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simpddls25

Where should I live?

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Hey all,

My girlfriend is moving to the Orlando area to start an engineering job with Disney. She's really pumped to be moving to the Orlando area but she has no idea which city to live in as she's from Arkansas and has only visited Orlando once to go to Disney World. She's looking for a good metro-Orlando city to live in where there are an abundance of young professionals, that isn't far from downtown Orlando, and that has all the amenities of a commercialized suburb -- lots of restaurants, a mall or two nearby, a couple grocery stores, etc. She's looking to move into a town house or rent out a house. No more than a 45 minute drive to Lake Buena Vista.

I know there is no right or wrong answer. I just want to hear some folks' opinions with some pride in their hometowns that think this would be a good fit for her, and hopefully in a couple more months, for me! Thanks, all, for your suggestions!

Dave

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so many factors to consider, starting with price.

I think there's some townhouses off of Michigan and Orange, near SoDo, which will be a great neighborhood with all the new stuff going in there.

downtown Orlando...

then there's the apts./condos perhaps near Millenia off Millenia Blvd. down to Oakridge.

other than that, it could be anywhere in and around a 10 mile radius from Disney-- even as north at WG Village off of 535 & 429...

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I would also check out Metro West. When I moved here 10 years ago with little knowledge of the area I started there. It ended up being a great place to get a good idea as to where I lived. Of course, in my case it proved that I wanted to live downtown... But it was still nice.

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Depends how much she wants to drive and travel for entertainment (outside of driving to/from work). Post Parkside apartments along with condos available for rent in Downtown Orlando (about 25 min from Lake Buena Vista) would be an ideal location for after hours and weekend activities, entertainment, restaurants, etc.. And one of few locations where you can walk everywhere and not worry about having to drive home after an evening out. This area is also surrounded by residential historic districts (Lake Eola Heights, Thorton Park) where a lot of professionals reside and where you can find some pretty cool homes available for rent.

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I would think that the Camden Court right on Orange Ave in downtown & right off I-4 would be a great place. Very new & convenient location right off the interstate.

There are also those older townhouses on Summerlin & E. Church St. that are quite nice & would probably rent a bit cheaper than the brand new ones. Right near Lake Eola in the heart of downtown in a quiet, peaceful neighborhood with lots of trees.

And of course there is SoDo opening soon. With a Super Target literally right outside your doorway, downtown just a short drive & Disney about 20 minutes away, I'd think that would be ideal.

I don't think I'd want tolive in MetroWest because all I ever hear about is crime in that area, plus the traffic from Universal Studios is a nightmare.

And then there's always Celebration if you can find something to rent down there that's affordable. She'd be very close to work & there is a lot of shopping close by.

Personally, I'd try to find something in or near downtown. Best place to live & only about 20 - 30 minutes from Disney.

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As an ex-Disney Employee from many moons ago, right around property is the best idea if she feels she will be putting in any OT. Also, having the silver pass, or whatever they have now, it's great hitting EPCOT for dinner. Helped me realize why I was working for perfection backstage mingling with the guests. I respectfully disagree about downtown, until the 408/I-4 gets sorted out, nothing but frustration awaits you there.

Your choice must hinge on how much are you willing to mingle with tourists. I found it refreshing and cosmopolitan, others just wanted to get away. The closer you are, the more tourist haunts you'll hang at. Friends I made at work, bar buddies I made in the tourist bars by the hundreds. I left Disney being able to say "Hello", "excuse me" and give basic directions in 26 languages, and get my face slapped in 28!

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As an ex-Disney Employee from many moons ago, right around property is the best idea if she feels she will be putting in any OT. Also, having the silver pass, or whatever they have now, it's great hitting EPCOT for dinner. Helped me realize why I was working for perfection backstage mingling with the guests. I respectfully disagree about downtown, until the 408/I-4 gets sorted out, nothing but frustration awaits you there.

Your choice must hinge on how much are you willing to mingle with tourists. I found it refreshing and cosmopolitan, others just wanted to get away. The closer you are, the more tourist haunts you'll hang at. Friends I made at work, bar buddies I made in the tourist bars by the hundreds. I left Disney being able to say "Hello", "excuse me" and give basic directions in 26 languages, and get my face slapped in 28!

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she will hate the commute if u live downtown. I nominate Metrowest or Millenia area, center of both worlds.

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What is your budget? That will play a huge factor in where you will reside.

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The last time I worked in the attractions area, I lived in College Park at the time. What should normally be a 30 minute drive used to take me an hour and up to 2 hours during peak season at the end of the day (around 5pm). College Park is just north of downtown. I wanted to shoot myself trying to get home.

For a shorter commute, I would think Windermere. You stay completely off I-4 by using Apopka Vineland Road and the shopping of MetroWest, I-Drive, and the general Kirkman Road area is close.

Kissimmee is close to the attraction area, but you won't have the "metro" feel nor the abundance of young professionals.

Anything north of Orlando may be too far of a drive every day. If you choose downtown, you will still want to either leave work early or find a happy hour until around 6:30/7:00 pm before getting on I-4 to go home.

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I think the best place would be around winter garden village. its like 10 minutes from disney and the village offers 20 diff. restaurants and its not too far from downtown when you want to go party.

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The Winter Garden / Ocoee / Windermere area is a decent choice based on your description. Many Disney folks live here, and you can either take 429, Apopka-Vineland, or 535 to Disney. It's also a reasonably quick ride to downtown Orlando (via 408). The general area has become pricier over the last 10 years, but there is still a wide range of options.

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One answer to a common questions: she can afford probably $800-$900/month for rent -- about $58k - $64k income. Thanks all, keep the comments coming, I really appreciate it.

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I'll throw Dr. Phillips into the mix.

-It's a short and easy commute to Disney-- only about 10 minutes down Apopka-Vineland Road and there won't be traffic like you'll find on I-4. It's closer than just about any other neighborhood already mentioned in this thread other than Celebration.

-There are a ton of restaurants in and around the area, both local and touristy.

-There's also a number of nice supermarkets, including a Fresh Market and Whole Foods.

-Mall at Millenia is about 10-15 minutes away, The Florida Mall is about 15-20 minutes away and West Oaks Mall is about 10-20 minutes away.

-Downtown Orlando is about 8 miles away, which can mean either a 15-minute drive or 30-minute drive depending on traffic. The airport is about 20-25 minutes away. Tampa is 75-miles away.

-The Butler Chain of Lakes is right there if you're into boating.

-The only thing it doesn't have that you said you're looking for is an abundance of young professionals. It's home to a lot of families so there's lots of kids around and few 20-somethings who chose to stick around after high school.

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I would say that out of all the suggestions Dr. Phillips is probably about the best one given the criteria mentioned in the original post.

I would stay away from MetroWest like the plague. That area is getting to be too crime ridden.

Millenia isn't all that safe either. Just ask Jennifer Kesse.

If you can find her.

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Lee Vista area is close to the airport but about a 35 minute drive depending on traffic it could be 40-45+ and there is a Toll. The problem is there is not much shopping to be done so you pretty much have to commute 15-20 minutes to get to Florida Mall or 25 minutes to get to Mall @ Millinia...or 30 minutes to get to most of the outlet malls.

Overall a nice area for people working @ theme parks but who want to get away from the Tourists. Overall safe neighborhood and should be able to find apartments/townhouses @ an affordable price.

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I would say that out of all the suggestions Dr. Phillips is probably about the best one given the criteria mentioned in the original post.

I would stay away from MetroWest like the plague. That area is getting to be too crime ridden.

Millenia isn't all that safe either. Just ask Jennifer Kesse.

If you can find her.

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Dr. Phillips would be best for location and lifestyle, but you will play hell trying to get something in that price range.

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Ocoee and Winter Garden are way too suburban. Downtown Orlando is crime ridden as well. Is there anyplace in Orlando that's safe? LOL

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Downtown Orlando is crime ridden as well. Is there anyplace in Orlando that's safe? LOL

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I lived within a short walk of Lake Eola for 15 years & never had one crime incident, but since I've moved away I've heard that crime has been on the increase a little. Especially in the area of The Sanctuary & Star Tower etc. which is near where I was.

But overall, I don't think the crime there is all that bad.

Yet.

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Thats a pretty sensualized statement.

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Agreed, 5+ years of safe, trouble-free downtown living. I have never felt insecure downtown.

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Will she have a decent income? Cost of living vs. wages here has become a very major problem. The ideal place to live would be downtown, College Park, Winter Park, Baldwin Park, SoDo would be an excellent option. Metro West is nice and the crime rate is almost non existant there now that the residents are paying for more cops. Winter Garden would be an awesome location with it's very active historic downtown and now emerging theatre scene, plus the new Winter Garden Village at Fowler Groves lifestyle center is very nice. As for an indoor mall in the area, West Oaks Mall in Ocoee probably rates as one of the worst malls in the metro (it looks nice, but it's Gap-less, which is never a good sign although a Hollister store recently opened there.) Ocoee is also pretty nice and merges in with Windermere, the whole southwest corridor is nice, but very limited apartment wise, more like mansions in the million dollar ranges. Millenia is a good choice, just don't go any further east of the IKEA store. Being downtown is always the best bet because Orlando has 4 directions to go if she changes jobs in another part of town. It's the one Florida city that can spread in every direction and not run in to an ocean or bay. Good Luck!

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