Blog :: 05-2017

5 Reasons Central Florida is the Best Place to Live

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Job Market

The Orlando job market is ranked 2nd in the nation according to Indeed's 2017 "Best Cities for Job Seekers" chart, earning nearly perfect scores in Job Market Favorability and Job Security and Advancement. Orlando also ranked 3rd out of 150 cities overall on Wallethub's Best Cities for Jobs and 2nd out of 150 in their Job Market category. Wallethub also named Orlando #1 for Most Job Opportunities. As an expanding metropolis, Central Florida has a diverse assortment of job offerings to match many backgrouds and experiences, making it a great place to settle and start a new career or advance in a current passion.

2. School Systems

(Pictured Above: Lake Highland Prep)

When choosing a home, finding a school for your children is just as important as finding a job. Central Florida has you covered there, too. GreatSchools.Org gave scores of 9's and 10's to 39 schools (elementary-high) in Orange County public schools alone. Orange County is also populated with 169 private schools, including some of the top in the state, Lake Highland, Trinity Prep and Bishop Moore.

3. Family-Friendly

Orlando wouldn't call itself the "tourism capital of the world" if it didn't have the stuff to back it up. And boy, does it have the stuff! Check out a few highlights below. 

1. Disney's Magic Kingdom

2. Disney's Epcot

3. Disney's Animal Kingdom

4. Disney's Hollywood Studios

5. Disney's Typhoon Lagoon

6. Disney's Blizzard Beach

7. Disney Springs

8. Universal Studios

9. Universal's Islands of Adventure

10. SeaWorld Orlando

11. Aquatica

12. Discovery Cove

13. Legoland

14. Fun Spot

15. Gator Land

16. Wonderworks

17. Orlando Science Center

18. Kennedy Space Center

19. Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

20. Holy Land Experience

4. Beautiful Beaches

(Pictured Above: Clearwater Beach)

Best part is they're close enough for a day trip! Pack up the fam and a cooler and hit the waves for an afternoon. Hang out on one of the many famous boardwalks, check out Daytona Beach Bike Week or grab a drink at Coconuts. Bonus: (almost) year round in Florida is ideal for a quick dip in the ocean. Check out these beaches that are within driving distance from Orlando. 

1. New Smyrna 

Distance from Orlando: 56.8 Miles (1 hour 7 mins)

2. Daytona Beach

Distance from Orlando: 66.7 Miles (1 hour 6 mins)

3. Cocoa Beach

Distance from Orlando: 59.8 Miles (1 hour 5 mins)

4. Clearwater Beach

Distance from Orlando: 108 Miles (2 hours 23 mins)

5. Good Ol' Southern Charm

Last, but certainly not least, one of the very best things about Florida is... the people! Florida is known for it's relaxed, laid-back lifestyle and southern hospitality (not to mention, it's southern cooking!). Life is a little slower here, in a good way. It's not uncommon for people to greet new neighbors with freshly-baked cookies or homemade pies like in the movies. Neighbors actually know their neighbors and most even call them friends. It's hard not to be in a good mood when it's blue skies and sunshine pretty much year round!

 

Looking to move to or in Central Florida?

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Fusilier Favorites: Bottomless Brunches

Bottomless Brunches = Bottomless Fun

How does Orlando celebrate our two-day, weekly vacation? We brunch, of course! And the only way to do brunch? Bottomless(ly). Here are a few of our go-to's.

Avenue Gastrobar

  

This downtown hotspot is casual yet refined, with a modern feel and an innovative menu. Their brunch selection can appease even the pickiest eater, with traditional favorites like Chicken & Waffles to quirky dishes like Green Eggs & Ham. Pair your meal with $12.95 bottomless mimosas, OR the best part of all - breakfast cereal shots! That's right, childhood memories in a shot glass like Captain Crunch, Fruit Loops, Honey-nut Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and three more original Avenue Gastrobar flavors. 

Brunch (and cereal shots) served Saturday and Sunday until 3 PM.

>>>View property listings in the area

The Boheme

  

This dishy little spot has much to offer when it comes to brunch. But, they'll do you one better- Jazz Brunch.  Contemporary jazz emanates from the Imperial Grand Bösendorfer Piano throughout the art-adorned interior. Pair that ambiance with bottomless mimosas and a superb culinary experience and you'll understand why it's award-winning. 

Brunch is served on Sunday mornings from 10 AM until 2 PM

>>>View property listings in the area

Santiago's Bodega Orlando

  

This colorful tapas-style restaurant offers all-you-can-eat and drink weekend brunch that includes not only mimosas, but an added bonus, sangria. As for the spread, prepare to dine royally on prime rib, crab legs, roast chicken, leg of lamb, sliced cheeses, cured meats, chorizo paella and more. Pro-tip: Santiago's regular lunch menu is also available during brunch.

Wine and dine every Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM until 2:30 PM.

>>>View property listings in the area

Soco

  

Soco, short for "Southern Contemporary," focuses on Southern Hospitality in the kitchen and in the details. Executive Chef/Partner Greg Richie says "At Soco, we believe in the wholesomeness of food and the integrity of it's preparation." To them, Southern Contemporary means mixing the classics with some not-so-average ingredients. For example, their Crispy Duck Confit Potato Cakes or their Soco-Style "Chicken and Dumplings" infused with lobster, edamame and local mushrooms. Combine your mod meal with bottomless mimosas for a Soco-mpletely amazing brunch.

Enjoy every Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM to 3 PM.

>>>View property listings in the area

 

Look to move to any of these areas? Contact us!

Permits Issued for $10M Lake Nona Drive Shack

Lake Nona is "Teeing Up" to Become Leading Sports and Performance Destination

Staying true to it's health and wellness roots, the Lake Nona Sports and Performance District has just been issued permits good for $10M to begin construction on it's newest project, Taylor Made's Drive Shack. The 3-story, 57,000 square-foot driving range will join the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA), The United States Tennis Association (USTA), a 23-acre Orlando City Soccer Club training facility, the Johnson and Johnson Human Performance Institute and, of course, the Lake Nona Golf and Country Club. It's presence in the community will help shape Lake Nona into the "progressive city of the future anchored by clusters of excellence in health and wellness, sports, education and technology" it hopes to be. 

The project will also include a restaurant, lounge, bar, hitting bays and meeting spaces. According to the Orlando Business Journal, it will be built on a 15-acre site on the northwest quadrant of State Road 417 and Lake Nona Boulevard. The full project is expected to total $15M -$25M to complete. Stay tuned for construction updates!

Have questions about the Lake Nona Area or the Sports and Performance District? Contact Us!

Want to move to the area? Browse our Lake Nona Listings

Fusilier Favorites: Family-Friendly Activities

SeaLife Aquarium

One of I-Drive 360's newer attractions, SeaLife Aquarium sits just to the right of the Orlando Eye. The 2 million-gallon aquarium is brimming with rare and enigmatic marine life, from various species of sharks and jellyfish to interactive micro-habitats containing sea anemone starfish and crabs. Catch a dive show in their ocean habitat and watch divers interact with a few of the aquarium's 5,000+ inhabitants. Ask questions to the experts and learn how they care for the sea creatures that live there. 

  

Visit the aquarium Monday - Sunday from 10 AM to 9 PM. 

View property listings in the area > 32819

Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge

You might remember this one from our Fusilier Favorites: Farmer's Market post, but this animal refuge was started for much more than hosting a weekly community market. Back to Nature is a non-profit organization that rescues, rehabilitates and fosters orphaned or injured wildlife until they are healthy enough to be returned to their natural habitat. Some animals become permanent residents and are taken care of by the dedicated staff who do for the animals what they may never be able to do for themselves. The animals get plenty of visitors with all of the activities and events the refuge offers to guests. Book a guided tour and stroll down the Wildlife Walk stopping at each enclosure to hear facts and stories about some of animals that live on the property. BTN also hosts a variety of themed events that are too cute to miss like their Annual Baby Squirrel Shower or their Animal-versary. 

  

Visit the furry friends Tuesday - Sunday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 

>>Donate to the care of the animals

>>Sponsor a Back to Nature permanent resident

View property listings in the area > 32832, 32827

Orlando Science Center

You may have visited this interactive playground of science and imagination before, but their exhibits are always changing and there's always something new to see and learn. Currently, OSC is hosting the Identity exhibit where children and parents alike can learn about physical, psychological, and social identity traits. Or, visit one of their Exhibit Halls and explore Our Planet, DinoDigs, Fusion: A STEAM Gallery, Engineer It, Kinetics Zone and NatureWorks. Report your own forecast at the WFTV Severe Weather Center 9 Experience station or draw our your own DNA in Dr. Dare's Lab. Whatever your interest, OSC offers tons of fun, interactive experiences to fill your day and your mind.

  

Visit them daily (excluding Wednesdays) from 10 AM to 5 PM.

View property listings in the area >> 32803, 32806, 32807, 32756

 

 

Have questions or looking to move to any of the areas mentioned in the post? Contact Us.

D.R. Horton Prepping to Move Headquarters Just East of Lake Nona

A New Home for New Homes

The nation's largest home builder has it's sights set on East Park, a Horton-planned community, to build it's new 50,000 square-foot office building and commercial complex. The project will span a 7.3-acre parcel at the southwest corner of Dowden Road and the S.R. 417 Beltway. "America's Home Builder" isn't moving far. It's current headquarters sits just north of Orlando International Airport at Lee Vista Center. 

Overlook at East Park

Horton is in the process of building two communities within East Park - Overlook and Ravinia. Overlook is a unique town home community with models including 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths up to 2,283 square feet. The 3 story town homes offer open floor plans and pristine water views of East Lake. The community also boasts walking trails, a pavillion, sand volleyball, basketball, tennis courts, Dog Park, and leisure areas situated around East Lake.

Models are priced from $274,490

    

Ravinia at East Park

The community, just minutes from Medical City and Lake Nona, offers similar, slightly larger 3-story town homes up to 2,356 square feet. If conservation views are more your speed, Ravinia has much to offer. Enjoy the views from your private balcony and listen to the serene sound of the community's sparkling fountain. Ravinia, too, offers all the same amenities as Overlook with easy access to the B Line for a quick trip to Florida's beautiful coast. 

Models priced from $287,490

    

Interested in making Overlook or Ravinia at East Park your home? Contact us to schedule a showing. 

Big Four Accounting Firm KPMG and Lake Nona to Host Groundbreaking Celebration

Something to Celebrate

The $430 million KPMG Learning, Development and Innovation Campus chose Lake Nona as it's home out of 50 cities. According to Orlando Business Journal, Tavistock Senior Managing Director Rasesh Thakkar said the deal took a staggering 18 months to complete. The groundbreaking event, taking place on May 22, 2017, will celebrate Lake Nona's new resident and the estimated 80 jobs it has to offer.

    

The new complex is expected to have 800 guest rooms and 750,000 square feet of office space. There are also talks of outdoor recreation spaces and dining options. The OBJ reports that along with the 80 new jobs, the project is also predicted to generate more than 250 third-party contract operator positions and create an additional economic impact by bringing 48,000 visits to Orlando annually. 

Want to be a part of the burgeoning Lake Nona community or KPMG's new campus? Browse our Lake Nona Listings.

Contact us for more info. 

Check Out This Can't Miss Home for Sale in Kissimmee, FL

1660 Marina Lake Drive Kissimmee, FL


View Listing Here | Contact Agent

This beautiful lakefront home in Kissimmee was built in 2001 and has all the perks modern real estate design. The spacious kitchen has gorgeous granite countertops and with five bedrooms and three bathrooms, this property can comfortably accommodate several residents or a large family.

1660 Marina Lake Drive has everything you would expect in a Florida luxury home and so much more. Enjoy the amazing local weather with the beautiful heated pool, outdoor kitchen area and patio, the covered lanai and boat and waterski dock. For days you want to be inside, there is also a home office and game room with pool table.

Downtown Orlando less than a half hour away and the Orlando International Airport is only about 15 miles from Kissimmee.

>> Check out other homes for sale in Kissimmee

Anne Rue Interiors: Summer Color Trends

By Anne Rue of Anne Rue Interiors

Changing Seasons, Changing Trends

In the world of fashion, popular colors fluctuate with the passing seasons. And if wearing what’s on trend makes us feel a bit lighter on our feet, imagine what living in fresh color can do for our psyche. Pantone debuts their new color trend choices every quarter. This Spring/Summer, they’ve chosen both bold and soft shades that speak to styles across the board.

It’s obvious that the goal is to spruce up your space without gutting and renovating. The easiest and most cost effective way to accomplish this is to change up your accent items and/or accessories. Pantone’s selections range from light and bright to deep and sultry. My personal favorite, Flame, would make for an excellent accent pillow or throw blanket.

    

Choosing the perfect addition to your home depends on your current color palette. There’s usually a resounding neutral, whether that be soft tan, earthy green, quiet blue, etc. The tendency in choosing a new accent color is to play it safe by staying within the boundaries of the warm/cool categories. I’m a firm believer in a true, eye-catching pop of color - if you haven’t noticed).

Choosing the perfect accent color is as easy as your middle school art class. Take a look at the color wheel. You have your primary colors (yellow, red, and blue) and your secondary colors (green, purple, and orange). Using a complimentary color (colors that opposite each other on the spectrum) will give you the most bang for your efforts. If the primary color in your space is blue, “Flame” would fit right in. If you’re rocking a deep purple, “Greenery” or “Kale” would bring out the best in both colors. Choosing new pillows, throws, and/or accessories is as easy as a trip to your local Target, which means you can break out of your decor rut without breaking the bank. Target seems to always be on-trend when it comes to up-and-coming colors.

As our society continues to veer towards a greener lifestyle, we see these hues used more frequently in fashion and home decor. And what better time to incorporate some calming, rejuvenating earth tones than Summer?

 

Want to spruce up your home for summer? Contact Anne Rue Interiors.

Or, browse these vacant land listings and build and design the home of your dreams.

Fusilier Favorites: Farmers Markets

Orlando Farmers Market

The Orlando Farmers Market has been a Central Florida favorite for the past 30 years. The serene Lake Eola backdrop, centralized downtown location and diverse collection of vendors have certainly lent a hand in giving the market it's superstar status. Whether you're on the hunt for exotic plants, eccentric jewelry, seasonal farm fresh produce or just a cold beer, this is your place. Enjoy live music, an outdoor dining area and a brand new beer and wine garden. Bonus points: Pets are welcome! Some booths even sell homemade treats, clothes and travel accessories for your furry friends. Catch this market every Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM.

View listings in the area: Downtown Listings

Back to Nature Lake Nona Farmers Market

A little newer to the game, but it's growing right along with the burgeoning Lake Nona community. Here you'll find a wide range of local products and services including free yoga demonstrations, fresh produce, raw honey and henna tattoos. Fun Fact: This farmers market benefits Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge's mission in rehabilitating injured and orphaned animals. Want to help? Donate to the cause or sponsor an animal. Visit this market every Saturday through May from 9 AM to 1 PM at Valencia College, 12350 Narcoossee Rd, Orlando.

View listings in the area: Lake Nona Listings

Winter Park Farmers Market

The self-proclaimed "number one produce and plant market in Central Florida" takes place at an old train depot, located in the heart of Winter Park, that has since become a historical landmark. The popular market serves as a gathering place for not only the Winter Park community, but surrounding areas, as well. Expect to find fine produce, beautiful plants, baked goods and lovely people. Visit the market and then take a stroll down Winter Parks' Park Avenue (home of Fusilier Favorite The Wine Room) where you'll find award winning restaurants, fine art galleries and colorful boutiques. Plan a visit any Saturday morning from 7 AM to 1 PM at 200 West New England Ave, Winter Park.  

View listings in the area: Winter Park Listings

Audubon Park Farmers Market

This community market is comprised of local "growers, ranchers, fishermen, chefs, artists, musicians and neighbors."  The local favorite, around since 2009, offers the freshest produce, handmade soaps, vintage clothing, and fully prepared meals among other local products. Enjoy food, friends, art and live music at this pet-friendly, kid-friendly community marketplace. Visit the Audubon Park Community Market any Monday (rain or shine) from 5 PM to 9 PM in the Stardust parking lot located at 1842 E Winter Park Rd.

View listings in the area: Audubon Park Listings

Did we mention your favorite? Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments.

Looking to move to any of these areas? We serve all of them. Contact us!

Lee Vista Academy Sports Confirmed

Texas-Based Sports Equipment Retailer, Academy Sports, Comes to Southeast Orlando

Academy will join Epic Theaters, PetSmart, Five Below, HomeGoods and several restaurants including Rock & Brews in the new Lee Vista Promenade. The completed space will be 62,000 square feet and will bring an estimated 125 new jobs to the area. The retailer carries an expansive collection of name-brand equipment for competitive sports, physical fitness training and outdoor activities such as camping, hunting, fishing and boating. The popular chain has everything the quintessential outdoorsman (or woman) needs to enjoy Central Florida's abounding bodies of water, nature trails and generally beautiful surroundings.

    

Looking to move to Southeast Orlando? Take a look at our listings in the area.

Lee Vista - View Listings

Lake Conway - View Listings

Lake Nona - View Listings 

Contact us with questions about area information or to schedule a showing.