• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Living near WDW?

brifraz

Marching along...
Premium Member
Original Poster
Hello everyone! Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Personally, I'm basking in the first weekend that I don't have marching band events to occupy every minute of my time. But, also... we are doing some future planning. My wife and I have for many years been planning to retire from the world of public school education to somewhere in the Orlando area. Don't judge, and not so much up for discussion (although retiring to Scotland is not entirely off the table). Up until VERY recently, we were planning to work for another 3-4 years before that retirement. But... last week's election has seen a very disturbing change in our local school board and we are actually eligible to retire after next year which now looks a lot more likely.

Okay, too much backstory... this coming summer we might be spending a week in the WDW area shopping neighborhoods and I'm looking for suggestions. We are looking for a 2 bedroom single family home in a somewhat quiet area (we've been living in a neighborhood, but in a very rural area overall) at least vaguely close to WDW.

So, share away! We plan to drive around Orlando/Kissimmee/etc. for a week or so and will shop as many areas as we can.
 

RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
I have no advice, but I’m excited at the prospect! Definitely share your thoughts when house shopping if you feel comfortable with that. I’m sure there are locals who can shed some light on the realities of living in Florida. Good luck!
 

SSH

Well-Known Member
Not trying to talk you out of it - just making you a more informed shopper. Not sure if you plan to rent or buy. If renting, ignore below.

If you'll be buying a home/condo, be aware that auto and home insurance policies in florida are among the highest nationwide. Home insurance is the real catastrophe in the making right now.

Insurers here avoid older homes - many homeowners with holder homes/roofs are rejected and are forced into the state-run "insurer of last resort" at very expensive rates.

If you're buying a new build, you're good. They all want to insure the newer post 2010 builds.

Many insurers here have gone out of business - those that remain are set up as Florida corporations, separate from their parent companies, to reduce their financial liability.

Not saying you can't get insurance - but it's more critical here than anywhere else in the nation to ensure you can (a) GET a policy and (b) verify the cost to make sure it's in budget before committing to any RE purchase.
 

brifraz

Marching along...
Premium Member
Original Poster
Not trying to talk you out of it - just making you a more informed shopper. Not sure if you plan to rent or buy. If renting, ignore below.

If you'll be buying a home/condo, be aware that auto and home insurance policies in florida are among the highest nationwide. Home insurance is the real catastrophe in the making right now.

Insurers here avoid older homes - many homeowners with holder homes/roofs are rejected and are forced into the state-run "insurer of last resort" at very expensive rates.

If you're buying a new build, you're good. They all want to insure the newer post 2010 builds.

Many insurers here have gone out of business - those that remain are set up as Florida corporations, separate from their parent companies, to reduce their financial liability.

Not saying you can't get insurance - but it's more critical here than anywhere else in the nation to ensure you can (a) GET a policy and (b) verify the cost to make sure it's in budget before committing to any RE purchase.

Thanks for the words of advice. I expect that we would be looking for a relatively new build - and possibly building new. We built our current house 22 years ago, but the house we had before that was from the early 1900s and we spent every extra minute trying to keep it up! I did do a bit of research into both home owners and auto insurance for the possible move... it's a bit pricier than what we are used to here in Maryland, but our local agent here (has been my agent since the late 80s) has already offered to help us out with some connections.
 

brifraz

Marching along...
Premium Member
Original Poster
I believe @Laura @LAKid53 could be of assistance. They both just went through this. I bought a condo in Baldwin Park but that was 2 years ago.

I'm really just wondering what neighborhoods are worth driving through and shopping around and what neighborhoods should be somewhat avoided. So, anyone who lives in the area can certainly be helpful!!
 

Disstevefan1

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone! Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Personally, I'm basking in the first weekend that I don't have marching band events to occupy every minute of my time. But, also... we are doing some future planning. My wife and I have for many years been planning to retire from the world of public school education to somewhere in the Orlando area. Don't judge, and not so much up for discussion (although retiring to Scotland is not entirely off the table). Up until VERY recently, we were planning to work for another 3-4 years before that retirement. But... last week's election has seen a very disturbing change in our local school board and we are actually eligible to retire after next year which now looks a lot more likely.

Okay, too much backstory... this coming summer we might be spending a week in the WDW area shopping neighborhoods and I'm looking for suggestions. We are looking for a 2 bedroom single family home in a somewhat quiet area (we've been living in a neighborhood, but in a very rural area overall) at least vaguely close to WDW.

So, share away! We plan to drive around Orlando/Kissimmee/etc. for a week or so and will shop as many areas as we can.
I suggest you rent first then you are free to look around.
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Girly Girl Fan Club
Premium Member
Hello everyone! Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Personally, I'm basking in the first weekend that I don't have marching band events to occupy every minute of my time. But, also... we are doing some future planning. My wife and I have for many years been planning to retire from the world of public school education to somewhere in the Orlando area. Don't judge, and not so much up for discussion (although retiring to Scotland is not entirely off the table). Up until VERY recently, we were planning to work for another 3-4 years before that retirement. But... last week's election has seen a very disturbing change in our local school board and we are actually eligible to retire after next year which now looks a lot more likely.

Okay, too much backstory... this coming summer we might be spending a week in the WDW area shopping neighborhoods and I'm looking for suggestions. We are looking for a 2 bedroom single family home in a somewhat quiet area (we've been living in a neighborhood, but in a very rural area overall) at least vaguely close to WDW.

So, share away! We plan to drive around Orlando/Kissimmee/etc. for a week or so and will shop as many areas as we can.

Orlando is a hot market, right now. There's a lot of building going on. If you want to live close to WDW, I would recommend either Windermere, Hamlin Grove or Winter Garden in the Horizons West region. All are a 10-15 minute drive from WDW. I'd recommend making a trip just to look around in those areas. My realtor was fantastic and I'd be happy to recommend her.

Just know that you'll see wide swings in the monthly HOA dues. If you want a 2 bedroom, Celebration has 2 bedroom condos. It's expensive, though.

I bought a 3 bedroom townhouse in Waterleigh. The final phase is under construction, so there are models to tour. I have just under 1600 square feet, open floor plan downstairs, all bedrooms upstairs and a half bath downstairs. One car garage.

I understand your concerns after the election. Funny you mention Scotland. I've been thinking of Wales, but keeping my house in Winter Garden.

I think the recommendation to rent for a year is a good idea. That way you can take your time and get to know the area before buying.
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Girly Girl Fan Club
Premium Member
Not trying to talk you out of it - just making you a more informed shopper. Not sure if you plan to rent or buy. If renting, ignore below.

If you'll be buying a home/condo, be aware that auto and home insurance policies in florida are among the highest nationwide. Home insurance is the real catastrophe in the making right now.

Insurers here avoid older homes - many homeowners with holder homes/roofs are rejected and are forced into the state-run "insurer of last resort" at very expensive rates.

If you're buying a new build, you're good. They all want to insure the newer post 2010 builds.

Many insurers here have gone out of business - those that remain are set up as Florida corporations, separate from their parent companies, to reduce their financial liability.

Not saying you can't get insurance - but it's more critical here than anywhere else in the nation to ensure you can (a) GET a policy and (b) verify the cost to make sure it's in budget before committing to any RE purchase.

The state changing the laws that allowed insurers to force you to replace your roof after 15 years didn't help. The big insurers are still here - State Farm, Nationwide, etc.
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Girly Girl Fan Club
Premium Member
Thanks for the words of advice. I expect that we would be looking for a relatively new build - and possibly building new. We built our current house 22 years ago, but the house we had before that was from the early 1900s and we spent every extra minute trying to keep it up! I did do a bit of research into both home owners and auto insurance for the possible move... it's a bit pricier than what we are used to here in Maryland, but our local agent here (has been my agent since the late 80s) has already offered to help us out with some connections.

If your local agent represents one of the major carriers, that shouldn't be a problem with changing coverage to a new home. As you're looking in the Central Florida, not coastal area, I don't think you'll find too much difference in insurance rates.

Do you pay state income tax in Maryland? Because we don't in Florida. Property taxes may be lower, also, we have a $50K homestead exemption in the state.

Most new construction, at least in my neighborhood, is concrete block with stucco. It would take a bomb to cause major damage to my house. I'm pretty sure as long as my roof was okay, I'd have very little structural damage with a Cat 3 hurricane. The big issue would be flooding, so check to see if the area you are looking in is in a flood zone. You'll need federal flood insurance or you won't get a mortgage. And many have solar panels on their roofs.
 

brifraz

Marching along...
Premium Member
Original Poster
DO NOT go to Pine Hills!!!! EVER!!!!!
Noted. Avoid Pine Hills.

I suggest you rent first then you are free to look around.
That was part of our original plan. I was going to teach for 4 more years and my wife for 3. During that last year, we were going to rent in the area and she was going to scout housing while I finished up teaching and packed up our house. With the changes likely to be coming down in the next year with our new school board, we may both be done at the end of next year (so, in 1.75 years) and figuring out some plans...

Orlando is a hot market, right now. There's a lot of building going on. If you want to live close to WDW, I would recommend either Windermere, Hamlin Grove or Winter Garden in the Horizons West region. All are a 10-15 minute drive from WDW. I'd recommend making a trip just to look around in those areas. My realtor was fantastic and I'd be happy to recommend her.

Just know that you'll see wide swings in the monthly HOA dues. If you want a 2 bedroom, Celebration has 2 bedroom condos. It's expensive, though.

I bought a 3 bedroom townhouse in Waterleigh. The final phase is under construction, so there are models to tour. I have just under 1600 square feet, open floor plan downstairs, all bedrooms upstairs and a half bath downstairs. One car garage.

I understand your concerns after the election. Funny you mention Scotland. I've been thinking of Wales, but keeping my house in Winter Garden.

I think the recommendation to rent for a year is a good idea. That way you can take your time and get to know the area before buying.

Most likely looking for a fully detached single family home. Most condos and townhouses will not allow me to exist in them - piano, bass guitar and low brass instruments do not play well in any kind of shared wall situation.

I lived in Scotland in the early 1980s and we went back and visited a few years ago with our daughter - if the weather was better, northeast Scotland would be our plan.

If your local agent represents one of the major carriers, that shouldn't be a problem with changing coverage to a new home. As you're looking in the Central Florida, not coastal area, I don't think you'll find too much difference in insurance rates.

Do you pay state income tax in Maryland? Because we don't in Florida. Property taxes may be lower, also, we have a $50K homestead exemption in the state.

Most new construction, at least in my neighborhood, is concrete block with stucco. It would take a bomb to cause major damage to my house. I'm pretty sure as long as my roof was okay, I'd have very little structural damage with a Cat 3 hurricane. The big issue would be flooding, so check to see if the area you are looking in is in a flood zone. You'll need federal flood insurance or you won't get a mortgage. And many have solar panels on their roofs.
My agent does major carriers, but not one that is in Florida - but he has connections and has treated us very well over the years.

Yes, we have income tax and a 'healthy' property tax. I figured on flood insurance being a decent expense just about anywhere in Florida. Also, expect HOA to be an expense as well. Not looking forward to the HOA thing - I've been lucky enough in the four houses I've lived in to never have to deal with one.

Thanks for all the insight and the neighborhood suggestions!
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Girly Girl Fan Club
Premium Member
Noted. Avoid Pine Hills.


That was part of our original plan. I was going to teach for 4 more years and my wife for 3. During that last year, we were going to rent in the area and she was going to scout housing while I finished up teaching and packed up our house. With the changes likely to be coming down in the next year with our new school board, we may both be done at the end of next year (so, in 1.75 years) and figuring out some plans...



Most likely looking for a fully detached single family home. Most condos and townhouses will not allow me to exist in them - piano, bass guitar and low brass instruments do not play well in any kind of shared wall situation.

I lived in Scotland in the early 1980s and we went back and visited a few years ago with our daughter - if the weather was better, northeast Scotland would be our plan.


My agent does major carriers, but not one that is in Florida - but he has connections and has treated us very well over the years.

Yes, we have income tax and a 'healthy' property tax. I figured on flood insurance being a decent expense just about anywhere in Florida. Also, expect HOA to be an expense as well. Not looking forward to the HOA thing - I've been lucky enough in the four houses I've lived in to never have to deal with one.

Thanks for all the insight and the neighborhood suggestions!

Most homes will be 3 bed/2 baths. 2 bedroom houses don't sell too well.

My HOA covers all the outside - landscaping, home exterior, pest control, and the roof. Well worth it. Plus, there are lots of activities - food trucks, yoga, events, dog parks, several pools, small parks with picnic table under a gazebo - one is right across the street from my townhouse. Very family oriented area. Halloween night was a big event with families trick or treating, music, a mini golf cart parade, etc. And hopefully, the Publix under construction at the entrance will be finished soon...I can ride my bike to the store.
 

LSV

Well-Known Member
A lot depends on how vaguely close to Disney you want to be. Unfortunately most recent construction of detached homes is on the smallest lots possible, basically detached row homes. So you might need to focus on older-ish neighborhoods. Do you desire a gated community? If not, there are still non-HOA neighborhoods to be found. Not all of Florida is flood prone, but Ian was eye-opening for areas to avoid. Google maps street view would be a fun way to browse different areas. Also, realtor.com. Sorry your school board election didn't go well.
 

brifraz

Marching along...
Premium Member
Original Poster
A lot depends on how vaguely close to Disney you want to be. Unfortunately most recent construction of detached homes is on the smallest lots possible, basically detached row homes. So you might need to focus on older-ish neighborhoods. Do you desire a gated community? If not, there are still non-HOA neighborhoods to be found. Not all of Florida is flood prone, but Ian was eye-opening for areas to avoid. Google maps street view would be a fun way to browse different areas. Also, realtor.com. Sorry your school board election didn't go well.

Ideally within about 30 minutes. Even though we will be retiring from public school education, we do still both plan to work and either for the Mouse or just in that area/industry is ideal for both of us.

We definitely do not need a gated community and doesn't need to be non-HOA, it's just something we have managed to avoid for a long time. We don't need a large lot, but I think most row/townhouse communities frown on musicians (especially tuba playing ones).

We've done quite a bit of Google Maps shopping over the years and have a few ideas, but we've got a week of timeshare time that we can use in the area and are hoping for some on-the-ground advice on neighborhoods to help guide or visit.
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Girly Girl Fan Club
Premium Member
Ideally within about 30 minutes. Even though we will be retiring from public school education, we do still both plan to work and either for the Mouse or just in that area/industry is ideal for both of us.

We definitely do not need a gated community and doesn't need to be non-HOA, it's just something we have managed to avoid for a long time. We don't need a large lot, but I think most row/townhouse communities frown on musicians (especially tuba playing ones).

We've done quite a bit of Google Maps shopping over the years and have a few ideas, but we've got a week of timeshare time that we can use in the area and are hoping for some on-the-ground advice on neighborhoods to help guide or visit.

Back behind Magic Kingdom on Reems Road are several neighborhoods of single family homes. Small lots, but houses look nice from the road. And convenient to shopping. Since you want to be about 30 minutes from WDW, then Windermere, Celebration (if the prices don't scare you off) or Horizons West will be your best bet. Horizons West is what the area on the other side of 429 from WDW is called. Plenty of neighborhoods to research.

Also check out homes in the Stoneybrook Parkway area. Nice homes there.

Frankly, I'd get a realtor to help you during the timeshare week.
 

Laura

22
Premium Member
You’re welcome to PM me with questions. I love our neighborhood and our location. It’s very mountainous and scenic and 20 mins to the WDW entrance. We can see fireworks from all over town and hear them from our house. We are in a new construction neighborhood with all sizes of homes and every store and restaurant you can imagine super close. Much higher rated schools compared to other places in WDW vicinity. I’ve lived all over the country in all sorts of neighborhoods and this is my favorite place I’ve ever lived. Happy to give you a tour if you like!
 

Register on WDWMAGIC. This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.

Top Bottom