What Makes West Orlando Special
West Orlando includes some of the hottest real estate areas in Central Florida! People are drawn to the spacious suburb and rural areas with larger lots and luxury homes, including planned retirement communities, gated neighborhoods with golf courses, and lakeside living. Plus, residents rave about the nearby shopping and dining options.
Favorite Spots in West Orlando
Now, let’s explore four of our favorite spots in West Orlando.
Often touted as one of the best places to raise a family, Winter Garden offers old and new housing options, great public schools, and one of the lowest property tax rates in the country. Locals love the historic downtown area, Winter Garden Village at Fowlers Grove (a premier shopping district), and the West Orange Trail and West Orange Dog Park.
Surrounded by orange groves and nestled between Lake Minneola, Lake Minnehaha, and Lake Louisa, Clermont boasts the highest point in the Sunshine State. Only 20 miles from downtown Orlando, it has been named one of the Top 20 Cities in America as well as the Best Central Florida City to Live In.
Just over 3,000 people call this resort city home. Town Square Park is a local hot spot, thanks to the weekly farmers’ market and other events.
Residents of Ocoee appreciate the diversity, above-average public schools, and sparse suburban feel. Residents are looking forward to the upcoming plans for their downtown area.
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 North Orlando and surrounding areas, check out our blog series,
Thinking About Relocating to Central Florida? Find the Right Neighborhood for You!
Part 1: West Orlando
As a home buyer, you are the borrower.
The lender is the company that funds your loan.
The down payment is the amount of cash given at the start of the transaction, and the loan amount is called the principal.
The interest rate is the borrowing rate on your mortgage, which you’ll pay on top of the principal. Treasury bonds drive this rate. When treasury bond yields go up, investors require a higher yield for mortgage rates because they are a higher risk. Conversely, when treasury yields go down, the yield that investors require on mortgages also goes down, which drives interest rates down.
Most mortgages are paid off over 30 years, which is called the loan term.
Why You Need a
A pre-approval letter is an official document that shows that you have the financial means to buy a house.
It allows you to have a reasonable budget confirmed in advance. It keeps your expectations in check, as you know upfront whether or not you can afford a house.
Plus, it saves time and makes it easier to submit an offer to a seller’s listing agent.
A realtor may even require this document before accepting you as a client.
A pre-approval letter also makes you a more appealing home buyer. It shows that you’re serious about and can truly afford your offer. Some sellers won’t even accept an offer without it. In fact, it can be the deciding factor if a seller receives multiple offers of similar amounts!