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, 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, 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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Featured, Local News, Real Estate

Orlando Real Estate Agent Arrested01 Aug

So it’s pretty common knowledge that people rank Realtors right up there with Doctors and philanthropists car salesmen and lawyers, and boy does this story just bring it all home.

According to a story in the Orlando Sentinel, Garry S. Martin, a licensed real estate broker (yay, just like me), was arrested this week, and charged with mortgage fraud and grand theft. Oh joy. According to Orange County Sheriff’s detectives, Martin

forged signatures on various documents and wired home-sale proceeds to bank accounts that he controlled.

In case you’re wondering, the net amount Martin made off of these transactions is $426,288.

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Featured, Lake Nona Medical Center, Local News

$220M OK’d For Orlando Veterans Hospital01 Aug

The creation of the new Department of Veterans...Image via Wikipedia

This is such welcomed news. Orlando is now the largest metropolitan area in the COUNTRY without a VA hospital, but all that’s about to change, thanks to a 407-4 vote to pass a massive spending bill that will pay for various military construction and Veterans Administration projects in Orlando, in the Lake Nona area.

According to Local 6, the bill was passed Friday morning after spending hours late Thursday night debating numerous amendments to the measure. The new VA hospital will provide relief to more than 75,000 veterans living in Brevard County since the closest in-patient care facility is more than a two-hour drive away.

This is all part of Lake Nona’s planned medical center, including the new UCF College of Medicine, and the Burnham Institute. We’ll be discussing the developments of this project as they happen, so keep checking back for more information.

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Featured, Local News, Real Estate

Orlando Real Estate Inventory Levelling Off31 Jul

You wouldn’t know it by watching the local news (or national news, for that matter), but according to a recent post by our good friend Marcus Burke over at Condo Metropolis, Orlando real estate inventory is finally levelling off. This is great news for sellers, and probably luke warm news for buyers. Inventory is the largest problem in the Orlando real estate market. We have too many homes for sale, and it’s forcing sellers to lower their prices to compete with the 10 other homes on their street for sale. Don’t believe me? Take a drive through Avalon Park, and you’ll get the picture.

Marcus has a great breakdown and explanation of the inventory, so header over to the story on Condo Metropolis and have a read.

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