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Advice on moving to Orlando area


swc5150
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I'm reaching out to you Orlando area ballers for thoughts on good landing spots for a relocation from WI. After taking a number of vacations back and forth, my wife just booked us a trip the week of the 4th of July down there to seek out potential towns and/or homes to consider. We just can't do WI winters anymore. We're looking at the areas surrounding Orlando, and as far west as Lakeland. I'm curious what towns are considered good places to raise a family (our daughter starts kindergarten in the fall), as well as towns to avoid. Even at a high-level, are the western suburbs more desirable than the southern for example? I'm not taking into account employment yet, although my wife would likely work at a college or university. Any insight from you guys would be great!
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Can't recommend private school enough. Perhaps do less in a home mortgage cost to offset the cost of private school. It's what we did. Small house on a killer lake. My wife and I worked in the FL public school system for a combined 42yrs. Our daughter never set foot in one. Some public school experiences may vary ...but not many.
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If you like traffic, HOA fees, long boat ramp lines, Yankees, HOA fees, more HOA, disappearing wilderness, zero mom and pop businesses then come on down! Born and raised in Orlando. Live in a rural side of a “bed and breakfast” outskirt town for Orlando. I’m so sick of this Otown dump I’m ready to move. Thinking a small town Wisconsin sounds nice. But I can’t convince my wife and for some reason work always seem to fall in my lap here. I can’t say I agree with Wish about the schooling though. My wife works for Orange County Public Schools. She insists our boys will go to Orange Public schools and no other surrounding county. We both agree, public schools take some over seeing by the parents. I love the weather though!
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And just to get it out there. Yes there are gator's in just about every body of water. No they are not often seen (nocturnal). You're an idiot if you splash around at night. Never has a skier been injured or worse by a gator. The media over plays and over blows all gator attacks because its soooo RARE!!!
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Thanks for the replies. Ha, yes we definitely have cabin fever this year! At one point, we had so much snow fall on our roof that we could open the front or patios doors. None of us like snow, cold, shoveling, plowing, etc. anymore. I'll take HOA fees over my wife getting stuck in our own driveway:)

 

The Winter Garden area is one of our planned stops. That area, on the surface, looks very appealing to our lifestyle.

 

I'm getting used to the thought of gators. We have dangerous wildlife up here as well.

 

@klindy I have 2 careers actually. I'm a touring musician and also a marketing manager at a b2c direct marketing company. My wife is a high school guidance counselor.

 

I imagine July 4th is a bad week to hook with one of you guys, but that would be great if someone was available. We get it Sunday night June 30th, and leave Friday the 5th. We're staying at the JW Grande Lakes fwiw.

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I try to get down to Florida at least once a year. I really love the Claremont,groveland area.

If my kids were a little more independent I'd sell everything and move down there. But I'm a Canadian so that prop ably won't happen.

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I think the best way for you to find your place here in Florida is to invistigate places as best you can online, and then check those places out when you are down here.

 

One cool thing about being near Orlando is that you can be relatively close to Orlando yet you could live out in the sticks,, in the Swampy areas, or in small hills around Clermont, suburbs, the City of Orlando, or you may find a cool combination of all of those. There are so many different types of places you could live, It would be hard for me suggest any without.

 

In terms of waterskiing. Here in the Melbourne/Space coast area, other than Stillwater lakes we have to drive close to Orlando or Palm Beach for "structured" water ski stuff.

 

-Ryan

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Best advice is to get with a good real estate broker and get them to help you pare down your options. I bought through Kris and Jen LaPoint and could not have been happier. Google them for contact info or pm me.

 

Oh, I won’t be in town when you are here in July. Some people go south for the winter; I go north for the summer.

Lpskier

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I'm on Lake Ola just outside of Mount Dora. We love the area but don't have kids so not sure about the schools, but I have a few friends who send their kids to Montverde Academy. If you're looking for a smaller town I would consider Clermont, Winter Garden and Mt Dora areas. The downside is the only college close by is Lake Sumter State College (Clermont and Leesburg). Getting closer to Orlando would give you more options.
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We're definitely looking at private school. She's at a private school now (4k), and has been there for daycare as well. It's an infant through 12 catholic school here in Eau Claire, in which my wife is also the guidance counselor. We have it made here in that respect. She worked 5 years in our public system, so she's seen the difference first hand between the two in WI. But, we are both public school grads and doing fine. But you could also show off your deer rifle in school when I went, so things have changed considerably.
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East Orlando is were I live off of 417 a toll Road. You want to be on one side or the other of I-4. There are many lakes on the east side like all parts of Orlando. Your wife could apply to work at UCF or Rollins College and there are private schools in the area. Chris Parrish's mom is a relater and has helped many people find Lake front homes. If you want a ski ride when your in town or just talk to those of us that live, work and ski in Orlando I have a group of skiers that will be happy to give you advice PM me if you like
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Oh yeah. Toll roads. Pfft, If you like toll roads and epass not communicating with sunpass and them holding ~$100 of your money at a time only to lien your tag, c’mon down! In all seriousness though a word of advice, traffic flows north and south basically anywhere in the town. East and west no matter where you are is grid lock.
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The first giant bug, poisonous snake, black widow, petty theft, or gator in my yard or house would end my Florida dream pretty quickly. The cold winters keep a lot of stuff away up here. Plus then we'd be so far away from "up north" aka northern Wisconsin. And that would truly be a loss during the summer. Greatest place on earth*

 

*for 3 months a year

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Winter Garden is great. We live 2 blocks off the main downtown area and love it (except its not water front...but some good options to trailer to within 10-15 minutes) For water front, there's not much in Winter Garden affordable. Depending on budget you may be looking a little farther out (some outskirts of WG, Monteverde, Clermont, etc.) Especially if you end up on the West side of town there is Valencia College and Lake/Sumpter Comm. College for your wife. There's a lot going on for musicians, its a pretty common place for musicians and technicians that have spent years touring to settle down, between the theme parks and all that surrounds it. I can get you in touch with a guy that does a lot of the bookings for acts in and out of the theme parks if you want to talk to him....PM me.
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I 2nd (or 3rd) getting a realtor involved.

Didn’t see any mention of @drew (Drew Ross) here, but highly suggest contacting him!

He was fantastic to work with when we searched a home down here and went above and beyond to get us our dream home on a small ski lake in Clermont. Couldn’t be any happier having worked with him. He knows about the needs of a skier and everything that is to know about all that realtor stuff.

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I would like to chime in on the Clermont, Winter Garden area recommendations. I know most of the Orlando area lakes with slalom courses, and chose to live on the West side near the Montverde Academy. Feel free to email me and set up a ski set or two!

b8ikt5y5gq3a.jpg

 

 

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