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Neighborhood Spotlight (SODO)

(Published on - 5/27/2020 5:18:46 PM)

First up on our neighborhood spotlight for the week is SODO. The SODO (South of Downtown Orlando) district is a business district surrounded by historic neighborhoods, lakes, walkable parks, streets, and more. It has one of Orlando’s most established hospitals, Orlando Health, originating since 1918. Just one mile of Downtown Orlando, SODO has everything you can think of, we are serious!

 

 

 

What can’t you find here? Every fast food/coffee shop/restaurant/bakery you can think of! Restaurants ranging from Japanese to American to Spanish, fresh homemade donuts & icecream, coffee shops, and every fast food joint you can name! 

 

  

 

Let's not forget essential businesses like hotels, post offices, and pharmacies. Some of the hotels in the SODO district are The Delaney Hotel, Days Inn by Wyndham, Aloft, and the Marriot. The local post office is USPS. Lastly, the pharmacies in the SODO area include CVS, Walgreens, and MetroMeds Pharmacy. 

 

SODO area is filled with so much, it is a wonderful location to be in and there will always be something to do. The best part is everything is in close proximity to the next thing. If you haven't yet, come by and explore the area!


Renting vs. Buying

(Published on - 5/26/2020 5:22:57 PM)

For many years, home ownership has been identified as a sign of success. You own a house= you have money and you are successful.  That is not the case. Owning a home is the American dream, of course. It is mine, therefore I made it in life, but that also comes with way more work. Not everyone that buys a home is necessarily financially successful, just like not everyone that rents are financially struggling. There are things to consider when thinking about your next move. Renting or buying are the options, but which one is the smartest? There are many questions to ask yourself when making that decision, and we are going to break it down for you.

 

 

Essential questions: Are you out of debt or are still paying debt/loans off?

 

Do you have enough cash for a 10–20% down payment on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage?

 

Will your house payment be 25% or less of your monthly take-home pay or more?

 

Do you move around a lot or do you plan to stay in the same location for 3+ years?

 

Buying a home is a lot of consider. First and foremost, finances must be in check. Asking yourself the first two questions above are pivotal. Being in debt and buying a home do not exactly go hand in hand because you will more than likely always be in debt when deciding to add such a big financial responsibility like buying a home. If you are still paying off debt or have any other kinds of loans, renting is your best bet. Another thing to think about is payments towards mortgage. When you buy a home, you are more than likely getting a mortgage (loan) to purchase the property with. It doesn’t stop there because you have to make payments towards this loan. Once calculated and broken down, can you handle it? If it’s too much, go ahead and rent so that you are not responsible for so much. Going into the next question, is the payment on the house more than 25% of your pay? If it is, you will be in trouble because you’re spending more on the house than you have in your pocket, in which case, when you decide to rent, you can balance your finances without over extending yourself. Take into consideration other finances/bills you are responsible for as well. You may make good money, but the payments on the house are significant. Lastly, how long do you plan on staying? If it is less than 3 years or so, then you’re better off renting. Why would you go through the trouble of buying a home and spending a significant amount of money when you have no plan to stay for long? If you are ready to settle down in the city of your choice with that dream job, then go buy that house! One last thing to think about is maintenance; when renting, you are not responsible for fixing anything. As a homeowner, you report to yourself, so anything that goes wrong, comes out of your pocket.

 

Here are few broken down pros and cons for renting vs. buying:

 

 

Buying Pros: Privacy

You own it

Your home may increase in value later and if you decide to sell it down the road, you are in for a treat

Property taxes=tax deductible

 

Buying Cons: More expenses

If the home needs renovations, you are the only one responsible to fix them 

You will be making payments on the home for a long time

 

 

Renting Pros: Move freely

Less responsibility

You are not responsible for maintenance

 

Renting Cons: Rates for rent fluctuate, so they can go up

It is not your own

Less freedom to renovate

 

 


Coffeeshop Spotlight

(Published on - 5/25/2020 3:45:22 PM)

One of the best things about the Downtown Orlando area is the number of coffee shops you will find. That is not including chain coffee shops like your local Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, but one location coffee spots you probably have never heard of before. That is one of the coolest things about Downtown Orlando; being able to find shops and places that you can’t really find anywhere else. Last week, we broke down just a few restaurants in the SODO area, but trust and believe, there is a lot more where that came from. We will expand on coffee shops to the entire Downtown area because they are scattered, but still well within a decent driving distance if you live anywhere within the Downtown Orlando area. There are about 26 coffee shops Downtown, but here are a few favorites:

 

  • Craft and Common: This shop has a great interior aesthetic, very Instagram picture-worthy, but they are also known for their specialty espresso drinks, cold brews, craft beer, and wine. We have to also mention their snacks, which include truffle popcorn and bacon-wrapped dates. Not your typical coffee shop variety you would typically find, but it is one of a kind and trust us, you won’t be disappointed!

 

  • Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar: Well for starters, the name is pretty cool! Drunken Monkey features organic coffee, vegan pastries, veggie-friendly sandwiches, and local art. The atmosphere is very bohemian. They also have standup comedy night on Fridays and Saturdays, so you get a show with your coffee! Again, this is not a typical coffee shop, but this place gives you the full experience.

 

  • Snowbean: Snowbean is a Korean style dessert café. They feature coffee, shaved ice, and teas. They are associated with a restaurant called, Izziban, which is a Korean BBQ restaurant. You can go to just the restaurant or the café, but the cool thing is if you’re eating dinner at Izziban, you can walk straight over for dessert or coffee at Snowbean. Snowbean overlooks a lake and has a wonderful view if you want to step outside to drink your coffee.

 

  • Achilles Art Café: This is an art-filled coffee house with comfortable sofas serving coffee, smoothies, wine, and beer. This is three different places all in one; it is a hookah lounge, art gallery, and of course coffee shop. They also carry food, like Greek meatballs or a classic grilled cheese sandwich. What can’t you get here?

 

 

Like we stated, there are about 26 shops, so there is more where that came from. Here is the link to all the shops in the Downtown Orlando area that Orlando Weekly has featured. Enjoy!

https://photos.orlandoweekly.com/26-essential-coffee-shops-you-need-to-visit-in-orlando-instead-of-starbucks/?slide=1&craft-common-ann-d


Gallery Properties Spotlight

(Published on - 5/22/2020 3:18:26 PM)

Welcome to our very first 'Just Sold' property spotlight of the week! We will feature recently sold listings from the last month providing all the inside scoop on these homes as well as a video giving you a virtual tour of the home.

 

First on the list is 2455 Orosota Circle, Ocoee Florida 34761.  It has 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a loft, and a den/study. It has almost 4000 square feet and high ceilings. All the space you can ask for, right? The patio doors overlook the pond and the family room and breakfast nook overlook the water view. You get to have breakfast with a view, no complaints there! This property is in Westyn Bay community with a gated entry, playground, 2 soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, walking trails, a fishing dock, and swimming pool for all residents to enjoy within the community. Westyn Bay is just minutes away from shopping, restaurants, the 429, 408, Florida Turnpike, and downtown Winter Garden. 

 

 

Next property is 3635 Bristol Cove Lane, Saint Cloud Florida 34772. This is a beautiful single family home with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. This home is on an over sized lot backing up to a peaceful conservation area with a canal. Located in the Deer Creek subdivision located in the town of Saint Cloud, it is just minutes away from shopping, restaurants, schools, medical faculties, places of worship, the turnpike and all theme parks. An added plus, it is just 30 to 45 minutes away from Melbourne beach.

 

 

Last, but not least, 1502 Golden Poppy Ct., Orlando Florida 32824. This home is on a great cul de sac lot in the family neighborhood of Forest Ridge. It is a completely renovated home with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. It is also freshly painted, has new blinds and all new light fixtures. Conveniently located by Osceola parkway, this home is in close proximity to shopping, restaurants and public transportation. 

 

Stay tuned for more!


What To Know About Reopening Attractions

(Published on - 5/21/2020 3:58:04 PM)

Disney Springs is one of the major attractions that has reopened as of May 20, 2020 since closing due to COVID 19. Not all of Disney Springs has opened, because that will be in phases as the state opens back up in phases as well. Only third-party Operating Participants will be allowed to reopen. This is exciting news, but also there is a lot to know in regards of reopening because there will be precautions taken for anyone wanting to visit. Since the state is still in phase one of re-opening, there is limited 50 % capacity. What does that mean? Only a number of people will be allowed to visit Disney Springs at a time. This is a confusing time, so let us break it down a bit further for you:

 

Limited parking and reduced entrances: Guests will be directed to self-park in the Orange and Lime garages; all surface parking lots will be closed. There will be reduced Guest entryways, given only 4 locations: Orange and Lime garages, along with the Hotel Plaza Boulevard Pedestrian Bridge and the rideshare location. Guest access to Disney Springs from the Grapefruit garage will be restricted.

 

Temperature screenings prior to entry: All guests are required to undergo temperature screenings upon arrival at Disney Springs. Guests will be required to undergo temperature screening in these locations: the second floor exits of Orange and Lime parking garages and the Marketplace Entrance (to serve guests from the Hotel Plaza Boulevard Pedestrian Bridge and the rideshare drop-off lot). “Based on guidance from health authorities, anyone displaying a temperature of 100.4 F or above will be directed to an additional location for rescreening and assistance. Those with temperatures above 100.4 will not be allowed entry; those in their party will not be allowed entry either. Cast Members and Operating Participant employees will be required to complete a health screening and temperature check at home, prior to coming to work."

 

Face coverings: All guests visiting ages 3 and up are required to wear a face covering. This entails:

  • Fully cover an individual’s nose and mouth and allow the guest to remain hands-free
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Be made of breathable material, either disposable or reusable

“Costume masks are not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn, in alignment with our existing rules.” Guests must wear their face covering at all times, except when eating. Distancing should still be taken place even if face coverings are worn to protect all guests. Guests are required to wear face coverings at all times, except while dining. The use of face coverings should not be seen as a substitute for physical distancing. Guests must provide their own disposable or reusable face covering.

 

Physical Barriers: Physical barriers have been added to appropriate places throughout Disney Springs. You might see them around cash registers or at Guest Relations.  

 

Cashless Transactions: At this time, it is recommended all guests use cashless or contactless payment options, such as credit cards, debit cards, Disney Gift Cards, Disney Rewards Redemption Cards and mobile wallets—including Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. Guests may purchase a Disney Gift Card at select Merchandise locations and Welcome Center (Guest Relations) to pay without cash.

 

Remember to stay safe!

 

 

https://www.disneysprings.com/reopening/


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