Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Lake Nona-Medical City LGBT House Hunting Guide: Laureate Park

Lake Nona-Medical City Area Neighborhood(s): Laureate Park

If you are reading this article, you're probably connected with Lake Nona-Medical City in some capacity or other.  The VA "job spigot" is open and Medical City job postings flood the .gov employment website, among others, so now it's time for housing to follow!

The good news: in the 32832 & 32827 zip codes, which is considered the Lake Nona area by locals, plenty of housing options, new and not so new exist.  The bad news: anything considered "decent" ( which means "move in condition") goes quickly when priced correctly.

In terms of pricing, by Orlando standards, I would categorize Laureate Park as mid to expensive.  Of course, everything is relative, so someone from the Russian Hill or Chelsea neighborhoods will find pricing very affordable.

Loosely modeled after another popular Orlando neighborhood called Baldwin Park, Laureate Park is also a planned community.  DT Lake Nona is currently under construction and is walking distance to Laureate Park and like Baldwin Park, it will have a mix of housing & neighborhood amenities.

Boldly colored homes and unique styles are immediately recognized the moment you enter the community, and many of the homes being built have apartment suites over the garage, which are perfect for guests/family/med. students.

Some of the neighborhood resort styled amenities include:
  • Village Center 
  • Lakeside restaurant and cafe 
  • Fitness facility 
  • Aquatic Center featuring two large pools & lounging areas, a family pool with a zero-entry pool, water cannons, deck jets and a twenty-five foot tall dumping bucket 
  • The adult pool (code for quiet) features free form pool areas, 4 lap lanes and private cabanas
  • Sand volleyball court 
  • Walking/biking trails connecting the area neighborhoods within 32832 & 32827
Laureate Park is 25 minutes to DT Orlando, 35 minutes to the coast, 20 to Disney and mere minutes to OIA.

Read my other article on the Lake Nona area neighborhood East Park.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Privacy & Country Living Near DT Orlando and Lake Nona

If you are looking for acreage but don't want to be way out in the boonies, check out the southern part of Wedgefield southeast of DT Orlando.  It is fairly rural, but it's only 10 minutes east of OIA and Lake Nona off the Beachline #528 at Dallas Blvd.

You can find 1 to 10 acre parcels and build what you want OR pre-owned homes are always available.  The area is deed restricted with these being the more important rules:

  • Anything built on an acre must have at least 2,200 sq. ft. under air
  • No mobile homes, doublewides, modular homes are allowed
  • Optional HOA 
  • Horses are allowed but you must have two contiguous acres for the first horse

Additionally, the acreage lots to the south (estates area) are well and septic, only the homes in the northern part of Wedgefield have public utilities...they are on small subdivision lots.  This is also in the USDA Financing zone where 100% financing is available.

For new construction in Wedgefield or Lake Nona, I recommend SPC Homes.  They build a nice home, they 100% welcome the LGBT community, which I can confirm since I've had numerous transactions with them over the years.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Lake Nona-Medical City LGBT House Hunting Guide: East Park

Lake Nona-Medical City Area Neighborhood(s): East Park

Now that the official "job spigot" has been opened for Lake Nona's Medical City, it goes without saying the house hunting spigot is also open and new arrivals (who don't have a clue about the area) and locals (who already know the area and want to live nearby or place their kids in great schools) and investors (who want to invest in a dynamic region) compete for available housing.  The area is booming.

The good news: plenty of housing options, new and not so new, exist.  The bad news: anything "decent" and priced correctly goes quickly.

Today's article is an introduction to a "neo-traditional" (where the houses have front porches) neighborhood called East Park.  The community has numerous parks, a fishing pier, volleyball-tennis-basketball courts, playground(s), walking paths & is connected, by sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes, to the other Lake Nona area neighborhoods.  If you like the outdoors, have an active lifestyle and enjoy endless green space, you'll like this community.

Condos, carriage homes, town homes and single family residences are found here, and prices range from the mid $100's to the upper $300's as of mid 2015.  Many of the homes have pond or conservation land frontage, so wildlife abounds throughout the neighborhood!

Nearby, you'll now find restaurants, a beer & wine pub, grocery stores and numerous other things currently under construction...Starbucks, hotels, etc., are scheduled to open fall of 2015.

Like most Lake Nona area neighborhoods, East Park is 20 minutes to DT Orlando, 30 minutes to the coast, 20 to Disney and mere minutes to OIA.  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Top 10 LGBT Neighborhoods in Orlando, FL

10 LGBT Neighborhoods in Orlando, FL

Actually, it's really tough to make the cutoff and stick to 10 neighborhoods, which is why I have 13 showing and I easily could've added another 7!  As I tell out of state clients looking to relocate to Orlando, we really don't have a concentrated "gay ghetto" here...we are pretty much everywhere, which speaks volumes regarding the overall acceptance in the immediate region.  

Excluding Kissimmee & Winter Park, which are longtime established cities, the neighborhoods on this list have Orlando ZIP codes; in the case of Dr. Phillips, Baldwin Park and Lake Nona, which definitely feel suburban, the others are typical city neighborhoods.

  1. Thornton Park & Lake Eola Heights.  Walking distance to DT Orlando, great little restaurants and bars, great mix of people, gentrified neighborhood with gorgeous bungalows and craftsman style homes on cobblestone streets. Predominantly built post WWI. Upscale and gentrified. Expensive.
  2. Downtown Orlando. Professional, good looking, educated and active...endless things to do.  Ground zero for gay pride events. Many new condo towers since the 1990's. Moderate to expensive.
  3. College Park., bars and restaurants & sleepy streets lined primarily with post WWII houses. Moderate to expensive.
  4. Colonial Town (South) & Conway. In my opinion, these areas are ripe for "up & coming" status! Primarily 50's & 60's houses...terrazzo floors found here! Value to expensive.
  5. Winter Park. Check out Park Ave., then you'll see why it's on my list! Wide range mainly built from 1920's-60's. Moderate to expensive.
  6. Delaney Park. Designing Women's own Delta Burke has a connection to the neighborhood.  This lovely part of town features cobblestone streets, big old houses and a super location to DT Orlando.  A bit east is an area called Lake Davis, AKA "Lake Betty Davis" by friends who live in the area. Homes mainly built between WWI & WWII. Moderate to expensive.
  7. Baldwin Park. Formerly a military base, Baldwin Park is new urbanism at its finest! Easy commute to DT, nice restaurants and bars...very walkable neighborhood.  Homes built 1990's+ Moderate to expensive.
  8. Kissimmee. Yep, our gal pal's and guy's enjoy the laid back atmosphere & affordable prices Kissimmee has to offer.  Excellent little ma & pa restaurants from all over, but particularly the islands and South America pepper the landscape. Lots of new but plenty from the 70's and earlier. Value to expensive.
  9. Dr. Phillips. Many Disney and Universal executives call Dr. Phillips home, and for good reason: easy access to the attractions, airport, DT and Dr. Phillips restaurants, which are fabu! Primarily built in the 1960's-1980's. Moderate to expensive.
  10. Lake Nona.  Who doesn't have a friends in the medical, bio-medicine and education fields?  From doctors, nurses and other specialties within medicine, to professors and teachers at the VA and UCF Medical School, which are all located here, LGBT are taking advantage of career enhancing positions and making it home.  Suburban, moderate to upscale, green and super convenient to DT, OIA, Atlantic Ocean, Disney and Universal. Most built since 2000 and continues through today. Moderate to expensive.
New to Orlando?  If you like attending theatre events, bowling, concerts, museums, happy hour, networking, restaurants, etc., check out 

Friday, July 10, 2015

East Orlando 100% Financing Available!

100% USDA Financing!


This nice 3/2/2 home is eligible for 100% financing on the east side of Orlando!  Super convenient to UCF, Waterford Lakes, Space Coast & Central Florida Research Park.