Houses For Sale In Orlando, FL
Things to do
There is more to Orlando than theme parks for those looking to buy a house
When most people think of Orlando, Florida, they think of roller coasters and anthropomorphic animals hocking funny hats to tourists.
The truth is, Orlando is much more than Disney or Universal Studios or any of the other attractions that exist to attract tourists from all over the globe. The primary tourist district is a 45 minute drive from downtown Orlando and a large portion of the Walt Disney World compound isn’t even located in Orange County, where the City of Orlando resides, but in adjacent Osceola County.
Instead, those looking to buy a house in Orlando can expect to find a diverse and thriving metropolis — it is the third largest city in Florida behind Tampa and Miami and 23rd largest city in the United States — that has a booming economic center, a diverse cultural environment and an old Florida charm with plenty of outdoors activities.
And, of course, there are plenty of attractions that you can visit when you need an escape.
History of Orlando, Florida Before being known as the bustling city of Orlando, it was a military outpost called Fort Gatlin, which was built during the Seminole Wars of the 1830s. Following the war, much of what is now Orange County was purchased by cattle rancher Aaron Jernigan, who founded the City of Jernigan and became its first state representative. Jernigan and his makeshift militia soon gained a reputation of being corrupt and even murderous and he was forced to flee the city as a fugitive. In 1857, the area was incorporated and renamed the City of Orlando. How the name was chosen is a bit of local folklore that varies from being the name of a legendary soldier of the Seminole War to being named after the main protagonist of Shakespeare’s “As We Like It.” By the turn of the century, the Orlando area had become a popular tourist destination thanks to its numerous natural springs and lush botanical gardens, many of which still exist today. Orlando also maintained its importance as a strategic military outpost during World War II with the building of McCoy Airfield Base and later became home to the Naval Air Training Center following the war. The military roots made the Orlando area a central hub for aeronautical technology companies such as Lockheed Martin which continues to be one of the area’s major industries to this day. It wasn’t until Walt Disney bought a large portion of land in the far eastern portion of the county in 1965 that tourism became the dominant industry. Disney World opened in 1971 and soon a bevy of other attractions followed, making Central Florida a destination for millions of travelers each year.
Things to do in Orlando
Things to do in Orlando
The greater Orlando area is known for over-the-top, man made landmarks meant to grab your attention — and hopefully entice you to spend money. A perfect example of this is the Orlando Wheel, a 400-foot Ferris wheel that provides 360-degree views of the Orange County skyline in every direction.
The Orange County Convention Center is the second largest convention center in the country and helps bring millions of business people and convention enthusiasts to the area each year.
The Orange County Outdoor Park system oversees over 13,000 acres of wild space featuring over 30 miles of hiking trails and five full-featured campgrounds. It is also the center of the Great Florida Birding Trail. Parks like Lake Apopka and Kelly Park offer a great opportunity for kayaking, snorkeling and fishing thanks to their crystal clear, spring fed lakes. For a more urban park setting, be sure to check out Lake Eola, nestled in the heart of downtown Orlando.
Outdoors adventure enthusiasts should also check out Lake Nona Adventure or Tree Trek Adventure Park, which offers rope courses and zip lines over water or through trees, respectively.
According to the 2020 US Census, the greater Orlando metropolitan area has a population of just over 2.5 million full-time residents with over 300,000 of those citizens residing within the Orlando City limits. On top of permanent residents, it is estimated that over 75 million visitors come to the area every year.
The greater Orlando area is racially diverse with 57% of the population identifying as Caucasian, 24% as black or of African heritage, and 12% Hispanic or Latino. This can be attributed to the international nature of those who frequently move to the area. The median household income is $55,163 although over 16% of the population lives below the poverty line. Over 20% of the workforce is in the tourism or hospitality industry. For those looking to purchase a house in the Orlando area, the average home price is $262,803.
Arts in Orlando
Arts in Orlando
Things To Do
Of course, any conversation of things to do in Orlando has to start with the Disney Parks and Resorts, and the massive tourist industry that has grown around it. The Disney campus encompasses over 2,000 acres and includes Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, plus dozens of themed resorts. Follow I-4 to the east and find Universal Studios and its newer sister park, Islands of Adventure. This is also where you will find Sea World, an aquatic-themed park with some of the biggest and fastest roller coasters in a state filled with them, the water park Wet N Wild and the permanent carnival midway of ICON Park.
Even if theme parks aren’t your speed, there are still plenty of low key attractions to visit. Sea Life Orlando is the area’s largest Aquarium with stunning underwater exhibits housing an array of marine life including sharks, moray eels and more. Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not is a museum dedicated to the weird and unusual, or CItyArts, a downtown art collective featuring dozens of local and national artist exhibits all under one roof. Other notable museums include Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Wonderworks and the Museum of Illusions. The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens and Gatorland —which has been in operation for over 100 years — offers a glimpse of the natural roadside attractions that made the area a tourist haven even before Disney.
There are numerous nightlife and dining districts as well, including Historic Church Street in Downtown Orlando, Universal CItywalk and Disney Springs in the tourist district. Because of the region’s desire to cater to nearly every type of tourist and traveler from around the globe, the diversity of the dining options ranges from restaurants helmed by some of the biggest celebrity chefs, to a thriving food truck scene that provides everything from tacos to ramen noodles on the go.
If you are into professional sports, Orlando is home to the Magic of the National Basketball Association, the Miracle of the WNBA and Orlando City SC of Major League Soccer.
Schools in Orlando
Schools in Orlando
Education The Orange County Public School system oversees the county’s 200+ Elementary Middle, High School and Public Charters Schools serving over 200,000 students. The county also has 15 public and private colleges and universities, including the University of Central Florida, the nation’s largest public university based on enrollment. Other public secondary schools include Valencia Community College which operates eight satellite campuses around the county.
Because so many current residents of Orlando started off as former visitors or tourists from around the country — or even around the globe — bringing pieces of their past with them, the overall culture is a bit eclectic to say the least. While there may not be one defining characteristic that defines the city’s culture, there are quite a few influences and subcultures that can be found in Orange County.
Probably the most obvious influence is American pop culture in general. Orlando is a Mecca for all things entertainment. From being the birthplace of the “Boy Band” genre, to the numerous music venues like House of Blues and Hard Rock, to the plethora of performing arts halls and dinner theaters, Orlando has just about any sort of entertainment you can ask for.
And of course, Disney has spawned its own subculture in the area with its own social scene.
Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Home in Orlando
You can be a permanent tourist.
There is always something new to explore, so no matter what you are into, chances are you will never get bored.
Like most of Florida’s metro areas, buying a house in the greater Orlando area is a good investment. Home values have increased an average of 21% between 2020 and 2022 and continue to rise.
Where else can you go from riding a roller coaster to dinner at a medieval theater to a performance of the Blue Man Group all in one day?
Unlike much of Florida, Orlando tends to skew towards a younger demographic with the average resident’s age being 37.
No matter what your thing is, Orlando and Orange County might just be your dream destination to purchase your next home. Imagine living and working in a place where most people feel fortunate just to visit for vacation. Imagine yourself elsewhere.
Finding affordable houses for sale in Orlando might be easier than you think thanks to Unreal Estate. Browse real estate in Orange County, including homes for sale in Orlando, while you daydream about your future self living in one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the US. Unreal Estate is where those daydreams are bought and sold.
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