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Official Moving to Orlando Thread... aka, ASK THE LOCALS!

Discussion in 'Vacation Homes and Villas' started by mkt, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. BigDreamer

    BigDreamer New Member

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    Hey guys and gals.
    So it's official. I'm now moving to Orlando in the summer (July). Needless to say I'm a little worried about the living siuation. I'm in need of a place to live and, for that matter, a roommate to live with...any suggestions on some good areas? I'll be working at Disney part time while attending school at Volencia for the fall semester so i need a place that isn't on the other end of the world from either a Volencia Community College campus or WDW.
    I have applied at all the roommate places online but some of them are kinda sketch (ie: some of the people signed up I may never meet before i move in...this could mean a very scary situation) or you have to pay a butt load of money to get any contact with other people. Anyway, saw this thread and thought you guys might be able to help! Thanks for the time and info :animwink:
     
  2. Estop54

    Estop54 New Member

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    Have you tried apartmenthunters.com? They are working great for us! Don't need them for roommates, but I know they do that too.....It's what Disney recommended me to try first.
     
  3. cobra1562

    cobra1562 New Member

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    I have a question...

    The company that I currently work for seems to be on its way out. In my field there are VERY few, if any jobs in my field. And if there are any, they don't pay well. In central Florida, there are many more opportunites and they pay better than here in Kentucky.

    My question is this: I am looking to relocate to central Florida (not necessarily Orlando). I have a young son and was wondering where is a good place to live considering crime rate and school performance?

    I've done lots of research on the web, but come up with many conflicting results. I would rather get it from the horses mouth that boring statistics!!

    Thanks,

    Jason
     
  4. disneytati

    disneytati New Member

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    Hi, guys!

    I've been reading this thread for a while, thinking about the thousands of questions I have about the subject. I've been trying to move to Orlando for a long time now, since my last trip in 2002. I came back home really sad, like never before. I only came back because of the university, only one semester to graduate, you know...Well, that same month I got pregnant, and now I have a husband (who I am desperately trying to persuade to move to Orlando) and a baby, and it gets more complicated to move to another country. Now I have even more questions than I had before. :D Well, here they go:

    1 - I have some brazilian friends who lived in cheaper apartment condos there, but they don't remember the rent price... Do you think it's better to start with a 1 bedroom apt, and then move to a 2 bedroom one when we have more money?

    2 - This is one of the points my husband has been insisting on: what is the salary range there? Well, let's get things straight: we are brazilians, which means IMMIGRANTS, and not necessarily legalized ones. How do such things work there? I've heard salaries can get to 2,000 or 3,000 dollars. My husband thinks this is not true. (salaries here are much, much lower than that...) What kinds of job pay salaries like these? Could my husband get a job like this without speaking english? What about me? I can speak english and portuguese. What kind of job do you think I could get? Any idea of salary range?

    3 - How much do you pay for health and dental care there? What about nursery schools? Do I have to pay for them, or are there public ones?

    4 - Do you have any information about ESL? Are there public schools that offer it? (this is for my husband, he doesn't speak english...)

    5 - How much is it to have a car there?

    6 - Do you know what kind of documents we can take there? Ok, I know we cannot have Social Security, but what about an ID? Or driver's license? Or bank account?

    7 - Any chance of working at WDW for me? :animwink:

    Well, that's all for now. If I remember more, I will post them. If you don't feel like answering for any reason, thanks anyway!:)

    PS: I am not even going to ask about security, as Orlando is a paradise compared to Rio de Janeiro. And oh, I love Walmart.:D Again, compared to some Brazilian markets, it looks extremely clean for me... (If my father catches me talking about Brazil that way... He asks me: where's your patriotic feeling? I say: in WDW!:lol: )
     
  5. ajerdee

    ajerdee New Member

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    To answer your last question concerning crime rate and school performance, I move to Florida from Iowa a couple years ago (since then moved back). I don't have any kids, but from what I gathered while living there. Florida has the worst public schools in the country. They have a 0 budget, the only money I guess they get is from the lottery. Something seems wrong with that. :drevil: I guess the private schools aren't bad though.

    As far as crime goes, just be smart and don't draw attention to yourself and you won't have any problems. Generally the people there aren't that bad as long as you're nice to them.

    If you have a choice, I would not recommend moving to the central part of the state. Where are you working? If you can stand a commute, living near the coast is fantastic and actually not that expensive. I lived in Venice for 2 years and it was a great experience. Many people there have bumper stickers which read "Venice is Paradise." It really is. I even earned a pilot license in my spare time. It is a great place with much to do and take in.

    If you are working in Orlando, then a commute down I4 would not be an option, that's a horrible drive. The best tip I could give you is rent a car and drive around the whole area and read as much as you can about the area.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. ajerdee

    ajerdee New Member

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    Amen to that! You know Target is from Minnesota, so it can't be that bad. I can't stand going to Wal-Mart here. After the last time I was there I told my girlfriend I'm NEVER going back. You know what's more depressing than shopping at Wal-Mart? WORKING THERE!!! Especially when it's your first job out of college :brick:.
     
  7. ajerdee

    ajerdee New Member

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    I'm not sure about the Publix in Orlando, but one of their stores in Venice had a sushi chef. You could ask them to make a certain roll for you just like a sushi bar. And get this, it was actually good! That was enough to get me there. I miss their Cubans (sandwiches that is) and getting malt beverages in the ethnic food section.
     
  8. mkt

    mkt Awesome Original Poster

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    you would more than likely be tied to a lease that you could not break without some penalty, so you'd have to succesfully complete that before you look at other apartments



    do it legally... if you get work illegally, when you are found, you can be deported and not allowed back in the US... for any reason. As far as salaries go... it is illegal to discriminate based on national origin, so you would get paid the same as your american counterparts would with the same qualifications/seniority. Your best bet would be get a job in the hospitality industry since you already speak Portugese and English. Many hotels will hire immigrants that speak those languages. Without speaking English, it will be very hard for your husband to get employment. If he has a basic understanding, and is taking ESL classes, many employers will hire him knowing that, but they have to know that he is committed to learning English.


    I pay $80 a week for that out of my paycheck, for Medical, Dental, and Vision. I haven't heard of any public nursery schools though. I'm not certain on prices either, but I can ask around and get back to you.

    ESL... most school districts in Florida and community colleges offer ESL classes. One of my coworkers from Columbia is taking ESL at Valencia Community College, and another with Orange County Public Schools. For more info, check out www.valenciacc.edu and www.ocps.net

    what kind of car? lol... seriously though. No vehicle inspections in Florida... all you pay is tax on it and pay insurance. Importing from Brazil is out of the question... unless you want to spend over $10 grand making the car US legal. Sell your car there and buy a new one here.

    As far as insurance goes... most US insurers will insure you as a new driver, which means HIGH premiums.. but if you can get your Brazilian insurer to provide you with a letter of no claims/no losses against your Brazilian policy, then most US insurers will take that into account.


    take everything... one you get a US work visa, or political asylum.. or whatever it takes to get you here legally, you can get a Social Security Card (for employment only). To even get a US Drivers License, you will need legal residency here.

    yes

    I've been to Rio... fun town, but compared to Rio, the worst US city looks like a Mountain Meadow
     
  9. disneytati

    disneytati New Member

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    How long would that lease be? If it's something like 6 months, it's ok, I can wait... Another question: do all apartments come with fridge and stove in the kitchen? What about air conditioner? Does it affect the rent price? Do you have any idea of the price?

    All I want is to do it legally... But it's not that easy, you know. The American Consulate has been declining even tourist visas, so I would need to get a job, then get a document from the employer, and then try the work visa... I don't know if political asylum would work for Brazil, no war or huge conflicts that would justify that...:lookaroun

    How much do you think I could earn in a job like this? And at WDW? Do you think I speak English well enough to get a good job?

    So it would be like $320 a month, then... (everything here works monthly, you know...) A little bit expensive, but ok... Thanks for asking around!!!

    :lol: Yeah, that's it... Last week there was a guy walking down the street, totally high on drugs and everything, playing with a huge laser weapon (beautiful, brand-new weapon), pointing the laser target at people's faces... including my baby!!! At that moment I thought: I have to get out of here!
     
  10. JMishy

    JMishy Member

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    My husband just went through the immigration process and it is definitely a process. I second MKT's suggestion, do it legally! It will be hard for you since you don't have any American relatives sponsoring you (I sponsored my husband). Your best bet would be to get a US employer to sponser your VISA. There is also the Immigration loto (if your country is eligable), however that could take YEARS before you could be given a number. Unfortunately, since Sept 11th, things have gotten really really tough for people wanting to move to the states. Even my husband ran into some snags and we were already married. So my advice? If you're serious about moving here, start NOW! Go to http://uscis.gov/graphics/index.htm and see where to start.

    We've been there, so if you need any help, feel free to ask. :) Good luck!
     
  11. paulcmartens

    paulcmartens Account Suspended

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    When my family emigrated to the U.S. (from Canada) my father had a professional degree (helps) knew the language (helps) and was rather well off (helps probably more than we realized).

    They want to see that you will not be a burden to the economy but add to it. The government looks for shortages. My Dad, although did not practice engineering anymore did have an advanced degree in it, so that helped. Apparently back a few years ago, there was a shortage of engineers.

    I'd imagine if you were a nurse or something that is in demand here in the U.S. you'd have an easier time.

    If you have relatives over here...maybe they can help.
     
  12. mkt

    mkt Awesome Original Poster

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    leases can be 6 months, but generally are 9-12 months. I'm on a 10 month lease right now. Most apartments include fridge/stove/microwave and A/C... the only pricier options usually are washer/dryer


    tell em you're a victim of the drug trade? :zipit: When my parents immigrated originally, it was under political asylum due to Franco.. but yeah, he was a ruthless dictator and whatnot. There are soooooooooo many Brazilians living in Orlando, I would've thought it was easier to get in than that.

    at Disney? not much. Your english is fairly good.. you have better than basic fluency, and you are smart enough to get better. You shouldn't have too much trouble getting a job in the hospitality industry... or heck, even at a hospital or clinic in the area. With the large number of Brazilian expats and tourists here, they're looking for Portugese speakers. If you speak Spanish, Portugese, Vietnamese, or French/Creole in Orlando... it's easier to get a job than if you didn't.

    no no no... not $320 a month... they charge less per person if you have more people on your policy... it'd probably end up being like $150 a month.. but if it was through Disney or one of the larger employers in the area, it could be like $50 or less a month. My employer, while it employs several hundred thousand worldwide, only employs about 2500 in Florida, hence why I pay more for insurance. If they employed like Disney does... I'd pay probably $15 a month


    that's why I left Puerto Rico. I love it, it's home... but I'm not going back. It's not as bad as Brazil, but it's bad enough that I don't want to return to live there. You have the Favela, we have La Perla... you have organized crime, we have organized crime. The only difference is that it's slightly harder to get a weapon in PR, and the government infrastructure is slightly more secure thanks to the US federal government.
     
  13. disneytati

    disneytati New Member

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    Thanks a lot!!! Yeah, it's a hard process... And not a cheap one... :( My husband doesn't even have the tourist visa, and negotiations at the American Consulate here have changed a lot since spt 11th.:fork: Last month they declined the tourist visa for a 75 year old lady (my aunt's friend). And people in "the working age", like my husband (32 years old), are the least likely to get any visa. Yeah, you are right, I should get an employer first, then take the work visa. Where is your husband from? (just curious...:) )
     
  14. disneytati

    disneytati New Member

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    That's great! One more point to convince my husband! Apartments here come totally bare. (Is it like this in Puerto Rico too?) A washing mashine would be great, too... Well, we will have to do without one, if we don't have enough money at the beginning.

    No, it's not... Getting in the US is getting more and more difficult. Brazil is known as a peaceful country, no wars, you know, and many people from Africa or Asia come here under political asylum. Our president has been trying to eliminate visas between Brazil and USA, because of the "Free Trade Association of the Americas" they want to establish, but I don't know... Yeah, there are looooooots of Brazilians in Orlando, but most of them are illegally there...

    :lol: Everyone here is a victim of drug trade! They control everything. Once in a while, the drug dealers command that all schools, stores, movie theraters and everything should be closed down for the whole day, just to show their power, to tell the population that THEY rule. Three weeks ago a student of mine was crying a lot at school, and we asked her what had happened. She told us that her best friend met this girl at Carnival, they fell in love and began going together. But there was a drug dealer who was in love with her, and the boy was killed (well, the police found his "pieces" along the railroad).


    Yeah, I had already heard that Disney didn't pay much... And what about hotels, and etc? Do you have any idea of salary range?

    It's very easy for anyone to get weapons here, and usually the criminals have better weapons than the police itself... The new president has been trying very hard (at least he is honest), but corruption still rules here. I know what you mean, Rob, I also love Brazil, but it's getting unbearable to live here.:(
     
  15. JMishy

    JMishy Member

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    My husband is from England. :)

    We also have a friend who's from Brazil, living in the States, but her family still lives in Brazil. I believe her father is a diplomat of some sort. Maybe I can ask her if she knows any tips.
     
  16. disneytati

    disneytati New Member

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    Cool! I heard things in the USA are easier for English people than for Brazilians...


    That would be great! I would appreciate if you did that. I am collecting all the data I can about visas, and life in Orlando, so that we can think about the subject in more practical matters, and decide if we can really move up there or not...
    :(
     
  17. JMishy

    JMishy Member

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    We thought that too, but it wasn't! Maybe that was before 9/11. It took us two years and about 3k to get him a green card! :brick:
     
  18. mkt

    mkt Awesome Original Poster

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    yes and no... most new complexes further out in the suburbs come fully equipped, but to live in the city, it depends. My apartment was fully equipped, 3 bedroom/2 bath with a HUGE living room and ocean view... and it was about $1600/month, but the contract was signed many years ago to prevent the price from going up... so it was transferred from one person to another in the family.

    A suggestion would be to try to establish US residency in a predominantly latin area (Florida, New York, California, or Puerto Rico)... I know in Puerto Rico, there has been a recent influx of Brazilian immigration... all legal, via an intermediary nation (usually the British Virgin Islands, Mexico or the Dominican Republic). Another suggestion I can make, would be Canada. From what I've gathered, it is considerably easier to migrate into Canada than the US... and you would enjoy the same standard of living as most US Citizens, and a much safer atmosphere. The disadvantage... it's effing cold in the winter. Although, from most major eastern Canadian Cities, you're only about a days drive from WDW :sohappy:
     
  19. paulcmartens

    paulcmartens Account Suspended

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    ahem...that's LOWER standard of living.

    And no, its not easier. 10 years ago it was, but not any longer. U.S. have now caught on to how lax Canada is with allowing folks into Canada and the U.S. is now making it just as hard for Canadians (especially illegals from Canada) to come in...or so the U.S. papers have said.

    Plus in Canada there is no health insurance, the government 'takes care of you' (with o.k quality healthcare) and the car insurance is nominal and your pay is not so hot.

    Now there is debate as to whether Canada is a better place to live: The UN thinks Canada is #1

    "For the past several years, a United Nations survey has found Canada to be the best place in the world to live. Conducted every year, the survey evaluates quality of life in 174 countries, using over 200 performance indicators. Canada earned particularly high marks for its access to education, high life expectancy (due to universal health care system); and low crime and violence rates. In addition, Canada's largest cities Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal have been recognized as world class cities in which to live and work, for their cleanliness and safety and for their cultural activities and attractive lifestyles."

    I would have to say, had I the choice now, I would possibly go back, if my wife could get in (she is American, married a Canadian/American).

    Its a very different climate though...and if you want the 'best' well, its not there. Best as in healthcare (u.s. is better) and climate (Southern Cal.)
     
  20. cloudboy

    cloudboy Active Member

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    Healthcare is only better if you can afford teh premiums of health care. Try being jobless for a while, or stuck with a company that is too small to have to offer it.

    Vancouver is not that bad in the winter - it is warmer on average than a lot of northeastern cities. Of course any discussion on climate depends completely upon the person. I for one hate the monotony of the south and find there are too many problems with drought and other natural disasters in California. But then again 4 months of sub-freezin weather does make it start to look nice...
     

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