Attractions, Featured

Downtown Orlando - Photo Tour14 Sep

Living in Orlando, we often forget how amazing our city is. I’ll be featuring photos from different towns for the next few weeks, and to start things off, I decided to go with Downtown Orlando. I know most people that don’t work downtown try to avoid it, but it’s a great place, and I have the pictures to prove it. These photos are all located in the Orlando, Fl Photos Flickr group.

Take a minute and have a look at some of the great sites downtown Orlando has to offer, and check back weekly for more shots around town. If you’d like a certain part of town featured, let me know in the comments. Of course, if you purchase a home down there, don’t forget about researching home insurance.

Featured, Lake Nona Medical Center, Local News, Real Estate

VA closes on 65 acres in Lake Nona for medical center12 Sep

If you own a home in Lake Nona or the surrounding areas, there’s a good chance you’ve been following the news on the new Lake Nona Medical Center that has already broken ground. It seems like every week we’re hearing good news about what’s coming, and this week is no exception.

According to an article in the Orlando Business Journal, “The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Sept. 11 closed on its highly anticipated acquisition of land in Lake Nona for an undisclosed price.” They went on to say that, “The 65-acre parcel will be the site of the planned Orlando VA Medical Center, a $656 million medical complex that will include a 134-bed hospital, a 120-bed nursing home, a 60-bed assisted-living facility/transitional housing, an outpatient clinic and a veterans benefits mini-service center.”

With the current real estate market conditions in Orlando, it’s nice to see this type of development. There’s no doubt in my mind that the medical center, open-air mall, and slew of doctors, and medical staff moving into the area, the Lake Nona area should see an upward turn in home prices. There’s no guarantee, but it’s all very promising.

Look for construction to start on the Lake Nona VA Hospital in spring of 2009, and should be completed by 2012.

Featured, Local News

Orlando’s Favorite Interstate Gets Ambiguous10 Sep

Orlando’s most-hated most beloved interstate, I-4, is about to adjust its speed limits, according to WESH. It’s been in the works for well over 5 years, but starting Monday, the speed limit signs will change based on traffic changes.

Now, if you’ve lived in Orlando for more than a week, you probably would drive to another state and back to avoid driving on I-4. The road is notorious for being a parking lot during rush hour, but Steve Homan of the Department of Transportation said, “We want them to drive slower so they can move faster.” Umm..slower than zero? Sure thing Steve.

Here’s where I have a problem with this. If it’s possible to change the speed limits on demand, receiving a traffic citation for speeding could become a huge mess. “Your Honor, the speed limit said 75, but the officer said 65.” I hope they’ve worked these details out over the last few years, but I guess we’ll see in a few days. Just be warned - if you drive I-4, watch the signs on Monday - you might be in for a big surprise. Oh, and another thing. I don’t believe for a second this is going to make I-4 any better. Not a pessimist, just been burned far too many times. I’m still hoping for the two-story version we heard about so many years ago.

Now it’s your turn. Tell if you think this will make things better for us here in Orlando. You can let it all out in the comments section below.

Featured, Real Estate

Orlando Real Estate Expensive? Not Compared to Our Friends Out West09 Sep

Coldwell Banker recently did a survey to compare the prices of homes in Florida to the prices elsewhere, and it turns out, we’re not so bad.

The most affordable homes in Florida are located in Ormond Beach at $201,233, while the most expensive homes can be found in Key West, where an average price is $818,239.

The study was part of a comparison index which looks at the cost of a 2,200-square foot, four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home in 315 markets across the United States as well as Puerto Rico and Canada. They looked at these values, and the effects they may have with this years election, so if you’re wondering, Florida has an average price overall of $357,596, behind Colorado ($402,497), New Hampshire ($401,697) and New Mexico ($478,343) among so-called swing states that could help decide the upcoming presidential election.

So does that mean Orlando’s real estate market has improved? Nope. Just means we’re not the most expensive. I will say that the news of the government bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should have a nice impact on our market, but probably not one you’ll see until our inventory is reduced.

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Featured, Local News

Orlando Turns on 10 Red Light Cams02 Sep

Orlando’s busy intersections just got a whole lot more - well, big brother-ish. Ten new cameras have been installed and are being used to catch red light runners. Our map shows the location of seven of them. Take note of their locations - they seem to be very popular intersections.

How do they work? Well, according to Central Florida News 13, “the cameras snap pictures of any car that runs the light. After being reviewed by code enforcement, a ticket will be sent by mail.”

This map is interactive, so you can scroll around it and zoom in or out of it. I’ve marked the seven intersections with a blue pin.


View Larger Map

Here’s the list of intersections according to CF13

West Orlando

  • Conroy Road and Vineland Road
  • Turkey Lake Road and Wallace Road

Downtown Area

  • Westmoreland Drive and South Street
  • Magnolia Avenue and Concord Street
  • Kaley Street and Division Avenue

East Orlando

  • Michigan Street and Dixie Bell Drive
  • Lee Vista Boulevard and Goldenrod Road

Have you received a ticket from any other Orlando intersection? Tell us about it in the comments.

Featured, Local News, Real Estate

Orlando Real Estate Feeling the Effects of the Twin Storms?01 Sep

With Hannah now being upgraded to a hurricane, Orlando is bracing for a double hit. Well, the locals aren’t - we’re just sort of sitting here watching everyone else panic and buy all our water and batteries…just when my remote stopped working.

But I started wondering if there’s more affected by hurricanes. Yeah, I know everything is affected if a hurricane hits. I was here for Charlie and all his friends, and things were pretty bad, but I’m talking about the days before a hurricane, when Scary Terry, and Tom Sorrells start telling us to “hunker down.” What I found might surprise you.

First, Disney goes into hurricane mode, meaning they will refund you for any tickets you purchased for the week of the storm. Not a big deal, but Orlando’s economy strives on tourism, and Disney is the daddy of all destinations.

Next, I pulled up the Mid-Florida Regional MLS, where Realtors list properties for sale, and this week I noticed that prices were lowered on about 19% of the active listings. My numbers may be off, but it seems like an increase in reductions versus the 8% price decreases the week before. Could this be hurricane related? Not sure. I searched to see if this study had already been done, but I couldn’t find any results, so I will try this again next week, and any other week we have storms in the tropics, I should probably check last year’s results for the same weeks. It could just be an annual trend, but seems pretty legitimate to me.

So why would people in Orlando lower their home prices before a hurricane? Here are a few things that came to mind:

  1. Get Me Outta Here! - I’ve seen more than a few people panic as a result of hurricanes coming. There’s a good chance they are inspired to lower their price hoping they’ll lock in a buyer before the storm hits.
  2. Follow the Leader - If this really is a trend, people might see their neighbors lowering their price, and they do the same to keep their home enticing to buyers.
  3. I’m Not Going Through This Again - Similar to the first one, but more focused on getting out of Orlando before the NEXT storm comes in. “I don’t want to have to worry everytime a storm comes.”
  4. Nobody’s Going To Want My House Now - Hurricanes brewing in the tropics remind buyers that Florida isn’t always the Sunshine State. Sellers might just want to give buyers a price to overlook the doom and gloom that the media tells you is coming.

So what do you think? Is this just all in my head? I guess more analysis will help, but it still seems like there’s something to my theory.

Featured, Local News

Blue Lights on Orlando Traffic Lights - Mystery Solved24 Aug

It was like it happened over night. Orlando and Saint Cloud went from having those plain-old boring traffic lights to what can now only be described as a Blue Light Special at every intersection. Confused? Yeah, we were too.

Turns out, those blue lights that sit atop our traffic lights now are an easier way for law enforcement to catch red-light runners.

According to Orlando’s Wesh TV2, “Little blue lights on traffic signals alert authorities from all angles that the signal below it has turned red.”

So there you have it. The Blue Light mystery has been solved. In case you’re wondering, those blue lights should last longer, and use less energy than the traffic lights. Guess Orlando’s trying to go green….with blue (sorry, had to say it).

Featured, Real Estate

Orlando Real Estate Not all That’s Suffering21 Aug

We all know how bad the real estate market is in Orlando, but have you ever stopped to think who else it might be affecting? Turns out, “shelter” magazines are taking a huge hit. Shelter magazines are magazines that feature homes, home decor, decorating tips, and anything else related to your living space.

According to the Wall Street Journal Real Estate section, Home magazine is having its plug pulled. This isn’t the first shelter magazine to get the axe. Condé Nast Publications Inc.’s House & Garden magazine and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.’s Blueprint have also closed shop as a result of publishers scaling back on their investments in these magazines.

Have you seen anything else feel the ugly wrath of the current real estate market? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section.

Featured, Local News

Free Immunizations In Orlando03 Aug

With Orlando area schools getting ready to start up for the year, Orange County is offering free immunizations starting Monday, Aug. 4. (today). So where can you go to get in on the free action? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of the locations and times:

Orlando Health Center

832 W. Central Blvd
Orlando, FL
Monday, Wednesday, Friday : 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday : 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

* Location will be open Aug. 16 from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Winter Garden Health Alliance

1210 E. Plant St.
Winter Garden, FL
Monday, Wednesday, Friday : 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Eastside Health Center

12050 E. Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL
Aug. 9, 23 & 30 from 8am- 6pm

If you hear of any other locations offering free shots, let us know in the comments section below.

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Attractions, Featured, Local News

Oh No They Didn’t! Disney Raising Ticket Prices Tomorrow02 Aug

What do you do when the Orlando real estate market is in the crapper, gas prices are through the roof, and the overall economy is suffering? Well, if you’re Disney, you raise ticket prices.

If you’re planning a trip to mouse land tomorrow, bring a few dollars more, as this price increase will be effective tomorrow morning. According to the Associated Press, “tickets for those aged 10 and older to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, will rise from $71 to $75, while tickets for children aged 3 to 9 will go from $60 to $63.”

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Contact Us

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