U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Florida > Orlando
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Closed Thread Start New Thread
 
Old 08-08-2014, 10:11 AM
 
478 posts, read 344,746 times
Reputation: 565

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by EditorJul View Post
It really depends where people are coming from and where in the Orlando area they are settling, which is why doing research is so important. I work for myself, so coming here meant that I got an automatic raise by not having to pay Maryland state tax. Even though my husband is in IT, we expected that we'd take a pay cut because most places in DC do pay extra for the higher cost of living -- instead, my husband is being paid more here than he was in DC because he has pretty impressive skill sets. On the other hand, if you are a non-skilled worker, you will be one face in a crowd and you may be paid less if you don't stand out of the crowd. Unless you're from a big city, the cost of living difference won't be that great of a difference. For my husband and myself, however, our cost of living has gone down by approximately 40% because we're paying less for insurance (car and homeowner/renter went down by about 20%), no state income tax, not having to pay for private pre-K (which is free here), much lower (going from $2100/month to $1700/month) rent for much nicer and larger property, much lower electric and water bills, cheaper gas (for one recent week when I was visiting in DC, I paid $3.85/gal. and my husband down here paid $3.23/gal.), less driving to get to everywhere we need to go (meaning not only less gas but less wear and tear on the cars), and lower price for groceries.

Safety is another issue of "it depends". The 2014 NeighborhoodScout data put where I lived as the 29th most dangerous city in America and Orlando is own at 81st. It also seems that there's a lot more differentiation between the "good part of town" and the "bad part of town", especially when you get out in the suburbs. On the other hand, there's parts of town that are on par with where I lived in DC, and would have no desire to live again.

It might be that this year is very mild or that my memories of growing up in south FL are skewed, but this year doesn't seem to have as brutal a summer as I remember from growing up…and it is a LOT less brutal than last summer was in DC. A couple times this summer I've actually wanted a sweatshirt in the evenings. Very bizarre!

I think the big challenge for people moving down is that they don't do research ahead of time to figure out where they are planning to settle and weigh the pros and cons. A lot of people also don't budget for how expensive moving can be. So if people don't research where they are settling down and assess their needs (and how where they are coming from meets/doesn't meet it and where they are going to will meet/doesn't meet those needs), then it really is on them, not for not being able to acclimate, but for making the mistake of moving in the first place.

The one thing I will say is that unless you're coming from NYC, this area has more dining options than anywhere else I've ever seen in the U.S. Now quality can be questionable, but quantity… it's amazing.

Your situation sounds similar to mine. I work from home and will be keeping my current job if/when we move. My husband is currently looking for something in the Orlando area, but he too is highly skilled in a very narrow and specific job category, so we are expecting him to make more there too (although we shall see).

That said, I am trying to do my due diligence and be VERY realistic about the realities of life in Orlando, and the costs.

Our taxes here are higher, but our homeowner's insurance is lower. In Orlando it's the opposite, so I figure that to be a wash. The home prices are much lower there for what you get, and we would save an instant 5% off our current state tax (on my husband's salary only though - since I am still technically employed in the state we are leaving, we would owe state tax on my income). But we pay an exorbitant amount in winter here to heat our home. Just wondering if the $300+/month electric bill (mentioned by the previous poster) is realistic. What about the cost of water? Here we pay an flat, annual fee of about $600.00.

I feel like our car insurance is pretty cheap here, and I wonder if it would be more in Florida. So hard to calculate when you don't know the actual costs. We don't have kids, so school costs aren't an issue. Gasoline is cheaper, but it sounds like the tolls are higher, which could offset any savings there?

I'm getting the feeling we wouldn't be saving the 40% you are saving - more like maybe 10%. Would love to hear your thoughts though.

TIA.

 
Old 08-08-2014, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
5,739 posts, read 3,711,894 times
Reputation: 7297
You're unlikely to see $600 utility bills here.
~$300 is more likely to occur for a house. Less if you're in an apartment, more if you live in a two-story house, or one with high ceilings. My friend pays around $500/month, but he has 20 foot ceilings.
Water is cheap. Period. My water bill averages $20-40/month. And I don't use water sparingly.
 
Old 08-08-2014, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Windermere, FL
782 posts, read 819,509 times
Reputation: 581
It might be useful for people to identify which part of the Orlando metro they are talking about with their impressions and where they came from originally… both of those seem to really skew impressions one way or the other because this area is so different.

Case in point, when I lived near MCO (around 2000), traffic was pretty bad (although not as bad as where I moved from in the NE), but Lynx was awesome to get me to work (direct bus route, 30 minutes door to door). There were few options for alternate routes. Pay was substantially better than what I made up north. The area was scuzzy, but I didn't see much in the way of crime. I'd go to Disney maybe once or twice a week to hang out, but didn't do much else outside the home aside from work. Aside from the grocery store, driving anywhere took 20-30 minutes. It was a typical middle-income semi-city experience. A hearty meh.

When I moved to the Central Fl Parkway/SOBT area (~2002), traffic was much worse and Lynx didn't help. There were no good alternate routes. Even going to the grocery store required a 10 minute drive. Housing was nicer, but jobs were much scarce as things hadn't bounced back from 9/11. I'd go to Disney maybe once a week. It was okay in that area. Nothing exceptional either way, and congestion was building because of Hunters Creek building out.

Now in the "Windernear" area (Horizon West area, but with a Windermere address), Lynx doesn't do me a bit of good, but traffic is almost non-existent and we have multiple ways to get to places. Everything is within a 10-15 minute drive or less, with grocery shopping within an easy stroll and kiddo's school within walking distance.

The first place I lived in was an older building, and power bills would run about $200/month (average for year-round). The second place was newer, and the bills were $150/month for a larger place. Where I'm living now is brand new, and around $120/month so far for the summer months. When I compare that with the $600-700/month electric bills that I got up in DC during the winter, it does seem like quite a bargain. Moral of the story, newer buildings are MUCH more energy efficient than they were 10-20 years ago!

Compared with where Arcenal352 lives, we get depressingly little afternoon rain here (yesterday a friend put up a picture of flooding on I-Drive…we eventually got 5 minutes of drizzle after dark). On the other hand, it has been comfortable enough for us to eat out on our porch almost every night. I've been able to do some hiking on our local wildlife preserve, and did get to see some birds and one non-venomous snake, but no gators. I did see a 3' one in a housing development lake one day, but that's about it. Lots of turtles, though. The lakes are full of them. And we do end up at Disney once or twice a week at this point. Part of it is that it is a very convenient place to go and just walk around for exercise.

I've moved away from Florida for job reasons three times to different spots on the northeast and living elsewhere just hasn't done it for me. I do know that there are people who would say the reverse. It's all about knowing yourself and research, research, research before you relocate!
 
Old 08-08-2014, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Spring Hill Florida
12,135 posts, read 11,405,164 times
Reputation: 5981
Yes, traffic is a hassle in Orlando. That was one of the reasons we left to go west - far west to the west coast of FL. Actually its only 90 miles.

How can u say public transport is near non-existent? LYNX has a wide area of coverage ans now there is a rail from the northern suburbs into town.

Yes. Urban sprawl. More people keep coming and coming. Where are they going to all live? Thus places like Maitland, Altamonte Springs etc become large.

Orlando Police Officer: Minimum Starting Salary $21.20 per hour. Salaries are generally lower in the south than the north. less taxation is one reason. Cost of living is another. What type of engineer are u talking about at 40-60k and with how many years experience?

I lived there for 17 years and dont think I ever had an OUC bill higher than $180. Perhaps you have an ancient a/c unit with dirty filter or your living space has no insulation.

The average Orlando high temp June, July, August is 92. This is the south. It is supposed to be hot.
Your heat index figure is a bit high. In the summer is when the heat index is high.
The rainy season runs from June to September. This is a subtropical area. Yes, it rains.

There are 50 naturally occurring species of snakes in Florida, only 6 are venomous. They are part of the environment.

Fire ants are poisonous. It would take thousands of bites to kill you unless you are allergic.
We have bees and wasps, neither are very aggressive unless you bother a nest. Their are only two types of spiders in Florida that are considered to be dangerous. The widows and the brown recluse.

The risk of getting sick in FL waters is very low unless u have a weak immune system or are in poor health to begin with.

When was the last time you saw a gator in the wild?

Crime: If you go looking for crime you will find it.

Thousands of locals have annual passes to the theme parks. More go than u think.

Dont forget: By your moving there you added to all the problems. Traffic. Lack of jobs. Congestion.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal352 View Post
I can name a few:

- Traffic and chaos getting around:
For such a relatively small city, traffic is a nightmare. Unlike most other cities with traffic issues, there really is no way around it, here. Public transit is near non-existant, and everything requires extensive driving. Which leads to the next point:

- Uncontrolled Urban sprawl:
Everything is scattered around at pretty far distances. It is very common for folks to have to drive 30+ miles one way to work, and then another 30 miles in the opposite direction to pick your kids up from school. Don't have a reliable car? Good luck.

- Pay rates:
Engineers (except for senior engineers) make $40-$60k/year. That's absurd.
Police officers average around the same as the guys changing your tires and oil at the tire shop.
Unless you're a health professional (Not talking CNAs or that kind, but more like MDs and NPs) the job market is terrible. The service and tourist industries are most prominent, and we all know how well those pay.

- Weather:
Think warm winters are nice? Well, these "warm" winters only last about 4 months. The rest of the year, it is disgustingly hot and humid outside, with heat indexes constantly reaching 110 degrees. And no, the temperature does not drop much at night. Add your power bill to that, from constantly having to have the AC on at full blast. Do you like $300+ monthly utility bills year round?
Also, Sunshine State? Think again. During the summer months (again, some 7 to 8 months of the year) at around 3PM, you will experience Doomsday; this phenomenon that occurs where the skies turn black and God unleashes oceans from the skies upon us. Every. Single. Day.

- Wildlife:
This may seem like a nice thing at first. I love birdwatching, and Florida in general is great for that. However, you WILL have snakes in your yard... The deadly ones. You WILL run into alligators practically everywhere. You WILL constantly get attacked by poisonous bugs.
The nearby beaches are nice, but there are always reports of bacterial infections (again, deadly) from the warm saltwaters, and the lakes are known to contain brain-eating amoebas, large water moccasins, and again, alligators. Doesn't stop locals (like myself) from enjoying the waters once in a while, but there are pretty high risks involved. Not to mention, the Atlantic Coast east of Orlando is shark-infested.

- Crime:
I guess it's gotten better over the years, but most of Orange County is rather intimidating. Drive around, make a few stops. You'll see.

I live in Orlando. I have lived here since 2002. Moved from an urban, Northern environment. Will I move? Unlikely, as I have made my bed here. It's not a TERRIBLE place to live if you can make the most out of certain situations, and if you can find employment outside of the service and tourism industries. But it's definitely nothing fantastic either. Basically, every reason that one may have to WANT to move to Orlando will soon turn into a reason to want to move OUT.

P.S., locals don't go to Disney or Universal much at all. We'd rather get away from the chaos there. Smaller, but very enjoyable attractions include the two Fun Spot locations, and if you want to venture out a little, Busch Gardens in Tampa (VERY few tourists out there.)
 
Old 08-08-2014, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
5,739 posts, read 3,711,894 times
Reputation: 7297
Good point, EditorJul
I moved from Montreal and NYC.
I live near the Wekiva basin.
I work in Longwood, just along I-4.

However, I pretty much go through all areas of Orlando in order to shop at certain ethnic markets to get specialty items, so I do know the city rather well.
Windermere is a nice area. I'm just not fond of it being so close to Winter Garden/Ocoee.
 
Old 08-08-2014, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Windermere, FL
782 posts, read 819,509 times
Reputation: 581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellamouse View Post
Our taxes here are higher, but our homeowner's insurance is lower. In Orlando it's the opposite, so I figure that to be a wash. The home prices are much lower there for what you get, and we would save an instant 5% off our current state tax (on my husband's salary only though - since I am still technically employed in the state we are leaving, we would owe state tax on my income). But we pay an exorbitant amount in winter here to heat our home. Just wondering if the $300+/month electric bill (mentioned by the previous poster) is realistic. What about the cost of water? Here we pay an flat, annual fee of about $600.00.

I feel like our car insurance is pretty cheap here, and I wonder if it would be more in Florida. So hard to calculate when you don't know the actual costs. We don't have kids, so school costs aren't an issue. Gasoline is cheaper, but it sounds like the tolls are higher, which could offset any savings there?

I'm getting the feeling we wouldn't be saving the 40% you are saving - more like maybe 10%. Would love to hear your thoughts though.

TIA.

We had the misfortune of having a home with a finished but empty basement up north that was heated by electric with dual heat pumps -- so we paid anywhere between $600-800 in the winter to heat it, and $400-500 in the summer to keep it cool. We've moved into an apartment that has slightly more square footage than the livable space in our house up north, but because we're down to one a/c unit, in an apartment that has all sorts of energy efficiency standards, our electric bill is running around $120-ish. For water, it is combined with a utility service that includes water, sewer, and valet trash service. That runs $50/month. (Back in DC, we were paying $150 every three months and paid for trash in our city taxes. The recent kerfuffle up there is that they are changing how water services will be billed, and you will be billed based on the size of the pipes bringing water to your house instead of actual usage, so our water bill likely would go up by about 20% or more.)

Our car insurance went down, but that's because we lived two blocks into the wrong zip code up north. Had we lived two blocks over, we'd pay the same rate that we're paying down here.

There's a lot more toll roads around here, although I don't use them as often as I might because everything I go to is in the immediate area. I budget maybe $20-50/month for tolls if I know I'm going to be doing a lot of driving around. I have never gone over that budget, though.

Off the top of my head, not including what we are saving on state income tax, we saved about $800/month on school costs, $500+/month on utility costs, $20+/month on fuel (but then evened out by paying some tolls), $300-400/month on rent/mortgage (although for the houses that we're looking at, the savings will probably be cut to about $100/month or may even break even), $40/month on insurance, got an 8% raise to move, and are spending about $50/week less on groceries. Registering the cars in the state was more expensive than up north, but we don't have to pay for emissions testing every year. We're also saving around $3,000/year on vacations because we don't have to spend as much on travel and can take advantage of different Florida discounts.
 
Old 08-08-2014, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Windermere, FL
782 posts, read 819,509 times
Reputation: 581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal352 View Post
Good point, EditorJul
I moved from Montreal and NYC.
I live near the Wekiva basin.
I work in Longwood, just along I-4.

However, I pretty much go through all areas of Orlando in order to shop at certain ethnic markets to get specialty items, so I do know the city rather well.
Windermere is a nice area. I'm just not fond of it being so close to Winter Garden/Ocoee.
*grin* I think that just saying "along I-4" is enough to make anyone have less than ideal feelings about Central Florida!

If I'm going to Winter Garden, I'm either hitting up the shops at Winter Garden Village, heading to the bakery, or going into downtown for the farmer's market and splash area. Aside from that, I'm not doing much up in the Winter Garden area and, having driven through Ocoee, I've been there/done that/don't see a need to go back.
 
Old 08-08-2014, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
5,739 posts, read 3,711,894 times
Reputation: 7297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Hillian View Post
Yes, traffic is a hassle in Orlando. That was one of the reasons we left to go west - far west to the west coast of FL. Actually its only 90 miles.

How can u say public transport is near non-existent? LYNX has a wide area of coverage ans now there is a rail from the northern suburbs into town.

Yes. Urban sprawl. More people keep coming and coming. Where are they going to all live? Thus places like Maitland, Altamonte Springs etc become large.

Orlando Police Officer: Minimum Starting Salary $21.20 per hour. Salaries are generally lower in the south than the north. less taxation is one reason. Cost of living is another. What type of engineer are u talking about at 40-60k and with how many years experience?

I lived there for 17 years and dont think I ever had an OUC bill higher than $180. Perhaps you have an ancient a/c unit with dirty filter or your living space has no insulation.

The average Orlando high temp June, July, August is 92. This is the south. It is supposed to be hot.
Your heat index figure is a bit high. In the summer is when the heat index is high.
The rainy season runs from June to September. This is a subtropical area. Yes, it rains.

There are 50 naturally occurring species of snakes in Florida, only 6 are venomous. They are part of the environment.

Fire ants are poisonous. It would take thousands of bites to kill you unless you are allergic.
We have bees and wasps, neither are very aggressive unless you bother a nest. Their are only two types of spiders in Florida that are considered to be dangerous. The widows and the brown recluse.

The risk of getting sick in FL waters is very low unless u have a weak immune system or are in poor health to begin with.

When was the last time you saw a gator in the wild?

Crime: If you go looking for crime you will find it.

Thousands of locals have annual passes to the theme parks. More go than u think.

Dont forget: By your moving there you added to all the problems. Traffic. Lack of jobs. Congestion.
Most engineers (electrical, civil, mechanical) with anywhere from 0 to 8 years of experience make approximately that, unless they have a Masters Degree.

92 in Florida is not 92 in, say, Texas. The humidity adds to the heat index, and yes, it is often near 110 during the summer.

Sure, only 6 of the snakes here are venomous. However, they are very common in most areas.

As for the bugs, I didn't say anything about the bugs KILLING you. They are just extremely numerous and add to the other nuisances of Central FL.

I see wild gators daily. There is a rather large, bold one that lives in the stream behind our office building, and there are many of them by the lake near my house, where I tend to jog in the evening. So yes, I see gators every day. In several areas.

Crime: I did mention that it is on the decline. However, many victims of crime do not go looking for it. Home invasions were very common not too long ago. Break-ins still are.

I have annual passes to the theme parks too. However, I do not go as often as some of my northern friends would assume. I find much more enjoyment going to the smaller attractions that aren't so rampant with tourists.

The Lynx system is still atrocious when compared to other cities. I will not take that back. The commuter rail is only convenient if you live along I-4.


By the way, I live here, and as mentioned before, have no intention to move. I was merely answering the OP's question as to WHY some would want to move out of Orlando. The issues I mentioned are recurring reasons I have seen/heard time and time again.
 
Old 08-08-2014, 11:01 AM
 
Location: N Atlanta
4,599 posts, read 2,791,564 times
Reputation: 2301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal352 View Post
I can name a few:

- Traffic and chaos getting around:
For such a relatively small city, traffic is a nightmare. Unlike most other cities with traffic issues, there really is no way around it, here. Public transit is near non-existant, and everything requires extensive driving. Which leads to the next point:

- Uncontrolled Urban sprawl:
Everything is scattered around at pretty far distances. It is very common for folks to have to drive 30+ miles one way to work, and then another 30 miles in the opposite direction to pick your kids up from school. Don't have a reliable car? Good luck.

- Pay rates:
Engineers (except for senior engineers) make $40-$60k/year. That's absurd.
Police officers average around the same as the guys changing your tires and oil at the tire shop.
Unless you're a health professional (Not talking CNAs or that kind, but more like MDs and NPs) the job market is terrible. The service and tourist industries are most prominent, and we all know how well those pay.

- Weather:
Think warm winters are nice? Well, these "warm" winters only last about 4 months. The rest of the year, it is disgustingly hot and humid outside, with heat indexes constantly reaching 110 degrees. And no, the temperature does not drop much at night. Add your power bill to that, from constantly having to have the AC on at full blast. Do you like $300+ monthly utility bills year round?
Also, Sunshine State? Think again. During the summer months (again, some 7 to 8 months of the year) at around 3PM, you will experience Doomsday; this phenomenon that occurs where the skies turn black and God unleashes oceans from the skies upon us. Every. Single. Day.

- Wildlife:
This may seem like a nice thing at first. I love birdwatching, and Florida in general is great for that. However, you WILL have snakes in your yard... The deadly ones. You WILL run into alligators practically everywhere. You WILL constantly get attacked by poisonous bugs.
The nearby beaches are nice, but there are always reports of bacterial infections (again, deadly) from the warm saltwaters, and the lakes are known to contain brain-eating amoebas, large water moccasins, and again, alligators. Doesn't stop locals (like myself) from enjoying the waters once in a while, but there are pretty high risks involved. Not to mention, the Atlantic Coast east of Orlando is shark-infested.

- Crime:
I guess it's gotten better over the years, but most of Orange County is rather intimidating. Drive around, make a few stops. You'll see.

I live in Orlando. I have lived here since 2002. Moved from an urban, Northern environment. Will I move? Unlikely, as I have made my bed here. It's not a TERRIBLE place to live if you can make the most out of certain situations, and if you can find employment outside of the service and tourism industries. But it's definitely nothing fantastic either. Basically, every reason that one may have to WANT to move to Orlando will soon turn into a reason to want to move OUT.

P.S., locals don't go to Disney or Universal much at all. We'd rather get away from the chaos there. Smaller, but very enjoyable attractions include the two Fun Spot locations, and if you want to venture out a little, Busch Gardens in Tampa (VERY few tourists out there.)

+1 on all of the above ...

To the OP -

If you have children and before you buy a house, do a neighborhood search for sexual offenders here :

https://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/Search.jsp

Just checked our rental house ... 76 in a 5-mile radius and some of them live in upscale subdivisions.
You wouldn't want to buy with one next door ...

Also, we had a lot of trouble when renovating our house with shady contractors. Do your homework; do not rely on Angie's List as we found a few bad eggs there with tons of positive reviews.

And I would disagree with poster SH on the friendliness of the people in Orlando, at least from our experience. We live in north Atlanta now and the level of civility and friendliness is worlds different. Kids here say "Yes sir" or "No ma'am" and hold the door for the women and the elderly. We didn't find that to be the case in Orlando. Neighbors are neighborly here in north Georgia and don't pull in the garage, close the door, and run the other way. Once again, your experience may be different.

As my wife now says about Orlando ... "Hay demasiada chusma" ... and she used to be an Orlando-lover.

Last edited by Soup Not See; 08-08-2014 at 11:28 AM..
 
Old 08-08-2014, 11:20 AM
 
1,422 posts, read 1,526,037 times
Reputation: 1128
Traffic is not too bad compared to other places. But what is bad is the amount of bad drivers. A lot of hit and runs happen. You have tourists, immigrants and old people that drive like maniacs.
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Closed Thread


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2013 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Florida > Orlando

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 - Top