DL 1985-1990 - DAY TRIPS - Skipped my USC classes and went to Anaheim as much as possible.
DL March 1992 - DAY TRIP - Quick in and out return from New York.
WDW January 1998 - DOLPHIN - Short business trip detour. Saw giant cranes pulling down giant gumdrops as they axed the anniversary castle cake.
WDW April 2000 - GRAND FLORIDIAN - "What have they done to Spaceship Earth?!?"
WDW April 2003 - GRAND FLORIDIAN RPC - Our first Royal Palm Club Stay!
WDW HalloweenTime 2006 - GRAND FLORIDIAN CL - Our first MNSSHP. We were Dark Siths.
DL HalloweenTime 2007 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN CL - First discovered the awesomeness of the HM NBC Overlay!!!
WDW HalloweenTime 2008 - POLYNESIAN CL - MickeyTron! Most. Awesomest. Costumes. Evar. Ask me about them!
DL May 2009 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN - First trip with our pro Nikon dSLR. The photo obsession begins.
DL HalloweenTime 2009 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN - Happy Haunts Tour and first-ever Fantasmic!
WDW June 2010 - GRAND FLORIDIAN RCP - Our first trip during Gay Days!
DL HalloweenTime 2010 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN - MickeyTron Lunacy!
Moved to Celebration, FL June 2011 and so now there's not more need to keep visit counts!
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:50 AM   #2
rpmdfw
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Scott and I have lived here almost six years and we LOVE it! Don't let the naysayers get you down. Central Florida is a good place to live.

First off, David Dorman is a gay realtor who does a LOT of charity work in the community, and he's a genuinely nice guy. Everything I've read about him indicates that he's a really good realtor as well. (We met him after we moved here, so we didn't use him). http://www.daviddorman.com/

One thing to keep in mind is that there is no "gay neighborhood" to speak of here. I moved here from Dallas and Scott moved here from West Hollywood, so we were both used to having a "boystown" to go to where there's a concentration of GLBT shops, cafes, bars etc. That does not exist here, and we do miss it, but we've adapted.

In terms of where to live . . . that's a personal decision. We're in the Windermere, Ocoee, Winter Garden area (roughly 8 miles north of Magic Kingdom) and we love it. It's far enough from the tourist areas to not have to deal with that hassle, while still being close enough to get to Disney or Universal or downtown Orlando quickly. We've got friends in the Hunters Creek area and in the Clermont/Davenport area, and they love living in thos places, as well.

The only "avoid it at all costs" areas I can think of are Pine Hills and Parramore. Mostly due to crime rates.

Hope this info helps!

Rob
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:53 AM   #3
rpmdfw
I feel similarly about the cha-cha, electric slide, and mambo #5
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If you don't mind me asking, after reading up on it, which areas are you considering looking at?
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:07 AM   #4
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Can't recommend a realtor, but the man Rob has told you about is well known for being a very nice guy.

We live in the same general area as Rob and really like it. Low crime, easy access to major thoroughfares, and a wide price point for homes, and styles (HOAs, non-HOA, metropolitan (so to speak) country... very wide variety).

Orlo Vista is another area to avoid, as well as some places in Kissimmee. Our O'Mike can better speak to that.

There is a bit of a concentration of gay folk in the Thornton Park area of Orlando, but it's not a "neighborhood" by any means. Pricey, too for older homes, but I don't know what you have in mind.

Coming out of NYC the first thing is going to be culture shock. Seriously. Look around very well when you are here. We felt the loss of neighborhoods the most, the loss of bakeries, ethnic shops, those sorts of things. Coffee roaster for the Ethiopian, artisinal cheeses, that sort of stuff is what I mean when I say culture shock. If you can't get what you want in Whole Foods, Fresh Market, or Publix, you aren't going to find it here. :sigh:

I'd avoid Lake county too, by the way (Clermont is in Lake county). They have impact fees and other charges (haven't kept up with it).

Osceola has some odd fire codes, as does Seminole county.

Orange is good, but again, be sure you know where to be in Orange.

Oh, and Windemere... nice enough place, but they don't pave their roads!
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I step out of the ordinary
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:29 AM   #5
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Good information. Thanks guys. I'm interested in hearing what people think since I plan to move to Orlando in a few years (if not sooner). For me, the area would depend on where I get a job. I don't want to be too far from work, since I go there every day. It's interesting that Orlando doesn't have a particularly "gay" area. I'd like to find a place in an area that's growing. A place where hopefully property values will increase. Orlando seems like a pretty big place so there are many neighborhoods to choose from. My friend lives in Longwood. When I get closer to moving I'll probably do the same thing as you, take a couple days out of my trip to tour the area and look at houses and stuff. Every so often I do like to pull up houses for sale online and just check them out.
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:48 AM   #6
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I'm in the Hunters Creek area. (Between the airport and Disney off of the 417) and I like it.

Easy access to everything via the 417 and the turnpike, low crime, lots of shopping and dining in the area.

Avoid anything near the "Millennia" or "Metro West" area's. It's gotten pretty bad over there......
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:50 AM   #7
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We have Windemere, Winter Garden, Celebration on our list, definitely. To be honest we keep getting Winter Park and Winter Garden mixed up in our heads, so hopefully a physical tour will help sort that out. We're curious about some of the new luxury condos in downtown Orlando, too, but A) they haven't withstood the downturn well and we're pretty sure at least one is totally bankrupt, and B) we want a yard and a pool and a garage, etc.

We're thinking we want to be West or Southwest of downtown, probably. Closer to the mouse, certainly, but also these areas just seem more attractive to us.

We know there's less value and less privacy in Celebration but the architecture can be a lot of fun in some cases. Imagine one of those updated classical shells filled sparsely with mid-century modern furniture. Conservative on the outside; edgy on the inside. Could be cool. But to get a Celebration home with a big enough yard can apparently be very expensive. Plus taxes and fees seem a little nuts there.

Anywhere else you'd suggest?
__________________
ABOMIBOT

WDW July 1972 - KOA CAMPGROUND - Family pilgrimage. Haunted Mansion scared me silly & changed my life. I was 6 years old.
DL August 1981 - DAY TRIP - Family vacation and my first ride ever on Space Mountain!
DL 1985-1990 - DAY TRIPS - Skipped my USC classes and went to Anaheim as much as possible.
DL March 1992 - DAY TRIP - Quick in and out return from New York.
WDW January 1998 - DOLPHIN - Short business trip detour. Saw giant cranes pulling down giant gumdrops as they axed the anniversary castle cake.
WDW April 2000 - GRAND FLORIDIAN - "What have they done to Spaceship Earth?!?"
WDW April 2003 - GRAND FLORIDIAN RPC - Our first Royal Palm Club Stay!
WDW HalloweenTime 2006 - GRAND FLORIDIAN CL - Our first MNSSHP. We were Dark Siths.
DL HalloweenTime 2007 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN CL - First discovered the awesomeness of the HM NBC Overlay!!!
WDW HalloweenTime 2008 - POLYNESIAN CL - MickeyTron! Most. Awesomest. Costumes. Evar. Ask me about them!
DL May 2009 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN - First trip with our pro Nikon dSLR. The photo obsession begins.
DL HalloweenTime 2009 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN - Happy Haunts Tour and first-ever Fantasmic!
WDW June 2010 - GRAND FLORIDIAN RCP - Our first trip during Gay Days!
DL HalloweenTime 2010 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN - MickeyTron Lunacy!
Moved to Celebration, FL June 2011 and so now there's not more need to keep visit counts!
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:51 AM   #8
OrlandoMike
all I can say is beer hurts when it comes out of your nose!
I don't think we hijacked Halloween, we just do a better job at it!

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Winter Park is on the other side of town.....East. But very nice!

Celebration is a little too "stepford" for me......
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:53 AM   #9
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What about Davenport? All the real estate listings are so (apparently) less expensive than other areas it seems suspicious.
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ABOMIBOT

WDW July 1972 - KOA CAMPGROUND - Family pilgrimage. Haunted Mansion scared me silly & changed my life. I was 6 years old.
DL August 1981 - DAY TRIP - Family vacation and my first ride ever on Space Mountain!
DL 1985-1990 - DAY TRIPS - Skipped my USC classes and went to Anaheim as much as possible.
DL March 1992 - DAY TRIP - Quick in and out return from New York.
WDW January 1998 - DOLPHIN - Short business trip detour. Saw giant cranes pulling down giant gumdrops as they axed the anniversary castle cake.
WDW April 2000 - GRAND FLORIDIAN - "What have they done to Spaceship Earth?!?"
WDW April 2003 - GRAND FLORIDIAN RPC - Our first Royal Palm Club Stay!
WDW HalloweenTime 2006 - GRAND FLORIDIAN CL - Our first MNSSHP. We were Dark Siths.
DL HalloweenTime 2007 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN CL - First discovered the awesomeness of the HM NBC Overlay!!!
WDW HalloweenTime 2008 - POLYNESIAN CL - MickeyTron! Most. Awesomest. Costumes. Evar. Ask me about them!
DL May 2009 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN - First trip with our pro Nikon dSLR. The photo obsession begins.
DL HalloweenTime 2009 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN - Happy Haunts Tour and first-ever Fantasmic!
WDW June 2010 - GRAND FLORIDIAN RCP - Our first trip during Gay Days!
DL HalloweenTime 2010 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN - MickeyTron Lunacy!
Moved to Celebration, FL June 2011 and so now there's not more need to keep visit counts!
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:56 AM   #10
OrlandoMike
all I can say is beer hurts when it comes out of your nose!
I don't think we hijacked Halloween, we just do a better job at it!

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Davenport (The 4 corners area) is nice enough. But for me, and this is for me, its just too far away from access to Downtown or the airport.......
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:58 AM   #11
ABOMIBOT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVC~OKW~96 View Post
Coming out of NYC the first thing is going to be culture shock. Seriously. Look around very well when you are here. We felt the loss of neighborhoods the most, the loss of bakeries, ethnic shops, those sorts of things. Coffee roaster for the Ethiopian, artisinal cheeses, that sort of stuff is what I mean when I say culture shock. If you can't get what you want in Whole Foods, Fresh Market, or Publix, you aren't going to find it here. :sigh:
Are you from the city?
__________________
ABOMIBOT

WDW July 1972 - KOA CAMPGROUND - Family pilgrimage. Haunted Mansion scared me silly & changed my life. I was 6 years old.
DL August 1981 - DAY TRIP - Family vacation and my first ride ever on Space Mountain!
DL 1985-1990 - DAY TRIPS - Skipped my USC classes and went to Anaheim as much as possible.
DL March 1992 - DAY TRIP - Quick in and out return from New York.
WDW January 1998 - DOLPHIN - Short business trip detour. Saw giant cranes pulling down giant gumdrops as they axed the anniversary castle cake.
WDW April 2000 - GRAND FLORIDIAN - "What have they done to Spaceship Earth?!?"
WDW April 2003 - GRAND FLORIDIAN RPC - Our first Royal Palm Club Stay!
WDW HalloweenTime 2006 - GRAND FLORIDIAN CL - Our first MNSSHP. We were Dark Siths.
DL HalloweenTime 2007 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN CL - First discovered the awesomeness of the HM NBC Overlay!!!
WDW HalloweenTime 2008 - POLYNESIAN CL - MickeyTron! Most. Awesomest. Costumes. Evar. Ask me about them!
DL May 2009 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN - First trip with our pro Nikon dSLR. The photo obsession begins.
DL HalloweenTime 2009 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN - Happy Haunts Tour and first-ever Fantasmic!
WDW June 2010 - GRAND FLORIDIAN RCP - Our first trip during Gay Days!
DL HalloweenTime 2010 - GRAND CALIFORNIAN - MickeyTron Lunacy!
Moved to Celebration, FL June 2011 and so now there's not more need to keep visit counts!
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:58 AM   #12
rpmdfw
I feel similarly about the cha-cha, electric slide, and mambo #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrlandoMike View Post
Winter Park is on the other side of town.....East. But very nice!

Celebration is a little too "stepford" for me......
WAYYY too Stepford!

We're just north of Windermere, technically in Ocoee. It's a nice area. Close to both the 408 and the 429 as well as the Turnpike which makes getting around very easy.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:00 AM   #13
rpmdfw
I feel similarly about the cha-cha, electric slide, and mambo #5
Bridezilla, Groomzilla and Gayzilla all rolled into one
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABOMIBOT View Post
What about Davenport? All the real estate listings are so (apparently) less expensive than other areas it seems suspicious.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrlandoMike View Post
Davenport (The 4 corners area) is nice enough. But for me, and this is for me, its just too far away from access to Downtown or the airport.......
I'd have to agree. We have friends who really like it, but it's WAYYYYY to far out there for me.
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:07 PM   #14
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Hunter's Creek is a very nice area.

Winter Garden is near Lake County; SW Orange county. Winter Park is "north" of Orlando, and has higher prices on real estate (for the most part) and taxes.

Davenport? Nope. Too far out for us. The four corners (Osceola, Polk, Lake and Orange counties come together) is ok, but there is that stretch of 192 that I HATE! Ugh. (192 west, the heart of tourist driving).

"From the city" as in lived there forever before coming here? No. For a bit? Yes.
__________________


I look into the window of my mind
Reflections of the fears I know I've left behind
I step out of the ordinary
I can feel my soul ascending
I am on my way
Can't stop me now
And you can do the same
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It's never too late to try
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
Heather Small
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:19 PM   #15
ConcKahuna
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I'm in Haines City. It's the next town south of Davenport, so even further from Orlando, but really cheap. There's also a gay owned/operated Cafe in downtown Haines City called the "3 Boys Cafe".
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