What Makes South Orlando Special
Located in Central Florida, South Orlando is just minutes away from Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando. Thanks to the warm sunshine and beautiful landscapes, residents here spend a lot of time outdoors, enjoying leisurely days at local parks and lakefronts as well as more adventurous outings with zip lines and hot air balloons. Many cities have their own downtown areas with boutique shopping and numerous dining options. Shoppers can also enjoy The Florida Mall, the largest shopping center in Central Florida with over 250 retail, dining, and entertainment options, and more than 20 million visitors each year.
Favorite Spots in South Orlando
South Orlando is full of charming towns and family-friendly fun. Read on for three of our and our clients’!) favorite locations.
Kissimmee is an excellent spot for both retirees and families. With a population of nearly 70,000 residents, the town, according to Niche, is above average in both diversity and public school ratings. There’s also a variety of theme parks and family attractions located here.
The nearly 50,000 residents of St. Cloud enjoy the suburban-rural feel of the town. Thanks to the St. Cloud Lakefront and numerous parks, locals have many outdoor options for enjoying the Florida sunshine. It’s a very family-friendly city with above-average public schools, low crime, and a convenient, 30-minute drive to downtown Orlando. A visit to St. Cloud Main Street is like a step back in time. With unique storefronts selling everything from antiques and art to furniture and appliances, shoppers won’t walk away empty-handed.
In this beautiful town made by Disney - which is ranked #20 in Best Suburbs to Raise a Family in Orlando Area by Niche — you’ll find charming homes and lots of trees with a delightful downtown area. Celebration has a dense suburban feel with numerous restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. The 10,000 residents enjoy strong neighborly bonds and a great quality of life, touting that their town embodies community in every sense of the word.
The History of Orlando
In 1838, in the midst of the Seminole Wars, the United States Army built Fort Gatlin in an effort to protect the people who had settled just south of present-day Orlando. A small community soon developed there, called Jernigan in honor of the Jernigan family, who established the area’s first permanent settlement. By 1856, as the community grew into the northern territory, the name was changed to Orlando. The town, with 85 residents, was incorporated in 1875.
There are four stories told about the inspiration behind the name Orlando. In the first tale, Judge James Speer, who played an important part in securing Orlando as the county seat, named the city after a man who previously worked with him. The second story claims that Judge Speer used a character in Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It for inspiration. The third anecdote argues that Mr. Orlando, during a trip to Tampa, got sick, died, and was buried in the community. Following his death, travelers would say, “There lies Orlando” as they passed through the town. In the fourth and final story, during the Seminole Wars, after fighting back the Indians near Lake Minnie (now Cherokee), soldiers spent the night in the area. Sentinel Orlando Reeves was standing guard when he noticed a floating log and realized it was a disguised Indian. He fired his gun, warning his fellow soldiers of the ambush, and then died by the Indians’ arrows. He was buried near Lake Eola, which is now part of a public park in Downtown Orlando.
For more information about South Orlando and surrounding areas, check out our blog series,
Thinking About Relocating to Central Florida? Find the Right Neighborhood for You!
Tips for Selling Your House
DO a deep-clean (especially if you’re a pet owner!). Every house accumulates dust and cobwebs. If you’ve got dog or cat hair floating around on top of that, you’re in for some work. Pay attention to any stains too. If you can’t adequately clean them yourself, consider hiring professional cleaners.
DON’T make any major changes. Sure, you can add a fresh coat of paint to the walls or new hardware to the kitchen cabinets, but when it comes to replacing the carpet or extending the deck, let the new owners make those decisions.
DO hire a great real estate agent. Reach out to Christine Elias at The Urban Dog Group for specialized service for people and pets alike.
DO stage your house. Packing away your coffee table books, family pictures, and knick-knacks will allow potential buyers to better envision themselves in the space.
DON’T price your house too high. A real estate agent can provide you with comparisons for your neighborhood and help you determine the best price. If you’re lucky, a bidding war will drive the value up.
Tips for Buying Your House
DO hire a great real estate agent. Yes, it’s worth saying again! An agent has access to listings directly from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and also may have access to houses before they go on the market. Ultimately, working with a professional will save you time, effort, and maybe even money in the house-hunting process.
DO explore the neighborhood! You may love the house, but it’s important that you love the location too. Before you put in an offer, check out the walking trails, parks, and shopping centers nearby.
DON’T forget to schedule a home inspection. An inspector may find problems that you can’t see with your untrained eye.
DO get a pre-approval letter for a future loan. In many cases, sellers won’t accept an offer without it.
DON’T get frustrated! Buying a house is like a full-time job, and it can be overwhelming and emotionally draining. Stay focused, and know that the right house is out there.