Moving to Orlando FL
Who would want to move into the balmy southern heat and a city filled with people from all over? Thousands of Brits seeking the American dream that's who!
Orlando is not only the world's most popular tourist destination but is also the number one choice for those moving to the US for non work purposes. There is so much more to Orlando beyond the theme parks and touristy attractions, and this is why it is so popular with expats.
Despite the slow recovery of the US housing market ,Orlando properties can still be snapped up at pre 2007 prices. Add the strong currency exchange into the mix and more Brits than ever are snapping up homes in Orlando as either investment properties or as their permanent homes.
Whether you are of retirement age or looking to live and work here, the time has never been better to make the move to Orlando and enjoy this fabulous Florida lifestyle that other cities simply don't come close to.
The Job Market
If we didn't say that tourism offered the most employment opportunities in Orlando we'd be lying. A little thing called Walt Disney World and its neighbour Universal Orlando bring in the majority of tourism to the area, employing a plethora of hospitality and tourism professionals.
However there is a lot more going on here than just tourism. Moving to Orlando means moving to one of the best city's in the US for graduates being home to a plethora of unique industries.
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The economy is booming in Orlando and there are also plenty of jobs around in the high tech, aviation, aerospace, electronics, film and TV production, manufacturing, warehousing, biotechnology and distribution sectors.
The cost of living is very affordable in Orlando which surprises many who think you pay top dollar anywhere which is geared towards the tourist market.
While groceries in Orlando are on average higher than in sunny Los Angeles, the price of going out to eat is significantly cheaper. You can expect to pay less for alcohol and a meal here than in LA or Miami to the south, about $15 less for a meal for two.
In Orlando you will roughly $143.03 a month for garbage, heating, water and electric, which is slightly cheaper than Miami. To make a call from your mobile phone on a pay as you go basis will cost you 14c a minute where as 10Mbps Internet (Cable/ADSL) with unlimited data will set you back $48.29 a monthly.
Compared to that other famous Florida city, Miami, the cost of renting in Orlando is well below the prices in Miami. As the property is very similar here to that found in Orlando it's a better comparison than New York or Los Angeles where the prices are about a third more expensive.
A simple one bedroom flat in the suburbs of Orlando is about $200 cheaper than the same apartment in Miami. For a family of four in a three bedroom flat, you can expect to pay about $400 more in Miami than you would in Orlando.
With property prices in Orlando still not back to where they were before the recession hit in 2007 many foreign investors are snapping them up. 2013 and 2014 saw a record number of Brits buy Orlando properties.
The vast majority view them as investments and subsequently rent them out via their property management companies. Whether you want to rent or buy a home in Orlando a quick trip online to any of the leading realtors in the area will show you that either way you are still getting a lot of house for your dollar.
Family Friendly: East Central Park - This hidden gem is a mere 2 miles from downtown Orlando and offers a suburban lifestyle. With loads of places to go and some great family friendly hangouts, ECP is a terrific place to raise a family. Petey's NY Pizza is found here, widely regarded as the best Italian restaurant in the state.
Upmarket: Thornton Park - There are several affluent areas in Orlando but Thornton Park is a favourite. Luxurious condos are on offer in The Waverly and The Sanctuary buildings, the eateries all offer fine dining experience,s and exclusive boutiques line the peaceful streets. This area has a steady influx of urbanites and young professionals who don't have the responsibility of a family and want to enjoy Orlando life at its best.
Hip and Trendy: Central Business District - The arty area of the city is just this side of boho but is still the coolest place to live in the city. Condo's are the home of choice in this neighbourhood and there are plenty of them to choose from. There is a brilliant farmers market here and is also the area where the Orlando Film Festival is held every year. Sports fans will be in there element in the CBD as the Orlando Magic's play their NBA games here. With trendy shops, great hang out joints and a wonderful laid back vibe this is where the hippest residents of Orlando choose to call home.
Up and Coming: Baldwin Park - 3 miles from downtown is Baldwin Park, a neighbourhood built on the former site of the naval training facility. It took a long time for Baldwin Park to get going but is now seen as the most up and coming area of Orlando. From parks to shopping to a multitude of great bars and restaurants, people are finally noticing Baldwin Park and what it has to offer. If you want to be part of Orlando's next big thing get in now before the appeal causes those property prices to go stratospheric.
Cost of moving
In order to estimate the moving costs to Orlando from several popular destinations we have based the price on a 20 sq ft shipping container, as this is most popular size used by those relocating.
Schools and education
Ranked 6/10 in the rankings based on test results, there are multiple education options available in or around Orlando, irrespective of what age your kids are. From preschool through to high school and university, there is a vast choice out there. Get a better idea of the schools by reading reviews and check out the neighbourhoods of the best schools.
Universities in Orlando
Orlando is home to several different universities and colleges in Florida, including public UCF, or University of Central Florida, Valencia College, and Orlando Culinary Academy.
Ranking Against the World
The city appears in so many lists due to its tourist attractions that it's hard to keep track of all its rankings .Orlando is hands down the world's #1 tourist destination, and is also ranked in the top 100 cities to live in the US.
The influx of business can contribute greatly to this and the city is currently ranked 3 in the growth rankings due to the many electronics firms which have opened office and manufacturing plants in or near Orlando. Suffice to say the burgeoning expat population tell us that it's a great place to live, and you cannot knock the weather either!
A day in the life
As you don't visit a theme park on a daily basis, the day in the life of an Orlando resident in the city goes beyond the main tourist destinations. After a hearty breakfast at Keke's Breakfast Cabin on Conroy Road stop at Winter Park and the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. Housing the world's largest selection of Tiffany Glass, this is a very classy museum where you can stroll around for hours admiring the thousands of pieces on display.
After a few hours indoors it's great to be out in the sun again. Botanical gardens tend to only attract locals and the stunning 50 acre Harry P. Leu Gardens is a beautiful place to sit and people watch for a while or enjoy the scent of the 1000+ rose bushes. For lunch in a classic, retro setting the B-Line diner will satisfy those taste buds whether you could a buffalo or just fancy a light bite.
Spend the afternoon shopping at the places you can afford or window shopping at those you can't. One of the best malls in the area is upmarket Mall at Millennia with its generous inventory of global, luxury brands and labels. If seeing the wealthiest Orlando residents carrying those tiny and very expensive looking bags is what you’re after, then there is a wealth of other shopping opportunities from markets to departments stores. There is nothing like some retail therapy to round off a day in Orlando.