Orlando Residents Guide

Living in Orlando

The world has realized how great we have it in Florida! Our Real Estate market has been extremely strong the last couple of years and the future looks even brighter! We are still a “bargain” in comparison to most areas of the country! Our employment market is one of the best in the nation, our quality of life is unsurpassed and we have some of the greatest recreational activities in the world: the beaches, lakes, and forests.

The Orlando Lifestyle is whatever you want it to be. There is plenty to do for everyone in all budgets. A place where you can live on constant vacation or enjoy the simpler the things in life.

I have been living here for over 30 years and have been a Realtor for most of that time. In between helping families from around the world to buy a vacation homes and relocate, my wife and I have also raised 2 great kids in this fantastic city.

I have seen the Orlando area as we know it today grow from Orlando and its suburbs into the number 1 vacation destination in the world, spanning 4 counties in the heart of Central Florida.

Orlando is world famous as a vacation destination, but it is also home to burgeoning medical, aerospace, IT and pharmaceutical industries. Many wealthy industrialists, sports people and ‘A-listers ‘have made their home in Orlando, Central Florida with more arriving each year, especially from  overseas and from out of state.


 Daily Life in Orlando

One of the things many visitors to Orlando do not realize is that life does not only revolve around theme parks and shopping malls.

Each and every day residents are out doing their thing. Going to work, attending school, taking in an event or playing sports. Orlando probably offers more things to do than any other city in the world so there is no excuse for getting bored.

There are several areas around the city where you can stroll down the street, do a little shopping in a chic boutique, visit museums and art galleries before enjoying a lite lunch at one of the family owned bistros.


 Living Outdoors

In some parts of the world, living outdoors is only something you can dream of. Having the freedom to be outside with the sun on your back virtually every day of the year. Here in Orlando, this is what we do. You may see a few people in business suits but for the most part we enjoy being able to dress more casually, making the most of our stunning climate.

Shorts, skirts and polo’s are the unofficial uniforms for most residents and it this casual lifestyle which makes living in Orlando so appealing. Of course there are many places where you can get dressed up if you really have the need but on the whole we have a relaxed attitude where everyone seems to get on and most people have a smile on their face.

Lifestyle is a key element of choosing to live in Orlando and is home to literally thousands of sporting possibilities for all levels; you can enjoy a round of golf on one of our Championship golf courses, spend a couple of hours at a Tennis Academy, go boating, water-skiing, hot air ballooning or enjoy a BBQ with friends by the pool.

Even the wealthy are out and about enjoying life, unlike in many areas of the world where they are locked away in Ivory Towers and only venture outdoors in armor plated cars with a bodyguard. In fact, safety is one of the reasons so many wealthy families are moving to Orlando.




Schools are an important factor for many families buying a home in Orlando. Each county website has it’s own links to the huge choice of schools.


Where to live in Orlando

Altamonte Springs

Altamonte Springs is located in Seminole County, just north of Maitland and Orlando. The city’s principle are is centered around Cranes Roost Park and Cranes Roost Lake, just to the east of I-4 which connects Orlando with Tampa and Daytona Beach. Uptown Altamonte is an outdoor town center which is home to the local business district. Cranes Roost features a range of live entertainment and usic as well as a choreographed water fountain show.



Apopka is a located next to Lake Apopka just to the north of Orlando. Nearby cities include Wekiva Springs, Altmonte Springs, Maitland and Lake Mary, most of which are residential areas. There are numerous communities in and around Apopka.




Clermont is located 25 miles west of Orlando and known as the “Gem of the Hills.” Like most other cities in the county, Clermont is marked by rolling hills that were once covered with citrus groves. Many of these groves are now residential communities. The city lies along the shores of an 11-lake chain, with the lakes ranging in size from 20 acres to 3,634 acres. Not surprisingly, fishing for bass, bluegill, shell-cracker, perch and channel catfish is a favorite pastime. People also visit attractions such as the Citrus Tower Centre; President’s Hall of Fame; Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards; and the Palisades Golf Course, where holes hug the shores of Spring Lake then climb 80-plus feet from the tee to green, providing panoramic views from one of the highest points overlooking Lake Minneola.




Davenport is in itself a relatively a small town located southwest of Orlando near Lake Tohopekaliga – Lake Toho as it is called locally – and Lake Marion, but Davenport has also become known as an area where vacation homes are in high demand. With its central location, surrounded by rolling hills and land that was once used for citrus growth, Davenport’s central location makes it a perfect spot to base your Florida vacation. Disney World is less than thirty minutes away from Davenport. It is also just minutes to Epcot, Universal Studios, Seaworld of Orlando, Wet and Wild, Gatorland, and much, much more.



Dr Phillips

Dr Phillips and its communities have garnered a prestigious name for themselves over the years, not just because of the address or the stunning homes located here but also because of the quality public schools which boast strong reputations within these zip codes.
Located close to Downtown Orlando, the International Airport as well as the theme parks, the Dr Phillips area has evolved into an area of Orlando where upscale condos, spacious family estates and opulent single family homes are in demand by residents, second home buyers and wealthy vacation home buyers who appreciate the finer things in life.


Haines City

Haines City has slowly evolved from a citrus growing area into a pleasant alternative to urban living in Orlando and its direct surroundings, thanks to improved infrastructure and road networks.




Kissimmee, Orlando, Florida – When many visitors think of Orlando and Disney, they automatically think of Kissimmee. It has been paraded around, advertised and sold as THE place to stay when visiting Orlando for what seems like decades.

But Kissimmee is home to a lot of families throughout the year, something that is forgotten by many out of state and foriegn tourists. Kissimmee is a residential area that caters for tourists and not the other way around. Kissimmee is a great place to live, it is close to employment centers, good schools, shopping malls, medical facilities, pretty much everything that you may be looking for.

Kissimmee offers a little something for everyone and boasts properties, real estate and vacation homes in most price ranges and categories. Gated communities, resort communities, vacation homes and exclusive estate homes, lakefront homes and golf course homes, apartments and condos you will find it here in Kissimmee.

Kissimmee is the county seat and where most of the county’s activity occurs. The backdrop of the city is dominated by tourist attractions and overnight accommodations. Most notably, the Walt Disney World Resort lies at Kissimmee’s doorstep, and roughly 150 hotels and motels are located in and around Kissimmee. As a result, the city offers numerous opportunities for employment in the service industry, with more than one-third of all jobs coming from that sector. In addition, the county’s economic development efforts are designed to recruit and retain high-wage, value-added jobs to diversify the local economy. Residential growth continues as newcomers seek the open spaces the city offers. Commercial development is also apparent, particularly along Osceola Parkway. That growth isn’t uncontrolled however, as evidenced by the reshaping of Historic Downtown Kissimmee, which is quaintly providing residents and visitors with a variety of shops and dining experiences. Plus, Kissimmee contains a myriad of parks and recreational amenities for tourists and residents alike.

Lake Mary

Lake Mary is an up and coming place to call home for many Floridians, but as it is only 30 minutes from Orlando and just a little more from Daytona Beach overseas and out of state vacation home buyers are also taking a very close look.

Residents will find plenty of shopping, restaurants and attractions right on te doorstep at Lake Mary, however it is the lakes that are the major appeal for the thousands who enjoy boating and fishing, plus there is the Timacuan golf course which lies in the center of town for the land lubbers out there. Add to this a prosperous employment sector and it is easy to see why Lake Mary has become a very serious contender with home buyers of every ilk.

Growth is widely evident in Lake Mary Florida, located eight miles north of Altamonte Springs. Commercial development is accelerating, particularly at sites such as the Heathrow International Business Center. And it’s projected that the I-4 corridor stretching from Lake Mary Boulevard north to Sanford will eventually contain more than 13 million square feet of office space. AAA National Headquarters is close by, as are Dixon Ticonderoga, Convergys and Mitsubishi Power Supply. Thanks to the Colonial Town Center, a mixed-use development, residents can choose from a wide variety of eateries, office condominiums, townhouses and retail stores. Included in the Town Center are a movie theater and popular restaurants as well as upscale jewelry and clothing stores. The area has ample housing development to complement the business growth, with upscale neighborhoods offering choice houses and retail stores,




Maitland lies just eight minutes from downtown Orlando and the same from Rollins College in Winter Park and it is this central location which has made Maitland a great place to live for families who work and school in Orlando. Gated communities, desirable neighborhoods and a strong commnuity feel are just a few reasons to consider Maitland when looking for a new home in the Orlando area of Central Florida. Residential communities are just a short drive to business centers in Maitland which leads to a stress free commute to work for many of the local residents

Maitland is one of the oldest incorporated municipalities in Central Florida and a city steeped in history. An “historical corridor” has been established that encompasses old residences still occupied in the Lake Lily-Lake Catherine area and extending through the central portion of the city. Also, the Florida Audubon Society was founded in Maitland and continues in its protection of wild birds on Lake Sybelia. Lake Sybelia is one of the prettiest lakes in the Orlando area, a peaceful setting for observing unfettered wildlife and foliage. The Maitland Art Center, designed and established in 1937 by famed sculptor, Andrea Smith, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Yet, Maitland is also a burgeoning business area, home to the sprawling Maitland Center business park, located adjacent to Interstate 4.



Mount Dora

Mount Dora is a lovely countryside location in located in beautiful Lake County, just a short drive from Orlando and the theme parks and is home to The Mount Dora Yacht Club which is Florida’s oldest inland Yacht Club. There are a growing number of excellent gated communities and country clubs in the Mount Dora area and a growing number of home buyers taking a very close look at Mount Dora.




Oviedo is located to the east of Orlando and is home to many residential communities. Residents in Oviedo enjoy a wonderful setting, a charming atmosphere and and easy commute to schools and employment.

Nowhere is growth stronger than in Oviedo Florida, which has doubled in size during the past decade. Numerous new communities have sprung up, as well as the huge shopping mall, Oviedo Marketplace. The growth of Oviedo however is not growing unchecked, as the city has been careful to ensure that Oviedo maintains its rural posture by adhering to growth-management plans. The arrival of a multitude of shopping, medical and retirement services supports new residents to Oviedo each day. Families enthusiastically enjoy Oviedo’s noted beauty and charm, exhibited along the Cross Seminole Trail. Because of the city’s close proximity to the University of Central Florida, Central Florida’s Research Park and Lockheed Martin, residents who hold high-tech and professional jobs are typical of Oviedo.




Sanford is located in Seminole County, just to the north of Orlando and for many is best known for its international airport, which is a great alternative to Orlando International. But, Sanford is also a home to nearly 40,000 residents, many of whom work and go to school in the city. Ideally located, just a short commute from Orlando, Sanford residents that need to commute along I-4 will find that traffic flows considerably faster on this side of town, located as it is away fron the theme parks and the majority of tourists.

There are numerous communities in Sanford which offer a wide range of homes to suit most budgets and lifestyle preferences, so if you feel that Orlando and areas south are a little too busy for you, then Sanford could be just what you are looking for.

Sanford’s downtown historical district offers a glimpse of nostalgia, with quaint shops lining the streets. The nostalgia is part of the reason Sanford is enjoying renewed vigor as a housing market, where many new residents embrace Sanford’s historical roots. Home of the Central Florida Zoo, Sanford is situated on the shores of beautiful Lake Monroe and touts an international airport. Sanford is also the southern terminal of Amtrak’s Auto Train, which runs daily between Sanford and Lorton, Va. Additionally, the Seminole Towne Center Mall – a major employer – has added economic vitality. Sanford is also a rapidly growing waterfront community with a hometown atmosphere, thanks to its many parks, such as Memorial Park overlooking Lake Monroe.



St. Cloud

St Cloud is a city in Osceola County close to Orlando and the theme parks, but unlike Kissimmee and Davenport, St Cloud offers a small town ambience which is appealing for many families who wish to escape the tourist circus that typically embraces Orlando.

St. Cloud was the first city in the nation to offer free wireless internet service to all City residents. Residential home communities are being constructed in St Cloud and if the quiet life is what you are looking for, but with easy access to a major city is essential, then St Cloud should be on your viewing itinerary.




Windermere or The Town of Windermere as it is sometimes called is located within the Dr Phillips area of Orlando, some 14 miles SW of Orlando. Best known for its sparkling lakes of crystal clear waters, Windermere is situated on Lake Butler, Lake Down and Lake Bessie, three of the nine lakes that make up the Butler Chain of Lakes and approximately 4,500 acres of protected waters.
Isleworth in Windermere is arguably Orlando’s most exclusive address and sits regally overlooking Lake Butler’s sparkling waters.
Windermere boasts a small town charm that is more than prevalent in the downtown district which has been historically preserved. Stunning golf homes and lakeside estates, golf and lake condos grace the town and its environs, to the point that Windermere has been voted the number one choice in Florida for families with children.



Winter Garden

Winter Garden is a charming community just 14 miles west of Orlando in Orange County. Winter Garden city’s downtown area has been renovated and include brick lined streets and pleasant shopping areas within walking distance of the charming downtown district. With easy access to the theme parks as well as key employment centers in Orlando, Winter Garden is a ver popular area with full time residents and vacation home owners who appreciate the laid back hometwon ambiance.

Winter Garden boasts two large public park areas and a public boat ramp into Lake Apopka, numerous playgrounds and picnic areas. The Ocala National Forest are nearby and Lake Helen offers some great boating and fishing. plus swimming, riding and camping possibilities


Winter Park

Winter Park is located along I-4, between Orlando and Maitland and is a very popular area with full time residents, families and tourists. Boasting, easy access to employment centers, theme parks and some great schools, Winter Park is well worth taking a look at if you are planning to buy a new home in the Orlando area.

Winter Park was founded as a resort destination by wealthy New England Industrialists over a hundred years ago and it is recognized as the first centrally planned community in Florida. The main street includes not only public civic buildings and retail, but also art galleries, a private liberal arts college, museums, a park, a train station, a golf course country club, a historic cemetery, and a beach and boat launch. Winter Park is celebrated for a sense of place and history, uncommon to many parts of Central Florida. Many structures are more than 100 years old. The scenic “Olde Winter Park” area is punctuated by small, winding brick streets, and a canopy of old Southern Live Oak and Camphor trees, draped with Spanish Moss. The city draws thousands of visitors to annual festivals including the Bach Festival, the nationally ranked Sidewalk Art Festival, and the Winter Park Concours d’Elegance.


Winter Springs

Winter Springs is a city in Seminole County alongside Lake Jesup and just north of Altamonte Springs. One of the newer municipalities Winter Springs – originally named Village of North Orlando – is the largest real estate area in the region. Winter Springs is a family orientated city which offers residents an easy commute to employment centers and schools, but also the beaches of the Atlantic coast which are only a short drive to the east.



Speak to Us

Our team can assist you in finding the perfect vacation home which will not only make your vacation dreams come true it will also allow you to rent out your new vacation home when you are not using it.


We are full service Orlando Realtors specializing in vacation homes, condos and townhomes in the Disney area. If you are looking to buy a vacation home or sell an existing vacation home, call or email us to schedule a meeting. Our professional network includes property management, rental bookings, mortgages, accountants, furnishings, title companies and real estate attorneys plus a while lot more.