Welcome To LGBT Orlando!
It’s happened again! For 2014, The Advocate has ranked Orlando as one of the “Gayest Cities in America.” Our burgeoning live music & theatre venues, quaint and quirky neighborhoods, fantastic restaurants and world famous attractions make Orlando a clear contender on any list or ranking! The Advocate also ranked Orlando as the 2nd gayest city in the U.S in 2012!
Are you considering Orlando as your new home? Below is a list of questions my clients have asked over the years…
Where do LGBT people live in Orlando? Unlike other metro areas, Orlando doesn’t have just one popular neighborhood or something commonly referred to as a “gay ghetto” or neighborhoods like Castro, Chelsea or Boystown; we have many popular areas, but most are chosen by your lifestyle and where you work. That said, if you really want to see lots of rainbow flags, check out Thornton Park, College Park, Lake Eola Heights and D.T. Orlando. My partner and I happen to live in Lake Nona, which is home to the new “Medical City” complex in SE Orlando, and here, just like most other metro communities, you’ll see the rainbow flag, HRC equal sign, etc.
Are you being relocated to one of the following?
Disney or Universal. You might consider the Dr. Phillips, Kissimmee, Hunters Creek or Windermere areas… all of which make for a quick commute to the attractions.
I.T. jobs, you’re probably working near Lake Mary or D.T. You might want to consider Lake Mary, Winter Springs, Longwood & Altamonte Springs, but if you are going to be D.T., I recommend D.T., Thornton Park, Conway, College Park, Winter Park, to name a few convenient and popular areas.
UCF. Waterford Lakes, Avalon Park & Oviedo, are all within an easy commute to the university, as well as D.T.
Medical City in Lake Nona: V.A., Nemours, M.D. Anderson, Sanford-Burnham, UCF Medical/Pharmacy Schools/Hospitals & Bio Research. I would consider Lake Nona, Kissimmee, Conway, Wedgefield (acre + lots), St. Cloud and Avalon Park.
“Walkable” communities with amenities. Look in Downtown Orlando, which is predominantly newer condo towers, Thornton Park, Lake Eola Heights, Vi-Mi…pretty much anything in east Downtown, as well as Winter Park, College Park and Baldwin Park.
Is it easy to meet people here? YES! From our experiences as well as our friends, we’ve had no difficulties meeting people and developing friendships over the years. In fact, since most of us are from some other city, state or country, people tend to be friendly and receptive to meeting and creating new friendships. The quickest way to meet friends is through organizations like the one my partner and I organize called Orlando LGBT Professional Social Network.
Does Orlando have “bad neighborhoods?” Like every large city in the country, we have areas of higher crime, poverty, blight, etc.
Is there an organized LGBT community? YES! On every front, from business, law, entertainment, hospitality, medicine, education, politics, entrepreneurial and just regular folks wanting to meet other people, you’ll find lots of us! We are fortunate to have smart and connected professionals and volunteers in Orlando.
Should I invest in Orlando or Ft. Lauderdale-Miami? It depends on your criteria for picking an investment property. For 2014, the average price per sq. ft. in Ft. Lauderdale is $253 while it’s just $107 in Orlando. Many properties in Orlando will still yield a positive cash flow, which is not the case in south Florida. Also, since south Florida is essentially at sea level, their home owners insurance is significantly higher than Orlando AND they have higher property taxes on average. Both markets get lots of tourists and residents moving into the state, so you’ll find a receptive market.
I want to rent my place to tourists when I’m not using it. If your property is located in a “short term rental zone”, which are usually found outside Orange County near the attractions, this is possible, but the property must be zoned accordingly.
Do you offer property management services? Yes. I do property management as a service for my clients.
Do you work with rentals? No, except for those I manage for my clients, but I can find someone who will assist you.
LGBT New To Orlando Links & Resources
1. Search for LGBT professionals and businesses
2. What is my neighborhoods “Walkability Score?”
3. Demographic research & all the things Realtors are not allowed to talk about!!