Orlando, Florida is perhaps best known for its sprawling theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios, which draw a total of nearly 30 million people per year. Of course, there's a lot more to this Central Florida city than Mickey Mouse and Harry Potter; in fact, with a population of 2.5 million, Orlando is one of the United States's biggest cities, and according to a recent WalletHub study, it's got one of the U.S.'s fastest growing economies to boot.
In addition to theme parks, which create a lot of jobs, Orlando's home to aviation and aerospace firms like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Dynamic. The city's also a prime spot if you're looking to buy investment properties or flip some affordable real estate, and there's been some investment in redevelopment: three malls are getting makeovers.
Growth aside, Orlando's got a lot to offer, like abundant green space (it's is full of beautiful parks, including the popular and picturesque Lake Eola Park), relatively temperate weather, museums like the Orlando Museum of Art and the Orlando Science Center, cultural touchstones like the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, and a large collection of diverse and tasty food options (the proximity to Disney World's famed Epcot restaurants is a plus too, if you can deal with the crowds).
If any of that sounds appealing, here's a taste of what's there:
2109 Elizabeth Ave., College Park
This four-bedroom, four-bath house, is located in College Park, which is perhaps Orlando's most desirable residential neighborhood thanks to its abundant green space, beautiful turn-of-the-century houses, and proximity to popular Lake Ivanhoe. This property was built in 2004 and renovated recently—highlights include a chef's kitchen with marble countertops and built-in stainless steel appliances, a spacious master suite with a marble tub, and an outdoor patio with a pool. The house is priced at $829,000.
1936 Meeting Pl., Baldwin Park
Baldwin Park is a relatively new neighborhood in Orlando, which first broken ground in 2003. Now, the neighborhood is mostly a mix of apartment buildings and standalone houses, including this three-bedroom, three-bath townhouse, which was built in 2005. The property has an updated kitchen outfitted with granite countertops and a breakfast island, a first-floor master suite with a Roman tub and walk-in closet, and an extra loft space you can turn into an office or playroom. There's also an outdoor brick patio with space for al fresco dining. The house is priced at $625,000.
1502 E. Gore St., Lake Weldona
This renovated three-bedroom, two-bath house (also shown top) has a kitchen with Shaker cabinets, an impressive screened-in porch with views of Lake Weldona, and original, refinished oak floors. Other highlights include crown molding, recessed lighting, and spacious bedrooms. The house is located in Lake Weldona, a suburban neighborhood with great schools and a lot of young professionals. The house is priced at $449,900.
261 Spring Lane., Winter Park
Winter Park is actually its own city, but thanks to its proximity to Orlando proper, it serves as a major suburb to the area. This seven-bedroom, five-bath house has hardwood floors, high ceilings, and arched doorways throughout, in addition to a gourmet kitchen outfitted with high-end appliances, a master bath with a tub and walk-in shower, and an in-law suite. Other highlights include a grassy yard and a brick patio with a pool. The house is priced at $829,000.
1917 E. Central Blvd., East Central Park
This three-bedroom, three-bath house in East Central Park has handsome wood detailing, hardwood floors, high ceilings held up with columns, and a backyard with a pool and lounge area. Other highlights include carpeted bedrooms, a master suite wih a Jacuzzi tub and walk-in closet, and an expansive balcony with a view of the yard. The neighborhood is close to downtown and is full of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. The house is priced at $679,000.
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