Home to the most magical place on earth, Orlando actually has even more to get excited about! While Orlando plays host to an average of 48 million tourists each year, locals still love to call this city home just as much as ever. Beyond the year-round sunshine and immaculate resorts and attractions, there are also plentiful museums, galleries, parks, historic homes, shopping centers, and wildlife that make the city a great place to live and raise a family.
Overview & History of Orlando
Orlando’s history dates back to 1838, long before Walt Disney came to town. The U.S. Army built a fort just southeast of modern-day downtown Orlando, and settlers set up camp. The settlement was initially called Jernigan, but changed its name to Orlando in 1856.
During the 1920s, there was a massive boom in land purchases and development spread throughout the downtown area. Then, the Second World War played a huge role in shifting some of that development towards military purposes, resulting in what is now Orlando Army Air Base and McCoy Air Force Base. And when Mr. Disney came to town with the announcement that he was building Walt Disney World near Orlando in 1965, things forever changed. Once headed down a path toward high-tech industry and agriculture being the economy’s drivers, it now looks to tourism as the number one source of jobs and income.
Cost of Living in Orlando
Orlando’s overall cost of living is 5% below the national average. Both housing expenses and utilities come in at 11% lower than the national average, while grocery prices are slightly higher at 2%. The median home price is around $300,000 and rent averages $1,000 per month.
Here are some helpful breakdowns to give you an idea of costs:
Meal for one at inexpensive restaurant: $15.50
Cup of coffee: $4.18
Gallon of milk: $ 3.61
Dozen eggs: $2.52
One-way bus ticket (local transport): $2.00
Gallon of gas: $2.31
Movie ticket: $12.00
Beer (1 pint): $4.50
The Job Market in Orlando
Whether you are relocating for work or hoping to explore a new career path, the job market plays an instrumental role in moving to a new city. Orlando’s unemployment rate is 3.2%, which is 0.7% lower than the national average. However, the average annual salary is about $6,000 less than the national average due to the large number of lower-paying jobs. It should come as no surprise that many jobs in Orlando are centered around either the military or Disney World.
Major employers in the area include: Walt Disney World Resort, JetBlue, the Golf Channel, the University of Central Florida, and Electronic Arts (EA Games).
If you’re serious about making a move to Orlando, then it’s time to take a closer look at some of the popular neighborhoods in the area to figure out which could be the perfect fit for you! We always recommend planning a visit before your big move to discover which neighborhood is perfectly suited for you!
College Park: Offering subtle beauty and ideal proximity to downtown Orlando, this neighborhood appeals to residents of all ages, from young professionals seeking hip specialty stores to elderly residents who enjoy the diversity that this highly walkable area has to offer.
Winter Park: This is essentially Orlando’s “old money” neighborhood, created in part for northern snow birds. Here you can browse posh boutiques situated along cobblestone streets lined with mature oaks covered in Spanish moss. Fine dining, specialty stores, and a variety of cultural gems are abundant here.
Lake Nona: This up-and-coming neighborhood attracts families from all socioeconomic backgrounds, with affordable houses ranging from single family to townhouses to apartments. The area is well known for the Tavistock Cup, an annual golf competition, but is attempting to shift away from such a golf-centric image. Developers project that this neighborhood has 10 to 15 years of substantial growth ahead of it, so now could be the best time to get in before prices begin to rise significantly. Bonus: It’s near the airport.
East Orlando (UCF Area): This area is home to thousands of UCF students, meaning the neighborhood is young, dynamic, and very diverse. Traffic is often a complaint for residents of this area, but there are a ton of perks to living right next to a major university. Whether you want to attend a football game, visit the campus theater, sit in on a lecture, or attend a film viewing, the campus has a lot to offer locals. The vibrant immigration population in this area also greatly contributes to some delicious cuisine options.
Entertainment & Culture
While most prominently known for Walt Disney World, a lesser known fact about Orlando is that it’s also a city of gardens, galleries, visual and performing arts, heritage, and outdoor recreation. Winter Park plays host to some world-class museums, such as the Morse Museum. There are also nine major shopping malls in Orlando, selling everything from the most exclusive designer labels to the cheapest thrift store finds.
One of the better kept secrets would have to be the surrounding state parks such as Wekiwa Springs State Park, an 8,000-acre natural oasis offering hiking, canoeing, swimming, and sunbathing. Orlando also plays host to a pretty thriving range of restaurants, clubs, and live shows, so there’s literally something for everyone to enjoy!
Moving to Orlando
We hope this Orlando city guide has helped you to get to know Orlando a little more – and perhaps you’re ready to make the move and become the next full-time Orlando resident!
Wherever you may be moving from, Black Tie Moving is ready to help make your move to Orlando an unforgettable VIP experience! We offer comprehensive concierge moving services and can even supply quality packing and supplies to make your transition super easy!
Thinking of moving to Orlando? Give our team of local, industry-leading movers a call today at (407) 663-5311 and get a FREE quote on your moving costs! We would love to help with your move from start to finish and treat you like a rock star every step of the way!