There are thousands of homes for sale in the Orlando, Florida area alone and of course everyone wants to live by Disney World, right?
But before we talk about homes for sale near Orlando Florida attractions, I think it’s first important to understand what areas are located close to the Orlando area attractions and how the real estate market varies by city.
For instance, did you know that Disney World is actually located closer to Kissimmee than Orlando?
Let’s explore what the Orlando area really is and what surrounding areas also have to offer.
Areas Close To the Orlando Attractions
When you think Orlando, most people think about Disney world as being in the center of Orlando. The truth is Disney World is not in the center of Orlando and Central Florida is often misconstrued as Orlando.
There are several counties that make up Central Florida.
For example, Orlando is considered orange county.
Kissimmee is considered Osceola County and it also borders Disney World and is the closest City to Disney world.
This makes Kissimmee a very high tourism area. So, if you are looking for a new home near the Orlando area attractions you may want to visit the surrounding areas first before picking a place like Kissimmee.
Kissimmee is now known for affordable housing or better yet being able to purchase a home and get more for your money. However, if you’re a savvy buyer then you might want to think about school systems, right?
Their school systems in Kissimmee are not as good as other parts of Central Florida. Due to the amount of tourism in Kissimmee it may not be exactly where you want to raise a family or start your journey as a Floridian.
Like Central Florida, Kissimmee has several pockets of areas where you can find nice homes or communities.
Another city in the Central Florida area that neighbors Kissimmee is called Saint Cloud. Saint cloud is also located in Osceola County.
The school systems in St. Cloud tend to be a little better with the majority of them coming in with a B grade. St. Cloud is known for its land, rodeos, and several lakes, in the area.
To the south-west of Orlando also neighboring Kissimmee, you have other cities that are becoming more popular now like, Davenport, Haines City, and Lakeland. These are all located in Polk county.
These cities that I’ve just mentioned are all up and coming due to the growth in Orlando, or should I say, lack of land for further growth. Due to the lack of buildable land left in the Orlando area, we are seeing a new trend with the builders.
They are all starting to expand beyond the heavily populated, Orlando area.
Living outside Orlando
Is this good for you as a buyer though? It depends on what your wants and must haves truly are.
If you don’t mind living in an area that is not already built up then this can be a good thing for you. Some of these areas have a lot of affordable new construction homes going up, so if you want a brand new home without the huge mortgage, then this is good news.
It is great for first time home buyers, and there often are incentives out there to help you purchase your home with little to no money down.
There are also companies out there like Home Partners of America, that will help buyers by purchasing a home for them that meets their criteria, and putting them in a lease to purchase contract. I have been working with this company for several years and they are doing great things to help families who:
- Aren’t ready to purchase yet due to being new to the area.
- Have between 2-5 years until their short sale or foreclosure comes off their credit.
- Or for whatever reason just aren’t quite sure they want to purchase a home, yet.
Orlando, Florida’s real estate market is growing so much and with the lack of inventory driving home prices up, it can make it very hard to find or purchase affordable housing, right in Orlando.
The school systems are not rated as good in some of these areas, like Davenport, but as these areas continue to grow this will improve. Your equity in your home will improve as well with the continued growth.
So why would you consider purchasing a house in Davenport or Lakeland? Well, let’s break it down at a price per square foot scenario, or better yet by taking a look at the difference in the market.
In Davenport, there are four zip codes altogether. I decided to pull a search for homes for sale that fit the criteria of most of my clients relocating to Central Florida.
This search includes 3 to 4 bedrooms, 2000 square ft. to 2500 square ft. and the home has to be older than 2010.
Based on this search in the Davenport area, these are the results that I came up with.
There are 85 listings in Davenport, currently on the market, that fit my search criteria.
The lowest price listing is $215,000 and that is $104 a square ft.
The average price of a listing in Davenport, with this search criteria is $310,953 with $142 being the square ft. number.
The maximum value is $420,000 with $184 per square ft.
To give you some kind of idea what the difference between Orlando and Davenport is, I did a search with the exact same criteria in all of Orlando, Florida to compare.
In Orlando Florida there are over 20 zip codes, so this covers a much larger area. There are currently 91 listings that fit the criteria being used.
The minimum value is $253,900 and that is at $113 per square foot.
The maximum value comes in at $799,000 and that brings us to $358 per square ft.
The average value is $413,159 and the square ft. number for that is $183.
Now that you have an idea of the difference in prices between Orlando and Davenport, you understand why Davenport might be more appealing to some buyers. 🙂
I always recommend to my buyers, who are relocating, and are not as familiar with the area, research the area using Niche.com. Not only can you research an area on niche.com but you can also research the neighborhood itself.
You can get valuable school information about the area and you can even find out information regarding shopping, restaurants etc.
You may be asking yourself now that we’ve compared the real estate market in Davenport and Orlando, what about the distance to Disney or Universal Studios, right?
The real question here is what roads will you be driving to get to and from the attractions.
Davenport is quicker, within 30 minutes (due to less traffic) I would say depending on where in Davenport you live. Watch out for I-4 though, it gets congested with traffic and was recently named one of the most dangerous interstates in the U.S.
As for Orlando, it really depends on where you are coming from. The traffic is much greater there due to the amount of people living there. If you can take a toll road like 417, 408 and the Florida Turnpike then you will be in good shape. 🙂
Zeroing in on the Neighborhood You Want.
When you are looking at relocating, or just moving to live close to the Orlando attractions, you have a lot of choices.
You want to ask yourself or tell your Realtor,” Do you want to live in the suburbs?”
How close to you want to be to retail and shopping?
Do you want to live close to the airport?
Is the school system rating important to you, or do you want a private school?
Do you want to live close to the beach? Lakeland and Davenport are closer to the West coast, which is stunning to visit.
Is land something you envision yourself seeing out the window, in the morning? – If so, you will have to stay further out of Orlando. Saint Cloud, Davenport or Lakeland are all areas you may be able to find land.
Here are a few of my favorite suburb areas, that I consider a good place to raise a family, and are close to the attractions.
We can’t talk about living close to the attractions without covering the neighborhood Disney built itself!
Celebration has a quaint feel to it with community activities and festivals put on monthly. There are tree lined streets and also a downtown area with shops and restaurants, in the heart of Celebration. Of course, there is a small fee for living in this enthusiastic town, it is called a CDD.
CDD stands for Community Development District, which finances and manages community developments. Tax-Free Bonds are issued to the developer to finance the cost of building the infrastructure of a development, including roads, utilities, and amenities including, pools, clubhouses, tennis courts, and golf courses.
If you don’t mind paying off the builders loan for your amenities, then Celebration may be a good place for you and your family to start looking.
Horizon west is another one of my favorite communities. It is one of the largest-fastest growing PUD’s, to date, in Florida.
Horizon West is known for its A+ school systems, and for its community events, and fireworks every night from your backyard. Making this area a clear choice to live for a vast majority of people.
Unlike like celebration, there is no CDD in Horizon West, but there are several bike trails throughout the community intertwining all of the eight villages together.
Each village has its own commercial parcel with local shops and restaurants, and mixed-use residential developments.
Horizon West is centrally located, within 15 -20 minutes, to Disney World and Universal Studios.
Another one of my favorite communities, that is definitely worth talking about, is Lake Nona.
Lake Nona is known for its medical city and for its sports and training facilities. It is home to the USTA National campus and it is also home to the Orlando City Soccer Team training facility.
Lake Nona is also close to all the major highways taking you to the airport in 15 minutes, and to Disney and/ or Universal in as little as 30 to 40 minutes.
Lake Nona is also known for its community events and gatherings, local shops and restaurants all within walking or biking distance.
Setting Up Your Search for Your Home.
Now that I’ve informed you about some of my favorite communities, close to the Orlando area attractions, let’s talk about how we can set you up on a search for your new home!
Whether you’re looking to live in a suburb like Horizon West or Celebration, or maybe you want to live a little further outside of those areas, like Davenport or Saint Cloud, either way let’s get you started.
If you are one of those people that just wants to browse around and set up your own search that is great! I have given you a pretty good idea of the areas surrounding the Orlando attractions, so you can start your search base on that here.
If you still don’t quite know where to start or you prefer to have some help, that is what I’m here for. Fill in the Contact Us form below and send me a brief description of what you are looking for.
You can start by, desired location and how many bedrooms. Do you need to live in a good school system? Is a backyard important to you? Maybe you have always wanted a pool and now is your chance? Let me know, in the body of the email and I will be sure to set you up on the best search base on your must-haves.
In conclusion, we have discussed the different areas that comprise Central Florida, and are close to the Orlando area attractions.
I gave you a comparison between Orlando and Davenport, to show the price difference.
I have also given you some of my personal favorite suburbs that are close to the Orlando attractions. These communities all have something to offer. They put on community events, like food truck nights or farmer’s markets.
We discussed a company I work with, Home Partners of America, that helps people lease with the right to purchase. And we also covered the fact that there are programs out there to assist with down payment money, available. (If you’re interested in finding out about these programs, submit the form below and I will send you the details.)
Don’t forget, I also passed along one of my favorite tools for doing some research on a specific area, Niche.com. I love this website because you get to read what the neighbors who live there are already saying.
I hope you have gotten a lot of value out of this article. Feel free to leave me some feedback or ask me a question in the comments below.
Have a magical day!