If you haven’t already visited Orlando, you’ve definitely considered it. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know just why. Home to DisneyWorld, Universal Studios, SeaWorld and other massive attractions, Orlando is one of the most visited cities not just in the United States, but in the world. But would moving to Orlando make sense? With that many tourists each year, there’s certain timings to beware of, and certain neighborhoods that feel like they’re shielded from the constant bustle of people.
Knowing all about these is your key to figuring out whether moving to Orlando makes sense for you or not. Read our relocation guide for moving to Orlando, Florida, that covers details like the weather and neighborhoods, and figures like the cost of living and average rent.
What Should I Know Before Moving To Orlando?
Orlando, also known as “The Theme Park capital of the World’, is located in Central Florida. As of 2020, Orlando has an estimated population of 291,739 people, making it the 4th largest city in the Sunny State. With a population density of 2,639 people per square mile, it spans over 119 miles.
But what is truly staggering is the sheer number of people visiting Orlando each year. Orlando had a record 75 million visitors in 2018, and no wonder: with world-famous theme parks all located within one city itself, a trip to Orlando is like open season for those with ‘visit a theme park’ on their bucket list. The big names in Orlando are the Walt Disney World Resort, the Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld, Gatorland, and Wet ‘n Wild Water Park, among others.
This also means Orlando is home to several restaurants covering extensive international cuisines, and some of the best hotels and accommodation options in Florida. It is known for its spread of fast-food restaurants as much as for the theme parks, but it is now upping the ante with a row of classy fine-dine restaurants and stand-alones featuring exquisite food made by signature chefs. There’s something for everyone in Orlando, and you don’t just have to be a tourist to experience it. It has its fair share of neighborhoods that are fit for young working professionals and families alike, so you’re not constantly surrounded by crowds of excitable visitors.
Crime Rate In Orlando
In terms of safety, the crime rates in Orlando may be somewhat of a worry. 8.06 people per 1,000 residents are victims of violent crimes like assault and murder, while 49.2 people per 1,000 residents are victims of property crimes like vehicle theft and robbery. This is higher than the national average for both of these categories. But keep in mind, Orlando sees thousands of visitors on a daily basis, flocking to the parks and resorts. They make for easy targets, and as a recent study concluded, crime rates have increased around Universal Studio. Stick to the safe neighborhoods and practice basic safety precautions, and you should do fine.
Orlando is located in the centre of the Sunny State, so naturally, your summers will be filled with plenty of sunshine. They can be quite hot and muggy, as the humidity doesn’t make the over 75°F temperatures any easier to bear. Summer lasts from May to September, with average daily highs of 85°F. These months also see a fair bit of precipitation, with showers peaking in the months of June and July.
The cold season is from December to Feb, and though there’s no snow, temperatures rarely cross 74°F. It usually takes around 3 weeks to acclimatize yourself with the Orlando heat, after which any sort of pleasant weather can feel cold. It can get as cold as 50°F in the month of January, which is generally when it is coldest. Don’t get rid of all that winter wear until you experience the cold season in Orlando.
Is It Expensive To Live In Orlando?
Courtesy of the theme parks and attractions that fuel the state with tourism money, Orlando is a no-income-tax state. This means that your daily living is made slightly better with the fact that you can save up a little money. Read on to understand how much your cost of living in Orlando would look like, alongside a few other figures.
Cost Of Living In Orlando
So, is a month in Orlando the same as a ticket to DisneyWorld? A family of four living in Orlando would have to spend an average of $3,143 a month on their costs, while a single person living in Orlando would have to spend $890 a month. These prices are only averages, calculated without including rent costs. Your final cost of living will depend on factors like your job and salary, and the neighborhood in which you live. But overall, the cost of living in Orlando is a pleasant 5% lower than the national average.
Buying a loaf of bread will cost $3.40, and a gallon of milk costs $1.98. At $1.85, a carton of eggs costs nearly the same. Throw in another $3.43, and you can buy yourself a bunch of bananas. If you overdo it at the theme parks on your first week there, no fear, as the healthcare in Orlando costs 12% lower than the national average. A visit to the GP is $97.65, and the dentist is $83.89.
Buying A House
The median home value of houses in Orlando is $272,648, predicted to see a 7.4% rise in the next year. The current value itself has seen a 6.7% rise since last year; evident proof that people are flocking to Orlando to call it home. Currently, the median home price of a house in Orlando is $308,483. According to Forbes, the median home price of a house in Orlando as of August 2020 was $261,000.
Renting A House
The rent in Orlando has actually seen a drop since last year, dipping 3% to an average of $1,391 a month. This is calculated by taking an average of apartment sizes, which comes to a 962 sq. ft. apartment. 57% of the apartments in Orlando are rented for anywhere between $1,000 and $1,500 a month, and a good 46% of the households in Orlando are renter-occupied. There’s nothing more reassuring about calling Orlando home, even if you’re on rent, than seeing so many other people who do so.
Paying your utility bills might dampen those spirits, as the cost is 11% higher than the national average. Your energy bill could come to around $186.44 a month, and your phone bill to $198.74 a month. Gas in Orlando is $2.45 a gallon. The combined amount of your water bill and sewage bill would be approximately $58, out of which you can expect to pay $13 for your water bill.
Orlando Economy And Employment Opportunities
It goes without saying that Disney is Orlando’s biggest employer. Not just Orlando, but all of Central Florida! Don’t fret though, as moving to Orlando doesn’t automatically entail a job at one of the theme parks, whether it is as a character or an engineer. Of course, Orlando’s fame rests on the theme parks, but behind the entertainment lies a diverse economy and a range of jobs. Orlando is a major industrial hub, and some of its important sectors are aviation, warehousing, biotechnology, healthcare, high technology, and film and television production.
People working in the medical field, namely obstetricians, gynecologists, psychiatrists and dentists are among the highest paid people in Orlando. They rake in average salaries between $200,000 and $244,500 a year. Managers in the fields of architecture, engineering and IT are also well paid. Orlando is also home to the Central Florida Research Park, which is home to over 120 companies that employ over 8,500 people. As of 2019, Orlando’s median household income is believed to be around $51,757 annually.
90% of the people in Orlando have at least a high school graduation, if not higher qualifications, and the school dropout rate is only 10%. Clearly, this shows the value that education has for the residents of Orlando. It is home to over 44 institutions of higher learning, including the University of Central FLorida, the region’s largest undergrad-enrollment institution. There are a range of public schools to choose from, each better than the last. Some of these are Orlando Tech, Valencia College and Mid Florida Tech. Keiser University, while one of the private institutions in the city, is an equally good educational institution.
Getting Around Orlando
Needless to say, traffic is a bit of a struggle in Orlando, and needless to say we’ve understated how bad it can get. However, there’s quite a bright silver lining to this dark cloud, which comes in the form of its public transportation. With plenty of services, one of which is even free, Orlando is making sure its residents can go about their normal lives without getting thronged by tourists clogging up the streets.
You can flag down taxis in Orlando, but due to the tourist congestion, it makes sense to keep apps like Uber and Lyft on your phones. In terms of connectivity, a big project is slated to be completed by 2021: the I-4 Ultimate project. This will be a 21mile highway makeover, aiming to better the connectivity in Orlando. It will include 2 tolled express lanes going in each direction, and aims to improve the quality of life of Orlando’s residents.
Orlando is also a good city for bikers, as there’s several routes along which you can cycle. An infrastructural upgrade that is in the works is the Orlando Bicycle Beltway, a proposed 8.5 mile loop trail to help the residents of Downtown Orlando get around better on their bikes.
LYNX Bus System
Accommodating an average of 90,000 passenger trips a day, the LYNX bus service plies through the entire city of Orlando. LYNX buses have 77 daily routes along which they run, called Links. All buses can accommodate bicycles. LYNX also has a few other interesting services:
● Access LYNX: Door-to-door transportation that is shared, for people who are unable to take the regular, fixed route due to disabilities or other limitations.
● FastLink: A weekday morning and afternoon service that has fewer stops than the regular services along certain routes. It is meant to provide commuters with quicker connections.
● Road Rangers: Roadside assistance provided in the form of a fleet of trucks, meant to perform minor vehicle repairs.
● NeighborLink: A flex-service allowing residents in less-populated areas of Orlando to schedule their trips in advance.
● Vanpool: A carpooling service in a LYNX van for commuters who live and work near one another.
The ticket for a single ride is $2, and an all-day pass is $4.50. You can also purchase a 7 day pass for $16 and a 30 day pass for $50. More information about the routes and timings can be found on the LYNX website.
LYMMO by LYNX
LYMMO is a Bus Rapid Transit service, and is a fare-free circulator that runs along 4 routes through the city. The best part about the service is that it is funded through the city of Orlando’s Downtown Development Board and Parking Division, which means no ticket fares, it’s free!
You have the Orange line that runs in the North Quarter, with a frequency of 20 minutes everyday, including weekends and holidays. Orange Downtown runs Downtown, available every 6 to 7 minutes during office hours and 15 minutes in the evenings, weekends and holidays. This line has its own lane, with its own traffic signals, giving you an escape from the street traffic.
The Grapefruit Line connects the East and West of the city, running every 10 minutes during office hours and every 15 minutes in the evenings, weekends and holidays. Finally, you have the Lime line, connecting Creative Village to the Federal Courthouse, and running every 10 minutes during office hours and 20 minutes in the evenings, weekends and holidays.
SunRail provides a commuter rail service along a 49-mile route that runs through four counties: Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Osceola. It currently has 4 stations in Orlando: AdventHealth Station, LYNX Central Station, Church Street Station and Orlando Health Station, which is also the Amtrak Station that connects Orlando to its neighbors.
Orlando itself is well connected, but what about its connections to the rest of America and the world? Again, courtesy of the tourist attractions and the industry presence, it is very well connected. You have not just one, but two airports within a stone’s throw distance of Orlando, of which one is the Orlando International Airport. The other, perfect for the corporate flyer, is the Orlando Executive Airport. It is located only 3 miles from Downtown Orlando, which is the financial and business center of Central Florida. Both airports are well connected to the city.
Where Should I Move In Orlando: Best Neighborhoods
The big decision is choosing the right neighborhood to move into. We normally recommend heading to a few neighborhoods and walking around to get a feel of the place. In the meantime, read about these select neighborhoods in Orlando.
1. Winter Park
Lakeside living and suburban vibes in ‘The Theme Park capital of the World’? No, you are not dreaming! Winter Park living is quaint, far from the chaos yet perfectly connected. The community is close-knit and friendly, and the locality has an excellent selection of schools, making it ideal for families. Park Avenue, walking alongside the lakes, and exploring the food scene are three things that make it ideal for anyone. Winter Park has just over 30,000 inhabitants, with a median home value of $334,682.
If you want to live in the Disney magic, the aptly-named Celebration neighborhood is for you. It was designed by Disney himself, and has loads of fantastic restaurants and amenities, coupled with local festivals and resident events. It also has a good selection of schools to choose from. The middle price tier average home value in Celebration is $375,336.
3. Lake Eola Heights
Historic homes with excellent restoration, cultural festivals where the community mingles, and plenty of live music and nightlife thrown into the mix: all of this makes up Lake Eola Heights. Lake Eola Heights was designated a historic district in 1989, and today is also one of the most architecturally diverse neighborhoods in Orlando. With a library, a fine selection of schools, and a Sunday’s farmer market, families will feel at home here. Young professionals can head to the South Eola District for proximity to the area’s local bars and restaurants, and concerts. The approximate home value of houses in Lake Eola Heights is $379,113.
Is Orlando, Florida A Good Place To Live?
The weather in Orlando may be balmy to the point of mugginess for those who aren’t used to it, but overall, the annual weather is quite tolerable. People who gravitate towards stress-free commutes to work may have to switch things up, as the tourist congestion in Orlando is a constant presence. However, there are several public transportation options to choose from. The infrastructural projects that are in the works is proof that the Orlando city department cares for its residents enough to ensure smooth transportation despite the crowds. The economy of Orlando is diversified, and job hunting may be a bit of a struggle, but the cost of living is still lower than the national average. It is rent-friendly, relatively safe, with plenty of neighborhoods partially or entirely cut off from the metro buzz of crowd and noise. Overall, an excellent choice for those looking to call it home.
Now that you’ve gotten a fairly thorough understanding of moving to Orlando, it’s time to calculate the cost of your move. Run a few preferences through our system to get some moving company suggestions, and ask for a free quote. This gives you a much more solid idea of moving to Orlando, and will hopefully push you to get off your couch and into action, planning the move of a lifetime.
See also: Top-Rated Cheap Moving Companies in the U.S. | Best Moving Companies in Orlando