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Old 08-07-2014, 11:30 AM
 
214 posts, read 592,683 times
Reputation: 88

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Hello, My family may plan a move to Orlando area, but since this is an earth shattering move for us due to our 3 kids, I want to get a better feel before making the decision.

I get what some of the people here complained about -- increasing cost of insurance, property taxes, plus rising crimes. However, I would think this would not bother us much as we are both professionals and probably live in a more affluent community (though we are not rich). Targeted area like Winter Park, Windermere, etc.

1) Am I wrong in the aspects above?

Now why we want to leave Ohio -- as usual, long harsh winter, not many choices of authentic food, nothing to do in Ohio, lack of sunshine, higher income tax. We don't mind the heat & humidity of 90s, as we are used to it -- Worst case, we just go out in early morning, or enjoy the late evening when sun sets during June-Aug. We probably would buy Disney/Seaworld/Waterpark annual passes for our weekly entertainment, plus escape to Tampa beach once in a blue moon. I know Ohio probably has one of the highest property tax in the nation, say $400K house in best schools would cost me $8k ~ $10k per year. So I would not be shocked by Orlando tax.

2) Do you see me making any wrong assumptions above?

So why people move out of Orlando? I have friends that move there and decided to relocate again out of Florida. Typical complains are Heat & Humidity (duh you didn't know before??!!), lack of friends (unfriendly & segregated community?), less-than-expected authentic food choices, and the biggest -- Bad Public schools.

To mitigate the school quality issue, due to unfamiliar comparison between OH and FL schools, I rely on GreatSchools.org rating of 8~10 for all assigned K~12 elementary/Middle/High schools. And so far, it seems like Windermere is the only winner for proximity to Southwest Orlando.

3) Assuming those with kids who want to relocate out of Orlando, would they still move if they have a different experience of living in an affluent community? I heard more-than-typical racial segregation in Florida communities, but does this also occur over affluent community?

FYI, both me and wife are Asian Chinese, and could not speak Spanish.

4) Where do Chinese congregate in Orlando?

Many Thanks
Sean

Last edited by sftong; 08-07-2014 at 12:44 PM..
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Windermere, FL
782 posts, read 779,460 times
Reputation: 580
We moved from Maryland to Windermere in April for the same list of reasons that you have. Like you, heat and humidity just means relaxing indoors during the middle of the day. Almost every evening we eat dinner on our back porch. Once the sun isn't shining down on your directly, it isn't bad.

We haven't done a whole lot of trying to make friends because we've been working on settling in and have some friends in the area that we're reconnecting with. I was a little nervous that affluent community = rich white people only (as my husband is Filipino and so my daughter is bi-racial Filipino/White), but if I had any nerves, going to kiddo's pre-K orientation yesterday completely knocked those out of the picture. With the possible exception of Native American, her class has every form of ethnic category represented. While we were all sitting around and filling out paperwork, I heard at least five languages spoken (English, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, either Urdu or Hindi, and Arabic). Oh, speaking of pre-K, the voluntary pre-K programs (VPK) are free… even if you can't get into one at a public school, you just apply for a voucher and take it to a private school of your choice. The state pays the bill.

I think most people who move out of this area do so for job reasons, a need to be near family, or because the more relaxed pace of life grates on their nerves. The first couple weekends we were down here when we had absolutely nothing to do, it was a bit of a shock. Neither my husband nor I had time for hobbies in the rush of DC-suburbia life, and so we had absolutely no clue what to do when we had nothing to do. We're adjusting, but some people don't.

As far as crime goes, we had an issue with check fraud right after we moved in (but got it resolved and got all our money back from the bank). There was also a home invasion in Windermere right after we moved in at one of the gated mansions not far from here, and everyone was shocked because that sort of thing doesn't happen around here. The news talks a lot about crime in Orange County, but so far it doesn't seem to be around here.

Had we to do it all over again, we would…and I've asked my husband if he'd want to leave the area, and he very firmly says no. It really is a great mesh for us.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:07 PM
 
11 posts, read 29,611 times
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I am glad to hear your report, EditorJul, as we are contemplating the move too, and we are mixed couple too - I am Asian, and husband is Hispanic, so we've wondered about that very same thing for our 2 kids!
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Central Florida
184 posts, read 305,047 times
Reputation: 78
Everything is a trade-off. Car insurance and homeowners insurance is probably higher here. (In fact I just moved to Orlando after living in NY for a few years and my car insurance on Long Island is cheaper than here in Central Florida) However, sales tax is often lower and property taxes (while rising) are dirt cheap comparatively. The house I rented on Long Island was valued at $500K (nothing nice - a crappy 2 family non-updated duplex) - the property taxes were $17K/yr!

There are a ton of nice neighborhoods so I would look for good school districts, their quality does vary. There's a lot of new cultural things around here. Central Florida is growing in so many ways I'm excited about it's future.

You'll get sick of theme parks quickly so...be warned. The traffic and chaos around the tourist areas keep a lot of locals away. I venture there time to time but it's a hassle.

Crime happens but it happens everywhere. Crime has dropped so much lately though, but news is news so they will always feature crime.

Best of luck!
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
3,356 posts, read 5,002,309 times
Reputation: 2046
Grass is greener syndrome.

They come here expecting greener, and leave in pursuit of the same.
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:18 AM
 
18,053 posts, read 24,162,041 times
Reputation: 14859
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrlFlaUsa View Post
Grass is greener syndrome.

They come here expecting greener, and leave in pursuit of the same.
It's more like the area has many well-documented issues which include lower salaries, a weak job market (unless an IT professional or in a skilled healthcare occupation), a generally less sophisticated population than other major cities, subsequent fewer amenities in terms of dining and shopping, an environment not noted for making friends easily (tract housing where many come and go in their cars via their garages), brutal seven month summers, high crime in many areas (Orlando is among the most dangerous cities in terms of violent crimes) and a cost of living not the bargain it appeared to be for many. To suggest there's something wrong with those who don't acclimate is ridiculous given the universal belief beyond your own views that Orlando is not exactly among the "most livable" cities in the US.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Windermere, FL
782 posts, read 779,460 times
Reputation: 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
It's more like the area has many well-documented issues which include lower salaries, a weak job market (unless an IT professional or in a skilled healthcare occupation), a generally less sophisticated population than other major cities, subsequent fewer amenities in terms of dining and shopping, an environment not noted for making friends easily (tract housing where many come and go in their cars via their garages), brutal seven month summers, high crime in many areas (Orlando is among the most dangerous cities in terms of violent crimes) and a cost of living not the bargain it appeared to be for many. To suggest there's something wrong with those who don't acclimate is ridiculous given the universal belief beyond your own views that Orlando is not exactly among the "most livable" cities in the US.
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.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
3,356 posts, read 5,002,309 times
Reputation: 2046
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
It's more like the area has many well-documented issues which include lower salaries, a weak job market (unless an IT professional or in a skilled healthcare occupation), a generally less sophisticated population than other major cities, subsequent fewer amenities in terms of dining and shopping, an environment not noted for making friends easily (tract housing where many come and go in their cars via their garages), brutal seven month summers, high crime in many areas (Orlando is among the most dangerous cities in terms of violent crimes) and a cost of living not the bargain it appeared to be for many. To suggest there's something wrong with those who don't acclimate is ridiculous given the universal belief beyond your own views that Orlando is not exactly among the "most livable" cities in the US.
And constantly scapegoating one's problems or shortcomings on a city is clear evidence of a negative agenda. You may see it as honesty, but I challenge you to go to another city's board and harp incessantly on said locations few downsides like they are epic problems (otherwise known as blowing things out of proportion), and see if people don't react the same way many of us do.

Oh and BTW, we punch way above our weight class in terms of entertainment options. But even still that's not the point. The point is you and some others like to pretend there is something wrong with Orlando for an urban area of well over a million people.

Plus it's not like somebody struggling here as a hotel housekeeper is going to move to Dallas or Raleigh and all of a sudden land a professional sector job, start going to art galleries, and be totally changed. But your delusional thoughts seem to suggest so, please say it ain't so?
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Spring Hill Florida
12,135 posts, read 11,228,027 times
Reputation: 5978
Property taxes are based on the value of your home as assessed by the County tax collector where you live. Car insurance is highly dependent on the zip code you live in. Cities are higher than suburban areas. The driving records of the insureds is important. It is all based on risk. If you are a higher risk you will pay more than a less risky driver. Shop around. Use AAA insurance. You dont have to be a member of AAA. Homeowners insurance is cheap. Its the coverage for wind that is expensive. Again, its a matter of shopping around for a policy that fits your needs for the best price.

Crime is everywhere. In FL most of the crime is property crime. Dont leave your garage door open, lock windows, secure sliding glass doors. You want to make it impossible to lift the door out of its tracks. That is easy to do with a small block of aluminum or a few screws in the track not fullly screwed in. Secure your property. Get an alarm system or at least a couple of yard signs that say you have one.
Dont leave stuff in your car in plain view.

The heat and humidity isnt as bad as advertised so long as you arent out doing physical work from 10am until 3pm in the summer time. Use solar blocking films on your house windows and your cars.

Sounds like you have a grip on evaluating schools.

People come and go for a lot of reasons. Most of the time its their inability to make a living that they are comfortable with. Wages are lower in the south than most of the country especially the high cost highly taxed north eastern states. If you are making $10 an hour at McDonalds in your home town you will make $10 an hour at McDonalds here. If you are a skilled administrative person making $60k a year where you are you will probably make $40k a year here. It is all relative. Florida employers will pay for quality. The problem is a large pool of qualified employees and a smaller pool of available jobs. That tends to keep wages lower overall.

People here are just as friendly as people anywhere else. If you're one of those bad attitude people you will be shunned here just as much as anywhere else. There are many organizations for people seeking people with the same interests and/or backgrounds.

There arent a whole lot of Chinese folks in Orlando. There is a huge Vietnamese community there.
Orlando has the largest Vietnamese community in the state of FL.

Affluent really doesnt count for much. People are people. Just be human. If you're those nose up in the air people you are going to limit your acceptance except for those with the same traits.

As far as food choices there is really no limit. There are many options from all over the world.

Spanish is hardly a requirement to live in Orlando.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sftong View Post
Hello, My family may plan a move to Orlando area, but since this is an earth shattering move for us due to our 3 kids, I want to get a better feel before making the decision.

I get what some of the people here complained about -- increasing cost of insurance, property taxes, plus rising crimes. However, I would think this would not bother us much as we are both professionals and probably live in a more affluent community (though we are not rich). Targeted area like Winter Park, Windermere, etc.

1) Am I wrong in the aspects above?

Now why we want to leave Ohio -- as usual, long harsh winter, not many choices of authentic food, nothing to do in Ohio, lack of sunshine, higher income tax. We don't mind the heat & humidity of 90s, as we are used to it -- Worst case, we just go out in early morning, or enjoy the late evening when sun sets during June-Aug. We probably would buy Disney/Seaworld/Waterpark annual passes for our weekly entertainment, plus escape to Tampa beach once in a blue moon. I know Ohio probably has one of the highest property tax in the nation, say $400K house in best schools would cost me $8k ~ $10k per year. So I would not be shocked by Orlando tax.

2) Do you see me making any wrong assumptions above?

So why people move out of Orlando? I have friends that move there and decided to relocate again out of Florida. Typical complains are Heat & Humidity (duh you didn't know before??!!), lack of friends (unfriendly & segregated community?), less-than-expected authentic food choices, and the biggest -- Bad Public schools.

To mitigate the school quality issue, due to unfamiliar comparison between OH and FL schools, I rely on GreatSchools.org rating of 8~10 for all assigned K~12 elementary/Middle/High schools. And so far, it seems like Windermere is the only winner for proximity to Southwest Orlando.

3) Assuming those with kids who want to relocate out of Orlando, would they still move if they have a different experience of living in an affluent community? I heard more-than-typical racial segregation in Florida communities, but does this also occur over affluent community?

FYI, both me and wife are Asian Chinese, and could not speak Spanish.

4) Where do Chinese congregate in Orlando?

Many Thanks
Sean
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
5,550 posts, read 3,550,648 times
Reputation: 7070
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.)

Last edited by Arcenal352; 08-08-2014 at 09:16 AM..
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