Narrowing down the location

Why the Orlando area?

My husband’s dream is to work in the corporate offices of Walt Disney World. That being the case, the choice of location was pretty much a given.

We made a trip to Orlando in July 2005, to scout out various neighborhoods & Orlando suburbia. Before the trip, we’d decided to focus our investigation on the eastern side of Orlando, and to the North, in the Seminole County area. I’m a teacher and had heard good things about the Seminole County schools. I also wanted to pursue my doctorate degree, so we hoped to land in the UCF area. This, as I said, was our original plan.

The trip made us revise the plan.

We hated the UCF area. It was one ugly strip mall after another. There was actually a homeless man camped out in front of our hotel. In Williamsburg, where I’m from, the hotels have a deal with the homeless shelter to provide accommodations for the homeless people, in order to keep that pristine image. I don’t know why more towns don’t catch onto this, particularly tourist towns like Orlando. After driving around and around the eastern end of Orlando, we decided it was a washout, and chose to concentrate our efforts elsewhere.

Next on the list was Seminole County, just to the north. We ruled this out, too. Way, way too much traffic; the commute to Team Disney would have been a nightmare. Also, we weren’t overly impressed by the looks of this area, either. We’d been told by a realtor that this was the upper-middle class area. Apparently either he was mistaken, or else his ideas of upper middle class are vastly different from those we have in North Carolina and Virginia. Seminole County was not appealing to us.

The other problem we were running into was land, or the lack thereof. We knew we wanted approximately an acre of land. We hate those ubiquitous subdivisions where every house has 1/10 of an acre, and you can reach out and shake your neighbor’s hand from your window. The developers clear-cut the land and then toss in a few young maple trees, as landscaping. Definitely not our cup of tea.

We looked at Old Town Windermere and Belle Isle, both of which we really liked. However, there wasn’t much land available there any more, and the land that was there was running $500K for a 1/2 acre lot, which was definitely out of our budget. We knew we wanted to build our own house, so we needed a neighborhood with new land for sale.

My husband’s parents had told us to check out Clermont, so we proceeded to do so. We liked that this area seemed a bit more open, with more room to breathe. My husband liked the hills. We both liked that the commute seemed like it would be decent. So, after riding around the area, we came back home to make some decisions.

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