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Old 01-21-2015, 11:49 AM
 
11 posts, read 35,033 times
Reputation: 68

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So I moved to the Orlando area three months ago now and the verdict is in. I have to say that I feel pretty stupid for having commented on some other posts before moving here. I thought that people were being bitter for whatever reason and didn't take the majority of the negative comments seriously. So here are some observations from someone who learned the hard way.

My overall summary of the area is simply this: Orlando sucks. Many people, myself included, make the huge mistake of judging the quality of life and the people who live here against theme park visits. I can't imagine how many people have visited Disney World over the years and had a wonderful time and thought, "Gosh, I'd love to live here." Well, like the old adage goes, it's a nice place to visit but you wouldn't want to live here.

Without going into a long overblown diatribe I'll try and sum it up as succinctly as I can. Here's what you can expect if you move to the greater Orlando area: high crime, high probability of being in a car accident (which translates into high insurance rates), high rent for low quality housing, low wages, zero culture, a near non-existent restaurant scene (unless Cracker Barrel is a "scene" to you), traffic, traffic, traffic, traffic...did I mention traffic? If you want to get a sense of what is happening here you simply have to look on Indeed and follow what is happening in the job market. The behemoth theme park companies dominate the market share of jobs and the wages are appallingly low and not commensurate with the cost of living in the area. Further to that the chance of finding a full-time job with one of these companies is slim to nil. I have over twenty years of professional experience in marketing and management and have sent out countless resumes and simply do not receive responses. I mentioned it to a co-worker (I did find a part-time job) and she matter of factly said that that's just how it is and to expect it. And after being here now for awhile I've come to realize that there is simply little to no need for skilled professionals with an education.

I really can't stress it enough. If you're considering moving here you really should try to do as much research as possible. Apply for jobs if you don't have one lined up already and see what the response is. If you can afford to do so come here and rent for a couple of weeks and drive around and really get to know the lay of the land. If you're retired and have a guaranteed income and don't go out a lot and have low expectations then you'll probably enjoy the lifestyle here. However, if you enjoy socializing and a city with bookstores, coffee houses, culture, and things within reasonable traveling distance you will be sorely disappointed. This is one of the most transient cities you'll ever encounter. People come for college programs to work in the theme parks for a few months and go. The immigrant population is enormous, which translates (sadly) into a large group of underpaid, unskilled labor. Everyone I work with has at least two jobs and is living with family or at least three other roommates in order to survive. Public transportation is a joke with a 15 minute car ride becoming four hours on a bus. The pace is frantic and people are largely unhappy, depressed and desperate because careers seem non-existent and the future bleak. If you want to live alone be prepared to spend an average of $1,100 per month on a 600 square foot apartment plus all utilities.

I am 40 years old and came here because my parents were retiring here and I needed to help them move across the country and get them settled. I love Disney and theme parks and thought it would be fun. It is anything but. I am looking to relocate as soon as possible now that my parents are settled in. I've lived all over the country and truly have never been as disappointed in an area as I am in Orlando. Do your research! Don't let nostalgia cloud your judgment like it did me.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
7,741 posts, read 5,322,246 times
Reputation: 9362
Quote:
Originally Posted by perpetualcaster View Post
high crime, high probability of being in a car accident (which translates into high insurance rates), high rent for low quality housing, low wages, zero culture, a near non-existent restaurant scene (unless Cracker Barrel is a "scene" to you), traffic, traffic, traffic, traffic...did I mention traffic? If you want to get a sense of what is happening here you simply have to look on Indeed and follow what is happening in the job market. The behemoth theme park companies dominate the market share of jobs and the wages are appallingly low and not commensurate with the cost of living in the area. Further to that the chance of finding a full-time job with one of these companies is slim to nil. I have over twenty years of professional experience in marketing and management and have sent out countless resumes and simply do not receive responses. I mentioned it to a co-worker (I did find a part-time job) and she matter of factly said that that's just how it is and to expect it. And after being here now for awhile I've come to realize that there is simply little to no need for skilled professionals with an education.

I really can't stress it enough. If you're considering moving here you really should try to do as much research as possible. Apply for jobs if you don't have one lined up already and see what the response is. If you can afford to do so come here and rent for a couple of weeks and drive around and really get to know the lay of the land. If you're retired and have a guaranteed income and don't go out a lot and have low expectations then you'll probably enjoy the lifestyle here. However, if you enjoy socializing and a city with bookstores, coffee houses, culture, and things within reasonable traveling distance you will be sorely disappointed. This is one of the most transient cities you'll ever encounter. People come for college programs to work in the theme parks for a few months and go. The immigrant population is enormous, which translates (sadly) into a large group of underpaid, unskilled labor. Everyone I work with has at least two jobs and is living with family or at least three other roommates in order to survive. Public transportation is a joke with a 15 minute car ride becoming four hours on a bus. The pace is frantic and people are largely unhappy, depressed and desperate because careers seem non-existent and the future bleak. If you want to live alone be prepared to spend an average of $1,100 per month on a 600 square foot apartment plus all utilities.

I am 40 years old and came here because my parents were retiring here and I needed to help them move across the country and get them settled. I love Disney and theme parks and thought it would be fun. It is anything but. I am looking to relocate as soon as possible now that my parents are settled in. I've lived all over the country and truly have never been as disappointed in an area as I am in Orlando. Do your research! Don't let nostalgia cloud your judgment like it did me.
So, would you move to NYC just because you like Times Square and Broadway?
Anyway, as for your rant:

You can rent a 2000+ sqft house in a gated community for approx $1500/month. If that's HIGH RENT for low quality to you, I don't know what to tell you.

Wages are somewhat on the low side, but that's Florida in general. Our taxes are considerably lower than most states, so it evens out.

How is it zero culture? You mention that it's overrun with immigrants, yet there is zero culture?

Traffic is bad, yes. Then again, so is the traffic in virtually any 2,000,000+ metropolis, especially one with such a high volume of tourists.

Job market? Sorry you don't specialize in an in-demand field. My field (as well as many others I know) are in high demand in the area, and are not run by Disney/Universal.

How is there a non-existant restaurant scene? Orlando was recently ranked near the top in the country for it. Maybe you didn't look past chain restaurants? I don't even go to chains AT ALL, and am still finding new, higher-end restaurants to go to with my wife. Not sure where you've been looking.

I don't know anyone who works in the theme parks...

As for what's in bold, apparently you haven't visited College Park, all of Winter Park, and even downtown Orlando... Where everything you mention is within walking distance.

My friends/colleagues/family aren't depressed or unhappy, and we all have rather successful careers.

For being a 40 year old, you confuse me quite a bit...
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:07 PM
 
Location: N Atlanta
4,597 posts, read 3,219,541 times
Reputation: 2310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal352 View Post
How is it zero culture? You mention that it's overrun with immigrants, yet there is zero culture?
I don't think by culture he's referring to going to the Walmart in Kissimmee ...
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
7,741 posts, read 5,322,246 times
Reputation: 9362
Quote:
Originally Posted by leftee View Post
I don't think by culture he's referring to going to the Walmart in Kissimmee ...
I know... Just seems like his rant is based on poor choices and ensuing bad results, and not so much to do with Orlando in general. Aside from traffic, I encounter none of the issues he mentioned.
No career opportunities? High rent for small places? No walkable areas? College majors working at theme parks for a few months and then leaving? (His whole theme park/job rant is ridiculously laughable)

Seems like the type of person who would have a hard time anywhere he lived.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:14 PM
 
953 posts, read 1,250,987 times
Reputation: 1847
This entire post should be common sense.

You shouldn't move somewhere because you like one attraction there. Wow!!
You should research an area before you move there. No Way!!
Don't move somewhere without a job. Riveting!!!

The pity party was too loud for me to concentrate on the rest of it.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
7,741 posts, read 5,322,246 times
Reputation: 9362
If I have one major complaint about Orlando (or Florida in general, for that matter) that I didn't expect when I moved here, it's that there are just too many strip malls. Far too many, and they are far too repetitive.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:19 PM
 
Location: N Atlanta
4,597 posts, read 3,219,541 times
Reputation: 2310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal352 View Post
I know... Just seems like his rant is based on poor choices and ensuing bad results, and not so much to do with Orlando in general. Aside from traffic, I encounter none of the issues he mentioned.
No career opportunities? High rent for small places? No walkable areas? College majors working at theme parks for a few months and then leaving? (His whole theme park/job rant is ridiculously laughable)

Seems like the type of person who would have a hard time anywhere he lived.
No, sounds like Orlando didn't meet his expectations. Rents are high in some areas compared to wages.
There are a few walkable areas, but most times you have to drive to them to walk. College interns do work at Disney and return to school in the fall.

Maybe he's lived in big cities elsewhere and expected different ...
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Spring Hill Florida
12,135 posts, read 12,664,888 times
Reputation: 6001
Did u do ANY research before relocating?

Quote:
Originally Posted by perpetualcaster View Post
So I moved to the Orlando area three months ago now and the verdict is in. I have to say that I feel pretty stupid for having commented on some other posts before moving here. I thought that people were being bitter for whatever reason and didn't take the majority of the negative comments seriously. So here are some observations from someone who learned the hard way.

My overall summary of the area is simply this: Orlando sucks. Many people, myself included, make the huge mistake of judging the quality of life and the people who live here against theme park visits. I can't imagine how many people have visited Disney World over the years and had a wonderful time and thought, "Gosh, I'd love to live here." Well, like the old adage goes, it's a nice place to visit but you wouldn't want to live here.

Without going into a long overblown diatribe I'll try and sum it up as succinctly as I can. Here's what you can expect if you move to the greater Orlando area: high crime, high probability of being in a car accident (which translates into high insurance rates), high rent for low quality housing, low wages, zero culture, a near non-existent restaurant scene (unless Cracker Barrel is a "scene" to you), traffic, traffic, traffic, traffic...did I mention traffic? If you want to get a sense of what is happening here you simply have to look on Indeed and follow what is happening in the job market. The behemoth theme park companies dominate the market share of jobs and the wages are appallingly low and not commensurate with the cost of living in the area. Further to that the chance of finding a full-time job with one of these companies is slim to nil. I have over twenty years of professional experience in marketing and management and have sent out countless resumes and simply do not receive responses. I mentioned it to a co-worker (I did find a part-time job) and she matter of factly said that that's just how it is and to expect it. And after being here now for awhile I've come to realize that there is simply little to no need for skilled professionals with an education.

I really can't stress it enough. If you're considering moving here you really should try to do as much research as possible. Apply for jobs if you don't have one lined up already and see what the response is. If you can afford to do so come here and rent for a couple of weeks and drive around and really get to know the lay of the land. If you're retired and have a guaranteed income and don't go out a lot and have low expectations then you'll probably enjoy the lifestyle here. However, if you enjoy socializing and a city with bookstores, coffee houses, culture, and things within reasonable traveling distance you will be sorely disappointed. This is one of the most transient cities you'll ever encounter. People come for college programs to work in the theme parks for a few months and go. The immigrant population is enormous, which translates (sadly) into a large group of underpaid, unskilled labor. Everyone I work with has at least two jobs and is living with family or at least three other roommates in order to survive. Public transportation is a joke with a 15 minute car ride becoming four hours on a bus. The pace is frantic and people are largely unhappy, depressed and desperate because careers seem non-existent and the future bleak. If you want to live alone be prepared to spend an average of $1,100 per month on a 600 square foot apartment plus all utilities.

I am 40 years old and came here because my parents were retiring here and I needed to help them move across the country and get them settled. I love Disney and theme parks and thought it would be fun. It is anything but. I am looking to relocate as soon as possible now that my parents are settled in. I've lived all over the country and truly have never been as disappointed in an area as I am in Orlando. Do your research! Don't let nostalgia cloud your judgment like it did me.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
7,741 posts, read 5,322,246 times
Reputation: 9362
Quote:
Originally Posted by leftee View Post
No, sounds like Orlando didn't meet his expectations. Rents are high in some areas compared to wages.
There are a few walkable areas, but most times you have to drive to them to walk. College interns do work at Disney and return to school in the fall.

Maybe he's lived in big cities elsewhere and expected different ...
So he's 40 and associating with college interns?
Like I said, I don't know anyone who works at Disney... Likely because I have no need to associate with recent HS grads.

Rents are high? Where? And compared to what wage? Wal-Mart?
Anyone making at least $50k/year can live comfortably here. By that I mean live in a decent house, own a decent car, and support a small family. 2 working adults can live considerably well if both make a liveable wage. And there are quite a few jobs in the area paying around $50k/yr.

My main issue with his rant is that he appears to have moved here without educating himself about the area, and ONLY because he likes theme parks. And without job prospects. Then he gets upset when he sees that there's an actual city outside of Disney (traffic, crime, immigrants.) Doesn't sound like a man with 40 years of life experience, if you ask me.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Windermere, FL
782 posts, read 1,049,085 times
Reputation: 588
I think it would be useful for the OP to mention which part of the Orlando metro area they are located in.

To address point to point:

Crime: According to CityData, the national crime rate average is 298.9. Where I live in the Orlando metro, it is 70.8 (with lower numbers being better). If you are concerned about high crime, it sounds like you didn't do due diligence before signing a lease.

Traffic and Traffic Accidents: If you want to amuse yourself and you have the Traffic Channel on satellite radio, listen to the Orlando traffic reports and then listen to the DC ones. For me personally, I rarely need to drive on I-4, so I rarely run into traffic. For our two cars plus life insurance, our insurance rates did go up slightly -- approximately $20/year. It may be because we're older, though.

Wages: My husband still makes what he did up in the DC area (and I own my own business, so I took it with me), and received a job offer six weeks after moving to the area and starting to apply. The job that he took wasn't the most ideal fit for him, so he was able to get a job that fit better for him in about seven weeks after putting his hat back into the ring late last year. Had he done the old-fashioned "search on a job site" or "send out a resume" bit, he probably still would be looking, even with his skill set. The way to get jobs has changed a lot.

One bit I do agree with is:
I really can't stress it enough. If you're considering moving here you really should try to do as much research as possible
That is absolutely positively top-notch advice. (It is true moving anywhere, but especially here.)

Wherever you go, I'd suggest doing more research before settling down in what sounds like a very unpleasant part of town, working a job for what sounds like a really miserable employment experience, and relying on old methods for getting employed. You might also consider getting some cross-training that uses your career background for something that is more in demand. Spend some time using the bls.gov web site to help get some ideas.

Oh, and while I don't drink coffee, the nearest coffeehouse/cafe/French bakery to me is about 1/4 of a mile, so I do walk over on occasion for their pastries.
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